In a situation I never thought I would be in, I spent several hours looking at various Mario Party level designs for what makes a good board. That game, for me, was an embodiment of the “Dick Move”. You could steal stars, coins, trade places, and just generally be the worst human you could imagine to people. The only aspect I hated was the use of dice that could severally ruin players unfairly, whereas I wanted players to only be stopped by their opponents and/or temporary teammates.
This led to board design number 1, which was based on that of the Mario Party franchise, specifically 4, 5 and 6, and the winding choices, split offs, but overall looping shape. This seemed like a good approach, but didn’t fit into my idea of purchasing squares to move forward, as a loop shape would clear board on the first go and then free reign for all players. It also meant that I could only limit players to move in one direction around the board, that there would be no end goal to reach, and that I would need to change and add a win game condition and the items needed to fulfill that condition, such as stars in Mario Party. While this idea was good, it just seemed very difficult, and didn’t provide incentive to work together with other players.
Board Design number 2, which was actually the one I designed first, was the original plan of a linear track in which players can advance forward after buying the plot in front of them. The price of such squares would be higher than any individual player could afford alone, but combined with others, can be bought and shared. Moving up in simple ladder like tracks, the players could buy their way together to the end goal, with at some point betrayal occurring. For me, this is the best option, as it is simple enough, and has a definite end, definite direction the player wants to move, and a convenient and obvious win condition.
Ultimately, I will stick with my original board design, as this one works best to fit the project, and the idea of forcing people to work together whilst also waiting to destroy each other.
In terms of cards, which will be used to do the dick moves, I have thought of several that would be useful in helping players get an advantage.
- Annex – Removes partners from shared squares, knocking them back
- Steal – Take all of one players resources
- Hands – Player shows his hand of cards
- Backtrack – Like annex, but from up to 2 spots back rather than current position
- Monopolise – Take all resources available
Obviously, the last 2 cards would be rarer, as the abilities on them are overwhelming, but that would be the point of whether it is better to use them early and go for a quick start or save it and secure the win if you can grab the lead.
Anywho, the game still needs a lot of work, but I am ironing out the kinks.