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Working on a boardgame - looking for some ideas

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Hello!

 

I've been working on a boardgame idea for the past two weeks. I have a playable prototype with some design problems to solve and I'm looking for some advice on how to go about it.

 

The basic idea is:

  • You are thrown into a arena where you have to duel it out with other players.
  • The arena is made of a hexagonal grid system with different tile types (grass/woods/sand/town/river).
  • Each player picks a Hero character that has a unique set of skills in the form of 'ability cards' - and has particular bonuses based on tile types.
  • They take turns and move around the map using ability cards and try to deal damage to one another. Each hero has a max number of cards he can use per turn.
  • One turn is comprised of one day/night cycle which is actually two turns in one, they get to play once on day and once on night. Heroes have bonuses based on day/night etc.

 

Right now I have the game in a working state - I've set up 4 Heroes with about 4 ability cards each - players can fight each other and the process is enjoyable.

 

My problems right now are:

  1. balancing - I guess for that I should just play the game over and over again and just tweak abilities until they 'feel' right?
  2. endgame - I have not implemented a system where the more the game goes on the harder it becomes or something that will force players into a fight. Because as it stands Heroes have the ability to heal themselfs and that can be exploited indefinitely - and I don't think of this as a problem, I rather like it. I like having as many viable options available at all times. I just need some way of motivating them or pressuring them to go for the kill. Or maybe some way of opening up opportunity windows for each player where they can do significant damage.

To fix #2 I was considering:

  1. adding "event cards" that would pop up once every couple of turns and that would unleash unexpected consequences on the map, like monsters spawning at the edge of the map and moving towards nearest Hero, bad weather that would make some tiles unpassable, meteor shower that would make some characters take damage based on their position things like that.
  2. adding a upgrades system to each Hero where they can chose to improve one basic stat/ability card/ unlock a new ability based on visiting map locations. I'm thinking that would certainly add more weight to it as the game progresses + meaningful choice.

This is my first attempt at a boardgame design since I was a little kid and I was drawing a lot of these. It feels very nice doing it again.

 

I look forward to any ideas/thoughts you may have!

 

Thanks!

Stefan

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The idea seems fun, specialy the day/night cycle which can bring nice gameplay opportunity.
 

 

My problems right now are:

  1. balancing [...]
  2. endgame [...]

 

  1. 1. Yes, playing and playing and playing, with a lot of different possible is required to balance your game. Try to get as many data as possible to put into graph in order to help you balance everything. It is quite tedious, but numbers never lie :D

    For example, record the statistics of each heroes at each turns (position, number of abilities, life, etc...) for as many games at possible.

 

2. To make the endgame more interesting :

 

- Event card : as you said, event that change the game is a good idea, as it prevent player to just stay at one place. Some of those event could be the apparition of a very powerful and evil monster who roam the land destroying every town he sees (Much like the mongol and Chaos hordes in the total war strategy games) To defeat him the player have to either be extremely powerfull or he has to team up with the other heroes (and then taking the risk of being backstabbed)

 

- Destiny mission :  At the start of the game each hero draw a destiny. A card which give a mission the hero has to achieve in order to win the game. His mission his known only by him.

 

For example : Kill the hero of light, destroy X town, find W gold, find the object X and bring it to Y

 

- Leveling and stuffing are easy way to add more weight on the player progression, but it can be difficult to balance. (how a player gain level/stuff, does the monster have to level up? does the reward of quest is leveld up?)

 

 

In any case, good luck and keep us informed :)

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@Navezof thanks for your input! I've never really balanced out games before so well see how that goes. I will do as you suggest record all game statistics for each playthrough and just look at the numbers when I have gathered enough data.

 

I've decided to add a simple system for each Hero to gain gold by doing what they are meant to do. They can chose to spend some of the gold on "boost" cards that will give them a temporary boost / may backfire and unleash some evil demon on the map. Or they can choose to hold on to the gold until they have enough to upgrade/level up. That will give them one permanent stat increase or ability card they can use. 

 

Thanks!

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To force characters to kill each other in a final fight, the rate of damage must (on the whole) exceed the rate of healing so that characters eventually die. This can happen in different ways:

  • Healing is limited by a resource, and that resource runs out. Or even better, healing is earned by hurting other characters more than you heal.
    For example, if healing is a consequence of audience cheering, the audience might become bored at a long fight and at insufficiently aggressive gladiators, improving the chances of boldly aggressive strategies.
  • Character movement allowance, attack range, speed and other contributions to tactical flexibility and DPS increase progressively, while healing ability doesn't improve. This enables and encourages enemy characters to rush, or snipe on, anybody who stops to heal, making healing a progressively worse move as the game progresses.

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i was thinking of building a board game myself the other day.. anywho, i can share with ya all the ideas i had and you can take whichever idea you like :P

first off, are you sure it's fun for people to fight each other? or would it be funner to fight as one against a common enemy? example board games i've read about: zombicide and pandemic.

i like the random board idea.

i like the heroes idea. i was gonna aim for 7 hero types in my game: someone with more stamina, a crafter type hero, warrior, smart hero, healer, stat buffer, someone with first move advantage.

definitely need event cards because "life happens". example: earthquake. randomly change all tiles in a line across the board.

i like navezof's destiny missions. in my game, i was going to try to model them after 27 life lessons. like maybe one mission would be to try to comeplete the game without killing anything or another would be skip every 3rd turn to learn the lesson of patience. each player could have a max of 3 destiny cards.

when a player levels up in my game, i somehow want to deal them 2 or 3 cards and they could only select 1 like in hearthstone arena.

good luck with the game ;)

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I don't know where you are, but where I live, there are board game events called "break my game". Developers bring their games and attendees visit and test and critique each others games.

I think you'd have a lot more feedback from ppl who play a lot of board games and trouble shoot their own.

Check out meetup.com to see if there's something near you.

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