As all of you listeners know, I am a huge fan of Settlers of Catan. On Episode 15, I mentioned that we play with house rules and team rules to make the game even more enjoyable for our game group.
Here are the rules we have added/changed:
We play 4 player games on the 5-6 player expansion. This change gives us a lot more space to work with for growing our empires.
You get resources for the first two settlements that you place, instead of just the second one. This allows us to have a quicker start from the get go.
We ignore 7′s on during the first round. This is because starting with 6 cards instead of 3, really screws player 4 if a 7 is rolled before they take their first turn.
We play to 15 points with two teams of two players.
Teammates cannot trade with one another but they can steal from one another with 7′s and soldiers.
Teammates share development cards.
When a player has more than 7 cards and a 7 is rolled they may give on discarded card to their teammate.
Teammates share roads.
Let me know your feedback and any house rules you use!
Here’s an issue I keep running into lately while writing down game ideas. I keep feeling like all I am doing in rehashing mechanic ideas that I have for one game and mashing them up into another.
I’m trying to get my head around whether or not this is actually an issue or if that’s just normal for a game designer. I have certainly noticed that some game designers have a specific style and that it indeed comes out in their game mechanics. I would also say that to a certain extent it does seem like the core mechanics of several games find themselves in other games.
When I really think about that it brings to mind something I have heard many times, “There are no new ideas”. Which while I find very sad, I think it is at least somewhat true. There are so many games out there that many of them are bound to have similarities in game mechanics.
I have a background in filmmaking and there’s an old adage that I think applies to game design. It’s how movie execs say you may a successful sequel: “Give me the same thing, only different.” Which when you think about it makes a ton of sense.
So here is where I find myself after writing the previous paragraphs… It’s okay to rehash some mechanics and some portions of gameplay as long as you make them different. Make them unique. Find away to use them in each different game in a way that will surprise people and really add to the gameplay and of course the overall enjoyment of the game.
Whew! I feel better now.
So any thoughts from the community? Am I wrong? Remember I have no idea what I am actually doing… I am just a first time game designer!
Hit me up with your thoughts: @JASlingerland on twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been pretty excited as we get closer to our launch date. This week I have been making a list of games that I want to play again from my collection. I’m hoping to refresh my memory of some of my favorite mechanics from them. My wife and I really enjoy the two player card games that only take 30 minutes or so. I do plan to drag Rob and his wife in for some of these!
So far on my list I have:
- Catan Dice