Game Idea - Thoughts?

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Author: Kamar
Date: Apr 7, 2021 10:32 PM
Category: Spaceport
Posts: 19
#1
I've been considering working on an 8 or 10 player game/map for a while, and thought I'd get people's feedback. I'm considering designing a map that gives a fairly equal and generous start for all players near the edges and as you move inward you'll find more dangerous and hazardous systems. However, in the center of the map is a number of ancient ruins, equally divided between all 3 planet types. (Since I would be designing the map, I'd spend the points for "Ancient Race", since I would have seen the map already - and in addition, for transparency/accountability, I'd allow another map designer to set the starting locations on the map).

In addition to this, I had an idea for custom tech. Each player in the game suggests 2 or 3 different custom tech, and when there is a final list, rights to the tech are auctioned off. Players bid starting points on the tech they want, and during player setup they must pay that amount of points for the tech they won in the auction. I'm assuming most of the tech would still require research to learn/unlock.

(I definitely wouldn't start a game like this until I was down to 1 or 0 games being played, but it would take some time to do all of the design, so I figure I could get a head start if people were interested).

What are your thoughts on a game such as this? Is this something you'd be interested in playing?

Replies

Commenter: bearclaw
Date: Apr 7, 2021 11:04 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#2
Sounds interesting! Im intrigued.
Commenter: TheCulture
Date: Apr 8, 2021 5:14 AM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#3
Yes.
Commenter: ekolis
Date: Apr 8, 2021 8:32 AM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#4
Ooh, that sounds cool! I wonder if you could plant a neutral race in the middle, sort of like the guardian in MOO? But how to keep them from colonizing the ruins? Maybe put them in a ring of systems around the central system, not in the central system itself?

I also like the custom tech auction. Would this be using racial points? Or some other sort of points? And would this be a silent auction, where everyone submits one bid for each item simultaneously? Or a regular auction where items are brought up sequentially and players bid in real time?
Commenter: Kamar
Date: Apr 8, 2021 8:53 AM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#5
That's an intriguing thought about a guardian race. There is a board game called Eclipse that uses that concept too - which is pretty fun. Instead of "paying" research points, you "pay" in ships to defeat them and take the tech. From a technical standpoint, yeah, maybe a ring of systems or maybe strategic placement of a storm (storms) that damages ships - the AI may not be smart enough to bring in repair ships at the same time.?

As for the auction, I was thinking it would use Racial Points. I'm not sure what mechanic would work best, but having designed some auction mechanics for other games, I'm thinking a type of "live" auction where you can keep increasing the bid until no one wants to bid any higher. If it was silent there is the chance you get stuck paying too much for too many things, I think. One mechanic that might help a "live" type of auction is where you must go above the previous bid by a least 10%. This would keep people from just increasing a bid by 1 point... but I'm not sure if that's a good solution. What do you guys think?
Commenter: maxcolby
Date: Apr 8, 2021 1:01 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#6
I like this idea, Kamar.
One thought about the guardian race. A player could be picked as the guardian race and given specific rules. They would play a little like a dungeon master. Perhaps they would guard that central system and attack anyone who enters. Perhaps they would have a limitation as to the number or size of ships that they could own and would not be allowed to leave that home system perhaps. Perhaps they could be given special research tech so that they can upgrade all research facilities to have a high amount of research and develop the best techs early but are limited to 100 ships or something. Perhaps their homeworld would be a sphere world (or in orbit of a sphere world) to allow them the greatest advantage without leaving the system. Perhaps they would be a race of snobs who see their homeworld as the center of everything and are interested in no-one else. Perhaps it might be boring for a player to play this. Maybe they might set up their defenses and just not play a turn most of the time until someone reports entering in the neighboring system. I am envisioning planets all around the system, then, with ruins on them (former homes of the sphere-world inhabitants).

For design of the map I am imagining a way to approach it which might reduce the stress of making so many systems, would be to generate a random map to start with and move systems around except for the few systems at the center which would be created by hand.

For player placement, random player placements can be created so that even you, as the map designer, might know where all of the placements are but would not be able to know which player is in which place. This should be able to be mixed and matched with players with specific placements, such as the Dungeon master, described above.
Commenter: bearclaw
Date: Apr 8, 2021 2:00 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#7
I love Eclipse! One of my favourite sci-fi board games. Right after Space Empires 4X!
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/84419/space-empires-4x

For the guardians, why not make them Neutrals? Then they wont leave that one system. You could have several of them and give them some sort of bonus. Fusion Neutrals have a couple special additions to make them more robust. For instance only Neutrals have access to all colony types from game start. Would be easy to enhance them further if needed.
Edited 1 time(s). Lasted edited Apr 8, 2021 2:01 PM.
Commenter: maxcolby
Date: Apr 8, 2021 2:58 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#8
Is there a way to ensure that the neutral players used those starting positions? I suppose the specific starting location numbers above the number of human players would automatically take on the neutral players. That is interesting. If we are talking about neutral players what would keep them from colonizing the planets with ruins? or from being too easy as computer players usually are?
Commenter: bearclaw
Date: Apr 8, 2021 3:23 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#9
Yes, the numbered positions would be how to do that.

As for making them more challenging, things like better planets and special facilities/components would help. There's also some very tough AIs out there done by others. I think SJ did some tough AIs that can be integrated easily.
Commenter: maxcolby
Date: Apr 8, 2021 5:00 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#10
This all sounds pretty cool
Commenter: ekolis
Date: Apr 8, 2021 7:50 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#11
Oh, yeah, you wouldn't need to keep the guardians out of Orion - you could just mod the game so colony tech is a racial technology only available to human players!
Commenter: maxcolby
Date: Apr 8, 2021 8:10 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#12
Another option to keep the neutral players from colonizing those planets would be to have one system which has the neutral players but the system with all the ruins would be the next system over, and only accessible through the system with the neutral players.
Commenter: Kamar
Date: Apr 8, 2021 9:07 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#13
Thanks for the ideas and encouragement! Any idea how to keep a neutral race from colonizing planets with ruins on them? If not, I think the idea of a ring around the system is a great idea. I wonder if there is a way to put a Gravitational Shield Facility in that system. However, if there is someone who would want to play the BBE (Big Bad Enemy), that might be fun too.

Didn't know you were a board gamer too. I've wanted to try the Space Empires board game for a while but haven't come across anyone who has it. Do you own it?
Commenter: bearclaw
Date: Apr 8, 2021 10:40 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#14
I do! In fact, I discovered it when I was visiting BK in person. I was in his state for training for work so I took an extra weekend to visit him. We went to a local game store he wanted to show me and there it was!! We looked at the box and some of his shipset art was printed right there on the back of the Box!! I bought it on the spot. I've since gotten all the expansions.

It actually plays a LOT like SEIV. There is one expansion that kind of goes sideways but we just ignore those funky rules (our own mod!). Its not for the feint of heart. We played a game once that lasted 6 hours, but man, was it fun.
Commenter: ekolis
Date: Apr 9, 2021 8:45 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#15
I mentioned earlier that you could prevent the neutral race from colonizing the ruins by making colony techs require a racial trait that only the human players would pick.
Commenter: Kamar
Date: Apr 10, 2021 9:09 AM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#16
Ed - I missed that comment before - ok, cool. With the work on fixing the AI, this sounds like a great idea!

That's great that you got to meet BK in person and went to a game store - too cool! What state do you live in?
Edited 1 time(s). Lasted edited Apr 10, 2021 9:11 AM.
Commenter: bearclaw
Date: Apr 11, 2021 1:10 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#17
I'm one of the lucky ones. I don't live in the States at all HAHAHAA!!
I'm in Canada. My work has training centres in the US. That year I got to go to Los Angeles for training.
Commenter: Kamar
Date: Apr 12, 2021 12:38 AM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#18
Lucky you :-)

I've only lived long term in the States and Thailand. Not sure which I'd prefer... but since both have a solid gaming community I'm happy in either! (Don't tell my wife about Canada... she'll want to move there next!)

BUT... about the game. I think I'll start working on a map and see who all is interested. I don't have a lot of free time but might give me something to do when I'm bored.
Commenter: Kamar
Date: Apr 12, 2021 10:48 PM
Game Idea - Thoughts?
#19
I'm going to a 3-day weekend board gaming get away in two weeks... and just found out one of the other guys is bring Space Empires 4x :-O