Game Mechanic For Hire

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Speed, 9.10.08

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Oio! The LHC, or Large Hadron Collider just came online today! It’s an exciting day for science, especially since the world didn’t get eaten by strange matter. (In reality, it did; just no one noticed.) Anyway, in honor of the LHC and how mind-bendingly fast it causes particles to move, today’s mechanic is speed, both in implementation and tracking. Most games couldn’t care less about how fast you’re going. But for the ones that do, there is a big difference between first and fifth gear…

-Gas, Pedal, Floor. Players play combinations of cards to change /maintain speed. This works better in a game with a more frenetic pacing than one that takes a long view of a race; faulty engines, bumpy roads, etc. Lets say it’s a race game with a Keystone Kops feel to it; each player has a (terrible) team of people on a rickety vehicle that must win the race. Each round, you get a hand of cards that include cranking up your vehicle, speed boosts (by leaving
people behind), and things that let you ignore road conditions (Extension ladders over pot holes, etc.). To start moving and maintain speed, you’d have to play a ‘Crank’ Card, followed by a move card, and then a… A caution is that it can suffer from ‘Milles Bornes’ syndrome; if a player doesn’t draw a start card, they go nowhere until they do while other players shoot ahead…

-Crash Probability. Players roll dice (either custom or standard) to determine their speed/handling/etc for the round. The roll is checked on a table against their speed the previous round. This one makes for fairly quick turns. As a player, you choose how you move, roll, check the table for your roll against what you want to do, and move accordingly. Without other mechanics to flesh the game out, though, it is a very dry, yet effective, mechanic. In a Formula One racing game, the table could have the various speeds, probability for proper turning for each speed, and what is needed to speed up/slow down.

-As Fast As I Want. Players each have a track that indicates what their speed is and may change it as an action to what they wish. This allows players to determine how fast they go each round on the fly. This is less for race games than say, pick up and deliver. For example, in a stage coach delivery game, you can pick your speed each round. Going slower is safer, as the horses don’t tire and a bump in the road is less of an issue. However, how else will you get that package delivered on time for big points?

Zoom! That post went by fast!  Thanks for reading.  There’s more to come!
Keep on designing, yo!

Phil

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Written by krinklechip

August 18, 2009 at 1:50 am

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