A few days ago I posted a blog about a game idea that was sort of a variation on the game Scotland Yard. And a few months ago I posted a blog talking about how cool it would be to have a game that had a really big turning point where the game completely changed. Well, yesterday, while hiking for 5 miles through Kennesaw Mountain park, I came up with an idea that sort of combined those two ideas into one. It's still, at best, a half baked idea, but here it is.
Suppose every player was on sort of a treasure hunt... I don't know what the treasure is, but there's on one on them in the game. There may be many minor treasures that help you out in some way or another, but there's one big treasure that every one is looking for. The board needs to mostly contain lots of places to look, possibly with various terrains that the minor treasures could help you to navigate easier. Once someone finds the big treasure, the game completely changes (here's one of the ideas mentioned above). The game then runs into an asymmetric game where the one player who found the treasure is up against all the other players... those other players represent a team that wins or loses together. They are trying to catch the player that found the treasure before he can get to some particular location.... the location he has to get to needs to be far from where the treasure is found... I'm sure some mechanic can be used to ensure that. The treasure that is found gives the player that found it some sort of special power (there's a bit of a supernatural theme going on here I guess). That power allows him to move more freely than the other players (see my previous post for more details of what I'm thinking.) Of course, it could be a magic ring that makes him invisible, but that may be to Scotland Yard like (or Lord of the Rings like).
The second phase of the game (i.e. after a player finds the treasure) needs to be balanced so that the single player has an advantage... otherwise, why would players be hunting for it in the first phase of the game. But it shouldn't be an overwhelming advantage. I'm thinking, ideally, the single player should win 60% of the time. There are some other concerns too. When searing for a treasure, how do you keep someone from finding it on the first turn? Or do you just embrace that? perhaps finding the treasure early means that players haven't found many minor treasures that improve transportation, thus making the second phase of the game longer. Or maybe it's not just a single treasure, but a few treasures that, when obtained by a single player, has the game changing effect. Of course if you do that, there's the potential for deadlock.... I have part A, you have part B and no one will give up one part to the other player. You can minimize that by having multiple copies of part A and B, but you can't eliminate the deadlock unless you do something like this: have at least as many copies of the parts as there are players and then not allow a player to take more than one copy of a part. So maybe that's what I'll do.
Oh well, that's it for today!