Monday, May 01, 2006 contest - Notes

As usual, I entered the latest game design contest a few months ago. What's nice about the contest is that it has a pleasant restriction of using only common "found around the house" items as game pieces. And usual, I entered a game with no playtesting. Not that this seems to be a bad thing, as I managed to be a finalist a few years ago with another un-tested game.

A few things have started to invade my net time. One, I was playing a lot of Wallenstein SBW-style . And two, I've been reading a lot of blogs dealing with wargames. Additionally, there is a small Holy Grail of trying to find an Advanced Civ game that can be played in a reasonable amount of time, so I've always wanted to try and conquer that molehill. So, I thought I try and put all these apples into a barrel and create a war/civ game. In under 1,000 words. And Cradle was born.

A few notes:

The choice of name was primarily used to keep the word count down as low as possible.

The game as written for the contest probably doesn't fit the true Civ-game mold. One of the things that defines a good Civ game from what I've been able to discern is the ability to trade. With 1,000 words, I've had to cut that functionality out completely.

I'm not convinced that the whole multiple board thing works for paying for your new units. If I go back and re-work the rules better to playtest, I think I would just simply mark each square with a number, and let players write down on a pad of paper their unit purchases and where they go.

Otherwise, I think that the game has a pretty strong foundation. And I think there's a lot I could add to it to give it a lot more flavor; such as new city power-up abilities, and global card effects, trading, etc.

Maybe someday...


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