We game designers are creative people, often to the point that we have WAY too many ideas to be able to see them all become reality. So, why not share a few? In this post, I’m giving you a list of a few brand new game design ideas, and I’m inviting you to develop any of these ideas you wish.

But this is a game, and games have rules.

Rules:

1) If you read this piece, you have to give back, by posting at least one game design idea below in the comments. Your idea can be short and sweet, or fleshed-out with details.
2) If you manage to build something interesting from an idea you find here, make sure to keep us posted on how it progresses!
3) Don’t tear down the ideas of others. You may think that an idea presented might be mundane or boring, or that it’s been done a hundred times before, but to someone else, that same idea may be an inspiration.

The League on twitter: https://twitter.com/LeagueGM

The League on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leagueofgamemakers

Steal these Ideas:

  • 1) Build a polylaurus game This is not a coop, not a team game, but a game where any number of players can win and any number can lose. This would be a game in which the goals of individual players may converge, diverge, and intersect through gameplay, but no two players are trying to accomplish the exact same goals.
  • 2) Build a variation on worker placement such as: Each turn you place one worker, then remove a different worker. For a list of several other worker placement ideas see this article.
  • 3) Design a drafting game where you draft cards for another player. Maybe after drafting, it is randomly determined whether players will keep the cards they drafted, or whether all players will pass to the left, or right. You’d need to draft considering the prospect that you might be playing with those cards, or you might be playing against them!
  • 4) Design a game where you draft tiles to build your city/castle/whatever, but every tile you take is removed from a functional central area. In other words, you’re cannibalizing one functional structure to build another, forcing you to balance your personal benefits with the collective costs that impact all players. Building games usually take from some kind of supply, and removing resources or tiles from the supply has no effect. In this game, every choice will have both a cost and a benefit.
  • 5) Design a sophisticated market game. Make your game have dynamic valuation that is determined by supply and demand. Have commodities that vary in price through semi-predictable trends. Some becoming more scarce, others becoming more abundant. See if you can include the roles of labor, taxation, and public infrastructure on the effectiveness of your markets.
  • 6) Make a game with “Anthropology” or “Paleontology” as your theme. You are uncovering bones, tools, and artifacts of ancient people.
  • 7) Build a Prohibition-themed game that can be used as a drinking game.
  • 8) Build a game that only uses cubes and meeples as components. No cards, boards, or dice.
  • 9) Build a “Downsizing” game. Possibly area control and/or deck building: Begin with a grotesquely bloated corporation that you need to downsize into a lean, efficient, money-making machine, while laying off tons of workers in the process! Rather than building your engine and focusing on acquisitions, you’ll be trying to thin out your holdings in the most efficient way possible.
  • 10) Design a game that focuses on one, clean, core mechanic – that’s brand new. You know, that one mechanic that you have designed, but it never fits in your other games…

Now it’s your turn to give back. Share your ideas below!

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Luke Laurie

Game Designer at Luke Laurie Games

Designer of Stones of Fate and The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire
Game designer by night, and middle school science and pre-engineering teacher by day. He lives in Santa Maria California with his amazing wife and two unrealistically well-behaved children.

153 Readers Commented

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  1. Nat Levan on November 12, 2014

    A party/euro game, where every player generates resources, and you have to work together to create enough to build something. Players can choose to contribute or not, depending on whether the buildings being constructed support their private goals.

    • Scot Eaton on November 12, 2014

      I am actually working on this. I’m calling it “Resistance is Feudal”. You have to work together to meet a quota for your alien overlords, and can take any excess resources to build up your resistance.

    • Bryan Koch on November 12, 2014

      I’m working on a game like this called “Hungry Hungry Hippies” right now. Players are working on a commune to produce what they need to survive. They can choose to slack off and make their own products (hemp beanies, friendship bracelets, etc) and then sell those things to feed themselves when the group has not produced enough. Working together produces more, but everyone has to share the common resources, with people taking turns feeding themselves every round. Whoever ate last the previous round eats first, then picks who gets to eat next. Your objective is to be the last hippie to starve to death. (Every round there is a chance your consumption needs will go up, and the more you slack off, the greater the chance this will happen.)

    • Patrick Aquilone on December 4, 2014

      Love this idea. First thing I thought of was a fantasy/future prison concept where all the inmates are working together to escape. Something like “Escape the Spice Mines of Rura Penta” (of course that is Star Trek but it could be general space theme or even present day theme). Neat!!

      • Scott Rogers on November 12, 2017

        I been developing a similarly theme game…. with a twist! 😉

    • Nathan Sindlinger on March 3, 2017

      I have an idea where you could have a periodic table-based game with a deck of cards and a character. On your turn, you pick a card from the deck and something happens to your character. For example: On your turn, you pick helium. You squeak or act like doing something with a balloon and people have to guess what element you got. If they guess right, they can get a certain number of points. With the points, maybe they could buy a new element or use elements they already have to craft or create some material.

    • Hi on November 21, 2017

      Just like Minecraft

      • hi on March 18, 2019

        Rule #3

  2. Scot Eaton on November 12, 2014

    Design a real-time, turn-based game where you gain resources or currency based on the amount of time you waited for others to take their turns. The original idea was for an electric generator powering you up for waiting. Then, on your turn, you make your decisions as fast as you can, knowing that every second you spend making decisions is another dollar in your opponent’s pocket.

    • Payton Lee on November 12, 2014

      I love this one.

    • Peter Vaughan on November 14, 2014

      I agree with Payton – love this idea. I can already envision the super fun turns trying to delay your friends instead of making them go quicker!

    • Kayla on November 9, 2018

      Off the idea that your opponents would get more resources based on how long your turn lasts — what if there were abilities you could use to make your opponents have to do something before they can continue their turn? Like they have to bring you a drink, take a lap around the table, recite the alphabet backwards, etc….or parts of your own turn have disadvantages or handicaps, like you have to high five every player before you can use a large amount of your resources or something?

  3. Jeff Cornelius on November 12, 2014

    I have an idea for number 2. It’s in the very rudimentary stages though. My idea is a worker placement game with a variable worker base. So some turns you could have 5-6 workers while others you may only have 1-2. Getting workers would have some random element but would also come with some way to modify or control the randomness. Also, getting more workers would come with some kind of cost, and you most likely wouldn’t be able to get a lot of workers over and over again. You would have to take some turns with few workers.

  4. Jamey Stegmaier on November 12, 2014

    A large-group secret identity game where the only identity you don’t know is your own. (I’ve tried it in multiple iterations and can’t get it to work, as players almost immediately tell everyone else what they are even if the game greatly discourages it. But I think it would be awesome if someone could get it to work.)

    • Luke Laurie Author on November 12, 2014

      I’d love to see that. I’ve been working on a traitor game for almost 2 years, off and on. The one thing I would want to see also is a minimization of the ability to deduce roles. I find deduction games interesting, but greatly prefer when roles can be determined by interpreting actions, rather then through deduction. To me that takes away the suspense.

      • Jamey Stegmaier on November 12, 2014

        Luke: Very interesting. I like the idea of having to interpret actions instead of eliminating other possibilities. Would you say that the Resistance does that? It’s all about interpreting player behavior and actions.

        • Luke Laurie on November 12, 2014

          I’m yet to play a good game of Resistance – so I’m not an expert. I’ve played a couple games that muddled around and then collapsed.

      • Zander Pratt-Evansby on April 4, 2015

        There is a game just like this that I just bought – “I, Spy”. Newish KS that didn’t make much buzz.
        Every player is secretly aligned with a different country, and every card you play helps you, and helps a country. So, you want to help your country the most, but you don’t want to be too obvious about which one you’re gunning for.
        One of the best strategy/bluffing games I’ve seen so far.

    • Fabio on November 12, 2014

      this is some kind of cluedo, cool

    • Royce Banuelos on November 12, 2014

      Similar to Indian Poker?

      • Jamey Stegmaier on November 12, 2014

        Royce: Correct, it’s that basic mechanism.

        • Royce Banuelos on November 12, 2014

          Jamey: Give each player 3 cards and based on those 3 cards you’d be able to do different actions. Let’s use superheroes as example, you play as a new mutant and you aren’t sure what your powers are yet or if you will be good or evil. Event cards will show up that require a certain kind of powers. If the event is not resolved then X will happen for good or bad. Trying to figure out if you are good or evil and what powers you have at the same time. Win conditions being good guys win if X number of events are prevented and bad guys win if X number of events go through.

          Quick example: I drew an event card that needs Flight, Super Strength and Telekenises to prevent. I’ll assign myself and up to 4 others to go into the event. Another player who is not envolved will explain how many of those powers passed. “2 of 3 are represented” the event has failed. Or “3 of 3 are represented” and the event is prevented.

          • Seth Jaffee on November 12, 2014

            Is there some way to thumb these comments? I like this one!

          • Jamey Stegmaier on November 12, 2014

            Royce: I like the spirit of this idea (the idea that not knowing who you are impacts your decisions). It’s a little like if you didn’t get to see your own cards in Good Cop Bad Cop. I’m trying to think of a theme where it would make sense that you don’t know your own allegiance or identity. I’m actually working on a completely different large-group superhero game where you know your allegiance. 🙂

          • Luke Laurie on November 12, 2014

            In Replicant, you don’t begin knowing your identity. The premise is some people are human and some are not. It might be possible for others to know what you are before you do. In a game where your identity determines your strategy, however, you have to be careful not to destroy a player’s ability to feel like they are making some progress. That can be tricky if they don’t know which side they’re on.

          • Royce Banuelos on November 12, 2014

            Jamey: Theme is a tough one. Good Cop Bad Cop is similar and Code 777 as well. When would you not know who you are and yet everyone else knows who you are but refuse to tell you. Closest idea I can think of is multiple personalities are trying to be the last personality standing inside of a deranged person’s mind. Not exactly the top selling theme though ha ha. That’s why I thought of the superhero thing.

    • Saratonin on November 12, 2014

      I’ve played an acting/improv game with this premise. Everyone has a card from a standard card deck stuck to their heads. The higher the card, the higher your status is. Then everyone walks around the room interacting based on thise cards. If a person has a high card, everyone starts defering to them, if someone has a low card, peopke lord it over them. By observing how others act towards you, you must figure out what kind of card you have, and act accordingly.

      A boardgame with a similar element could be made, where there’s some negotiation/ trading mechanic players must participate in. If you think a player’s card is higher than yours, you must defer to them, and vice versa for lower. Low powered players would have to avoid interactions with high powered in order to keep the high powers from dominating the game. Ideally, you could kerp them from figuring out they are high power.

      • Jamey Stegmaier on November 12, 2014

        Saratonin: That’s really interesting, to move beyond the idea of teams or factions and make it a ranking system.

    • Michael Coppa on April 2, 2019

      There is a playing card game called Blind Man’s Bluff where players hold a card to their forehead, and have to bet on who is the highest card without knowing their own. There may be some way to adapt this— make it so that you might be able to deduce your own identity from other players’ actions, but you have to worry about bluffs. Maybe every action round is followed by a reveal round, and your identity affects the outcomes of your actions, then you get a new role?

  5. Bryan Koch on November 12, 2014

    I was working on a very simple entry for TGC’s time contest, knowing full well I would not have time to finish it in time with some other commitments going on. Life and other game design endeavors will probably keep me from ever getting back to this specific idea, so I would love to see someone use it.

    The game is called “Vintage” and it is about making and selling wine. Players buy “future grapes” that get more expensive over six short rounds that constitute a game “year”. While you can get the best prices for the grapes in the earliest part of the year, you can’t be sure that the weather will cooperate and the crop will come to fruition. A die is rolled each round to determine the weather, and too many dry periods will destroy the crop, as well as too many wet periods. (I spent a lot of time on the math to make the odds exactly what I wanted with dry/wet sides of the die, and what makes a successful growing year, but I won’t bore you unless you ask me to.)
    After the weather is determined, players can pick one action between buying some “future grapes”, investing in their wine company, “researching” grape varietals that respond differently to weather patterns and produce different wines, or turning successfully grown grapes into wine. (This can only be done on the sixth turn of a year, when the grapes have matured.)
    Wine increases in value every year, so players track how many bottles they have of each type and from each year. (Because of this very specific info about possibly hundreds of bottles, I have a simple score pad system that keeps track of every bottle simply.)
    When a player does not have enough money to buy more “future grapes”, they can sell off bottles of wine to raise money. The price they will get for a bottle is affected both by how old the wine is, how well regarded their wine company is, and what types of wines have been sold lately.
    Besides just trying to have the most money, players can also win by meeting certain personal goals like having the most expensive single bottle, having the widest collection, or a few other things that made sense when I wrote them down. (I’m not looking at my notes right now…)

    Anyways, if anyone wants to run with the idea, I can give you some detailed notes on the probabilities involved in what I had set up. One of the things I really liked about it was with a few basic things to remember when drawing it up, the game can be played with a single piece of paper per player (single player up to ???) and one standard D6.

    Looking forward to seeing some more ideas here!
    Bryan Koch
    https://Games.BryanKoch.com

    • Sushanth on November 21, 2018

      Hey I’m interested in using the concept for a board game contest at my school. Could you be kind enough to lend the notes that you have for the game? Much appreciated. Thanks

  6. Great ideas! My husband, the game designer of our company, was just working on a new game concept with paleontology as the theme – “digging” for different bones/resources under cards based on dice rolling. Also kind of a dice builder game too. It’s very rough, but I just thought it was funny that that was one of your ideas and he just thought of something like that the other day!

    • Luke Laurie on November 12, 2014

      Brilliant minds… I’ve noticed a lot of designers have science-related interests. It’s cool to see them getting manifested in games.

  7. M. Rubinelli on November 12, 2014

    Dice Hate Me published a game called Diner, in which two tokens circulate around the table. The player takes an action, then passes the token, allowing the next player to take an action. At any point in time, there are two players taking an action.

    Well, except when both tokens are with the same player. Now the only player who can play is that one, so if they fall into AP mode, there is nothing you can do.

    But what happens if no player can hold more than one token?

    • Seth Jaffee on November 12, 2014

      Diner actually has 5 tokens. Tom Jolly has two games (Camelot and Cargo (?) ) which use what’s called the “Lightning System” which acts as you describe… 2 action tokens circulate, if you have a token, then it’s your turn. If the second token catches up to you, it SKIPS you, so you shouldn’t hem and haw too much or you’ll lose out on turns.

      There’s a drinking game called Skadoosh (I think it has other names as well) where there are 2 people acting simultaneously, and basically you don’t want it to be your turn when the other action marker gets to you, or you have to drink and start again (and it gets a little harder).

  8. Royce Banuelos on November 12, 2014

    1: A card building game where you can pay for cards that you will physically use to build a structure. Very open ended on how the structure will turn out. You’ll bid for cards and plastic connector pieces, each player will have a secret scoring bonus like Troyes.

    2: A “Journey” type game where playing the game and reading the rules are all in the same. As the game progresses so do the rules (ie. a roll and move game turns into an area control game and then into a worker placement game) you could teach anyone to play and wouldn’t have to read the rule book before playing.

    • Jeff Cornelius on November 12, 2014

      I like your #2 a lot! I have long wanted to design a game that teaches itself. Like a lot of video games do. Nobody opens up a new video game and reads through the manual. They pop it in their consul and start playing. There are on-screen tips and hints that give them the rules.
      ____________________
      I want to explore this concept in board/card games. I know it will have some issues because we are talking about very different mediums but I think it can be done.

      • Jamey Stegmaier on November 12, 2014

        I like #2 a lot too. I’ve heard that Krosmaster Arena does something like that really well–check out the rulebook.

    • Seth Jaffee on November 12, 2014

      #2 sounds like Fluxx and the like. There’s a general rule (draw 1, play 1), and as cards enter play they add or modify the rules.

      Maybe some space for a more interesting game there. Is that what Master of Rules does?

      • Royce Banuelos on November 12, 2014

        Seth: Those are light games and Fluxx just has the rules printed on the cards themselves. The idea would be that one person is reading the rules to the group like a story. So you wouldn’t explain every aspect of the game and not every part of the game would be active at that point. The idea came from wanting to use Monopoly as a way to introduce different game mechanics. So theoretically in Monopoly: Journey you would start by rolling and moving doing auctions as they come, once someone crossed GO you would pick the rule book back up and continue reading the story. You could introduce Mayor Points (VP’s) as now you can roll the dice and move like normal or add an influence token to the number rolled. When any player passes GO then those would score VP’s.

        Basically you ‘re telling a story and adding elements to the game. Big problems for mainstream games are that no one wants to read the rules and teach the game and hobby games are “complicated”. Here you can buy the game, grab a group of people who have never played and just start reading the story starting with simple familiar game mechanics and then build upon those. There’s a number of ways to go about it but the basic idea is that the game starts very simple and then builds until it’s a different game. You buy it and can play it instantly.

    • Eric Redekop on November 13, 2014

      Royce: I used the “rules within the game” concept for a word game design where each card in the deck describes how to play a different word game. Players draw cards on their turns, then read and follow the instructions on the cards they draw; there are no other rules (unless added to the game by the players themselves). Most cards function independently (could be stand-alone games); some are related to the play of other cards, however.

      • Royce Banuelos on November 13, 2014

        Eric: Sounds like a cool game! Really enjoy the knowledge on this blog and it’s readers. When you get a group of creatives together there are always a ton of great ideas and overlapping concepts. 🙂

  9. Stentor on November 12, 2014

    I used something like #2 in my game “Warm Kitties” — each turn you pick up a worker that you used last turn, and place it on a different space. https://playglittercats.blogspot.com/p/warm-kitties.html

    A variation on #3 that I’ve had in my head as a mechanic, but never developed into a finished game, is one in which each player gets a hand of 4 cards. From those, you pick one to keep, one to give to the player on your left, one for the player to your right, and one to discard. My inclination has been to use it for character creation in an RPG, but I think a clever person could incorporate it into a strategy board/card game too.

    My idea to throw out is possibly another spin on #9 in the OP. It’s a game called “Scorched Earth,” in which players are Russian leaders who have to destroy enough of their own infrastructure to starve out Napoleon’s advancing armies. I wrote up a little more about it here: https://playglittercats.blogspot.com/2014/07/building-vs-upgrading-and-game-called.html

  10. Jeff Cornelius on November 12, 2014

    Also, my add an idea:
    An open source board game, designed by the community and anyone who desires to contribute to it. Similar to how Linux and Wikipedia are done. It would have a core group of designers who would act as “gateways” but everything that is submitted is evaluated by the user community and if it gets enough backing it is incorporated into the game. The game is ever changing. It would have to exist as PnP for the most part or possibly print on demand.
    _____________________
    You could “publish” for retail certain major versions of the game as you went along.

    • Joe Larson on November 12, 2014

      Googling “Open Source Game” it seems like someone else has had this idea, too.

      • Joe Larson on November 12, 2014

        “Open Source Board Game”. Wish I could edit that.

        Seems to me there was a game a while ago where you got a bag of components together, different colored stones if memory serves, and you play different games with different rules with the same components. But no matter what search terms I use I can’t seem to find the game these days. I’ve been looking for it because as a 3D printer owner I’d like to make 3D printed components for it.

    • Michael Coppa on April 2, 2019

      I had an idea somewhat similar to this, but for a digital TCG. The game would have a Card Builder that allows you to make new cards and automatically balances them. Then, you can submit these cards to daily polls and the most popular cards get added to the game. Ideally, it would go one step further, and players could vote to nerf or buff cards as the game progresses.

  11. Terry Lee on November 12, 2014

    I’ve been working on a concentric hex board that plays as Ameritrash on the periphery, and at about halfway to the center becomes completely abstract.

  12. Joe Larson on November 12, 2014

    Sorry for the double post, but I’ve got a game that needs rules. I made a chess set where each chess piece has a little 2×2 board on the top that you can put a tiny chess piece on. So there’s a big set and a small set. So how do you play this beast?

    • Nicholas Trahan on November 12, 2014

      Maybe each piece has different potential depending on the arrangement of bits on its tiny board? Maybe each time you capture an opponents piece, you get a tiny checker and you can place it on one of your other pieces to increase its power or on an opponents to decrease its power. Maybe each of the different 4 squares on each piece gives it a different additional ability so you might want to claim one before an opponent blacks it out. You don’t have to place tiny bits right away, so your opponent has to play around the ‘what if he nerfs my bishop’ or whatever.

      Maybe when two pieces are adjacent and their top-boards are aligned, you have a mini-battle up there that determines which piece below dies. Sort of like that old Archon game. Maybe you have a set of top-pieces that you can distribute on any of your standard chess pieces before the game begins, so you can deck out a super-pawn or whatever you want, and add personality to your pieces.

      Also, look into the GIPF games and their ‘potential’ system, as far as ‘putting stuff on pieces to change what they do’ goes.

  13. Saratonin on November 12, 2014

    My idea is a game based on mass amnesia, the TV version, not how it works in real life. Or maybe a “Hangover” scenario. Players are all working to figure out who they are or maybe what they’ve done.

  14. Daniel Zayas on November 12, 2014

    Some sort of Wormhole tile-laying game (Interstellar much?) where players compete for solutions to earth’s problems using technologies on other worlds discovered through an almost Tsuro/Saboteur web of wormhole tiles with openings to other worlds. Something like finding artifacts in Forbidden Island/Desert and pick up and delivery to Earth for points. Simultaneous action selection like in RFTG, to be observe (flip tile), explore (movement), investigate (draw card from world) and event (playing card). Certain cards could only be played on certain tiles. I’d be happy to join any design team to make that a reality. 😀

  15. George Louie on November 12, 2014

    Design a boardgame where the available options, random variables or scenarios are dependent on the date and/or time of the action. So, no 2 games would be identical, as it would be time dependent. Realize that this could require an enormous database of options, outcomes and scenarios, however with the availabilty of Ipads and Android based tablets, it wouldn’t be that hard to incorporate it. Additional scenarios could also be added via the internet.

    • Derik@Lagniappe on November 22, 2014

      Sounds an awful lot like Dragon Poker from Robert Aspirin 😉

  16. Quince Van Orden on November 12, 2014

    I have a game that needs more flushing out. Its 2-5 players, best with 3-4 players. Every player has almost identical decks. (If they were different it would be hell like testing and balancing) Each card has a point value on each side of the card. Example might be like 2 on top, 4 on the right, -2 on the bottom, 0 on the left. The cards have different abilities that will make the other players discard, rotate played cards, burn cards from the deck, destroy played cards, give protection…etc So the objective is to have the most points at the end of the game by manipulating your played cards and those of your opponents. I even had a good name for the game too. If anyone is interested in helping me flush it out some more. Let me know.

  17. Dan Smith on November 12, 2014

    I actually did #7 with King of Crime, I had the option of making shotglasses with a die number on them and whenever an opponent rolled that number, you took a shot. God, that was a good idea, I need to make them up…maybe the next KoC KS next year…

    • Luke Laurie Author on November 12, 2014

      Would that be different shot glasses with different kinds of moonshine in them? “The Rumrunners” expansion?

  18. Luke Laurie on November 12, 2014

    Tons of great ideas coming in! Thanks everyone!

    • Peter Vaughan on November 14, 2014

      This is so awesome to see all these ideas Luke! We may need to make a followup post that lists them all

  19. Nicholas Trahan on November 12, 2014

    I want to make a game for couples to play on dates, that always ends with players feeling good about each other. Its not a dating *theme*, but it should let players advance by helping each other, and players should always win one way or another (but perhaps leave room for improvement). Something like how Journey on the PS3 feels with two players. I’m having a hard time with mechanics that allow for chivalry and helping each other that don’t feel like you’re just controlling or leading the other player directly.

  20. Ulf Persson on November 12, 2014

    Thanks for a very interesting article. I especially liked #4 and #10 and would love to see those fleshed out more. But I’m going to spin off of #3, about drafting.

    In drafting games you usually pass cards to your left or right (and get cards passed to you from the other side), but what if it wasn’t that simple? Maybe for your next time you’d really want to pick from the cards that Bob across the table are holding? How can you get those? Enter: BIDDING! That’s my idea: A drafting game where the drafting order is determined by bidding.

  21. Mat Veni on November 12, 2014

    Combined gameboard and physical book (or app game and eBook). You need to read and dig into a book chapter that helps to progress on a journey. Would be a long . all weekend – game (or rainy days game). The theme of a game&book could be ‘personal power’ so the game would eventually help applying the knowledge (also educational game).
    Still it can be an adventure sci-fi or ‘don’t know the identity’ or whatever kind of game.

  22. Vincent Burns on November 12, 2014

    *Build a variation on worker placement.

    I have been working on a worker placement game where workers have dual roles and can block a space for multiple rounds.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B532dgvy_IzNTEF3SXFuazlsM1U/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B532dgvy_IzNV3AwRWt1eVdHRGs/view?usp=sharing

    * Build a polylaurus game
    This is my plan for a large thematic game, each player controls a number of characters from 1-3 factions. each faction has multiple win conditions, and players get a win condition of the faction they control the most of. Since this will never be balanced in the beginning of the game each player will want different things to happen during the game.

  23. Joe Larson on November 12, 2014

    The Game Designer Meta Game Game

    Each player draws a card with a theme or game play mechanic suggestion (from this post and the comments to start?) and come up with a name and back-of-the-box synopsis. Everyone votes and the one with the most votes is then added upon in the next round. Each player then writes the win condition for the winning game, votes, and the winning win conditions is added to the name and synopsis. Then the setup instructions and game play rules are added in each round. Then everyone plays the game they created.

    Could get a bit awkward if this idea is the one drawn…

  24. Mark Mistretta on November 13, 2014

    I tried to design a Laser Tag boardgame once, but I didn’t get that far. It was going to have mechanics similar to RoboRally (you have to program your moves in advance, but maybe not as chaotic as that game).

    I really like the idea of #9.

  25. Jay Cormier on November 13, 2014

    OK…here’s my idea…everyone is making a micro game out of everything nowadays -including a 4X game! So how about a micro deck building game? Can it be done and still be called a micro game? I don’t think just making smaller cards would work…have to keep component costs down though – hmmm…that would be a tough one to make! Who’s up for that challenge? 🙂

    • Seth Jaffee on November 13, 2014

      I humbly submit Eminent Domain: Microcosm 😉

    • Vincent Burns on November 13, 2014

      this got a little long, but here it is. 32 cards, two player. each person gets 5 basic cards and a unique special card. draw 3, the rest of the cards make up a center deck with a 4 card offer. on your turn you can do one of three things. place a card face down in front of you, play cards face up to purchase a card from the offer and replace it with one from the offer deck discard the cards played, or turn an opponent’s face down card face up. at the end of a turn, discard your hand and played cards and draw 3 new ones, shuffle discard into deck if its ever empty then check if the center deck is empty start combat. in combat all face down cards are turned face up. for every arrow cards you have, the opponent discards a magic card from his face up cards to the center deck, same for the opponent against you, then magic vs melee and melee vs arrow. before each combat you may play a card from your hand. who ever has the most units after all that wins. play can be continued by shuffling the discarded cards and the offer into a new deck and offer. cards are multiuse, each has some or all of these: icons for combat, coin cost, coin provided, a effect when played normally, an effect when played during combat.

  26. Old John on November 14, 2014

    Genius site and comments. Idea i have used: tokens from a war game like old SPI games. Map from national geographic with sharpie dots at hex grid spacing or xerox nat geo then xerox the hex grid onto the copy map. I have also made pocket games with 6″x6″ map and a few tokens …

  27. Michael K on November 14, 2014

    A time travel game where you can borrow actions from future plays of the game (or lend actions to future plays of the game). For example, if it were a worker placement game, you could have a turn where you have an additional worker, but in a future game you will have to skip a turn. Or you can skip a turn in the current game and in a future game you can have an additional worker during a turn.

    • R. S. Reitz on November 14, 2014

      Love the idea, not sure how playable it is, but love the idea!

    • Scot Eaton on November 14, 2014

      I’m tossing around the idea of a time travel game based off of the videogame Echoshift, where you create time echoes of yourself in order to solve puzzles. My hope is that you keep track of 8 turns worth of actions at any given moment on a player mat, and at any point can choose to create an “echo” of yourself from one of those 8 turns who plays alongside your current piece. The idea is still in its infancy stage though.

    • Peter Vaughan on November 14, 2014

      I just have to say, YES – borrowing from a future turn! or a future game, lol! That’s awesome. Sure, logistics, just like any time travel concept though really. I have a number of time travel ideas kicking around as well, and I fully welcome all time travel discussions on this blog – thanks for sharing!

  28. R. S. Reitz on November 14, 2014

    I have two ideas…

    * The first idea is make a worker placement / resource management style game using the oldest know board game pieces as the basis… https://geekologie.com/2013/08/5000-year-old-board-game-pieces-unearthe.php Nobody knows the rules, so the possibilities are wide open!

    * The second idea is a sliding worker-placement game… I envision a spinning dial, where the workers are placed in one position… and as the dial rotates through different sections the worker pieces are spun around the center, and also move inward or outward… so, not only do they have access to different areas (powers, resources, whatever), the strength or amount is adjusted as well.

    • Nat Levan on November 14, 2014

      I wanted to do a sliding worker placement game, like one of those Zelda ice block puzzles. You move around on an action grid, and only stop at the border, or when you bump into another player or object.

  29. R. S. Reitz on November 14, 2014

    btw… it was very unclear that to submit my post I had to click the “Say It”… very confusion that it didn’t look like an obvious button.

    • Luke Laurie Author on November 14, 2014

      Our apologies for the format. Some aspects of the blog are tied to the template. I’m glad you solved the riddle and posted your comments!

  30. Kevin W on November 14, 2014

    Idea: A territory claiming game based on color theory. Each player has a goal color, and when filling in a new spot on the board they must mix the colors of two adjacent spaces with the goal of having the most spaces of your color at the end. Possibly some rules to create combos and get extra turns.

  31. pickten on November 14, 2014

    Idea: Some kind of game wherein players try to construct some sort of monument through various means, but want to force their opponents in order that they finish in second.

  32. Peter Vaughan on November 14, 2014

    I’m late to party – busy with today’s post but wanted to chime in and say I LOVE this inspiration, awesome job Luke!

    Firstly, I’ll throw in an idea that did not make it into a game Luke and I are designing called Dwellings of Eldervale. I still think it could work – related to #2 above. You have specialty workers, like a ranger, thief, etc. Each comes with a card you place in front of you, so you know you can control that unit. Why do you need that? Because you don’t own THAT one, per se. You place a ranger on a space, and when you pull back, you can pull back any ranger! Spaces might have pull back rewards that vary, or depend on how many units of a type are on board. Do you recruit similar units to stop blocking or different units so you can’t be messed with?

  33. Derik@Lagniappe on November 14, 2014

    I love #9! It could totally be a reverse deck building game. Your deck would consist of employees with minor money production (victory points) and some kind of ability. You would pay to layoff cards and/or hatchet men who can do it more efficiently. Thinning the deck would increase card interaction and productivity – generating more money together than they could on their own. Most money EoG wins.
    Game balance would be tricky but I’d totally play it!

    • Luke Laurie on November 14, 2014

      I wonder if anyone will take the concept and build it?!

  34. Doug Loss on November 16, 2014

    I thought you might find this interesting. It’s not a Euro-game (in some ways, it’s the antithesis of a Euro-game), but many years ago I created a game intended for academic use that was a (greatly simplified) input/output macroeconomic simulation. Each team (or individual, if he or she was a glutton for punishment) played a country or an “agency” (think the Red Cross, the international press, etc.). The turns were one year long. The players had to allocate their resources to agriculture, industry, trade, intelligence gathering, attempted subversion of other countries, etc.

    The game would end at some time after (as I recall without looking) 10 turns, but that time was random. This was so no one could play toward an end position. There were no set victory conditions. Instead, at the end of the game each team would be evaluated in various criteria; for countries, highest standard of living (as I defined it, the greatest number of consumer points per population point), strongest military, richest, strongest economy, most influential, etc. For agencies, again most influential, richest, greatest value of stockpiled goods, etc.

    Each team could decide what goal or goals it was working toward, and could change its goals at any time they likes. This was analogous to the real world, where different societies prioritize these possibilities differently.

    This game (simulation) was a strictly form based game, mostly about data manipulation. So far as I know it was never used for its intended purpose, although it was reviewed once or twice in academic gaming journals. If anyone’s interested, I can provide more information.

  35. Arpie on November 17, 2014

    Build a wargame that relies entirely on cards played from the hands of the players, miniatures and a battlefield map: no dice, no tables (ranks of mobile standings between unit types are okay, like a big list or a countdown track)

  36. sh on November 17, 2014

    ^similarly, a card wargame where the cards become a “map” as the game continues. Land Cards are placed down and become “terrain” with resources and status effects. Capturing lands gives you resources to build more unit cards and further expand into other territories.

    • Derik@Lagniappe on November 18, 2014

      Mr. Laurie requested updates on when we steal an idea. So, here:
      I originally wanted to do exactly what SH described. Territory control where the land is used to pay for soldiers to capture land seemed like a great idea. The more I thought about and refined, the smaller and simpler it became. Now, I’m moving forward with a territory control game consisting of 5 soldiers and 5 land cards per player. It’s either a “so simple so Jody else did it forever ago” or a “so simple I never considered it before”.

      I’ll check back when the PnP is ready 🙂

  37. Seth Jaffee on November 18, 2014

    I read this post, and even replied to some of the comments, but as yet I haven’t contributed an idea. Time to change that…

    I had an idea yesterday about worker placement. The basic idea is that you place workers in different locations, and then when it comes time to resolve each location, you zoom in and it’s another worker placement game.

    So you have workers that are essentially groups, and you assign 1 group at a time to the areas, and upon reolution of that area, you reassignthe members of that group to the worker spaces in that area.

    I imagine the different areas would be sort of themed – like if you’re gathering resources, you assign a worker group to the Resource acquisition area, and if you’re expanding your borders you assign a group to the Expansion area… then within each area there are multiple spaces (collect wood, collect stone, collect ore… move 3 units 1 space each, move 1 unit up to 3 spaces, etc)

    I suppose you could start with groups of 1 or some small number of workers in them, and over the course of the game you could maybe increase the size of your groups, ormaybe split a group into 2 smaller groups. It’s also possible that the groups could be “better” at certain types of actions, so the way you distribute workers between your groups might make a difference in your strategy.

    • Seth Jaffee on November 18, 2014

      I don’t know about the theme for this, I guess it could be anything where you send off groups, squads, or teams to do various things. I could see a military theme, perhaps an espionage theme, or even a business theme.

    • Luke Laurie Author on November 18, 2014

      This is an interesting idea and it reminds me of a concept that the League developed as part of group design thought experiment. In essence we were considering how to build some kind of “open-source” boardgame system/format.
      In some of the discussions, we discussed using worker placement as the unifying glue that could hold together a diverse set of modules – that anyone could develop, each playing like a mini game. You would play a worker into a module, and that would allow you to take one move in that module, play a worker in a different module, and then you’d be able to make a move in that module.
      It would take quite a bit of work and simplification to make modules interesting, approachable, and interchangeable, but just maybe it could happen.
      Some very clear guidelines would be needed to ensure the compatibility of modules.
      Some kind of “core module” could unify the game, and each game could be played with a different set of modules, each developed by the design community.

      • Tom Jolly on November 19, 2014

        There was a game about 10 years ago which had 5 game designers working with the same board and same components who were challenged to come up with 5 different designs, which was published. I can’t for the life of me remember who published it or what the name was (which might say something about its success). Similar idea, however. Bringing out piece sets with multiple designs (which would be a great blog entry) has never been wildly successful and I’m not sure why. For example, the Ice House pieces. Perhaps having multiple designs dilutes the discussion of the game. There is no “basic game” to discuss. Roleplaying circumvents this by having a strong core game with huge quantities of modules.

        • Tom Jolly on November 19, 2014

          Christina mentioned the “5 designer” game in another thread; it was Stonehenge.

  38. Gilbert Walker on November 18, 2014

    1. A game where you’re FORCED to blind trade one type of any resource at a reoccurring market.
    For instance, every spring you must get rid of one resource type that you have. If you don’t trade it you just lose it. Oh and you only have the other player’s word on what you’re getting if you trade.

    2. A game where you’re REWARDED for being quick. Similar to the idea above, but it just affects you. Instead of a game where you have a timer that you must complete your turn within, this idea simply rewards a fast player. For instance, players can take as long as they like, but if they take their turn in under 1 min they collect 1 Gold. (It may be worth 2 Gold to make a well thought out move though, so you need to weigh that up!)

  39. Joaquim Oliveira on December 1, 2014

    A game where players have to work together to build/fix a vehicle/plane to flee a devasted city ran over by gangs after a nuclear disaster made the world almost inhabitable but with a twist , one player won’t be able to flee with the rest of the group because of the weight/lack of space of their chosen trasportation or maybe because of a secret deal made with a gang leader to leave a player behind to be ensalved by them , so during the while game players try to form secret alliances , backstab allies and hold on to valuable resources to make sure that their place is safe when the time comes to flee the devasted city .

  40. solthas on December 2, 2014

    Three ideas:

    1. A board game that borrows mechanics, though not necessarily theme from ecology. It’s similar to the central board cannibalisation game proposed in OP, but here you have several kinds of resources that are interrelated. Say, cutting down trees to build houses for the people in your village destroys land, which affects the maximum population of the animals that you need to hunt to eat. Hunting animals reduces the stock, meaning that there will be fewer to breed for next season. The forest would grow at a set, slow rate, and the animals if either low in population or very high in population would not reproduce very much. These are simplified enough to be very easy to keep track of.

    Including more advanced concepts if one actually wanted to theme around animals and whatnot, such as predator prey population dynamics, and exponential growth curves followed by busts around the environmental carrying capacity… might be too much to work with in a board game that isn’t principally about population control in some form.

    2. And abstract strategy game that involves no board nor movement restrictions. For instance, players have pieces in differing shapes or sizes, and each piece is eliminated (or changed) upon fulfillment of specific conditions of pieces contained within it, or it within others.

    3. A composite tile laying / tableau building game and spatial strategy game. Players either purchase tiles to construct personal “bases”, which can be attacked by other players with specific squads of units. Kind of like a less restricted form of some of the current competitive dungeon building games. Or players take turns building up a central playing field, which they simultaneously fight over.

    • Doug Loss on December 2, 2014

      You should take a look at Extinction: The Game (https://www.angelo.edu/faculty/mdixon/ManEnvironment/extinctiongame.htm). I had a copy of this in the early 1970’s; it has a number of features I would have changed, but all in all it’s an interesting attempt at a simple simulation of an island ecology. I would have removed the spinner and instead had each player set the sequence of his species’s actions: Reproduce, Environmental Change, Place Barrier, Migrate, Compete/Prey, and Change Genes. Perhaps give each player 8 positions to fill and allow him to double two actions in his sequence… Also, the victory conditions of being the only remaining species on the island struck me as completely wrong. I might have changed this to a fixed (or variable depending on some random factor after a certain number) number of turns, at which time the total number of individuals on cubes with less than 5 dots would be calculated for each species and the highest number would be the victor.

    • Derek on May 26, 2016

      #2 is the Icehouse game “Home worlds”

  41. Patrick Aquilone on December 3, 2014

    THIS IS AN AMAZINGLY AWESOME IDEA!!

    So, for some time now I was thinking of making a gladiator type game but on an alien world where humans are new to this century old contest that settles all intergalactic wars instead of millions of beings dying. I had not figured out how to balance the game the way I really wanted. But I had a thought about taking the concept of drafting for other players. So here is what I am thinking.

    Each “master” arrives at the arena and then chooses their combatants. I see it a bit like this:
    1) Select a person to go first.
    2) Each player draws the top ten cards representing 10 combatants.
    3) Each player selects one card to go into their hand.
    4) Each player then passes the remaining draw cards to the right.
    5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all cards are selected.
    6) Place all decks in the center and assign a number to them.
    7) Each player pass their constructed deck to the left.
    8) Steps 2 through 9 are repeated for the Weapons, Artifacts, Spells and Intervention cards.
    9) Place all deck back into the center after all cards are drafted.
    Roll a die to determine the new first player where 1 is the current first, 2 is the player to their left, etc.
    10) Starting with the previous player 1’s deck, hand out the decks in order. Thus the new player 1 gets the old player 1’s deck and this continues clockwise.

    This would have everyone having a part in building the decks that are eventually played and a random selection of them to avoid people trying to calculate which deck they would get and stack that one. I would have to prototype something like this to see if it works like my mind thinks it will but I like the overall idea.

    Pat

  42. Randy on December 8, 2014

    This is an idea based on old adventure movies where the hero tries to escape a floor where the tiles are gradually dropping to a bottomless pit. It could be something of a party game where tiles are removed one by one while players try to get their characters into safety. When you drop, it’s game over though.

    • T. I. Troll on May 12, 2015

      Take a look at Survive: Escape From Atlantis for one entertaining implementation of this idea

  43. Dave Armstrong on December 24, 2014

    Philanthropy: A worker placement game where each player gives from the bounty of their game engine. The more you give, the better your engine. There are 4 scoring rounds in which the players must have the least resources on hand. Playing bonus cards to augment worker placement actions, a player can ‘gift’ resources just before a scoring round. E.G. blue player plays a CEO bonus card on the red player giving them a new car. Combining cards with worker placement more efficiently and at exactly the right time allows you to reduce your holdings for scoring. Lowest score wins.

  44. Scott Waring on April 6, 2015

    Idea (that I’m working on): A party game with a randomly drawn ‘board’ of cards with various images on them. Surrounding the board are tokens with other images. The object of the game is to instruct the player to your left to complete the instructions on an instruction card you have drawn (moving token x to card y) in the fewest number of words. Fewer words give you and the player to your left more points.

    Three things make it harder though.
    1. The player to your left gets to see your card before you do, and may ban the use of one word by writing it on a dry erase board. All of the banned words for players are shuffled, displayed, and and apply to everyone for that round, so players may need to get creative with their instructions.
    2. Many of the cards and tokens contain hononyms, such as bark (dog/tree), light (bulb/feather), and seal (animal/wax).
    3. Each player only gets 20 seconds for each stage of the round: Banning words, writing instructions, and carrying out the instructions!

  45. Ian Stedman, Magic Meeple Games on September 18, 2015

    A few years ago I saw a strategy/dexterity game where the dexterity part was throwing darts at a board to determine your action. Seeing that stuck with me and I have always wondered what it would be like to combine Darts with a resource management game like Settlers of Catan, or with Magic: The Gathering. (Darts -> Mana).

    Adding dexterity elements to otherwise richly thematic games is something of a fascination for me. 🙂

  46. Ashley Cox on September 23, 2015

    How about a board game with cards, that also utilizes tablet/smartphone technology? For example, players roll dice to move their pieces around the board. They collect cards along the way, but occasionally land on mini games. When they land on a mini game, they must open the game’s app on their smart devices, and compete in a small game (something like bejeweled, rhythm games, or any kind of fast puzzle). The winner of the mini game picks up another card. Basically, I’m thinking of something akin to KeyQuest on Neopets, but in a physical, analog form (combined with digital technology, of course).

  47. Paul Salomon on November 11, 2015

    This one could just be played as a Dominion variant, so it’s nothing too special.
    Deck-building with supply piles that are not shared. Players do a passing draft to decide which cards will be accessible to each player, and then a few deck-building rounds are played before another draft.

  48. Paul Salomon on November 11, 2015

    This may exist. Idk.
    How about a game where players work together to build a central structure, each trying to make it achieve their individual goals. Each turn, the central structure generates a resource pool from which players draft somehow. The resources in turn are used to add new features to the central structure.

    Who knows a game like this? It’s got to exist, now that I think about it.

  49. Frpzzd on November 30, 2015

    Here are a few:
    A game in which players are on teams but do not know what their teams are.
    A game where one of the players plays as the board and tries to keep the others from succeeding.

  50. Frpzzd on May 26, 2016

    I have an entire list of them! Take a look!
    https://purpleantlergames.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/game-design-challenges/

  51. Baron Von Walrus on September 10, 2016

    A game for a realistic chemistry lab simulator, that’s about it.

    But maybe VR compatible?

  52. Nilanjan Bose on November 14, 2016

    I dont have any idea now, but I would like say that this blog is awesome. It gave me soo many ideas to make a board game, if i come with an idea I will definitely post it here.

  53. MaxCamille on November 26, 2016

    This is a game idea I literally just thought of, I don’t know if it exists somewhere (I haven’t looked), but I think it might work:

    It’s called Angels and Demons, it’s mostly card based. Basically there are two kinds of point cards: halos and horns. They work in opposite directions, think of horns as “negative” points and halos as “positive” points. You get horns by doing bad deeds and halos by doing good deeds, which are actions you can take in the game. Halos and horns can cancel each other out at the final scoring, so it would probably be best to focus on one or the other. It’s relatively easy to get horns, but you get very few points for your work. Halos are harder to get, but you get more points for your effort. I was thinking that the whole game revolves around a “person” (not a real person), and the players are the angels and demons who tell the person what they should and shouldn’t do. Players collect cards and kind of “battle” each other for who actually makes the person do good or bad actions. If you beat the other players in that round and make the person do an action, you get those points (halos or horns).

    Like I said, I just came up with it, so clearly it needs some work, and I would LOVE to receive some input from you guys. Thanks!

    • Jamie on December 2, 2016

      Amazing! Brilliant board game that I feel many will like. Target Audience- 10-16 years. It’s new and stands out so yep, amazing idea!

  54. Miles on September 19, 2017

    A game were all players are building up separately, but everything done by the individual effects the whole

  55. Michael Mihealsick on November 12, 2017

    – A secret loyalty game that focuses on a chain of command (and the social dynamics surrounding it). For example, one player is the Captain, who decides directive and passes tasks down to the XO, who assigns those tasks to the crew. Succeeding in the missions or declaring a mutiny on a traitorous Captain/XO wins for the loyals; failing the missions or declaring mutiny on a loyal Captain/XO wins for the traitors.

    – A semi-cooperative game where you are all nations working together to protect the realm from a non-player controlled threat. Think Pandemic feel, with dudes on a map and area control elements.

    – A three-dimensional rondel game where you are piloting a ship around a wormhole, gathering materials and passing through the wormhole back to deliver the goods to your outpost on the rim. Gravity pulls unpredictably inwards, but can be managed through spending fuel/energy.

    – A one vs many game, where the “one” is a protagonist, and the many are villains with a suuuuuper wide set of player powers (think Cosmic Encounter, 50+ dramatically different villains in the box).

  56. 8bbgames on December 18, 2017

    A chess variant where the board is a big cube. Magnets in the cube keep everything from falling.

  57. Jk on January 11, 2018

    I’ve had a game idea called “Soul Needed” It’s about an alien ship running out of fuel and they use souls as fuel now to win you need to collect souls for fuel or they’ll use you for fuel if you cannot get the soul and there are 3 ways to win. 1: Use a mini ship to get to a new planet and take the main inhabitants of that planet’s soul. 2: Use your fellow aliens as fuel but if you get caught you die so you have to be careful and make things to help you kill them and hide at the same time. 3: Create a soul by collecting things from your ship or different planet. Once you win you unlock new levels to play and a event called “Survive” where you and other online players have to survive on a planet with other animals and try to survive.

    • Jk on January 11, 2018

      For the event thing I accidentally typed it wrong it was supposed to say “and there is going to be and event…”

  58. G on March 27, 2018

    I would love to see some sort of engineering dream game. Here are a few of my ideas i just mash them all in one..
    An immersive survival-crafting-simulation much like minecraft but with an engineering style twist. Where the premise is to not only gather, build, destroy, create, invent, learn, teach, hunt, fight ect. but basically the ability to develope new immersive mechanics that alter the world in game. Like the in game conputer in minecraft. This would apply directly to the gameplay, in turn allowing the player to create limitless games within the game. (A small example would be like: gathering resources and materials to craft a set of playing card that the player could then decorate how ever they wish then add rules to the cards like numbers and invent a card game; I am not exactly sure how this would work but it’s an interesting idea.) I also likes the idea of a periodic table of elements representing the resources. Anyway at some point in the game the player would find this in game “Technology of the Gods” or “extraterrestrial alteration device ” that allows this immersive mechanical creation. This ancient magical machine would be within a set of rules to prevent breaking or crashing the game but upgradable to allow more immersion into gameplay mechanic constructions and also dlc content. As the player progresses from a primitive hunter and gather, to any choice of numerous career/jobs from a short list of ideas would be from carpenters, to farmers, hunters, lumberjacks, mechanics, pilots, to doctors, thiefs and thugs, police, military, prison guards, to criminal masterminds, genius engineers, nuclear scientist the list could be as large or small as needed but obviously the bigger the better. The ability to lead, follow, or be passive would allow alot of immersion and RPG style experiences. Cultures and governments could be formed and any player has the potential to become leader of the free world or even tyrannical oppressive dictator. Game developers could literally create ground breaking gameplay in game with other players live while allowing them to test and experience.. O.o

  59. G on March 27, 2018

    Oh i also wanted to add that since it would be an mom and everyone has their own job, can be a jack of all trades or simply a troll, the need for diversity would be stressed highly. Therefore players who continuously perform negative acts against the community like murder innocent players will get higher notoriety where eventually players will hire hit man, police will begin investigating, and military will track them and news will spread until the player is either killed, kills, escapes, bribes, turns himself in or is caught.

  60. Dan Smith on June 21, 2018

    What concepts create an impetus for my game design is usually format. The restrictions of a certain aspect of a game format. for me, it’s cards. You only have 2 sides of a card to convey a concept/function. Right now, I am working on card games that only involve 18 cards. Nothing else to implement gameplay, just the 18 cards. So far I have created a racing game and a bounty hunter game, fairly quick games, to be sure, but that goes with the territory. I suggest that you try to limit your game options and them work within those perimeters. You can always go back to more options if it just doesn’t work, but by then you have streamlined your game design and will not have a lot of “filler” mechanics…

  61. MAsterzzzzzzz on July 19, 2018

    A game where you can choose to be a diffrent type of super hero and have a deck of cards which you can pay for a cost and there are spells creatures and enchantments that you can play there are diffrent lanes for the creatures and you have a power meter so whenever you hero teakes damage roll a 4 sided die 1 2 and 3 fill that many squares in your power meter (and 4 is a reroll) and if your power meter gets full you block that attack and gain a super power if anyone can help me with this idea it would very appreciated thank you

  62. Orlando on July 28, 2018

    My idea is a game called Allowence, which is completely card based and consists of each turn the player chooses to do a job for extra Allowence but lose fun points or do a fun activity for fun points but have a Allowence budget on that activity, you can pick up up to 1 card a turn and on turns 12, 13, 23, 24, 34, 35, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 players can invite others to join you on your activities or on your jobs. The aim of the game is to have the most fun!

  63. LasyGameDevZA on August 10, 2018

    1 minute racing. Provide a draft of structural pieces to allow players to build their own can in a minute. Once done they go racing against one another.

  64. Chris Sharples on November 21, 2018

    I have an idea that has sort of taken a few ideas from Tiny Epic Zombies. 1-4/5 players. One of the players is the Manager of a large supermarket and has a number of staff that he or she can place in the store to replenish the shelves. Each section of the store like bread, dairy, meat, breakfast items etc has a tracker on it, lets say 4. The customers (other players) have a shopping list and LOVE to complain (hey this is retail don’t forget). So as they move around the store they pick up items for their shopping list. If that items is out of stock, eg the manager hasn’t placed staff there to fill up the shelves then the customer complains and the manager gets a mark on his complaint track. Once it reaches a set number the customers win. The manager wins when all players collect all the items on the list and goes through the checkout. If a customer lands on a space where a member of staff is then the complaint tracker is reduced by one. there are cards involved like TEZ so …… it’s just an idea so far but will think about drawing up a rough rule set and give it a go once I have some time but feel free to try it out yourselves.

    • Matrixman2019 on February 16, 2019

      Cool! I would love to see something like that. If it progresses well keep me posted!

  65. Juliet on November 25, 2018

    I’m currently working on a murder mystery inspired game.

    You can choose from 9 different story ideas to start. Then selecting the map for the story. Like in clue: there is a character ,weapon , and room are selected and placed in an envelop with out looking. There are also characters for each story.

    With a 6 sided dice on how many spaces each player can move. There are cards for abilities which our limited so players need to use them wisely on other players. Each room will have a symbol for an item, clue, weapon or possible suspect. You will only get one for each room.

    There is also a round tracker. When the 12th round is hit, the killings will commence till the killer is solved.

    There will be ability cards with a limit on how many times that it can be used a player will only have 3 ability cards per game to use. But I’m struggling on ability ideas and the mechanics to use them.

    There is also to keep in mind the characters have to figure out both friends and enemies. While moving around the map to figure out who commited the murder.

    Im designing it so it is different each time it is played.

  66. Sam on December 3, 2018

    Game of food, collect and make food using a deck of cards, gather points based on delishusness, lose health based on spice, and get better foods with your experience

  67. Jack Kane on December 6, 2018

    I’m working on a Destiny-based board game where the Hive, Cabal, Fallen, and Vex attempt to take the City while also fighting each other

  68. Surfdirk on January 18, 2019

    Here is my idea to share — an area control game that is based on a large grid. You are growing items (perhaps a farm field that everyone uses and call the game “The Commons” or perhaps it is a park and the park is infested with bugs/animals and they are staking out their territory. Anyway each player has straight pieces of different sizes (two 1 grid sized piece, three 2 pieces, three 3 pieces, 1 four, 1 five, and 1 six.) The rules are that you can’t place any of your pieces touching another player’s color, and you can’t play in between another player’s plane — meaning if they have a piece on one side and 7 grids later they have a piece then they control that whole area in between. You play one piece at a time. The scoring is 1 point per piece section and the scoring zone is like a dart board — the closer to the center the more points you earn. I think a piece that allows you to remove a player’s piece would help too. Used only once per game.

  69. P on February 2, 2019

    A war style game, but emphasizing supply lines and roads in more open combat. (Less trench style, overpower style) or possibly a spy game where a bunch of players are fighting for different goals, and backstab each other (mission impossible/Jason bourne style)

  70. Yancy on February 13, 2019

    Hey, I need help for a project. We need to make board game with a proper balance of probability and strategy. Any help?

    • Matrixman2019 on February 16, 2019

      What about an Exploration game where players have half-formed maps and use these maps to discover new lands and get riches. they relay their course to Gamemaster who has a good map. Am working on a game like this. its called San Salvador.

    • Thomas on July 6, 2019

      Perhaps a strategy game where each player has an individual goal but with every turn, the board shifts/changes drastically. Making it harder to plan and complete productive plays the more turns players take.

  71. Matrixman2019 on February 28, 2019

    I have a game called San Salvador where you are trying to sail without a proper map

  72. august on March 9, 2019

    My brothers and I have a big world map that we use to play Risk-inspired war games, but with far more complicated rules. You usually start with a major nation and its allies, such as the U.S. and other NATO countries or China and random Asian countries ( I have no idea who China’s allies are sorry). There are several kinds of troops: infantry (think men with assault rifles and rocket launchers), artillery (think tanks and fighter aircraft), and navy (boats of all kinds, transport and combat). Every nation that you control gives you an infantry unit per turn. Major cities are marked, and each gives you an industrial production unit (IPU) per turn- artillery cost two IPU, navies cost 3, factories cost 4 (a factory is placed in a country and acts like a city to give you 1 IPU per turn), and 5 for an airbase. Combat works like in Risk, with rolling dice, but artillery get 1 added to rolls against infantry. To move infantry and artillery across the ocean you have to have navies at both ends, and navies can fight each other to control access to islands and continents. Each airbase that you own allows you to nuke one city, factory, or troops in one territory per turn – you pay 2 IPU and roll a dice, if you roll an odd number then the target is destroyed. There are additional rules for specific circumstances or expanded variation (like more troop types), but you can make up new rules as well as I can. Goal: global domination or some kind of strategic goal, secret goals like conquer all of South America can make it more interesting. Veni vidi vici! 🙂

  73. The__Function on April 18, 2019

    A card game for 4/6 players where each turn the player left to you gets to fiddle around with your hand cards or your deck before you get your hand back and fight against the player sitting on the opposite side of the table (with 6 players the one sitting three places left/right to you).
    When you win the battle in the end, you get two points and when the player whose cards you always got wins, you get one point.
    I can see situations like “If you don’t make me win this battle I will discard this strong card” since the player whose hand you get gets the hand of your enemy (in the 4 player game).

  74. Sophea on April 22, 2019

    A game where you collect different cards to move around the board and gain different abilities by landing on certain squares on the board. You can combine different cards to move farther or to gain extra abilities etc. Don’t know how to elaborate or improve this but that’s what I’ve got.

  75. Tj on April 23, 2019

    I just had an idea and I don’t know if it has been used already but it combines many of these. Ok here we go you would not know everyone else’s identities but you would have a card that describes your character in detail and there would be cards in the middle for everyone to look at that described everyone’s character and you can no longer contribute when you get someone guesses your identity correctly but you only have one guess for each person. You get a point for every person you guess and you get a set amount of points for not having your identity guessed. Also, you must act like and respond to questions as your character.

  76. JEG on June 5, 2019

    A game in which Uno and Dutch Blitz are mixed and there are no individual turns, everyone has to get like a match or four of a kind or something and the one with the most matches or sets at the end of the round wins. Basically, just make something that’s hectic and yet still understandable, it should be organized caus. ( :

  77. JEG on June 5, 2019

    A game with a single deck of cards where every player only starts with one card and they have to get sets of some kind for points.

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