On the 4th of the New Year, a few of us got together for another GameStorm. Our focus was to create a game that could fit entirely inside an 8oz tin, a fun little design challenge presented to me by Jess Hammer.
The guidelines for the challenge are here on a very mysterious WordPress site. It’s kind of like answering a pay phone and having a conversation with an anonymous and somehow compelling stranger that embroils you in a whole movie worth of escapades.
We had a great time and worked out all our creative muscles. When the dust settled, we realized we even had several interesting ideas worth documenting. Here they are!
Stones of the Deep
Randomly spread out all of the stones, which include 20 blue that aren’t tied to any player, and 4 each of 4 other colors. Each player is associated to one of the colors with only 4 tokens. Take turns closing your eyes and selecting a stone. Select 5 stones each.
There were a couple different thoughts for winning/scoring.
A) The person with the most stones of their color wins.
B) If someone gets all blue stones, it trumps up to three in-color stones.
C) Advanced rules = 7 Wonders-esque scoring mechanic:
a) 2 points for each stone of your color
b) 1 point for each stone not of your color
c) Stones of the same color (not blue): 2 = 4pts, 3 = 9pts, 4 = 16pts
d) Stones of different colors: 2 = 3pts, 3 = 6pts, 4 = 10pts, 5 = 15 pts
e) All Blue stones: 2 = 2pts, 3 = 4pts, 4 = 7pts, 5 = 11pts
*each stone can only be counted in one of the above systems–player chooses which one
A partially-conceived variation on the above game involved all players slowly breathing out as their eyes were closed and only inhaling when they opened their eyes on their turn. It’s not clear how this would work but it was cool to think of the game as a meditative exercise and players periodically ‘coming up for a breath.’
This idea started with, ‘a lone zebra navigates through hidden lions,’ as far as I can remember it. It became a 2-4 player game. If there are only 2 players then one controls the zebra and the other controls the 3 lions. If there are 3 or 4 players, then the lions are distributed among the extra players and they cooperate to try and catch the zebra. The board is a 4×7 grid of playing cards. All are matching pairs and the cards start face down.
One player is the zebra and has to collect as many matching pairs of cards as they can. The other players are the lions and have to catch the zebra. At the start of the game, the 3 lions are placed on any 3 of the corner tiles, which are each turned over. The zebra is placed on any starting tile the player chooses, but that tile isn’t turned over.
The zebra goes first and can move 0, 1, or 2 spaces in any direction, including diagonally. When the zebra lands on a card it chooses whether to turn it over or not. The lions can only move 0 or 1 space either horizontally or vertically. Lions can never move diagonally. If they are travelling along a path where both cards are already turned over (face up) then they can move 2 spaces. When a lion lands on a card, it is automatically turned over.
If the zebra lands on a card that is a match for another card on the playing field (either both cards are already turned face up, or the card the zebra just landed on is turned over and found to be a match with another face up card) it can choose whether it wants to collect the pair or not. When the zebra captures a pair, and the card beneath it disappears, then it has to choose an adjacent card to move to (including those diagonally adjacent to it). The zebra treats the new card as if it just landed on it, and may choose to turn it over if it isn’t already face up, and use it to capture another pair if possible.
If the zebra captures a pair and the second card has a lion on it, then the player controlling that lion must choose an adjacent card to move to (horizontal or vertical movement only). If the card is face down then it is turned over. If there is no adjacent card to move to, then the lion is removed from the game.
The game ends when a lion moves onto the zebra’s space and captures it, or when the zebra has no more pairs that it can make (commonly because it has trapped itself in a section of the board with no more available paired numbers – or if it captures a pair and there are no adjacent cards to move to).
Players take turns as the zebra, and the player who makes the most number of pairs wins. Ties are possible.
The Noisy Dinosaur
This game is probably best described as breathing dinosaur Guesstures. Each player receives a card with a type of dinosaur on it, and tokens representing each possible type of dinosaur. The dinosaur cards gives the name, a picture, and short description of the dinosaur. The cards are all kept secret so no player knows what the others have.
Each player takes turns breathing like what they believe their dinosaur would sound like, and the other players give them a token for the type of dinosaur they believe they are. The goal is to have as many tokens of the correct type as possible. Each player draws 3 dinosaur cards and there are 3 rounds of breathing and guessing. Ties are possible.Read More