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A Very Nice Mod

posted Aug 5, 2012, 12:42 AM by Good Idea Games
Engineers try to do as little work as possible. I like to think that this philosophy is derived from being clever. Why should I write code that others have already written? There are libraries of code I can use. Why should I write a rules system for my RPG? There are hundreds of great ones. I can just call my game a scenario, and be done with it. But the rules shape the fiction, and in the case of table top story games, sometimes the game you want to play isn't like anything else. That's when innovation has to occur. 

And other times, what you want to do is exactly like what others have already done
Almost Exactly. When the game I want to play isn't real, I make it real. Stay Tuned.

My next Project is an ambitious mod of Fantasy Flight's Battlestar Galactica board game, that turns it from a reasonably complicated 3+ player (3+ HOUR)strategy game with strong social elements, into a 1-2 hour social game, with strategy elements. It's a "Mafia" style game.

But why do we need another "Mafia" game? There are dozens of variations on this absolutely free parlor game! Generally speaking, it's a low-concentration party game for folks too simple to play Battlestar Galactica in the first place. You may not need to "fix" Mafia, but I do. It's a game I've been mulling, called Space Virus. 

In my community, Mafia has been broken. Ideas about "how to play it right" have been introduced, and spread like a virus, and now, a game of Mafia is really a 3-4 hour series of interrogations. I am not exaggerating, the first round generally takes an hour. "The Mafia want quick turns," the leader will say. And of course he's right, but can you guess why no one wants to play?

What Space Virus will do, is turn Mafia from a purely social game, where accusations are made based off of strictly the interpersonal communication skills of the players, into a social strategy game. Using BSG's system of color coded action and crisis cards, the Cylons try to bring about an end of the ship. This will provide at least SOME evidence that can be used and considered when voting for an airlock execution.

The completed game will play radically different from the basic BSG game, and will use only pieces from the BSG core game.