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Would you play this game ?

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#1 ZwodahS   Members   


Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:59 AM

I always wanted to make a survival resource game, where players are required to gather resource to survive. However, I really have no idea how the game would be like or how to go out of the box to create a interesting mechanic to make, until now.

I started drafting ideas about 4 days ago, played it on paper and coded a small prototype. I thought i stumble upon something interesting and wonder if anyone will like this game mechanic.

The game has a turn aspect and a real time aspect. The game take placed in a grid like world like most CIv game. You control a tribe that needs to move from a tile on the map to another tile on the map. However, each turn you can only move a short distance and moving require food.

Each turn also contains a real time part, where you send out units to harvest from surrounding tiles. You can't control the unit directly but can only place flags to issue a command to your units to move there and perform action. Currently there is only 3 flag ( Gather , Scout , Hunt).

So there is the mechanic that I want to try. Most games like this would provide a "sure" event where you would get the resource you want or a "random" event that you have no control over.

In this game, instead of providing random event , the game is based around the idea of cards. I would make this into a board game but I would need to print a few thousand cards, so making a video game out of it seems to be more feasible.

So each tile would have a deck of cards. The deck would contains cards like "food", "wood" and other resources, as well as hazards like animals(lion,tiger) or other events. In order to get the card you need to issue a "Gather" command to the tile. A gatherer will turn go to the tile and draw a card and return. If the gatherer draw a hazard, then other stuffs will happen. For example, if Lion is drawn, then perhaps a combat would take place. Gatherer will not have the ability to kill Lion so they can only run.

A Hunt command would perhaps Draw 5 cards, and If there is any animals in those 5 cards, a combat will be initiated.

However, most deck will also be filled with "Nothing Found" cards. This will be a waste of time for the gatherer. The job is left to the Scout, who will draw a large number of cards and remove all the "Nothing Found" and at the same time revealing what hazard is in the tile.

Each turn last 1 minutes and at the end of each turn, the tribe will consume food and if there is not enough food, the player lose. At the end of the turn, the player can decide where to relocate the base camp. Moving base camp will cost food.

Interesting aspect of this card mechanics :

1) Player will not know the probability of what is in the deck but at the same time, could guess what is in the deck. For example, the game would be programmed in such a way that "Forest" tile will contains more food than desert.
2) The probability of getting food can be adjusted to your favor if you send out scouts first. Revealing what is in tile allows the player to see what are the risk and rewards and make decision based on probability.
3) As the resource on a tile depletes, future visit to the tile will provided less "Expected Value". This will encourage the player to move fast.
4) Placing upgrades in the deck will encourage player to try get those upgrades. For example, upgrade can be technology that allow player to cook their meat which will provide more food value. This will encourage player to explore and take the risk in staying in an area.

I am intending the game to be played over a short time ( 20 turns for a small map, 40 turns for a bigger map). The game will start with a negative gain on food, meaning that the player will have a starting amount of food which will deplete fast if the player cannot find "upgrades" and additional food sources etc.

The game will feel a bit RTS-ish but also a bit strategic. You plan what you want to know before you start the turn. During the turn, if you accidentally turn over a lion card on a tile and feel that it is not worth risking gatherer to that tile, you can react and send units to other tiles.

So how do you feel about this idea , and would you play such a game ?

Edited by ZwodahS, 16 October 2012 - 08:00 AM.

Check out my blog at zwodahs.github.io and zwodahs.itch.io/

#2 Ashaman73   Members   


Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:20 AM

and would you play such a game ?

Don't know, to be honest.

The best way to find out is actually to create it, there're too many factors influencing the game. Therefore really nobody can tell if this game is fun or not (=> this is the reason that the AAA industry make almost only sequels, because nobody can tell if a game will be the next star or flop, an already successful game is at least a good bet).



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#3 PSvils   Members   


Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:55 PM

From what I understand, I'm feeling that this game would be really cool! And it really could work as a card game, except with just not as many cards/options, but yeah, the concept is really cool I think!

...Can't offer much more than that :D Inspiration is a bit low at the moment to give any real feedback or suggestions, other than that it sounds really interesting and you should definitely get a playable prototype out there! :)

#4 cronocr   Members   


Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:35 PM

I think you can easily prototype this game, maybe in text mode with PHP or something. Drop the link and people will surely test it.


#5 Rybo5001   Members   


Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:36 PM

  • From what you've described, I like the sound of this game. My only problem is repetitiveness, what is my goal other than drawing cards every turn?

#6 ZwodahS   Members   


Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:19 PM

I am currently writing a small prototype now(using XNA). I will see if i can get it up fast :P

The number of cards is not limited but the type of cards would be. Like food card can be expressed by many kind of food (wheat , rice , fruits , herb) etc, but they almost functionally identical. I have thought of ways to make them vary but those can come later after i prototype a small game.

The main idea of the game that I am really interested in is survival. One game that I really like and similar to this is "Rebuild & Rebuild 2". If you haven't try it, check it out on kongregate. The other idea I want to try in this game is the idea of calculated risk and risk modification. Most game state a probability of event happen but does not really allow the probability of it to be changed. With my idea, I want to have more options for the players to control the kind of cards they wish to get by just allowing them to change the probability a little. The "Scouting" mechanics is aimed at doing so.

From what you've described, I like the sound of this game. My only problem is repetitiveness, what is my goal other than drawing cards every turn?

For now, I thought of a few objectives for this game.
  • Get to the "sea". For this mode, which would be the easiest, is for the players to move from the left most part of the map to the right most. This should be easy as the player will know the general direction to go.
  • Get to a location. This is harder as the direction to go is not clear. However, I could place cards that provide information about the destination so that if the player draw one of those card, they will have a sense of direction where to go.
  • Find a few artifacts in the world. This involve the player searching for the artifacts and moving around the map. This is probably one of the hardest "mode"
  • Pure survival. Survive as long as possible. This is kind of like open world. Since the cards on a tile does not refill (maybe I could make them refill slowly), it become hard to survive. You need to be continuously be on the move. I am not sure if this mode will be fun since there wouldn't be a "end" game.
I am also not quite sure how to make this game fun and interesting, so my best bet is to get a prototype :P and see reactions of people

Check out my blog at zwodahs.github.io and zwodahs.itch.io/

#7 ZwodahS   Members   


Posted 20 October 2012 - 01:08 AM

I wrote a small prototype to test out the feel of the game.

Hopefully you guys can see what I meant .

At the moment I have only 2 cards in the game.
  • Fruits
  • Nothing.
Each turn you can choose to "Move base" or "Gather" .

You can only move one square per turn. After which, you will need to pay the "upkeep" of the units. To pay the cost, you will see all the food you have and you can click to consume. After all the upkeep have been paid, you will begin your next turn.

To Gather, you need to select the tile, then place the flag. R to place the harvest flag(green) and F to place the scout flag(blue).

Harvest will draw a card and if it is food, it will be added to your supply. Scout will draw 5 cards and put back all the food and remove all the "nothing" card. You can also hold shift to see what you know about that tile.

I am not a artist so please ignore the graphics for now ;P. This is a prototype that I made in a few days so don't expect too much from it. Oh, and lastly, you need C# and XNA to run it =/.

If there is anything unclear, please let me know. Also , if you have ideas and suggestion :P let me know too. If you think that this is boring , please let me know too =X.

Attached Files

Check out my blog at zwodahs.github.io and zwodahs.itch.io/

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