FINAL Group Game Design: The Pitch

Game Design

I know we've jumped a lot of steps, and this is in no way the best method of designing a game, but thanks to all of you, we have come up with some solid ideas, mechanics, and more to implement into our game. To recap, here's what we have to work with:

  • Theme: Science Fiction
  • Sub-Theme (optional, but highly recommended): Roman Empire
  • Mechanics: Area control with aspects of Drafting
  • Narrative: See the Narrative thread for inspiration.
  • Must-Have: Modular Board
  • May Have: Dice
  • May Not Have: Dice-driven combat

What I initially had in mind was for all of us to create one singular game, but I think that's asking too much haha Instead, comment below to pitch a game using the above-mentioned resources. Bonus points for incorporating the ancient Roman Empire into the theme. 

When pitching your game, make sure to include how all of the above are utilized. How can each aspect stand out? Most importantly, why should the publisher you're pitching this to have any desire to choose your game? Talk it up. Sky's the limit. After all, you don't need to actually build a prototype; all you need is the idea. Add whatever you like to the game (except dice-driven combat, as mentioned). Make it yours. And if you'd rather not post your brilliant idea here for whatever reason, just comment that your idea is precious and you don't want anyone stealing it. For me, this is just something fun I wanted to try out. You, on the other hand, might have found your new brainchild. I like to keep my work close to my chest, and you may too. It's all good!

I'll comment with my pitch below once I have a few spare minutes. I'm looking forward to seeing your final thoughts and pitches! Go crazy. 

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Supporter19 months ago

I sort of made my pitch in the other thread. Basically I took the crisis of the third century Roman Empire and put it in space. I find the Roman Empire during the crisis years as very fascinating, and moving it into space adds all kinds of interesting potential. I wanted the game to really focus on player interactions and competition for the throne, while ignoring or fighting invading space aliens at the same time. Which is what the real Romans did. 

19 months ago

I don't know much about that time of the Roman Empire, but it does sound interesting, and putting it in space is a great way to explore that history in a unique way. Kind of an "alternate history" type of thing. I dig it.

19 months ago

OK, here I go with mine...

The year is 2848, and the powerful empires of old have had a resurgence. Wars and conflicts on Earth have spread to the nearby exoplanets. Empires of old have reclaimed their lands, and now seek to claim the stars by both conquering planets and discovering new ones. In this space-exploration game, players take the role of a futuristic empire based on its historical achievements, military, and other accomplishments. These aspects of each empire have been modernized to reflect the high-tech world of the year 2848.

There will be two boards: one of Earth in the year 2848, and a modular board (randomly set up) for space exploration. Each empire has a hyperporter at its capital which transmits their ship to one of the far reaches of the modular map. Each hyperporter has its limits, and can only teleport a ship so far, but this was the best way determined by the Empires so that each government could start in its own fresh corner of space, rather than follow and fight each other the entire time. That way, everyone is on equal footing.

Each empire has a unique faction ability that relates to its ancient attributes (of course, modded to work in a futuristic environment). All players start on their empire's starting country on Earth. At the start of each game and each subsequent round, players draft a hand of 7 cards. Card types include combat, science, arts, and missions. Depending on the draft, players may opt for a more militaristic round, fighting to claim more of Earth's precious space, launch into space (via hyperporter) to begin exploring, develop new scientific advancements, or gain points and upgrades for completing missions.

Players control both their Earth empire and their conquesting ships. Players must focus on both their Earthly empire as well as their interstellar vessels or risk being attacked at one front or the other.

When exploring a space location tile, flip it over and add resources (if applicable). Empty space have no bonuses, but are good places to construct waypoint stations for easier travel. Some space hazards exist, such as unknown alien ambushes, meteor showers, and old space mines from a long forgotten battle.

If a planet is discovered, it is possible to colonize. There are two options for colonization: 

1. Send down a scouting party  to check for dangers and/or habitability, or

2. Deploy a landing craft and hope for the best.

Scouting is advised when no other players are nearby. However, sometimes you must risk the safety of your people in order to be the first ones planetside to stake your claim. Of course, others can also land on your planet on a different continent (if it has more than one), but the first player to land always gets a bonus.

If a second player wants to colonize a world that is already occupied, they may do one of two things:

1) Negotiate with the occupying player for safe passage. Trade what you will as agreed upon by the other player. The initial trade is binding, but promises of future actions are not.

2) Arial bombardment. Weaken the pre-existing colony by bombarding their continent. Roll for damages. The higher the damage, the more resources and player units are destroyed. There is no real reason not to bombard a planet (if you can afford the resources to do so), other than it takes an action and if no one has revealed the opposing player's upgrades, it may be a waste of time and resources since they may not have anti-enemy weapons in place.

3) Just land anyway. There's always a risk the already-settled player has installed upgrades like turrets to deal with pesky intruders. These upgrades are secret until used, after which they remain faceup in front of the player.

When moving into the same space space (space space?) as another player you may take another action to initiate combat. Combat is resolved by playing combat cards, plus or minus any upgrades or damages. The attacker wins all ties.

Missions have players looking for specific things, including planets and resources, or building a certain amount of something, such as waypoint stations.

Alliances can be forged with other players as well. Again, the initial trade to establish thee alliance is binding; all future promises are not.

Supporter19 months ago

I would play this game too

Supporter19 months ago

I would play that game. 

19 months ago

Thanks! I'm contemplating taking the idea and running with it (with what free time? haha). This is the first time I've jotted anything down, so there are certainly things that won't work or would need to be adjusted, but I can see some potential there. 

Supporter19 months ago

Definitely report here if you decide to do decide to develop it.

19 months ago

Could be a few years before I even start, but I most certainly will!

Owner19 months ago

Here's my 5 minute idea. 

Players are different alien species and aim to control a majority of the galaxy. The game starts with a draft of game board hexes. Each player starts with 7 in hand and is essentially drafting 1 hex at a time to create their home base. Hexes can include weapon production, advanced intelligence, defenses, hazards, etc. Once the drafting phase is over players arrange their 7 hexes with 1 piece in the center and the 6 others on each side (to make it as close to a circle as you can get). All players push their areas together to make 1 massive player board.

Each player is then given 3 dice that they all roll simultaneously and they will be using them to perform actions indicated on their hexes. Each hex will have a variety of available dice amounts that affect the power level of the hex.

Players take turns choosing one of the dice and using it on a hex they control. This will allow players to create units, improve defenses, and learn new technology. Two default choices of dice will be to move and attack.

As the game progresses. Dice effectiveness increases by tiles flipping over to the "advanced side" if the technology is unlocked or larger dice are unlocked so that game progression increases in speed as well.

Each time after all the dice have been placed by players everyone picks up their dice and rolls them again simultaneously to start a new round.

Supporter19 months ago

This sounds really clever. One can tell that you’ve done this a time or two. 

Owner19 months ago

Haha, yeah. I spent a lot of time making games in 2018. Super fun but it doesn't really mean too much until I make a prototype ;)

Owner19 months ago

5 minute idea? o_O

Owner19 months ago

Yeah, haha. It was fun going through the exercise. It'd been a few months since I'd done something like that. I used to practice coming up with as many games as I could in a 10 minute span.

19 months ago

Well that sounds fun! That took you 5 minutes to conjure? Pretty impressive! Seems well thought out with some interesting mechanics. 

Supporter19 months ago

Sounds great. I've been trying to think of putting the Romans in space and I can't help but model them after the Romulans.

19 months ago

Inspiration comes in many forms. Romulans are one of them. Change their names and give them some new trait and you're golden hahah