Group Game Design Phase 2: Mechanics

Game Design
Worker Placement(1 vote) 14%
Area Control(5 votes) 71%
Action Point(0 votes) 0%
Chit Pull(1 vote) 14%

7 votes

Welp, the first poll ended with the majority choosing Science Fiction, so that will be our main theme! Of course, historical/rome/etc. was a close second, so perhaps we could tag something like that on as well? Share your thoughts!

Now we're going for mechanics. There are a lot of mechanics available, but only 4 options, so if there's one you like but don't see, post it as a comment! Some other mechanics could be:

  • Real-time
  • Dexterity
  • Hidden Movement
  • Drafting
  • Etc.

Of course, we can always integrate more than one. In fact, that's probably a good idea. So we'll take a few of the top choices!

Now, the theme is Science Fiction with a possible historic/Roman integration. Let's also brainstorm a coherent narrative for our theme(s). I'll create a new post for that so it doesn't get too messy in this one. :) 

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Supporter12 months ago

Here is my pitch for our space game:

A human space-faring empire has been the unchallenged superpower in space for hundreds of years. The empire encompasses numerous planets, from rare gas producing gas giants, to barren yet material rich asteroid belts, and to lush and populous Earth-like planets. 

At the center of the Empire lies the Senate. The Senate is the squabbling, thriving, and beating heart of the Empire. Numerous factions vie for control of power - power to name a Consul once every 4 standard years.

Some factions are always at odds - the Militarists and the Pacifists can never agree, but other factions seek to form mutually beneficial alliances - at least until they are no longer useful!

Senatorial politics aside, everything is peaceful in the Empire. Until news from the frontier is brought before the Senate. Menacing alien invasion fleets are appearing all over the Empire - devastating worlds and spreading death and destruction in their wake.

Will the various factions work together to protect the Empire? Or will they betray each other in attempts to take control of the Senate for themselves?


So that’s the premise of my game. I imagine that the following mechanisms would be utilized:

Worker Placement - to acquire resources and perform actions - diplomacy, research, production, etc  

Deck Building - used in combat but also in diplomacy 

Unique Faction Powers - Technocrats get bonuses to tech, militarists get bonus combat cards, bankers acquire resources faster, etc  

Co-op/Competitive - players work together but also compete to be voted consul or perhaps seize control as dictator.

Multiple Paths to victory - Form alliances with minor alien races, seize control of the Senate and become Dictator, or defeat the alien threat in pitched battle!

Randomized Set-Up - modular game board with a multitude of hex tiles that changes each game. Not all tiles are used each game. Tiles beyond the frontier my start unexplored at the beginning of the game 

AI Controlled Alien Threat - deck based event system controls where and what the aliens do next 

Technology Tracks - similar to Scythe, Empires of the Void 2, or TI4

I could keep going but this seems long enough for now  


Supporter12 months ago

I love the sound of this.

You have any ideas about scalability with the different factions? 

What about giving the factions different goals? 

Do you think there is any way you could make a solo move work? 

Supporter12 months ago

Not sure what you mean by scalability of different factions - could you clarify please?

Totally think that the different factions have different goals. I think I might have accidentally deleted the part where I talked about it. I envisioned that each faction would have a unique win condition that they could choose to pursue (or ignore) to follow the other conditions.

I honestly didn’t consider much about solo mode. The main part of the game is the different factions of the senate fighting amongst themselves while also facing the external threat. I’m sure there is probably some way to use cards to replicate that but it would not be my primary focus.

Supporter12 months ago

So, let's say that it turns into a 3-6 player game. You decide that you will only play with three players. Do you have to be careful which factions that you pick so that they balance each other out? Or could you pick any of the three factions and run with it?

I understand about not thinking about solo. 

12 months ago

Along with an AI alien threat deck...what if there was another variant where a single player (or even players as a team) play as the alien threat? Kind of like in Tiny Epic Zomies where you can play as the zombie overlord against the rest, cooperative, and others. I like all these ideas, but it’s late and sleep is overwhelming and...Zzzzzzzz

Supporter12 months ago

That would be cool too! Perhaps save that for the expansion. Yes it was getting really late when I was typing that. 

12 months ago

I went for a chit-pull mechanic. Every game like this has medieval times vibes, lets get a spacey/Sci-fi version!

12 months ago

I think it could be fun! Do you have any thoughts on how to implement it?

12 months ago

In my mind I am thinking a mix of Aeons End where you are fighting this space beast and Orleans where you are drawin chits from your bag to do specific things. You could have specific actions that heal, that attack, that dodge but you gotta have the chits all prepped and pulled!

12 months ago

That...has a lot of potential. I really like it! I can't remember much about Orleans (I've only played it once), but if you've played Altiplano (same designer, same chit pull system), you have a player board for your chits based on a location on the main board. Instead of the Peruvian Highlands, the board could be your cockpit or personal stats and abilities. Very interesting idea. I'd love to develop this further!

12 months ago

Two words. Star Fox. Going back to that IP thread lol. Could you imagine being Fox, Slippy, Falco... Dope. Fighting Andross...

Orlean is VERY similar to Altiplano. I think it would be a fun melding of categories!

12 months ago

You had me at Star Fox.

12 months ago

This is a super busy time of year for my work...but when it calms down I might put a little time into developing this and the Splinter Cell game a little more...

12 months ago

I hope you do! I'd love to see this come to pass.

Supporter12 months ago

I like drafting plus area control. 

12 months ago

Nice! Any ideas on how you would make the two meld together?

Supporter12 months ago

You could use it to build your crew. You could also draft your actions maybe sorta like inis? I haven't played inis so I don't know how all that works for sure.  But I'm invisioning something like drafting a hand of movements and/or actions, than, during your turn deciding which 1(s) you want to play. 

Supporter12 months ago

I think you could do a bit of drafting with my idea of building a crew.  At least at the beginning of the game with your "xo".  Maybe you start with a certain amount of cash flow.  Then you have the option to really go all out to start and get a "xo" with a lot going on, or slow down and save your money for other crew members.

I see this kind of like a smuggling, bounty hunting, contract fulfilling etc.

I would also love the idea of temporary alliances.  Maybe even some back stabbing.

Possibly being able to attract other players crew away with some kind of influence component.

Supporter12 months ago

There are soooo many Worker Placement games right now.  While I have a few and like them I'm also kind of over that mechanic at the moment.  I also really like "combat" basically something with negative player interaction.

12 months ago

Combat is always fun! Especially with a science fiction theme. Don't know why, but I can never get enough of that!

Supporter12 months ago

I just really favor games with a lot of player interaction.  I want the game to bring everyone together and experiencing it together.  But yes especially for Space Theme and if we are doing area control, how better to do it than by being able to steal control spots from on another.

Supporter12 months ago

I feel like Sci-fi and Area Control just make a lot of sense together. I liked how Black Angel had 2 elements of play where you're on the spaceship's deck AND able to fly ships in space. It'd be cool to have an Area control element and some other nitty-gritty element of play as well.

12 months ago

Yeah, I really liked that aspect of Black Angel. Gets your brain working in more than just one area.