Game Mechanic For Hire

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Player Elimination, 9.1.09

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And another one gone, and another one gone… ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!!  Player elimination, while not for every game, adds a level of tension and danger when it can be implemented.  Often, you are eliminated when you run out of resources (Monopoly) or out of units (Risk).  That may be great most of the time, but surely we can eliminate them as possibilities while looking at these options…

-Poison.  A player with the most of a given resource ‘Bad To Have’ at the end of the game is eliminated before final scoring.  This is a fun one that is used to good effect by Cleopatra and the Society of Architects.  Players are trying to help build a temple.  Some goods are less expensive, but are considered ‘corrupt’; using them forces you to take corruption tokens.  At the end, most corrupt player is fed to the Crocodile God.  Like in Cleopatra, it is best if the ‘Poison’ resource is kept hidden to add to the level of uncertainty at the end of the game.  You could even take it further by having each corruption counter have a different value…

-Only Faster Than You.  At set intervals, the player with least of ‘X’ is eliminated.  More for shorter games (or rounds with players returning to play next round), this form of elimination encourages frenetic play of attempting to attain what is needed to not be eliminated.  Musical chairs is a good example of this.  Players scramble to find a seat at given intervals with players unable to being eliminated.  Take a survival style game where you are periodically being chased by a bear.  At the end of each chase, the player in last place gets eaten.  Rounds would consist of frantic gathering of food for energy (to help you run faster) and setting up traps for your opponents (to trip them up).  Combine with random round length and you have a good recipe for nervous breakdown…  that is what we want for our players, right?

-Tall Nail Gets Hammered.  The first player to accomplish ‘X’ is eliminated.  Similar to Poison above, the elimination actually happens during play instead.  Take a court intrigue game where players are positioning themselves to inherit the throne once he is assassinated.  In order to position oneself, a player must gain favor (or be given favor by other players) of various chancellors and such.  If one player ends up with favor from most or all of the chancellors, the king gets suspicious and has the player executed for his treachery.  Ooh!  What if instead, it was EACH player that has X occur?  For the example above, that would be even better.  You could frame ALL of your rivals instead of just one…  Struggle of Empires also has this as an endgame elimination possibility.  If your country ends up with too much unrest, the people revolt and dethrone you (and this could happen to multiple players…).

Well, I’ve eliminated the other options already, so it’s time to eliminate this article.

Keep on designing, yo!

Phil

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Written by krinklechip

September 1, 2009 at 7:44 pm

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