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  • ToothyToothy Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    I'm currently at an impasse in the design of a card game I'm trying to make. It's a hand-building PvP game at its base: You have a base set of cards in your hand based on class. One of those cards is an irreplaceable card that returns your discard pile to your hand. Part of the gameplay loop is replacing the base hand with cards you draw from a deck that allows you to pursue particular kinds of attacks/defenses. Permanent effect cards lower your maximum hand size to place an upper limit on shenanigans.

    Other than that, there is a loose set of locations players can move between based on the arena chosen for the fight. It is sort of steam-punk western themed, and I like the idea of modeling loose firefights rather than a shot for shot style of fight.

    I've currently been thinking expanding each round into a planning phase followed by a combat phase instead of just a combat phase. The planning phase would determine who is fighting in the case of multiple combatants, allowing a built-in multiplayer, as well as determining who goes first in those combats. I was thinking that it could be done by a system of points each player gets that are spent to prepare for the combats: playing permanents (instead of the max hand size limit,) adding/removing cards from your hand, moving around the battlefield, or regaining guard points (the hit points a player has before their health is removed by attacks.) The remaining points determine who goes first in the fight. Too much prep puts you on the back foot, and your opponent gets the initiative in the coming fight. The restocking card in the base hand would turn into a card that ends fights when you no longer have cards to play.

    The real question I can't figure out is if it's worth the additional complexity, since it pretty much changes the entire game. I feel like I'd need an option cheat sheet instead of just a deck + hand.

    I'm curious if you all have any thoughts.

    Edit: Someone just mentioned Gloomhaven to me, and some of this is so flipping cool and where I thought of things going in my head.

    Secret Double Edit: I'm looking at some basic game design processes and realizing I need to iron out the basics instead of having too many fanciful ideas. I keep going back and changing the core of the game every time I get a new idea instead of just fleshing out the ones I have. Getting myself set up with a process of doing this might keep me on track better than flailing at it.

    Toothy on
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Keep at it. The only way I’ve been able to simplify the main game I’m working on is having a separate ‘random game mechanics’ document that I throw things at rather than sticking them onto my current one.

    If you’ve got anything you don’t mind posting I’d happily have a look through it and get back to you. Hell, I’ll talk about anyone’s game.

    Keep it up!

    JustTeeNips
  • The SauceThe Sauce Fleur de Alys Registered User regular
    It's good to have those things in mind at an earlier stage. For instance, you might have a simple 1v1 base game, but as long as you implement stuff with the more complex version in mind, you can add the complex version as an optional multiplayer mode afterward. But if you tried to tack it on later without having planned for it, you might find it awkward or even impossible to get right without overhauling the base game.

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
    Endless_SerpentsJustTeeFuselageNips
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    There's two "main" ways to start designing a "full" game. Keep in mind that neither is better than the other, nor am I saying there's *no other way*, but just that from my discussions with designers and my own designs, most games arise from one of these two things.

    First: Addition:
    You start with something super basic. Like - one mechanic basic. Or with like "This game, BUT". Then, as you build your prototype and play test, you find it lacking. So, you start to add on mechanics, and play test those, until you find the "core" of the game, plus most of the extra stuff (if there's any extra stuff). You mostly start with an idea that's cool, but NOT ENOUGH, and end up adding more things unitl it

    Second: Subtraction:
    You start with a crazy idea with tons of mechanics and tons of ideas and everything is a giant mess. Then, as you start to play test, you figure out what works, and start to cull the things that don't. You might find that you have to add stuff back in, or change things as you go, but you mostly start with an idea that's TOO BIG, and pare it down until it works.


    There's no right or wrong method. There's no right or wrong amount of complexity. The question to ask yourself when adding complexity is: "Is the added complexity interesting enough to be worth adding?" and the answer to that question is always subjective and up to you.

    The only way to answer that question is to try. I've had lots of ideas that sound great when I'm speaking, but as soon as I try to actually figure out how to playtest it, I realize 30 things I didn't think of.



    The most important thing when designing a game is to play it as much as you can. And sometimes, to step away a bit when you're puzzled. Your subconscious has a way of working through things when you're not actively thinking about them that I think is pretty helpful.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    That is all very correct, but I don't think it's right to say that the two methods are equivalent. They come with baggage.

    I see most first-time designers in the "way too much stuff" camp, which means they are going to be sculpting rather than painting, removing parts. This is difficult when you are starting out because you just don't yet have the intuition for what to try removing, or you are wedded to all of this stuff because it's your first baby. You have to be ruthless, and that's hard. I firmly believe that painting is an easier strategy for budding designers.

    But for the sculptors: a question I ask lots of designers when I am playtesting is, "What is the core of this game?" Or to think about it concretely, "If I removed one thing from your game, which thing would hurt you the most?" Think about that question hard, and come up with an answer. This is now what you have to build around.

    Once the core is identified, you have a lens to hold up against all your other decisions. Every other mechanism and feature of your game should support that core in some way. If it doesn't, throw it out.

    jswidget.php?username=JonBob&numitems=10&header=1&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=right&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
    JustTeeNips
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    JonBob wrote: »
    That is all very correct, but I don't think it's right to say that the two methods are equivalent. They come with baggage.

    I see most first-time designers in the "way too much stuff" camp, which means they are going to be sculpting rather than painting, removing parts. This is difficult when you are starting out because you just don't yet have the intuition for what to try removing, or you are wedded to all of this stuff because it's your first baby. You have to be ruthless, and that's hard. I firmly believe that painting is an easier strategy for budding designers.

    But for the sculptors: a question I ask lots of designers when I am playtesting is, "What is the core of this game?" Or to think about it concretely, "If I removed one thing from your game, which thing would hurt you the most?" Think about that question hard, and come up with an answer. This is now what you have to build around.

    Once the core is identified, you have a lens to hold up against all your other decisions. Every other mechanism and feature of your game should support that core in some way. If it doesn't, throw it out.

    Yeah - I was trying to just convey the message I've garnered over my learning. I have no published designs, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. I also tried to caveat more or less that entire post.

    For me personally, I tend to design at the 2 extreme ends.

    My brainstorms and general ideas for games are sprawling, huge, and filled with "stuff". Like my current main prototype that I've mentioned here before is like...bigger in scale than KDM or Gloomhaven, if you viewed the sum total of all the bits and pieces.

    But the things I actually play test are *tiny*. The current state prototype has ~3 things I'm testing.

    Test 1 - Monster Targeting
    For this, I just have a small deck of cards. On each one, I just write a short qualifying statement, like "Nearest player unit" or "Furthest Player unit" or w/e. Then I shuffle the deck, arrange a couple of "player pieces" around the board and then move them into different configurations and pull cards to see how the monster would move. Currently this is the bit of the game that needs the most thought / re-design, as trying to figure out targeting without tying it to just straight distance calculations is a bit tough.

    Test 2 - Player Action Selection
    I gave each "player" a deck of ~9 cards to test out action selection and rotation. This is the core player-side gameplay loop. It's the most solid part of the design so far, and is satisfying. It also has several spots where I can hook on additional mini-mechanics, and it's basically waiting for me to figure out Test 1 to nail down specific numbers / abilities / extras. The cards as is are super simple and basic, don't include much (if any) special effects, other than just a couple cards per player that have some ideas to mess around with.

    Test 3 - Damage / Hit Resolution
    I've played with a couple of ideas here, mostly running variants with a new deck of cards, while playing with the combined Test 1 and Test 2 cards.


    I'm iterating on these ideas and designs over and over until these things are tight and fun. After that, I'll start to see how many *unique* ideas I can tie into these core loops, and see if there's enough there to come close to even 1/3 of the "total" vision of the design. And from there, I'll see what else I've got in the brain for ideas.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
  • ToothyToothy Registered User regular
    Hey thanks for the process notes, guys. I'm currently going to try to fatten the idea out enough for a playtest beyond just myself. Then I'll trim and iterate! I've got something here, but the execution is the hard part of nailing how I want it to feel. I'll keep trying, and let you fellas know how it goes!

    JustTee
  • ToothyToothy Registered User regular
    I've done a bit of iterating on the idea, and I've decided to keep the maneuvering phase as a counterpart to the combat phase. I really, really like the idea of players having pre-fight tension build up by moving around the board, laying traps, setting up their combat hands, and then having a combat phase where the prep turns into effect. That said, I've had to change the way I've structured the cards in the game.

    Each player starts a deck with a class card with base stats on it and a base hand based on that class. They then get to choose additional action cards to fill out the deck along with a couple of strategy cards that are permanent effects that get turned on in various ways depending on the classes. Ideally, the strategies will add momentum to games and either create opportunities for combos or distinctions in playstyles. (These are going to be built after I figure the rest out, but I want the structure in place now.) Every action card has either a combat action or a tactics action, but most of them will have both. The combat actions will be ways of hurting opponents/defending yourself limited by three energy and one reaction to spend. Each combat will go in initiative order, which is determined by a stat on the class card and influenced by the tactics phase. The kicker is you don't have to fight and bide your time.

    The tactics actions will all gain or cost you initiative. Their effects will range from temporary bonuses (either limited by turns or last through next fight,) moving around the battlefield, managing how you add cards to your hand from your deck, or activating your strategy cards for longer term bonuses. In the interest of forward thinking, this is where I will put cards that change how fights are started, including having other players join in a fight for optional multiplayer down the road. There are always basic options for the tactics phase that include: picking a fight with an opponent (initiative ties go to the aggressor,) moving location, drawing a card, or gaining an initiative. At the end of their turns, players will draw a card and either add it to their hand or discard it to gain initiative.

    I'm in the process of getting one deck transitioned from how the game was played before, and I'm excited to try it out. I might (read: am going to,) just duplicate the deck to speed that up. Once I get that rolling, I'll post how I feel about it and some of the cards so you guys can see what I'm working with.

    JustTeeEndless_Serpents
  • Anon the FelonAnon the Felon In bat country.Registered User regular
    I had an epiphany the other day about this small scale miniature rpg board game I've been slowly writing up.

    Pretty sure I'm actually gonna start something? I've hit a nice pause point with my video game project. I should probably start another game project, right?

    Elvenshaewebguy20JustTeeFryRawrBearCalica
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    I’m so glad to come back to this thread with people working on their games.

    My job has had me on the ropes for a while, but during summer leave I intent to finish my game Sector Control, in so much as I’ll have cardboard artless print-outs and the rules will be complete. As for making the project a reality for others to buy? Not this year, as after autumn I’ll be at sea and X locations for many months.

    I’ve really enjoying making it, and even the finishing touching in terminology and rulings have been fun to implement.

    It began as a collectible card game with various factions, but now it’s a much simpler deck builder from a limited set of cards. No expansions, no extras. The factions remain as naming fluff and a few particular mechanics (cards with Zillion in the title are all about playing more cards), and I think it’s for the best.

    jceg6dgvi1gb.jpeg

    ^^^Just some work in progress.

    Endless_Serpents on
    ToothyJustTeeCalica
  • Anon the FelonAnon the Felon In bat country.Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    A bunch of 6mm miniatures arrived today. Personally, I like them. But they might be a touch on the small side. Originally I was between wood tokens and these small minis, the minis are the same size as the tokens I had in mind as far as volume on the board, but provide an opportunity for paint and just a bit of detail to help launch player imagination.

    Anon the Felon on
    Elvenshae
  • Dark080matterDark080matter CrateriaRegistered User regular
    Hey folks! I was in this thread awhile back with a one-page RPG I threw together for a game jam. Now I've got a tabletop rpg I've been designing for a few months, one that uses the Forged in the Dark system. If you're unaware about FitD, it has a free System Resource Document (follow the previous link). It's pretty rad.

    hello, world is set in a post-scarcity digital utopia where 'Users' like yourself hoard the last true commodity: precious Memories. It's an ancient place, populated by native creatures (Daemons), angelic guardians of the upper sphere (Administrators), and a procedurally-generated 'worker' class (the Process).

    Some quick hits about mechanical features of the game (only noting deviations from Blades in the Dark):
    - Wield the ultimate power of the setting: Authority functions that rejigger the Ritual rules from Blades. Kill, Compile, and Format to remake the World in your image.
    - Nobody dies in World, they just get deresolved and go to the Stack to await rebirth. Deresolution unifies several systems in Blades (Harm, Trauma, Incarceration) and
    - New downtime mechanics emphasize the fluidity of factions in the setting and give incentives to your User to express themselves through the Memories that they dwell on.

    I've playtested it in person at GoPlayNW and online via Roll20 (couple of ongoing campaigns), will be taking it to BigBadCon in a few month's time, and also hope to bring it to PAX Unplugged (if I go this year???). Anyway I'd be honored if any of you were to check it out at umbralaeronaut.itch.io/hello-world.

    Also I learned vector illustration so I could make this logo:al34p2t1ocul.png

    MNC DoverMarshmallowElvenshaeFuselageAustinP0027IanatorJustTeeThe SauceCalicaNips
  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    This not really a board games thing but I'm wanting to run a airsoft event with a board game style map. Like Risk. You'd move your troops around the map and then actually have a skirmish when theres a fight. However... we can only fit about 16 games into a day. So a Risk style game is inappropriate.

    So what im looking for are turn based games i could pilfer ideas from. Aiming for about 16 total combats in a game. I could probably do that with a small risk style map but that feels a little underwelming. If it werent for the time limit Risk would be ideal. As it is simple and familiar to most.

  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    Alright, so im thinking I'll borrow the quick deployment from Kemet. Hopefully i can get teams making errors that force them into fights.

    Teams will take their turns simultaneously, handing their moves to the GM (me) and the GM deciding which battle is fought first (though I'd like to think of a rule to determine that automatically). This allows for potential 3 way or even 4 way battles that a purely Risk style game doesnt (unless you played with ridiculous homebrew alliance rules like i did). Eg. Team 1 and 2 both are attacking the same zone held by team 3.

    We normally take a break around lunch. Thatd be a good spot for some diplomacy. No clue what to do with it yet. I dont want out and out alliances. But some gentlemans agreements would be neat. Especially if those could be broken. Maybe some collectable upgrades (like Cosmic Encounter flare cards) could be good bargining chips.

  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Anyone have a recommendation for where to get blank cards for game prototyping? I don't really want to just use index cards, and I also don't really want to do "print out on paper and sleeve with MTG cards". Just want to be able to Sharpie and shuffle.

  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Fry wrote: »
    Anyone have a recommendation for where to get blank cards for game prototyping? I don't really want to just use index cards, and I also don't really want to do "print out on paper and sleeve with MTG cards". Just want to be able to Sharpie and shuffle.
    TGC sells blanks.

    They are pretty expensive unless you are getting a lot, but from time to time they will run massive sales on them. They are also freely available at most prototyping events like Protospiel or Unpub.

    However, I will advocate for the sleeving method. It ends up being a really nice experience with minimal effort. It scales really well from plain paper that you use a marker on, up through simple printed cards, on up to near-production quality cards with art and design, just by swapping some simple typing paper.

    JonBob on
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    ElvenshaeBedlamNips
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    There's a few additional recommendations for blank card sources a couple pages earlier in the thread. (This also includes my own recommendation a few posts down from the linked post.)

    4463rwiq7r47.png
    Fry
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Work has had me strapped so my creative output has been zero for months, but I’m so happy this thread is continuing, it’s my favourite!

    @Dark080matter How’s the game progressing?

    Dark080matter
  • Dark080matterDark080matter CrateriaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2019
    Work has had me strapped so my creative output has been zero for months, but I’m so happy this thread is continuing, it’s my favourite!

    @Dark080matter How’s the game progressing?

    Great! I slapped a pretty big update down on itch.io to the game last week right before leaving for PAXU, details on that in my dev diary here: https://umbralaeronaut.itch.io/hello-world/devlog/113050/hello-world-super-update-new-gm-guide-new-playbooks-new-setting-notes-new-rules-new-memories

    As mentioned in the dev diary, my game has a spotify playlist now, so that's nifty.
    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1fkIUOk0fjASOVl4xzXg0T

    A friend streams sessions of the game on occasion (my twitter @umbral_aeronaut posts times for that). Our next one is scheduled to be this Saturday at 7 pm Pacific time. This is also going to be the first time I get to be a player in my own game!

    Dark080matter on
    MNC DoverEndless_SerpentsCalica
  • IanatorIanator Delightfully mediocre! Registered User regular
    Still working on my little tabletop minis game. Sort of a hack between X-Wing, Battletech Alpha Strike and the Super Robot Wars series of video games.

    My main issue has been dealing with complexity, especially which limitations I want to impose on myself regarding "How many 3x5 index cards do I want to represent one unit?". I've narrowed it down to one card for the unit (stats and passive ability list on one side, attack list on the other), half a card for the pilot and half a card each for equippables and ability references.

    Feels like a lot of paper on the table but at least I have a clearer vision than before.

    steam_sig.png
    Twitch | Steam
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    Endless_Serpents
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Very cool guys! Keep it up!

  • AuralynxAuralynx Darkness is a perspective Watching the ego workRegistered User regular
    edited December 2019
    @Toothy

    Little late to the party on this one but I picked up a hybrid rondel / deckbuilder thing called Winterborne at Unplugged you might want to get a look at. Seems like it might give you some compatible ideas.

    Auralynx on
    Space... what is the point of it? You have no idea.
    OSvv7zs.png


  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    @Ianator Just our of interest, though hardly the important thing right now, what’s the plot / world of your game like?

  • IanatorIanator Delightfully mediocre! Registered User regular
    @Ianator Just our of interest, though hardly the important thing right now, what’s the plot / world of your game like?

    Don't currently have one yet. Right now it's literally "What if I wanted to run a Super Robot Wars tabletop game?" which invariably means mashing up different stories into some semblance of a contiguous story and/or playing it as a wargame with no real context for battles. That said, there is an "Original Generation" continuity that's useful for running a story campaign:
    In the future, after Earth's population starts building colonies in orbit, a meteor lands on an island in the Pacific. This meteor is found to contain small samples of a powerful substance named Tronium as well as faint but legible plans for advanced technologies. One scientist researching this meteor, Bian Zoldark, believes the meteor is a harbinger of invading extraterrestrials, but the Earth governments' slow response - even after a deep space exploration ship makes hostile first contact near Pluto - causes him to develop his own counters in secret.

    Gathering anti-Federation elements together, Bian eventually reveals his plan: the Divine Crusaders, equipped with his high-tech machines, will push aside the Federation to be Earth's defenders. Naturally, the Federation being toppled may not be the best outcome and prototypes are fast-tracked in an assault on the DC's headquarters - Aidoneus Island, the landing site of the meteor - and the commander of their United Colonial separatist allies in orbit.

    The players begin their stories in the months before the Divine Crusaders' reveal. As test pilots for the Federations' newest models of Personal Trooper they must fight back against alien probing actions as well as the DC's prototypes. Once the DC comes out the players will be at the front lines, eventually spearheading the attack against the leader of their specific part of the conflict (Bian if on Earth or the UCC's General Branstein if in space)... assuming they don't jump the rails and join the DC or UCC themselves, of course.

    Not to mention whoever wins will have to fight back against the escalating alien invasion.

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    That’s a fun premise!



    This is an opening request to the forum, who else is making stuff? I’m not talking to sell, just your personal projects, things you’ve made for yourself or your friends.

    After running out of steam on a card game called Sector Control, at the moment I’m making a miniature fantasy roleplaying game that skips D&D in favour of pulling from The Princess Bride and fairy tales. No Fighters, no Wizards, instead you might play a Star (a guiding magic force out of touch with the world) or a Beast (literally or figuratively), among others. The main thrust of the game is you change your class entirely after each story beat, which is based on the ‘mono myth’ / the hero’s journey. The game ends when the circle is complete.

    It’s using a d6 system I’ve been building for awhile for quick games:
    When nothing stands in your way you do what you intend to the best of your ability. If you have a relevant tag, you excel at it!

    When you come into conflict, roll dice to determine the outcome.

    Start with a die. Add a die for every tag you possess that can help you. Next add any situational dice gained during the scene. Finally, add as many dice as you wish from your action pool. Burn all the dice once the outcome has been determined.

    • If the highest result is 6, you succeed. For every additional 6 you roll you gain further success, vital information, or create an advantage for your allies.
    • If the highest result is between 4 and 5, you must compromise. You may succeed at cost or with consequences.
    • If the highest result is between 2 and 3, your action is twisted against you. You must accept a harsh bargain to course correct.
    • If the highest result is 1, tragedy befalls you. The stakes are raised and you take a condition.

    When you aid someone who has come into conflict, you can give them any number of dice from your drama pool, but you will now share in the consequences, for better or worse. You can add your drama dice after they have rolled and the results would be determined.

    It’s rough, but fun once you get the hang of it. Basically players have been starting with 5 action dice and 5 drama dice, which can be used to bend their chances pretty freely, and are replenished by acting out their role, subverting it, and sharing character moments together.



    For those interested: Here’s a link to the cards to the aforementioned game, though the rules are vague and mutable at the moment while I try to make it as fun as I can. All subject to change.

    Card Spread

    Endless_Serpents on
    Mahnmut
  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    Thing the First:

    @JonBob Holy shit, I didn't realize you were in my region. I've thought about going to Protospiel Chicago; I've been to the Milwaukee one, and want to go back once I've got something worth workshopping.


    Thing the Second:

    Per @Endless_Serpents request, here's some things that I've been working on over the years, in various stages of realization:

    -A convention-run (17-years and counting) tabletop miniatures boardgame that's called Dungeon for short (Peasant Dungeon Delves for long). Imagine a D&D dungeon crawl with a simplified action economy and zero dice rolls, played on a fully physically modelled tabletop board. Intended for players of literally any skill level, that can play very fast. I revise the game to some degree every year from lessons learned every year.

    -A built prototype of a small-deck 1v1 card game that simulates two armies maneuvering and launching artillery salvos at each other. I started this one after a midnight brainsplosion a year or so back. I feel like it has promise. Possible Protospiel candidate.

    -An idea for 3-5 player bidding/drafting game with each player representing a landscaping company. A random deck spits out potential jobs for the players to bid on, requiring certain resources and paying out certain amounts on completion. A second deck complicates the job after its contract has been won, making it require more or different resources to complete to claim the earnings on it.

    -And then....


    Thing the Third:

    So hey thread, I need some advice. I've been off-and-on working on a mid-weight cooperative boardgame. It's aimed at 4-6 players with each PC having a unique power set, and is very heavily themed as emergency workers investigating and triaging a failing space station/colony invaded by every bad sci-fi thing you can imagine. Imagine Betrayal at House On the Hill, but wholly cooperative and sci-fi. It's early days with the design, as I keep bouncing on and off of it. It's been this way for years.

    The board game thread recently made me aware of Nemesis, and looking at it...well, I'm now super depressed. It looks to be doing 75% or more of what my game is doing, and already exists, and sounds super well received. So it's soured me on putting any more effort on my game.

    So, how do you work past this sort of feeling? I already struggle with "my ideas aren't worth anyone's time" syndrome, so even getting something to a sharable, playable prototype state (like that artillery game) is emotionally wrenching for me.

    JXUBxMxP0QndjQUEnTwTxOkfKmx8kWNvuc-FUtbSz_23_DAhGKe7W9spFKLXAtkpTBqM8Dt6kQrv-rS69Hi3FheL3fays2xTeVUvWR7g5UyLHnFA0frGk1BC12GYdOSRn9lbaJB-uH0htiLPJMrc9cSRsIgk5Dx7jg9K8rJVfG43lkeAWxTgcolNscW9KO2UZjKT8GMbYAFgFvu2TaMoLH8LBA5p2pm6VNYRsQK3QGjCsze1TOv2yIbCazmDwCHmjiQxNDf6LHP35msyiXo3CxuWs9Y8DQvJjvj10kWaspRNlWHKjS5w9Y0KLuIkhQKOxgaDziG290v4zBmTi-i7OfDz-foqIqKzC9wTbn9i_uU87GRitmrNAJdzRRsaTW5VQu_XX_5gCN8XCoNyu5RWWVGTsjJuyezz1_NpFa903Uj2TnFqnL1wJ-RZiFAAd2Bdut-G1pdQtdQihsq2dx_BjtmtGC3KZRyylO1t2c12dhfb0rStq4v8pg46ciOcdtT_1qm85IgUmGd7AmgLxCFPb0xnxWZvr26G-oXSqrQdjKA1zNIInSowiHcbUO2O8S5LRJVR6vQiEg0fbGXw4vqJYEn917tnzHMh8r0xom8BLKMvoFDelk6wbEeNq8w8Eyu2ouGjEMIvvJcb2az2AKQ1uE_7gdatfKG2QdvfdSBRSc35MQ=w498-h80-no
    Endless_Serpents
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    @Nips

    This is all very zen of me for a man that hasn’t published a game, but if your games aren’t important you’ve nothing to lose by showing them off. The world doesn’t hinge on your work being good or bad, but if some people do like it then you’ve improved someone’s day, or week, or potentially longer if they get really into it.

    For example ‘Dungeon World’ was just a couple of guys practically telling a joke by turning the story-based Apocalypse World into a D&D knock off, but everyone ended up loving it! It’s imperfect, possibly even not that well thought out, as I’m sure you’re finding as a GM for it right now, but there’s a lot of fun to be had with it nevertheless!

    Your game does not need to be perfect to succeed as a vehicle for fun.

    I will say that the most enjoyable parts for me in designing games is the initial concept, and its completion. The middle is brutal at times. I completely empathise for where you’re at.

    However, the only game I’ve ever completed was ‘Two Drink Tea on Mount Komaki’ and though not published, even informally, it brings me a bit of pride to see something I dreamt up as complete, done, finished. I don’t have to come back to it now, I ‘won’ designing a game.

    For finding out a similar game has already been made, I like to look to Dark Souls, a video game that is either practically a genre unto itself... or just a fantasy game where you chop up all the old D&D staples like skeletons and dragons. The line between retread and new are built in atmosphere, difficulty, unique mechanics and so on. Chess on a differently shaped board or with different pieces is not chess at all.

    Consider also making a list of pros and cons, and rules of this similar game. From there you could try to improve on it, switch out and alter things until you’re left with something that plays differently in the long run.

    Using Dungeon World as an example again, players in that get ‘bond’ with each other, used in rolls to help their allies, but in Apocalypse World it was ‘history’ which could be used to help or hinder and was shared with friends and rivals alike. Another derivative game Monster Hearts has ‘strings’, a purely one-way economy used to mess with other players, as per the game’s narrative of playing teenage monsters. Urban Shadows looked at that and turned it into ‘debts’, and so on. They’re all born out of AW’s history mechanic, but in practice they put a spin on their games that is wholly there own.

    If you still feel your idea isn’t worth anyone’s time, show them it, and they’ll tell you. The only thing that’ll happen is you might feel embarrassed, but embarrassment isn’t tangible—your game could be.

    Lastly, it’s ultimately for you; you want to make it, so go for it! No one questions the painter for just painting.

    Keep at it!



    Theres a lot to unpack with your other cool sounding games, but this post is already too long. Can you show us a bit of your convention game?

    Endless_Serpents on
    NipsMahnmut
  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    Well, let's see. Here's a picture from a couple years back:

    siqp4qH.jpg

    The layout (which I tend to change every year) was a collection of mini-dungeons, starting in a mad wizard's lab (red middle). Each player group then had the opportunity to "Choose Their Own Adventure" to slay one or more side bosses.

    Here's a recent version of the rules. It looks like a lot, but it basically boils down to "Move and Do Something" for new players, and then gets layers of extra complication for later in the game and more experienced players.

    This is one of those weird things that's important to me (because it's important to the convention I bring it for, as a marquee event), and also public facing enough that I felt like it needed a Facebook page for it. Like a raw nerve, y'know. There's bunches more pictures, from over the years, for it there.

    Nips on
    JXUBxMxP0QndjQUEnTwTxOkfKmx8kWNvuc-FUtbSz_23_DAhGKe7W9spFKLXAtkpTBqM8Dt6kQrv-rS69Hi3FheL3fays2xTeVUvWR7g5UyLHnFA0frGk1BC12GYdOSRn9lbaJB-uH0htiLPJMrc9cSRsIgk5Dx7jg9K8rJVfG43lkeAWxTgcolNscW9KO2UZjKT8GMbYAFgFvu2TaMoLH8LBA5p2pm6VNYRsQK3QGjCsze1TOv2yIbCazmDwCHmjiQxNDf6LHP35msyiXo3CxuWs9Y8DQvJjvj10kWaspRNlWHKjS5w9Y0KLuIkhQKOxgaDziG290v4zBmTi-i7OfDz-foqIqKzC9wTbn9i_uU87GRitmrNAJdzRRsaTW5VQu_XX_5gCN8XCoNyu5RWWVGTsjJuyezz1_NpFa903Uj2TnFqnL1wJ-RZiFAAd2Bdut-G1pdQtdQihsq2dx_BjtmtGC3KZRyylO1t2c12dhfb0rStq4v8pg46ciOcdtT_1qm85IgUmGd7AmgLxCFPb0xnxWZvr26G-oXSqrQdjKA1zNIInSowiHcbUO2O8S5LRJVR6vQiEg0fbGXw4vqJYEn917tnzHMh8r0xom8BLKMvoFDelk6wbEeNq8w8Eyu2ouGjEMIvvJcb2az2AKQ1uE_7gdatfKG2QdvfdSBRSc35MQ=w498-h80-no
    FuselageIanatorWhelkdoomybearEndless_SerpentsAlbino BunnyMrBlarney
  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    Hey, this is Toothy from earlier in the thread. I had to remake my account due to lost email passwords and whatnot.

    Currently I'm working on a couple games. The first is a card game where you duel an opponent in a steampunk world. The second has you try to get better contracts for your cowboys than your opponents' ranchers before they all turn on one another in a boomtown, inspired entirely by the phrase, "this town ain't big enough..." The last is a sports game played by mad scientists where you combine a food card with an animal card to get your team. (Gummi bears, popcorn shrimp, etc.)

  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    I said over in the SE++ thread that I'd post some space animal stuff so uh, here it is!

    So, I've been working on a space animal adventure tabletop RPG thing I'm tentatively calling "Beast Wing". If nothing else it's been some good motivation to pump out some art and play around with Affinity Publisher. It's also been a nice way to scratch that game design itch I have without having to do any programming work, cuz I do coding all day already and it's reaaaal easy to get burnt out on hobby programming when that's also you're day job.

    Here's the current "cover art"... not that I'm likely to ever actually publish this thing:

    vukx5q26mhht.jpg

    Thematically it's animal folks in space doing sci-fantasy adventure stuff, crawling through ancient ruins and surviving in alien ecosystems. There's some specifics to the FTL travel that necessitate stopping on planets and exploring the ruins of a lost civilization along the way. The mental image I have that sums it all up is "A bunch of space furries sharing a meal around a campfire at night, with a space-fighter parked in the background." Which, maybe I should paint that at some point eh?

    Mechanically it's... I don't know if rules-light is exactly correct but rules-efficient? Right now I'm only using dice for the downtime/time skip phase. Moment-to-moment stuff is all "you just do it" or flat stat comparisons with the option to spend "Neon" (which is basically just the force or space magic) to boost your stat and overcome something you usually couldn't. Inventory space is limited, and you need to cook a meal to heal, so there's kind of a survival/resource management thing going on.

    Combat uses an initiative deck with micro-turns, so making an attack takes a couple turns to lock on or wind up, and your opponent can avoid it by simply moving out of the way on their turn. The result is a kind of push-your-luck thing since you don't know who's going next (and they could go multiple times in a row). Turns in combat are really fast because resolution is really light, and there's no rolling (if you move, you move, if you progress an attack you just tick it down, if an attack goes off it hits if the target is still valid). There's still quite a bit of tension since the turn order is random, so as soon as an opponent is 1 turn away from finishing a big attack, you're crossing you're fingers you'll get a turn first so you can dodge. It's played really well in testing so far, turns come up fast and resolve fast, so players need to pay attention but there's still interesting decisions being made.

    Here's a little chunk of some of the layout stuff I've been working on, been really impressed with affinity publisher for doing page layouts:
    dxf0dsdj8wbh.jpg

    Hoping to get a slightly longer campaign in with some friends in the new year and make sure the multi-session flow/resource management stuff is working the way it should be.

    IanatorAlbino BunnyEndless_SerpentsdoomybearMahnmut
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    I've been working on a TTRPG (Tides of Aether) for almost 6 years now, and was running a PBP for a while here until one of the players unfortunately disappeared. I should have a beta version of the rules to share pretty soon, and will try to start another one up once I clean up some of the rules and actually rewrite them.

    I thought I'd share a little minigame I made for my next session of my IRL group, which is running on a couple years now. The abilities are based on the disciplines in Tides, and are intentionally somewhat abstract. I'll throw this at the wall and see how it goes!

    Notes: Tides uses only d10s. Initiative is a stat in the main game. Background checks are a la 13th Age, and can have disadvantage/advantage depending on the character or other special circumstances such as hazards in a racetrack.
    Competition Rules:
    Used for a sport, race, ritual duel, or other competition.

    The game is played on a track that runs from 1 to 10.
    All players start on position 5.
    The competition has a number of rounds equal to the number of players.
    At the start of the competition, players make an Initiative check to determine timeline order.
    Timeline order rotates each round, with the last player moving to the first spot.
    Each discipline a player knows grants them a skill.
    Loadout size depends on the type of competition (usually 4).
    Each round, players choose a skill to use facedown, then all skills are revealed simultaneously.
    The results are resolved in timeline order, with players making background checks to determine the results.
    Then, players make a background check to attempt to advance. 1-4: No change; 5-9: Position +1; 10: Position +2.
    A player that ends the round at position 1 loses, and is removed from the track.
    A player that ends the round at position 10 wins, ending the competition.
    If no player reaches 10, the player with the highest position at the end of the last round is the winner.
    Tied players at the end of the competition enter sudden death, removing other players from the track, resetting positions to 5, and continuing play until there is not a tie at the end of the round.

    Skills that make you immune prevent other skills from affecting you.
    If your immunity is broken and the skill that gave you immunity had other effects, those other effects remain.
    Skills that trigger based on advancement count both advancement via skills and via the check made each turn.

    Soldier
    1-4: One opponent within 1: Position -2.
    5-9: Position +1, one opponent within 1: Position -2. May be done in either order.
    10: Position +2, one opponent within 1: Position -2. May be done in either order.

    Knight
    1-4: Immune this round.
    5-9: Immune this round. Position +1.
    10: Immune this round. Position +2.

    Monk
    1-4: One opponent at your position: Position -3.
    5-9: One opponent at your position: Position -4.
    10: One opponent at your position: Position -5.

    Shifter
    1-4: This round, opponents cannot advance past 1 position ahead of you.
    5-9: This round, opponents cannot advance past your position.
    10: This round, opponents cannot advance into or past your position.

    Abyssal
    1-4: All opponents within 1: Position -1.
    5-9: All opponents within 1: Position -2.
    10: All opponents within 1: Position -3.

    Ranger
    1-4: This round, when an opponent advances into your position: Position +1. Triggers once per opponent.
    5-9: This round, when an opponent advances into your position: Position +2. Triggers once per opponent.
    10: This round, when an opponent advances into your position: Position +3. Triggers once per opponent.

    Rogue
    1-4: One opponent at or behind your position: Position -2.
    5-9: One opponent at or behind your position: Position -3.
    10: One opponent at or behind your position: Position -4.

    Duelist
    1-4: If you are at the same position as only one opponent, that opponent: Position -2.
    5-9: Position +1. If you are at the same position as only one opponent, that opponent: Position -3. May be done in either order.
    10: Position +2. If you are at the same position as only one opponent, that opponent: Position -4. May be done in either order.

    Assassin
    1-4: One opponent within 2: Move to their position.
    5-9: One opponent within 2: Move to their position, then that opponent: Position -2.
    10: One opponent within 2: Move to their position, then that opponent: Position -3.

    Templar
    1-4: Immune this round.
    5-9: Immune this round. One opponent within 1: Break immunity this round, and position -1.
    10: Immune this round. One opponent within 1: Break immunity this round, and position -2.

    Radiant
    1-4: Position +1, or +2 if you are last.
    5-9: Position +2, or +4 if you are last.
    10: Position +3, or +6 if you are last.

    Herald
    1-4: One opponent: Position -1.
    5-9: One opponent: Position -2.
    10: One opponent: Position -3.

    Performer
    1-4: Two opponents within 2: Position -1.
    5-9: Two opponents within 2: Position -2.
    10: All opponents within 2: Position -2.

    Paladin
    1-4: Immune this round.
    5-9: Immune this round. This round, all opponents that advance into your position: Position -1.
    10: Immune this round. This round, all opponents that advance into your position: Position -2.

    Necromancer
    1-4: One opponent in the lead: Position -2.
    5-9: One opponent in the lead: Position -3.
    10: One opponent in the lead: Position -4.

    Pyromancer
    1-4: All opponents at one position: Position -1.
    5-9: All opponents at one position: Position -2.
    10: All opponents at one position: Position -3.

    Cryomancer
    1-4: Immune this round.
    5-9: Immune this round. All opponents at your position: Position -2.
    10: Immune this round. All opponents at your position: Position -3.

    Geomancer
    1-4: All opponents at one position behind you: Position -2.
    5-9: All opponents at one position behind you: Position -3.
    10: All opponents at one position behind you: Position -4.

    Astrologer
    1-4: Position +2.
    5-9: Position +3.
    10: Position +4.

    Warlock
    1-4: Last round or sudden death only: Position +3.
    5-9: Last round or sudden death only: Position +4.
    10: Last round or sudden death only: Position +5.

    Elementalist
    Once per competition, all opponents not within 1: Position -2.

    Spellblade
    Once per competition, gain position or cause opponents within 1 to lose position for a total of 4, split as you wish.

    Dragonsoul
    Once per competition, play two skills of your choice when this card is revealed. Roll separately for each skill.

    Paragon Monk
    Once per competition, one opponent at your position: Position -6.

    Avenger
    Once per competition, one opponent ahead of you: Position -4.

    Xagar on
    MNC Dover
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    @Whelk
    Love those ideas, particularly the cowboy one. It feels like it should have a mechanic where any player can end the game early by pulling out a gun, at the risk of losing everything some how.

    @RawrBear
    When you first spoke about it my first thought was Nintendo’s ‘Star Fox’ and I’m glad it looks like you could run that in it.

    I honestly haven’t played a roleplaying game with your ‘lock-on’ system and I’m really intrigued by it! Keep it up!

    I’ll be looking into this Affinity Publisher too...

    @Xagar
    I say this with great affection; Tides of Aether sounds like the best SNES era game I never played. If you don’t make a logo with a flowery font and a fancy bit of artwork behind it I’ll be upset.

    It makes me hear something like this:



    Your race rules are solid, but I’d have to reverse it so position 1 is the best—but that’s me being pretty arbitrary.

    Please keep us posted on your progress, I find any project daring to take on high fantasy fascinating as it comes with a lot of built up baggage to lean into, subvert or break beyond.


    Endless_Serpents on
  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    Oh yeah it's totally star-fox inspired.

    I'm super not a pro as far as graphic design goes but affinity's been really great. It's basically InDesign but 60 bucks or whatever. I'm sure if I were a pro there'd be some features that would make me want an Adobe product instead but for amateur mucking about it does everything I want and is way more affordable.

  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    @Endless_Serpents High numbers are always good in Tides, it's a thing. The logo is WIP but basically it is a stylized model of the influence of a moon on a planet's tides.

  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    RawrBear, I don't want to be that guy but there are a few misspellings in that sample in the spoiler that you might want to fix (briefing, not breifing; important; trait not trate).

    I've worked as a technical writer and proofreader at times in the past, and I'd be happy to proof materials for anybody in this thread. Just send me a PM if that's of interest at some point. Completely free, just bear in mind that it's something I would do at the earliest convenient time and not something I would necessarily be able to get done quickly.

    Endless_SerpentsRawrBear
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    @Xagar
    That’s solid design work. I totally understand.

    Because I can’t stop myself from coming up with new ideas I won’t finish tonight I’m going to spend a train journey working on DAMAGE, a simplified skirmish / chess-like based on 90’s arena shooters.

    I’m thinking you have only four units of your choice (from a manageable roster of characters, say 30) and you need to get them into position to hit an enemy unit twice to defeat it, else it regains it’s shielding next round.

    It’s an excuse to make up characters like GORESKULL, ZEET and PYRELORD to be honest.

    Ianator
  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    Ketar wrote: »
    RawrBear, I don't want to be that guy but there are a few misspellings in that sample in the spoiler that you might want to fix (briefing, not breifing; important; trait not trate).

    I've worked as a technical writer and proofreader at times in the past, and I'd be happy to proof materials for anybody in this thread. Just send me a PM if that's of interest at some point. Completely free, just bear in mind that it's something I would do at the earliest convenient time and not something I would necessarily be able to get done quickly.

    Oof! that’s a bit embarrassing but I’d rather someone point it out. Its super generous of you to offer proof reading for folks as well!

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited January 1
    Damn it, I really like DAMAGE. It’s so dumb, but I might have to finish it in a minimalist fashion at least.

    ~The Lore~
    One every world, throughout countless ages, GUNIATORS are forged in the fires of endless battle!
    Now, in their lust for bloodshed the imperious ALL-MASTERS have brought these deadly challengers together to the ARENA ABSOLUTE!

    ~Elevator Pitch~
    Pit three warriors against your opponent’s team on an evolving arena, weighing your limited options while the terrain of the board changes throughout (due to unit abilities making hazard or wall tiles etc). Just an aside, the game would have a set of boards as the game needs permanent wall tiles to work, the basic one would have four walls dotted symmetrically on the board. I think this created more replayability too.
    Taking out an enemy warrior requires tactical thinking as they must be hit twice on your turn, because their shield replenishes at the start of your opponent’s turn.
    Last thing, all the warriors are ugly, gooey, Mortal Kombat looking 90’s rejects with giant guns and Ninja Turtle attitudes. Just don’t ask me why.


    ~Order of Play / Very Rough Rules Outline~
    1. Place the (5 by 5?) arena board between the players.
    2. Both players choose 3 guniators each.
    3. Both players place their guniators along the baseline spaces closest to them in whatever order they want.
    4. If the players have faced each other before, the previous winner goes first. Otherwise, flip the DREADIT*; your side is indicated on the arena board.
    5. Now the game begins. The leading player takes their first turn, using 3 ACTION POINTS to:
    - Move a guniator.
    - Hit an enemy with a guniator.
    - Use a guniator’s special ability, if they have one.
    6. Next their opponent takes their turn.
    7. This continues until only guniators from one team remains. That player then wins the game and MUST EAT THE LOSER’S GUNIATORS!!!! Well, maybe not.

    *Just a coin. But metal!

    Last thing, here’s a couple of the units:

    ZEET
    Move: 2
    Range: 2
    Untouchable: (1ap) Zeet can move across pit and hazard tiles as regular terrain.
    Unstable Warp: When Zeet ends a move action adjacent to a guniator move Zeet 1 space.

    GORESKULL
    Move: 2
    Range: 2
    Crossbones: (1ap) Switch Goreskull with an adjacent tile.
    Maniac: When Goreskull hits a guniator place a rage tile beneath Goreskull.

    VULCANA
    Move: 1
    Range: 1
    To Ashes: (1ap) Increase Vulcana’s range to 3.
    Burn Trail: Put hazard tiles on spaces Vulcana has moved across.

    I mean... don’t be fooled into thinking any of it works, but I think it’d be stupid fun when I get it going. Now to get a line of cheap toys and a McDonalds publicity meal...

    Endless_Serpents on
    MahnmutElvenshaeMarshmallowWhelk
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    @RawrBear
    Just out of interest, how do species work in your game? Obviously there’s more animals than could ever be put into a game, so have you just chosen some classics (wolf, cat, hawk) or are you picking traits (tough, big, bitey = hippo).

    @Nips
    I’m still reading your rules but I’m impressed so far! Next time I’m home I might try to run it with some Lego.

    Do you have any more on that artillery game to share?

    @Xagar
    I just didn’t get to mention that I’m always a fan of Astrologer as a background or class option. :+1:

    Keep it up folks.

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