Discard 2020, and get into [game design]!



  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Please do. I’m interesting to know the setting you’re going for with this, if anything as yet.

  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    I am looking for playtesters for an escape room game that will be going to print soon. You'd need Tabletop Simulator and it takes about an hour for most groups. I'm happy to playtest your game in exchange (or to help you get it into TTS)!

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    If work wasn’t keeping me from home, and therefore actual good WiFi and a computer, I’d be down. This post is mainly a bump for you.

    Can you tell us any more about how it works?

    I’m plugging away at my roleplaying system, and a few settings for it side by side. It’s really easy to write for, if anything my troubles are getting rid of chaff, and putting into words what’s instinctive for me, to answer questions before the reader has them.

    So far I’m including little boxes that are just me talking to the reader in conversational terms alongside the slightly stricter rules. Does that sound helpful?

    For example:

    When you push yourself beyond your limitations and defy the odds, your call, you must ignite an aspect you possess to gain success without rolling dice. Once you’ve described how you succeed, the stakes are lowered. Cross the aspect; you cannot add it to a roll until the team resolves the episode.
    Basically, when Power Princess absolutely needs to be strong enough to hold back the oncoming train, or Casanova Raygun pulls out all the stops to talk around the Getaway Gang, rather than leaving it to chance they can detonate a relevant aspect.

    Power Princess crosses out her [Strong] aspect, Casanova crosses out his [Witty]. They can’t use their aspect until the team overcome the episode’s main obstacle, change the status quo, reveal something vital—you know, when things come to a satisfying point.

    This’ll be a big deal to the hero, as there’s a high chance they’ll be using their favourite aspect to pull off something grand, at the risk of being without it later. You’re straining yourself, using up something, calling on more force than you should be able to must. Do make a face as you describe your ignition, please.

    Last thing, the host will lower the stakes from whatever they were at, maybe just a stage lower, perhaps all the way. A scene where a hero ignites knock it out of the park, granting the team a little breather—until!

    Endless_Serpents on
  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    Can you tell us any more about how it works?
    Sure. It is similar to Unlock or Exit, but with minimal components. Cards provide the story, the clues, and the puzzles. When you find an answer, you enter it in the companion app, which verifies your answer and tells you which cards to take next from the deck. I'm focusing on puzzle density (there are a dozen main puzzles across the 18 cards) and making the hint system robust and adaptive to the amount of help you actually want.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    For the few of you that look over this thread, I’m really pleased with this character sheet for my latest roleplaying project, Near Light.


    Without the full game in front of you I suppose your eyes will glaze over it. Basically you’re an ace pilot in a space war, and you have a hologram AI in your personally modified starfighter!

  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    Looks good! I feel like the final logo needs a space plane ship flying near it, but I really like it.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Thanks for taking a look Whelk!

    Yeah, I was thinking two ships on a collision course behind it, so NEAR has one going right and LIGHT has one going left.

    A friend has asked to test the game today, because they’re a world class human being.

    I’m thinking of kicking it off with an attack on a water planet, with two separate floating towns as the target. This is mainly to test a system where the pilot has hundreds of not too clever drones they can use to bridge the gap and provide cover until they can get to the second locale.

    They’ll be playing Smoke, a rough and ready rookie, with their newly switched on pin-up, Flame.

    Ships have a three word phrase naming convention in this game. We haven’t decided yet, I’ve had both Over the Top and Killing it Softly text to me in the past minute.

  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    Please do. I’m interesting to know the setting you’re going for with this, if anything as yet.

    Essentially it's the RPG setting I've been working on. It's a post-WWI industrial magical society, but out in essentially the Australia of this world. Except, a magical goldmine is found out there. So it's a gold rush, with the major nearby city being a 1920's swing New Orleans. The major themes of the setting being your generation has to decide what to do when they're handed crap and that humanity corrupts everything.

    Also, it's steampunk with flying islands and the major magical gewgaw that everyone is after is sky-whales. That appears to be overdone lately, so I might change it.

    Edit: To expand on it, magic mostly comes from stuff. It is a resource, it requires a price. That price can be paid by you or someone or someTHING else. The world is essentially animist, but we can't grasp that side of reality. The chain of events that led to magic being around are because human psychic trauma corrupts those animist spirits into ghosts. Those ghosts pick up power via human worship and ritual, and they can eventually interact with the physical world, in a way. Most of them are just furious they can't get a hit of reality any more. So the original sorcerers were taught by mediums who could speak with the spirits teaching them rituals to allow them to interact with reality. Spells are pretty much just the base, raw spirits of an area being contorted into reality for a fraction of time.

    Most wizard traditions are kind of like getting a religious law degree. These are the rituals you must complete to get X result, but none of them know the full why because a lot gets lost in translation. The traditions mostly work around conceits of worship, subjugation, or persuading the spirits into cooperating, with the promise of a dose of reality for compliance. Many of the ghosts who stay around long enough form personalities and become akin to a small god. They become divorced from both humanity and the spirit world in a way that worries the sane. They have agendas that we can't exactly figure out, but a lot of the people who actually know about their existence downright fear them. Doesn't stop many would-be sorcerers from entering a crossroads and making a deal. Some of the paranoid have decided these spirits are secretly running governments. Some of them are right.

    The rest of humanity who doesn't have to worry about those things can buy what I'm thinking of as commercial magic. Some of that sky whale oil can be processed into taking the tithe of magic for you. This has caused a mercantile upset the world over. Machines, miracles and science have all combined into a factory-driven hellhole for the average layperson.

    The flying islands is a trope that I've seen a lot of worlds do, but I find it fun. They all float in a river of magic over the surface of the planet, which is covered in water and houses gigantic beasts, making it mostly unusable for travel. Humanity has had to be inventive then. The major factions of the world war got into it over control of the major highway between three of the continents: an elevator slung between floating rocks. This elevator has potentially become obsolete with the discovery of the whales who fly through the sky-river near the major city on the frontier. Their oil has revolutionized air travel, as well. Where before zeppelins and hot air balloons had run the skies, now they have flying ships and floating fortresses. Before, you'd need to travel by railways slung through the dangerous asteroid belts between islands. Now you can skirt them.

    But what happens if the whales are hunted to extinction? What about the failed seccession of the country that is now the frontier to a world defining industry? What do you do when the town you call home is divided by foreign governments and your people shamed for an attempt at independence? Are the people who have taken the harsh journey out there hard people or those full of hope? What terrors lurk behind the promise of healing in a bottle or an academy of sciences out here on the fringe? There's a lot of work to be done for crews who can do it, but most will die trying.

    Whelk on
  • SurfpossumSurfpossum A nonentity trying to preserve the anonymity he so richly deserves.Registered User regular
    I was reminded of this thread's existence so I figured I'd drop this in here as well.
    Players take the role of researchers in a Deployable Observation and Mobile Experimentation unit that has been sent to a hostile planet. They have to work together to survive events ranging from inconvenient to catastrophic, while individually trying to obtain and analyze as many samples as they can for personal glory. Once a majority of the players feel like they are ready to go, they can call in the Expedited Vehicular Assistance and Collection ship and return home, but: due to their remote location, the EVAC will take 5 days to arrive, so they had best not push their luck too far….


    Here's the full "rules" document so far. It's still quite a mess but I think it's got most of it in there in some form?


    *smoke bomb*

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    is this how nations are born
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I’m late to my own thread, but that’s a wonderful project! Keep it up!

  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    I am volunteering for the Tabletop Mentorship Program this session. I will be paired with a newer designer and will try to help push them along toward their goals over the next three months. I'm sort of nervous but I'm expecting it to be a rewarding experience on both ends.

    IanatorMNC DoverBedlamWhelkNipsDirtmuncher
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited January 5
    Hello all, right now I’m making a card game, but I’m taking a break from that today to make a card game. It goes like this:

    Villy 2021

    Self contained card game. 3-6 players.

    Establishing Concept

    You are an entrant of an English village trying to win this year’s Best Village Award. To do this you want to show off your village’s features, and show up the competition.

    How to Play
    All that is required to set up the game is for someone to shuffle the Villy deck of cards and place them face down in the middle of the play area.

    Play begins by picking who is first in the turn order. Choose the youngest player if you can’t decide. The turn order now proceeds from their right in a circle until no more players remain. Everything is done in the established turn order.

    Each player draws four cards from the Villy deck into their hand.

    Next the players place two cards from their hands face down in front of them.

    Then they choose one of the two cards to reveal. This is the card they have chosen to play this round.

    The played cards are activated in turn order, and players follow the instructions on their card.

    With the round complete the players bank any points they earned during that round.

    Both the cards placed face down and the played cards are discarded until the game is finished in a separate pile. Cards that remained in the players hands are shuffled back into the Villy deck.

    The player to the right of whoever went first during the last round is now first in the turn order. The next round begins, and continues until one player ends a round with five points in two separate categories; they have won!

    Should a round end with a shared win, their overall scores are compared to determine who is victorious.

    If all cards are discarded before a win, the closest to either method is deemed the winner.

    There are three kinds of points in this game; spirit, tradition and beauty. Any points are good, but you’ll need to focus on acquiring more of certain kinds if you want to win.

    There are only 3 or less copies of each card in a shared deck. Judging what remains and who wants what kind of point is a factor in succeeding.

    Villy Cards
    Hearty Pub (3)
    You gain 1 spirit point.

    Manor House (3)
    You gain 1 tradition point.

    Windswept Meadow (3)
    You gain 1 beauty point.

    - The basic card. These leave you open to others as they don’t project any force, but as they’re inoffensive you’ll be the most likely to be left alone, at least until the match hits its stride.

    Hilltop Apiary (3) bee farm
    You gain 1 point in the category you have the least points in.

    - As they’re points you don’t exactly need, whether you play this will depend on how far you are in the match.

    Riverside Mill (2)
    When Riverside Mill is placed face down, you may reveal it at the end of the round and choose an entrant. In secret, you may trade 2 category points for whichever 2 category points they are willing to offer in return.

    - You’re not getting more points, just different types. 2 Nature for 2 Tradition, 2 Spirit for 1 Tradition and 1 Nature, etc.
    - This is just to put other players off what category you hope to come out on top with—you can even just not do it.
    - How secret the trade ends up being will differ per match, but I think that’s okay.
    - This one is kind of a big deal, more in terms of how it creates a temporary alliance, or is perceived to be doing that.

    Humble Pie (2)
    When Humble Pie is placed face down, you may reveal it and add underhand to the card you played.

    - A real game-changer, this card allows you to play your card as declared—as in, any time you like, this round.
    - In theory you could just play it, but it would have no actual use 99% of the time. If you’re sure someone intends to steal from you, you could play this to grant them no stolen points.

    Wishing Well (2)
    When Wishing Well is placed face down, you may reveal it and gain an extra point in the category of the card you played.

    - May being the important ruling. It’s your call when you think it’s safe to get that extra point.
    If the card you played is stolen, you don’t get an extra point.

    Charity Fair (2)
    When Charity Fair is placed face down, you must reveal it and look at the top four cards on the Villy deck, then put them back.

    - Now you know what the first player in the turn order is going to get next round.

    Lost Sheep (3)
    When Lost Sheep is placed face down, you must reveal it and steal 1 point from the entrant on your left. If they have no points, you must give them 1 banked point from the category of your choice.

    - This is a must, rather than may. It forces unexpected rivalry, making sure you don’t just pick on one person.
    - It’s always plausible deniability, that’s just what the cards says!
    - It also gives a point away if they didn’t make any this round, which is a fun balancer.

    War Memorial (2)
    Whenever points are stolen this round, gain 1 tradition.

    - Everyone is out to steal, so why not make some points off it?
    - But if you play this, who will want to steal? This card guides players to place a steal and other card face down, making their choice if they think War Memorial is or isn’t in play.

    Sinking Fort (2)
    When Sinking Fort is placed face down, reveal it at the end of the round. If you did not make the most points, gain 1 spirit point.

    - A come back card, plus a way to still make points if you want to play a card that doesn’t get you any.
    - A nice way to backfire theft too.

    Foxglove Trail (2)
    If you are first this round, you gain 2 beauty, otherwise you gain 1 beauty.

    - You’ve only got a chance of this hitting right, but this single element of chance in the game will turn the tables and so change the plans of those playing.

    Peaceable Chapel (2)
    When Peaceable Chapel is placed face down, you may reveal it to immediately bank the points you’ve gained this round.

    - So much stealing! This is a defence against it. Rather than waiting for the round to be completed you bank your points on your turn.
    - Like many cards, there are only two, so you can judge when to steal, which is most of the time.

    Fairy Circle (2)
    Laggard - Always goes last.
    Gain 1 nature point and choose an entrant. If they’ve gained only 1 point, steal it and give it to another entrant.

    - Very powerful, but as it must go last it can be anticipated.
    - Since it goes last, your point can’t be stolen very easily.
    You can simultaneously make an ally and enemy, but really, who trusts fairies?

    Rose Garden (3)
    If no one else plays Rose Garden after you, you gain 2 points from the category of your choice.

    - You’ll need to judge if someone has a Rose Garden to play after yours. Later on, if two have been played, and you hold the third, you’re guaranteed your points… unless they’re stolen. Playing this as the last card of the round is ideal.
    - Having a choice of point category means you can spread them between the two you intend to win with. Nice!

    Chalk Bluff (2)
    If you have the lowest score overall, you gain 2 nature points.

    - A simple come back card.
    - If you see someone play it and they’re only a point behind you might try to give them a point to cancel this.

    Shared History (2)
    If your score is equal to other entrants, you each gain 1 tradition point.

    - If you’re anywhere from last to second, you’re gonna drag some players up with you. Good for chasing someone with a big lead.
    - If you’re in joint first, this isn’t an ideal card to be playing unless you’ve got some serious scheme going.
    - But mainly, do you want to help others? If not, you could play it face down and then discard it.

    Prizewinning Bull (1)
    Choose an entrant. You both gain 1 beauty point and you gain the benefit of the card they’ve played.

    - You give points to get points.
    - This’ll usually end in your favour, but if their card is stolen you’ll end the round having given them 1 point and you’ll get nothing back.

    Joyous Marriage (2)
    Choose an entrant. You both gain 1 spirit point and they cannot steal from you during the next round.

    - Another steal block, but focused on one player in particular.
    - Making sure they don’t steal from you also forces them to steal from others by default, if those are the only kind of cards their next hand provides.

    Market Day (2)
    Underhand - Play as declared.
    Choose an entrant. If they would gain more than 1 point this round, you steal 1 point.

    - A simple way to even out point gain.
    - The best strategic use of this card is to nix someone playing Enormous Pumpkin.

    Enormous Pumpkin (2)
    Choose an entrant. If they would gain more than 1 point this round, you steal those points.

    - Probably the best card, save for the fact you can now be stolen from.

    Terrible Gossip (1)
    Choose an entrant. Reduce their banked amount of points in the category of your choice by 2, then reduce your own by 1.

    - If someone is close to winning you can forgo getting a point just to screw them over.
    - 2 is a big number in this game, but every time you play this you stall yourself and let another player get ahead.
    - Of course, this means war between you and the one you’ve screwed.

    Buttercup Walk (2)
    If at least one face down card is revealed this round, you gain 1 beauty.

    - A stopper on revealing cards, unless another player things what they gain is more important than allowing you a point.

    Not playtested yet, it’s just a sketch. Thoughts?

    Endless_Serpents on
  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    So my question is, are scores kept in a temporary pool until the end of the turn or....?

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Okay, so, on your turn you can use a card to earn points. However, these are not banked, they’re not safe yet. On another player’s turn they can steal them.

    At the end of the round (everyone’s had a turn) your points are banked. These are permanent.

    Now the next round begins and you try to earn points again.

  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    Got it. It looks like a solid framework. I definitely think you could iterate a bit on the cards, but I'd probably give this a shot as is on a game night. I'd want a card or two that helps the target of someone else. Like a defensive card in the vein of the enemy of my enemy, etc. Maybe a single up the ante card where the whole table benefits.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited January 5
    Yeah it definitely needs those. I think the next run through will be about temporarily picking sides and double crossing.

    Edit: I’m thinking for each new card added I’ll reduce the number of copies of some other card, and that cards should indicate how many copies there are, so even if you’re new to the game you’ll know if that kind of card will only appear 1/2/3 times.

    Endless_Serpents on
  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    edited January 5
    My question is, why the hidden information in the played face down card? Do those get revealed at the end of the round or is it supposed to be a memory type situation?

    Edit: Looks like you want card counting of some kind. I think the tally on the cards works. I wonder if you could make too many categories of cards and have people draft them at game start. Kind of how Dominion works.

    Whelk on
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    The general idea is everyone plays a card face up and a card face down in turn order (starting from one chosen person, going right).

    After everyone gets a second to see what’s up, everyone does what their card says in turn order. Right now, they’ll do what looks best judging by what people have played face up, but everyone has a face down card that they can potentially reveal on their turn to mess things up.

    You might not always have a card you feel like revealing, but there’s threat there, you know?

    You can also place a card face down you have no intention of using, but want to be discarded at the end of the round rather than shuffled back into the shared deck.

    Still, it could use some work.

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