Building a Game - II

Last time I spoke about theme, tone and base mechanics.

We continue.

As you will remember, the theme of the game is to pitch a number of players co-operatively against the system in a tongue-in-cheek attempt at humor.

But how do we actually plan to accomplish that?

This question forms the basis of our game because it directly speaks about the way our mechanics will function and how they shape gameplay. As you might remember, I have already said that I will concentrate on using not dice but cards as the basic randomizer for this game.

That is only one element.

The other is how that cards are used. To delve into this, we need to ask ourselves, if we have a concept or a working mechanic we can build of or something we need to create by ourselves. For this, I say, we shall copy one of the more succesful games of the Co-op boardgame genre of these past few years. Pandemic.

How you might ask? Conceptually we take from Pandemic the way the turn works, that is, the idea that our game is a) turn-based and every one of these turns a structured number of things happen. What we do not take from Pandemic is the game-ending mechanic of PANDEMIC cards as we will use other ways to regulate game difficulty.

But what how are we going to use all this? What we need is a basic idea. And up until now, we haven´t really spoken about this concept, as the idea by itself often enough isn´t that in-depth to serve as basis of the games structure.

For Convention Organizer, I shall draw up this example.

The game uses three parts. One is a board representing the convention location and with it any special problems or circumstances the location gives us, the markers for visitors/players/hapiness/unhappiness and the time track, another is the card deck serving as the events and action points and resolving any sort of difficulties as well as the randomizer for the game. Lastly we have the player cards, special cards allowing the players to use actions otherwise unavailable to them.

As you can see, a lot to take in already. But also in a way rather sacrosanct because it ignores some of the more important lessons in game design, as it is designed with parts already in my mind instead of developing and re-developing them, so this might be a bit unorthodox.

Next time we will begin to delve deeper into the parts we shall need for the game and how it really is supposed to work.

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