Game Mechanic For Hire

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Role Selection, 9.16.08

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It’s time for another Mechanic of the Day… Today, we shall delve into a few ways to utilize role selection.  Role selection is where each player chooses a ‘role’ for the current round to either take a specific action, get some sort of bonus, or both.  Lets look at some of the choices, hm?

-Single Action Role Selection. Players choose a role that has a single, specific action. In a game where you have only one action per turn and it is determined by the role you choose, it allows players to completely customize their strategy to their playstyle; provided there are enough roles available. Say you have a sandbox game where you can
build sandcastles, moats, etc. for points. Roles could include actions for gathering sand, digging trenches for a moat, building, and so forth.

-Special Action Role Selection. Players choose a role that grants a special action in addition to standard actions available to every player.  Puerto Rico uses this form of role selection.  It allows for the same kind of customization as Single Action Role Selection, only on a smaller scale, as everyone gets the basic action tied to the role. In a restaurant game, Roles such as Head Chef could allow you to spice up a meal for extra points in addition to your other actions, while the Maitre De action could allow you to rearrange customers.

-Reverse Role Selection. Players choose what action they CANNOT take for the round, or a penalty they must play with for the round. For an interesting twist of cognitive suffering (which we all want), have the players try and choose what they won’t be allowed to do for the round. Take a TV Programming game. If you take the writer role, you can’t
rearrange time slots; while the director role cannot draw new shows for the round.

There’s a few for ya to choose from…

Keep on designing, yo!



Written by krinklechip

August 18, 2009 at 2:05 am

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