Game update: Village Life crossroads to exploration

We have come to a crossroads in developing Village life. Originaly the game is designed with a board in which the map is pre-printed and players add buildings onto it.

Game board

The current game map, which players add pieces to as their economy grows

However another (I think) more interesting idea would be to have a set of tiles that players explore, then claim and build on each turn. This would add another step to the game (meaning gamplay would take longer), but also add a lot of creativity to the game.

The benefits I see are:

  • Game board changes with each playthrough, making it more interesting.
  • Different tiles can be easily added, making exploration part of the game.
  • Tiles can have different bonuses, rather than the static board
  • I think the tiles look much nicer

However the challenges are:

  • Increased cost – tiles over a game board
  • Tiles on top of tiles? How are buildings done? Would placing smaller tiles on top of larger tiles become burdonsome?
  • Does the game need more complexity or would it be confusing?
  • Would the tiles interlink well together?
Sawmill game piece

A sawmill to be placed on a forest tile showing the cost and income

I also considered Hex tiles, but they seem to come out as twice the price of square ones, so will keep them as a backburner for the moment.

Playtesting update here

Please let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Patreon page where for just $1 you can get it when it is completed!

 

State of the game: Evolve!

On day 6 of the 30 days/30 ideas challenge I came up with a legacy style board game in which players create an ecosystem on a map board.

Game map outline showing different regions

Basic outline of the game map showing the different base regions.

The map has an unequal number of each tile, with sea being the most common at the beginning of the game. Sea life forms find it harder to take over land than land to sea however, making it more even for players.

Seeds do best on green grass tiles, but need to work harder to inhabit mountain or sea tiles

There are three types of plant in the first evolution; Seeds, Spawn and Cacti. The winner of each round is the first player to control a certain number of map tiles, which are spread to each turn with different costs. Each tile earns a player one point to spend which means players must think tactically to gain the largest share if the map. Also contested pieces (those with players already on cost more to take over). 

Droppers eat seeds, so are more likely to flourish if the previous seed player has done well.

When there is a winner for the first stage, players move onto the second stage. Here animals must then take advantage of the map created by the first stage. Players are given a random animal from Droppers, Sneakers and Biters meaning the player who won the first round may now have to fight against how good they were in the last.

Finally, the Hunters eat the Droppers – so are more likely to flourish in those areas.

In the final round the carnivores come out to play, eating the previous set of animals. The game ends when the third round player controls half of the map.

Evolve cards are picked up based on how many “unnatural” tiles players hold at the beginning of their turn amd can change the course of the game.

I hope to be able to get a first version out soon and give it a run through to see if it all works (and most importantly is fun!)

😁

State of the game – The Regent

The Regent is a game loosely inspired by the politics of medieval Europe, especially as shown in the ‘Guild’ series of games which I enjoyed growing up. The politics part has players voting their friends into different council offices, with largest cities having a Regent as the local ruler. The economic part of the game is more similar to ‘Splendour’, but with a much simpler chain of production.

The Regent takes this idea to create a board game with the same idea, supporting anything from 4 to 12 players in a bid to become – and stay, Regent. Players earn income and abilities not only for their own profession, but also from their council office – voted in by other players – or if lucky enough, automatic if no one is available to vote in or out (either because the position above them is unfilled, has been voted out, or even thrown in prison).

Play continues each round until one player has 50 coins.

The regent game board where players try to become the regent

The 8-12 player board allows for 12 different offices to be in play, leading to a wide variety of diplomatic engagements and medieval ‘office politics’. The dungeon can sometimes get quite full if the Magistrate gets heavy-handed.

Landlord game piece

Players pick from one of 4 professions, each with different bonuses and faults

Professions list including, landlord, patron, philosopher and rogue

Some professions are naturally suited to different jobs – the Rogue for example makes for a far better Dungeon Master – but not such a likely Bishop.

Voting is done to allow people to become certain jobs… Or not

Offices allow for different roles to be played, including arresting other players

The economy runs by players using their cards to buy buildings. A second way to win

A quicker and more concise version of the game involves using only the politics or economics parts of the game.

 

A slightly outdated version of the game can be found on TableTop Simulator at the following link.

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