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Iron Eye

Designing a board game

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Iron Eye    122
How do you design a board game where it doesnt matter who goes first? Chess seems to tackle this quite well. I''m assuming it is because there are so many different ways to move. Is this the only factor? When I brew up a board game in my head it always seems that it''s just going to end up boiling down to who goes first. Input appreciated, Kris

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CAKE    122
If your game is such that someone must go first then technically it will ALWAYS matter who goes first. To what degree depends on
the game and players. Chess is heading towards a point where white has a greater advantage because chess moves have been recorded and studied for so long now. Eventually we will get very close where the white computer chess player will always win. We are far away from that still and chess is fairly simple although the players can make the game complex to whatever degree they are capable of or wish to take it.

The only way a "who goes first" is going to be a real concern is if your game is so simple with so few moves possible like a peg jump game or something. If your visualizing a game that is more complex then chess (which is really a simple game when you look at it) then who goes first isn''t an issue, but almost a game feature. It''s common that some players prefer to go second in many games as an advantage that''s personal to them.

If you have more specifics it may help. I hope this has helped in some way

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
One technique is to vary who goes first each round. For players A, B, and C, the turn order looks like:

Round1: A B C

Round2: B C A

Round3: C B A

(etc)

So while player A goes first in the first round, it is a long time until they get to go first again. Of course this doesn''t work with all board games, but it is an interesting mechanic.

I recommend browsing boardgamegeek.com for further inpiration.

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Iron Eye    122
quote:
Original post by CAKE
If you have more specifics it may help.



First and foremost I would the game to be simple enough that I can draw a board and cut out some pieces so that I can play it in real life with friends. So it needs to be humanly possible to keep track of all the rules. (probably not much of a problem)

My idea isn''t set in stone, however, I would like some war style game, where you try to destroy your enemies'' bases. Build walls to defend yourself, and maybe even a few other things.

I''d really like to incoperate a manner which people can do more than one thing per turn. I think this creates a problem where each turn becomes worth more, thustly the player goes first has a larger natural advantage.

Maybe it would be better to limit people to one move per turn? Would doing so add or remove strategy? I personally think it would just change the type of strategy (foresight to fly by the seat of your pants).


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Tjoppen    122
How about all players make their move simultaneously? Although I can see how that can cause a problem with a lot of players and/or more complicated games.. It works well for rock, scissors and paper though.

You could have so that each player has to write down his/her move(s), and when everyone''s done you present your move(s) to the others.

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Damocles    133
Random elements. Simple as that. If it''s a game of pure strategy and planning, then whoever goes first will win. If there''s a dice involved and the gods of karma are responsible for how well you do, then it doesn''t matter.

It doesn''t have to be a huge random addition - sometimes it''s as simple as using a dice to determine how far each player travels each turn (EG monopoly).

If you have nothing random then once all players are as good as they can be at the game, the first player will win.

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lokapujya    126
I somewhat disagree that every board game is advatageous to the player who moves first. Although, in chess, there seems to be a positioning advantage to the player who moves first, and I would agree. However, I''m not sure that it''s been proven that the first player to move has the advantage. It may be possible that the first move "sets you up" to lose.

Here is something to think about. One could devise a game, in which players begin in an a favorable situation, and each move is actually going to lessen there advantage. The goal is to minimize the damage that each move does to you. There are absolutely games that have been solved to win when you move second. Although, I''m not going to give you an example. I''m going to make you think about it.

Plug: I am working on a board game that can be played on the web. Multiplayer. It is currently like the board game Stratego, but not a clone. But the game "engine" will be used to create all kinds of board games after I finish this one. Contact me if your interested in finding out more or helping out.

it''''s all about a good time!
AOLIM name:

-LOKAPUJA-

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TechnoGoth    2937
In Many board games it doesn't matter who goes first. As for pure strategy games there is usually an advantage given to either the first or second player it depends on the game.

As to your question the simple answer is to come up with a good design. With the little facts you given its impossible to give specific advice. One possible solution is to have new units or construction placed at the end of the players turn or the start of their next turn.

Or you could have a three order system. Which means that you can only give three orders a turn.
so if the possible orders are:
1)Build
2)Recruit
3)Move
4)Attack
5)Fire cannon

whatever the rules depend on your game.

or you could divide each turn into phases and have each player perform their action in phase.

So
phase 1: build
player 1 goes
player 2 goes
Phase 2: Fire Cannon
player 1 goes
player 2 goes

new turn starts.


-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I'm a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document



[edited by - TechnoGoth on January 18, 2004 4:07:22 PM]

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I like the idea of having all three moves manifest simultaneously. This strategy is made feasible by computers. So basically, all the players choose what they will do, and then the computer executes all the moves simultaneously. It makes for a sort of rock-paper-scissors system, but will a far wider variety of actions and consequences.

Are you just talking about board games? If so, what is a board game? Is Final Fantasy Tactics a board game? Fallout?

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Iron Eye    122
I would consider Final Fantasy Tactics as a board game, although it would be ridiculously tedious to play. I have never played fallout.


I appreciate all of the help.

Here''s what I''ve devised:

You start with a town hall, and some sort of passive piece (A builder or perhaps a farmer)

A die is rolled, 1-3 represents being able to move one piece two spaces, 4-6 represents the ability to move two pieces one space.

This will add a strange luck-stricken form of strategy to the game.

Once you take your move, your are allowed to execute 3 commands. (telling a builder to make a wall, or a fighter to attack for instance)

Then you are allowed to select a new piece to create, It spawns next to the town hall, and your turn ends.

The objective is to destroy the opposing town hall.


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Iron Eye    122
quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Ugh. You''d be better off making it into a computer board game. Cute animations and automatic dice rolls will make for a smoother, more enjoyable gaming experience.


It will be a computer board game, although it will more than likely lack animation, I''m just keeping things simple.

I already have code to render a tile based board, load new boards if necessary (although I cropped that code out for now), select pieces with the mouse, and move them with the arrow keys.

This is my second game, don''t want to get in over my head.

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Whew. I thought you were actually going to require a person to roll dice every ten seconds while playing the game. I tried that once, and it doesn''t really work, because there''s so much to remember and do. On a computer, your idea sounds very interesting indeed. I hope it works out for you.

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TechnoGoth    2937
Your idea seems flawed at best.

I'll give me reason first then offer suggestions.

first off its going to be a very slow game unless the board is very small. Because you can only move at most 2 units and most 2 spaces a turn. Since you gain 1 unit a turn this means your town hall will be surrounded by useless units. Also attacks will be next to impossible since your attack force will contain at most 2 units, against a much larger defensive force.

Assuming your goal is to make a strategy game then here are my suggestions.

first off remove all dice from the game.

Now at the start of the game you have 24 unit points with which to buy units which cost 1 or 2 points each. These are all the units you get for the entire game.

now you can keep it simple and have 4 units:
Soldiers - move 1, HP 2, range 1, cost 1
Cavalry - move 2, HP 1, range 1, cost 2
Archer - move 1, HP 1, range 2, cost 1
Builder - move 1, HP 1, range 1, cost 2

builders can build/destroy the following buildings.
Wall - blocks movement and blocks attacks from non archers.
Tower - doubles archers range
Fortress - acts as a second town center, builder is lost after this order.

Capturing a town center requires moving a friendly unit into it and there being no adjacent enemy units.

the rest is up to you but there should be enough design a solid easy to learn strategy game.



-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I'm a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document



[edited by - TechnoGoth on January 18, 2004 6:58:19 PM]

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