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Creating Boardgames.

TroyTroy Registered User
edited May 2007 in Critical Failures
I've always had a great interest in boardgames and no matter which one I have played I always develope house rules. I need a project for this summer so I have decided to create a board game from scratch.

The game I have decided to create was inspired by a political map detailing all of the neighborhoods of Minneapolis (my home town.) The way the neighborhoods are layed out is almost perfect for a strategic layout, some are small some big but they all touch three to five other neighborhoods.
I am pretty sure any city could be used making the appeal of this game that anyone could play it in their own city.

But what to do with those cities? I bought a Bag o' Zombies down at the local gaming shop and have a bunch of similar human characters with guns. My plan is to create a territorial conquest game in the vein of Axis and Allies or Risk.

I am pretty sure I will make it a Humans versus Zombies 2 player game. But I am also toying with making it a co/op competition for points type of game in which each player controls zombies against the others at the end of their turn a la ZOMBIES!!

In terms of buying units I want to setup a system in which the humans find more humans in neighborhoods they liberate, were as the zombies are cheap but can only be placed in graveyards.

I am looking to balance the game to about four zombies to every human. To give more of a feeling of the hoard of zombies and ones own impending doom.

Also I hate games that require the annihalation of the other side. I can see where this would be the goal for the zombies, but I feel the humans should have a more objective based goal.

What I am getting down too is I would appreciate some input in how you think the game should work. Over-all mechanincs (d6's only please), different units, number of players, basically what is it you would put into a game like this.

Thanks

Troy on
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Posts

  • GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Troy wrote: »
    I've always had a great interest in boardgames and no matter which one I have played I always develope house rules. I need a project for this summer so I have decided to create a board game from scratch.

    The game I have decided to create was inspired by a political map detailing all of the neighborhoods of Minneapolis (my home town.) The way the neighborhoods are layed out is almost perfect for a strategic layout, some are small some big but they all touch three to five other neighborhoods.
    I am pretty sure any city could be used making the appeal of this game that anyone could play it in their own city.

    But what to do with those cities? I bought a Bag o' Zombies down at the local gaming shop and have a bunch of similar human characters with guns. My plan is to create a territorial conquest game in the vein of Axis and Allies or Risk.

    I am pretty sure I will make it a Humans versus Zombies 2 player game. But I am also toying with making it a co/op competition for points type of game in which each player controls zombies against the others at the end of their turn a la ZOMBIES!!

    In terms of buying units I want to setup a system in which the humans find more humans in neighborhoods they liberate, were as the zombies are cheap but can only be placed in graveyards.

    I am looking to balance the game to about four zombies to every human. To give more of a feeling of the hoard of zombies and ones own impending doom.

    Also I hate games that require the annihalation of the other side. I can see where this would be the goal for the zombies, but I feel the humans should have a more objective based goal.

    What I am getting down too is I would appreciate some input in how you think the game should work. Over-all mechanincs (d6's only please), different units, number of players, basically what is it you would put into a game like this.

    Thanks

    This sounds interesting... I think that you should make it so new Zombies keep appearing every turn and so do new humans (but at a slower rate). And when you attack the zombies, theres a chance that some (or all) of your attacking force gets converted. That way, when there are a lot of zombies...you need to attack with more people to ensure their defeat, but its risky because the more people you attack with the more that might get converted into zombies... and then you'll really be screwed. Definitely think about adding some event cards. Heres an obvious idea for one:
    Spoiler:

    Sounds like an interesting game.... I'll add more input later.

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  • TroyTroy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Event cards are brilliant. For some reason I didn't think about that. I will defenitly put that on my to do list.

    I was thinking about how I can make the two sides feel distinctly different. I came up with the idea of having the zombie player able to purchase different types of zombies. For example normal zombies that attack low, move low, and defend a little better cost 3 population points, and perhaps zombie dogs which move fast attack hard but have no defense cost a little more. Have a large pool of different units for the zombies.

    On the other hand the Humans would all be the same unit. They would have different uses depending on what they are carrying (different collered poker chips under the units for different items.) The items would be able to be transfered and even dropped. I can't decide if the items should be purchased with the population points or drawn randomly. (Mechanics wise it would make sense to purchase them, but then again random supports the good old zombie movie scene of finding that shotgun in the trunk of a random car.)

    I was also thinking of having stages. Points in the game where the mechanics change. At first all the humans are scattered across the map. There objective is to clump and for examples sake they need to hold five adjacent neighboorhoods for three consecutive rounds. Once this is done the game mechanics will change to reflect that a human fortress has been established. In other words they go from surviving to fighting back. In other other words the the game goes from dawn of the dead to land of the dead.

    This way the game can be played in sessions if the players want to play a very epic game.

    Combat I've been thinking about and I don't want to straight up rob a system but I love the Axis and Allies sytem of letting everyone roll and positive results count as hits. The only problem I had was that the opponent picked which units died. However the system doesn't seem to cater to this specific game I have in mind. This is the biggest hurtle to making this game playable, fun, and remeniscent of zombie movies.

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  • TroyTroy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Also forget the d6 only comment, the only reason I say this is becuase I only have one set of gaming dice, and about a million d6's.

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  • laughingfuzzballlaughingfuzzball Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    D6s are good for board games, since non-gamers tend to play them, and non-gamers don't always know where to get non-d6 dice if they lose some.

  • DoronronDoronron Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Sounds like fun. Mind if I attempt a design, as well?

  • TroyTroy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Go for it, just post any thoughts you have on the board. The map I have is coming via a friend who is part of the college democrats, once he gets it to me I'll take a picture of what it looks like so people can get a better idea of just how BIG this game is going to be.

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  • TroyTroy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Actually here is an example only the kind of map I am talking about. The one I will be getting is actually going to also include many of the suburbs sourounding the city.

    Also after staring at the map for a good long while I've decided this game needs boats. The mississippi is far to big of a part of this city to not have it come into play.

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  • GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Troy wrote: »
    Event cards are brilliant. For some reason I didn't think about that. I will defenitly put that on my to do list.

    I was thinking about how I can make the two sides feel distinctly different. I came up with the idea of having the zombie player able to purchase different types of zombies. For example normal zombies that attack low, move low, and defend a little better cost 3 population points, and perhaps zombie dogs which move fast attack hard but have no defense cost a little more. Have a large pool of different units for the zombies.

    I think if I was playing this game, and I was the zombies... I think I would definitely prefer to kill humans to gain new zombies then just purchase them with population points. However, I think it could be a cool twist if the Zombies had like a human farm where they could feed from... I can't figure out exactly how to spin it so its believable, but that sounds interesting. And each round the human farm could get replenished based on certain conditions (and the event cards can modify these conditions too).
    Troy wrote: »
    On the other hand the Humans would all be the same unit. They would have different uses depending on what they are carrying (different collered poker chips under the units for different items.) The items would be able to be transfered and even dropped. I can't decide if the items should be purchased with the population points or drawn randomly. (Mechanics wise it would make sense to purchase them, but then again random supports the good old zombie movie scene of finding that shotgun in the trunk of a random car.)

    I was also thinking of having stages. Points in the game where the mechanics change. At first all the humans are scattered across the map. There objective is to clump and for examples sake they need to hold five adjacent neighboorhoods for three consecutive rounds. Once this is done the game mechanics will change to reflect that a human fortress has been established. In other words they go from surviving to fighting back. In other other words the the game goes from dawn of the dead to land of the dead.

    Why do you not want to make separate human characters? Especially since you want to do stages of game play, I think this would be a great mechanic. In a zombie apocalypse you should start off with a random assortment of humans... men, women, children, the elderly, pets. Then you have to figure out how to get them to work together to survive... then once you make a fortress you can just start sending out the weapon wielding men to take out them zombies (and free the rest of the humans from the farms).

    Also, I always prefer items to be random... in a zombie apocalypse, it's all about whats around. I doubt you're going to get supplies delivered. So how about this... as the humans explore a new territory they flip over a shop card (more shop cards then territories) and they can now purchase the items that the shop contains. I think it would make it feel more like you are stranded survivors of an apocalypse then just waging wars against zombies. It would also be nice to have a different set of humans/resources every time you play as the humans.
    Troy wrote:
    Combat I've been thinking about and I don't want to straight up rob a system but I love the Axis and Allies sytem of letting everyone roll and positive results count as hits. The only problem I had was that the opponent picked which units died. However the system doesn't seem to cater to this specific game I have in mind. This is the biggest hurtle to making this game playable, fun, and remeniscent of zombie movies.

    Yeah, I'm gonna have to think about combat for a while.... I'll get back to ya on this.

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  • DoronronDoronron Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Two suggestions:

    1) Make note of the major buildings -- malls, skyscrapers, etc. These should provide defense bonus, but movement malus, to the human player.

    2) Zombie controlled suburbs should be major spawn points for the zombie player.

  • TroyTroy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I like the use of areas like the mall of america and downtown as defensive strongholds. Perhaps the zombies have stronger defense in malls but if a human takes it they get two of those shop cards. A nice little balance. In terms of holding out on locations.

    The reasoning behind having all human units be equal but having their equipement set them apart is that if you look at it from a game perspective each unit isn't just one man, or just one old grandma, each unit represents a group of survivors, grandma, kid, adults and all. It will be what they have found to fight with that will define their use. This will support the concept of starting unarmed or "naked" as so many zombie movies do.

    Thats my rationale for having just a basic simple unit. Perhaps this will also facilitate the second stage of the game in allowing for the new production of elite humans. So once the humans establish a fort then they can start building new and different units like commando's, APC's, and motorbike scouts.

    I like the human farm idea. An example would a neighborhood (suburbs!) marked with a neutral human unit. This would be considered a high population neighborhood in which the zombies are in the process of converting the population. So as long as the zombies hold that location they get let say 10 points. Once that location is liberated it gives no bonus to the humans besides a couple more humans, but it keeps the zombies from being able to spawn there or gain any more points from that location.

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  • GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Troy wrote: »
    I like the use of areas like the mall of america and downtown as defensive strongholds. Perhaps the zombies have stronger defense in malls but if a human takes it they get two of those shop cards. A nice little balance. In terms of holding out on locations.

    The reasoning behind having all human units be equal but having their equipement set them apart is that if you look at it from a game perspective each unit isn't just one man, or just one old grandma, each unit represents a group of survivors, grandma, kid, adults and all. It will be what they have found to fight with that will define their use. This will support the concept of starting unarmed or "naked" as so many zombie movies do.

    Thats my rationale for having just a basic simple unit. Perhaps this will also facilitate the second stage of the game in allowing for the new production of elite humans. So once the humans establish a fort then they can start building new and different units like commando's, APC's, and motorbike scouts.

    I like the human farm idea. An example would a neighborhood (suburbs!) marked with a neutral human unit. This would be considered a high population neighborhood in which the zombies are in the process of converting the population. So as long as the zombies hold that location they get let say 10 points. Once that location is liberated it gives no bonus to the humans besides a couple more humans, but it keeps the zombies from being able to spawn there or gain any more points from that location.

    :^:

    I didn't think about every unit being a group of humans... but I still think it would be interesting to start with a random bunch of humans (but you would need a LOT of markers to mark all the different humans). I also like where you took the human farm idea. I think you're going to have to send me a copy of this game when you complete it >=)

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  • TroyTroy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Thanks, Im probably going to do some preliminary work on a rule book this weekend I will post it on this website for ya'lls feedback. This has been incredibly helpful so far. Thanks again.

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  • TechnicalityTechnicality Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Good stuff so far.:^:
    I used to love making stuff like this back before I got into programming.

    My only advice is to keep it simple and try to re-use rules rather than making new ones, so its quick to learn.

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  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2007
    one thing the humans should have is multiple objectives with limited resources to obtain those objectives. Split the resources into four types - food, electricity, gasoline, bullets (for example).

    Humans require X amount of food per turn per person. To travel will require expenditure of gasoline. To fight/defend will require expenditure of bullets. To build and upgrade or use communications would require expenditure of electricity. Certain locations provide income of each resource - gas stations provide X gasoline per turn, hardware stores or sporting goods stores provide X number of bullets per turn. Grocery stores provide X number of food per turn. Electricity is provided at X rate per turn to each area owned by the player, as long as the area is still on the grid.

    Electricity would be used primarily to build and upgrade items which could be found in certain locations - a hardware store could provide pipes, tools, etc. An electronics store could provide radios. Army surplus store could provide camoflauge and survival gear. Car dealerships could provide vehicle upgrades. Electricity would be needed to be upgrade your basic items, such as weaponry (affix scopes to rifles, add 1 to range), weld armor onto vehicles (add 1 to armor, decrease 1 movement), things like that.

    Areas could be knocked off the grid by opposing players, limiting their electricity resources. Radios would be needed to keep each non-adjacent area in communication or they cannot share resources. Players could raid other players' neighborhoods to gain territory and control of resource-generating buildings, limiting the ability of the opponent to defend themselves, feed their army, power their vehicles to limit growth or mobility, etc.

  • DoronronDoronron Registered User
    edited April 2007
    At this point, all I'm missing is turn order (though I've got a line on that), a combat system that's not A&A (working on possibilities), and a title (the ones I've come up with so far all suck).

    Gonna go sit and think for a bit. Then I'll need to pull together pieces and do a test run. The only thing that worries me at this point is that I'll have come up with too large a playing field...

  • yalborapyalborap Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Dammit, now you people have me designing a board game too. ALSO using zombies. It is infectious!

  • TroyTroy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Well it looks like every one has gone and started developing there own games... I propose this. Once you have a set of rules that seems concrete, post it here and we can make a repository of zombie boardgame goodnes..

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  • yalborapyalborap Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Troy wrote: »
    Well it looks like every one has gone and started developing there own games... I propose this. Once you have a set of rules that seems concrete, post it here and we can make a repository of zombie boardgame goodnes..

    I like this idea.

    Now, anyone know where one could acquire plenty of generic pieces without having to use the ones from other games?

  • Legoman05Legoman05 Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Bag o' Zombies is awesome - used for the ZOMBIES!!! game, but come on, 100 zombies for 10 bucks!

  • DoronronDoronron Registered User
    edited April 2007
    yalborap wrote: »
    Dammit, now you people have me designing a board game too. ALSO using zombies. It is infectious!

    [zombie]GAAAAMES[/zombie]

    Sorry, Troy. I didn't mean to fracture the development process. The rules I have in the works are a few sections shy from a full design, but I will post them (along with a playtest, hopefully) once complete. It's just been a few years since I've designed and built a beer and pretzels boardgame, it just seemed like fun to do Zombies with only D6s. Just trying not to use anyone else's stuff at this point.

    EDIT: IRT Lego, where can I find these? I need 6 bags...

    EDIT 2: nvm. Found 'em.

  • Last SonLast Son Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I thought I would chime in here. During work today I was thinking about this(and yes, I have a very boring job) and came up with kind of a rough sketch on rules. Its sort of simple, since the people I play with would probably dislike anything serious complex.

    It would be played on a city map like Troy posted earlier, and movement would be similar to risk. Each unit could move 1 territory per turn, if they move to a territory occupied by opposing forces combat would ensue.

    Each unit would have 3 stats; Attack, Hit Points, and Population Points.

    Combat would be resolved by rolling 1 d6 for each point of attack both parties possess. A roll of 4+ would inflict 1 point of damage to their enemy. Any unit reduced to 0HP would be removed. For ease of notekeeping I'm going to borrow a rule from 40k and say that once a unit is wounded, all further wounds must be assigned to that unit as well until it is dead. Example:
    Spoiler:

    Population Points(PP) serve 2 purposes, depending on which faction it is for. On Human units the PP Value is how much PP the zombie player gets for killing that unit, on Zombie units it is how much PP it costs to "raise" that unit in a graveyard.


    Further, each Territory would have 2 unique stats. Both stats only function for the human player.

    Survival-At the beginning of the Human player's turn he gains Survival Points(SP) equal to the total value of all territories his units currently occupy.
    Equipment-At the beginning of the Human player's turn he gains Equipment Points(EP) equal to the total value of all territories his units currently occupy.

    Both SP and EP serve a similar purpose. A Player may pay 10SP to draw a "Survival Card" or he may pay 10EP to draw an "Equipment Card".

    Survival cards represent surviving humans and is how the human player gains new units. When the player pays 10SP he draws a random Survival Card and may then place that unit in any territory he currently ocupies.
    Examples:
    Spoiler:

    Equipment cards represent various tools or items the humans find across the cities. When the player pays 10EP he draws a random equipment card and may then assign it to any unit he controls(personal) or any territory he occupies(territorial)
    Examples:
    Spoiler:

    There would also be 2-3 "Graveyards" scattered about, if the zombie player occupies them they provide 2PP a turn and allow reinforcements to be raised there.

    Obviously I have to come up with stats for all the units and equipment, but how does this look for the core rules?

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  • TroyTroy Registered User
    edited May 2007
    I really like everything I have seen so far. I like having the zombie players get all their pp points from humans that they can then spend instead of instantly converting humans to zombies...though this should be an option!

    I haven't had much time to work on the mechanincs of rolling myself and though I really like the idea of transposing the warhammer system, I would really like to try and come up with something novel. Once I finish putting together the firefly campaign Im GM'ing I will really sit down and think through it. I mean there has to be some system that would feel new.

    Oh and anyone looking for bag o zombies go to twilight creations website, they not only have the bags of zombies but they have lots of zombie/horror based board games for your viewing pleasure.

    Again I like what you have laid out so far last son, I will most likely impliment much of that into the game I will be working on. Having two different point values is a brilliant way of making each territory worth different values.

    What do you all feel about using other dice besides d6's? Would this complicated it to no end? or would it allow for more custimization? Would this alienate those who have little experience gaming?

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  • DoronronDoronron Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Almost done. Just one more rule to create -- trying to determine satisfactory mechanics for it. Everything else is done.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I just stumbled upon this site about creating boardgames. Not a bad place to start if you don't know how to go about designing one.

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