Game Idea a Day, Week 3

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post all week, and even spent some of the time while I was brainstorming composing the summaries that I would include here. (None of which were written down, and all of which have completely fled my brain, so maybe when that happens in the future I’ll actually take some notes.) But I guess my point was that posting these publicly is definitely having an influence on my continuing the project. A project that has, thus far, been 100% successful! 22 days into the project, I’ve got a few more than 22 entries.

Here are this week’s summaries:

1/15 – A top-down roguelike, but crossed with the various Dig Dug inspired games where you have to dig your way through the level. With crafting. So a bit like a 2D minecraft (á la Terraria or The Blockheads), but top-down instead of from the side. And you can dig/climb up or down at any time. (Unless, maybe, you’re being attacked.) I actually have some ideas about the theme/story for this too, inspired, mainly, by Ursula Vernon’s awesome book Digger.

1/16 – A new game for my dice-based game system SIX D SIX. This game is a two-player abstract with no luck or hidden information. You take turns adding dice to a gameboard. The dice you add must show a 1. You then also increment another die already placed. There are a couple of possible win conditions. I think it could also work with a score pad and counting points. (Will need to playtest to work out a bunch of the details.)

1/17 – Continuing some of my thoughts from the day before, I started designing two game ideas that essentially “hide” the components necessary to play SIX D SIX games (72 die, 6 of 6 different colors, and 32 black) in a euro-style big box game. The first idea involved moving die around a map, and the second (more promising) involves using the dice as sort of workers on an individual player board that represents a tech tree. You take actions with meeples, but of course all the actions are influenced by your player board. I really like this idea, and it’s been percolating.

1/18 – Idea for an unfolding game where you start out combining nuts and bolts and eventually realize you are working in a bomb/munitions factory. Inspired by the short film Uncanny Valley, which is well worth your 8 minutes. This could be combined with my idea from 1/9.

1/19 – Earlier in the week, I spent some time hanging out with Sean Berry, the creator of Algebra Touch. I showed that app to my 5 year old daughter, and my brainstorm time for the day was spent outlining modifications to that app that would alter it to be focused on basic math rather than algebra, and target a much younger audience.

1/20 – Thought about bringing some block-breaking games to VR. Three pretty good ideas here, I think. First was a collapse variant where you are trapped inside a house made of blocks, and break them (collapse style) to get out. Another idea involved a table where bricks appear, and you have to move them to a play area and match-3 with them. And finally, a crazy room full of piles of old looking junk, where there are three of a kind of every item. You can only move the top item on each pile, and once you get three of them touching, those items disappear. You are cleaning a hoarder’s house in VR, essentially.

1/21 – A board game (although I could also imagine it as an app) where you are plotting the shortest route to pick up kids via school bus. I actually think this has a lot of promise, and already did some sketching in a notebook for how the board should be laid out. Play is like Set or Ricochet Robots, where there are no turns, and every player stares at the board until they think they’ve found the best solution.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this week’s entries. Only 1/18 felt underwhelming when I re-read it, and I think it’s the first entry to really feel a bit like a cop-out on re-reading.