Thursday, July 27, 2006


This blog entry has sort of picked up my design interest:The Unknown Civ. The thing that really got me thinking was the following line:

"You don't need much besides the rules, two sides of a piece of paper, a pencil, and dice. It's the kind of thing I like to do in the airport to kill time if I don't have a book handy."

Hmmmm, which gets me thinking along designing a single player game that you can take on an airplane. How would that work?

The game he describes, Culture & Conquest, involves dice. A lot of dice rolls. Which doesn't seem like a good airplane game. Nothing like chasing your 8 sided dice uder three rows of cramped seating space. No dice.

But a pad of paper and a pencil. Good. Maybe a small deck of cards (16 of them) to help randomize things. That would be it.

And so it begins.

I've got a general idea of how this all works. Generally, a turn consists of upkeeping stuff, getting an event from a card, then upkeeping again. A lot of typical Civ stuff applies, such as having a shopping cart of tech-tree kind of things and requirements to fill before advancing to the next Era.

The cards are wonderfully multi-purpose, at least in concept, to keep the component list small. They serve as random events, a timer before the end of an Era happens, and a random number generator.

Basically, at the end of going through a whole deck of cards, you need to do an Era check, which is simply, at the end of the 1st era, you need one city standing, and at the end of the second time through the deck, you need 2 cities, etc. Each card will having events that happen that are spelled out for each Era; the deeper you are in Eras, the more and harder the events become. Some events require you to look at the next card solely for getting a number, or a piece of data; which burns thorugh possible events that you won't have to play AND moving you closer to the end of an Era (for good or bad).

I think letting the player draw his/her own map is a nice touch, and hopefully, completely different map designs will change how the game plays. At least that's the goal.


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