Tile

While Mosaic sits on the back burner boiling slowly but steadily, a lot of tangentially related ideas spring to mind.

The other day I had an idea for the Mosaic system that I quickly realized wasn’t quite suited to the game as it currently stands. Nonetheless, it caught my fancy and I think it could be fun to expand upon. The ramblings below may possibly be based on Wordfeud feverdreams (nick: LordXaras by the way, if anyone’s up for a challenge. Haven’t lost yet).

The basic idea is to build a very light roleplaying game based on scrabble tiles or something equivalent (tiles with letter and numerical values on them). The players draw random tiles and try to spell words with them - the resulting words have magical properties based on the points value of the tiles (and possibly the meaning of the word as well).

There would be two main forms of magic: enchanting and weaving.

Enchants are personal, played on equipment cards you draw. Basically each piece of equipment becomes a small scrabble board, and “better” equipment may thus have more open fields for long interlocking words. The spells you play on your equipment will have a continuous effect throughout the game, and allow you to smash increasingly difficult foes to bits.

Weaving is communal. The players play cooperatively, and in the middle of the table they share a “loom” board - more like a traditional Scrabble board in its form: rectangular and even. Each player may opt to play tiles on the loom instead of on his own equipment, connecting to the words other players have already lain down. On the loom, points matter little (if at all), and instead your effects come from the shapes you’re able to build with your words. A five-by-five even-armed cross might give everyone a +10 attack bonus, or a 4-by-4 square will give everyone a defensive buff.

The game would be card-centric. Equipment and loot are pulled from one stack, enemies and random enemy traits could be drawn from another…

The rules would be as lite as humanly possible, perhaps going the MTG route and only dealing with attack and defense values. You enchant your sword with a spell worth 25 points? You have a constant +25 attack for as long as you carry the blade. Enchant your armour or shield? Defensive buff.

As the game would be collaborative, there might even be room for trading enchanted equipment between players - allowing some to specialize in enchantment, while others focus on weaving. Having a common tile pool could be argued, but Scrabble games kinda rely on the players having as few tiles to chose from as possible.

Inane Confluence of Thought of the Week

Fresh off of my finishing the currently published portion of A Song of Ice and Fire, my braincauldron has tossed out an idea for A Game of Knights and Suchlike! (very minor pluralization-based spoilers ahead)

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Inane Confluence of Thought of the Week

This week, i had an idea for a game mechanic: What if there were a game where a given unit’s HP was abstracted into a ranking of it’s method of avoiding destruction?

Instead of having 10 HP, 3 speed, 5 damage resist, and 1hp/turn regeneration, It simply has 3 Speed, 5 Soak, and 1 Stamina, and dies if attacks exceeding any of those values are directed toward it. Attacks would be categorized with Area of Effect, Armor-piercing, and Alpha Striking, which are the respective counters to the previously defined defences.

It occurs to me that the general idea of combat is to force an opponent to play to your strengths, so an alternate system would be that the unit only dies if it’s highest defence is breached - however, this seems offhand like it’d be difficult to balance, leading to decks/armies entirely focused on one aspect.

Modifiers could be applied, - a unit could be: “Medicae: 1 Speed: 3 Soak: 6 Stamina - Heal, all troops in range (including Medicae) gain +1 Stamina”, or “Sharpened Swords - the unit this upgrade is attached to gains +2 AP”

This seems to me like it’d suit either a M:TG style card game or a warhams-y tabletop, and a variety of genres - swords ‘n sorcery, modern shootans, Spaceships, etc.

-Cornflake Blues

(Confluence indeed, as this is effectively precisely how combat in Mosaic works - LordXaras)

Inane Confluence of Thought of the Week

<C_B>

Inane confluence of thought:

<C_B>

game concept, medium irrelevent, what if there were a game where instead of doing things directly, you hired other agencies to do them for you.

<~LordXaras>

uh... huh

<C_B>

like for resources, you hire a miner's guild, who returns resources to you per tick

<C_B>

Then you hand the resources over to a PMC, who acts mostly independently to achieve your goals.

<C_B>

possibly interesting?

<~LordXaras>

Leader: The Bossing?

<C_B>

basically

<~LordXaras>

could work for a politically themed game

<~LordXaras>

where you mostly ride desks and manipulate other factions

<~LordXaras>

project name: Cabinet?

<C_B>

heheh, sure

<C_B>

i'll add it to the ol' memory heap, maybe something interesting will come of it.

<~LordXaras>

Essentially a more nitty-gritty Diplomacy where it's more about outmaneuvering the other guys in the political and influence arena than to control the world with military might

<C_B>

you hire troops, but the result isn't that you take land, per se, but that you require an opponent to deal with whatever the troops are doing

<C_B>

might be interesting if strategic resources were heavily integrated.

<C_B>

nation A destabilizes nation B by securing exclusive rights to a region's unobtanium mines. B retaliates by hiring a PMC to disrupt the supplies to and from the mines.

<~LordXaras>

I was thinking all the players would be members of the government of the same country. They could all have different strict areas of responsibility, and thus need to influence each other. Player A wants to weaken Player C. Player B is the Secretary of Defence. Player A convinces Player B to deploy more troops. Player C has to spend valuable resources to ensure that the troops can be maintained,

<~LordXaras>

thus preventing him from reaching the goal Player A wanted to keep him from.

<C_B>

Hm. also neat.

<C_B>

The ultimate goal being...?

<~LordXaras>

no idea

<C_B>

to replace el Presidente? :D

<~LordXaras>

probably

Building the Mosaic Part 1

When I first stumbled into the Mosaic project over two years ago, it was little more than a pile of ideas in a series of jumbled threads on 4chan’s /tg/ board. Today it’s… well, it’s still a pile of ideas, but now they’re… spread over a series of jumbled documents. Yeah, okay, so maybe we haven’t made much progress in terms of structure over the past couple of years, but I’d like to think we’re still getting shit done.

Let’s see if I can convince myself with a few arguments…

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Abbreviated Development Cycle

Last post, i’d talked about making a game quickly out of an interesting idea from whatever source it may come from, so for this post i’ve quickly stuck a sort of board game together: Subversion! (If poorly made MSPaint example diagrams offend you, you may not want to read this D:)

Subversion is mostly complete but largely untested, the latter being because i’ve just started at university and oh god work, and it’s based vaguely on hacking minigames.

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A warrior of Vestarc. Concept art for Mosaic, by Gabriel Verdon

Introducing: Mosaic

IPD has only existed for a matter of weeks, yet already we can see some recurring themes in the sort of things we seem to be interested in cranking out. I would say that the most notable one, and the one most likely to remain with us, is the fact that our games are tooled for giving creative power to the players. In Mosaic, this is most definitely a core aspect.

The world of Mosaic is one where power flows from force of will, your arsenal comes from your knowledge, and your skill goes hand in hand with your ability to imagine fresh things.

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Break: Mecha

The old men of your village, the lucky few who reach forty, tell tales of their grandfathers. Of how, even in those old days, great machines strode across the land, bringing death and destruction in their wake. There are happier tales, of true towns, and even cities, but these were all lost, so long ago…

Every day, the ground shakes with titans footsteps, and all the people around you cower. Working a meagre life from the very earth, hoping that the next batch of soldiers to make their rounds will leave you enough to survive, and won’t kill or kidnap you or anyone you know. 

This Was the situation. Until yesterday. 

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New Ideas

I’m sure that at some point in time, someone has probably said something to the tune of “The trick to running or making a game is to steal material from enough different places that you look original again,” and if no-one’s said that before, then i just have. Since IPD is more geared towards game creation than GM’ing, i thought i’d mention something that i like to turn to in my eternal quest for New Game Mechanics.

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