What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
I really like your idea with physical cards that the players show to a camera when they are played during the game!
This is something that not many video games do and I think it would make it stand out.
What is your least favorite aspect? Why?
You told us that the environment might change randomly. That could make it difficult for players to plan ahead.
Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?
Communicate the environment changes so that the players can plan ahead.
Maybe you can show which direction each platform moves in the next turn.
Creating a virtual board game is a really interesting idea. With this approach it is possible to overcome limitations of normal board games and handle elements that are too complicated or unwieldy for physical games.
Currently, the gameplay seems too linear to be really interesting. Most of the time, the movement of every player will just be moving towards the next key fragment or the treasure, since there is no other goal to reach. Some of the cards will not be playable (like weapons when no enemy is nearby), so all complicated decisions the player has to make is choose between a few cards to play. Balancing all the cards and making them useful enough so this decision will feel really meaningful is probably going to be quite hard.
The four card types are a good starting point, but I think more cards and variations are really important. For example, you could add some interactions from other players during the current players turn (like the player wants to play an environment spell and someone else plays a counterspell card). Or the combat could work differently, instead of just playing a weapon card and the other player takes damage, let the other play counterattack, block or dodge with respective cards. Also, the design of the trap cards is not really suitable, since every player can just see the trap on the game board and avoid it.
The idea of the implementation of an additional app to recognize the cards is really nice and innovative.
There are too many random variables for the player. You can win more likely with luck than strategic thinking.
You could lower the RNG by introducing other game mechanics that rewards the player that is planning ahead. Hiding other player in the fog of war and hinting their previous movement could be a nice addition in that direction. The addition of more cards can also be a good factor.
What is your favourite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
I like the idea of having a web-cam on the table, to which you show the card you're playing and then the game takes over and resolves everything. I don't think this has ever been done.
What is your least favourite aspect? Why?
To play the game one would need to gather friends in one place, and at this point I personally would prefer playing vanilla tabletop games, as it feels more "social".
I think it might be cool to have networking implemented, so that a distributed bunch of players (e.g. 2 in one location and 3 in another) could play in one session. With voice comms it could come close to the atmosphere of playing tabletop games with friends.
Also to comment on previous comments:
I don't think that randomness is that big of a deal. Most tabletop games and card games, while requiring thinking and skills, depend on RNG and are still fun to play. Moreover, it's one of the things that make it fun to play (topdecking that Edwin VanCleef in the last moment feels good, doesn't it?)
I like the idea of having cards on a mobile device for each player. This allows for cool interactions especially if you expand the idea towards having to do special actions on the phone to trigger certain events on the main board game.
I don't like the fact that while a player is doing his turn all other players have to wait for the others to finish. This could get very boring if even a single player starts taking a lot of time for his turns.
I would try to come up with a system that allows all players to do their turns at the same time. This could be implemented by letting players select their move from their mobile device and then after a certain timer has run out, the moves are projected to the center of the map for all players at the same time. That way the waiting time is drastically reduced.
I really like the style and setting you chose. It really fits the gameplay.
They way each player moves and interacts may be to static.
Maybe you should add more ways to move. I think it would be also fun to make the game some more asymmetric by letting each player choose an special ability that affects their gameplay.
I like the idea that you have more than one screen as a playing area. One for each person to see with the playing board and one for each individual with the cards they hold.
The randomness factor of the board turning might be frustrating, especially if you need to strategically plan ahead to be better than your opponents. With the randomness, it is more based on luck if you win.
This randomness factor could be countered by adding additional strategic aspects to the game, where you maybe must forge alliances with other players to reach certain areas, but then double cross them afterwards for your own gain.
I really like the idea of using physical Cards. It helps making this game stand apart from ist competition and gives it a very grounded feeling.
The game feels much to random. This might make planing ahead rather bothersome and frustrating.
Add more cards/ card types. Like going through walls or teleporting to other Players, etc.
Combining digital elements with physical ones and eventually augmented reality is definitely the outstanding mechanic for this game.
That the rings change each turn might introduce too much randomness and difficulty for the players, especially if it's not just random but also trying to "protect" the treasure in the middle.
Instead of having the environment change at random, show the next direction / ring that turns so the players can adjust accordingly.
I like the idea of having action/event cards in a board game in general. It makes the gameplay more interesting and less predictable.
I don't like both the external app or physical card vaiants much, as both would require some extra equipment. Still they are necessary to keep the cards secret. Or maybe you could experiment with a hotseat apporach.
I don't know how much you have planned there, but I'd like cards/mechanics that allow for planning and tricking other players. E.g.: shortcuts (teleports) used with special cards. As it is computer based these could be random and only visible for eligible players.
I like the idea of using mobile or physical devices to enhance the gameplay. It is unique and allows new design choices.
While the constant and random change of the board could become frustrating, it could happen that the player does not have the feeling of being fully in control.
I think it is important to think the actions through which the player can take. Giving the player constant actions he can do every turn and additional actions he can do by achieving different goals (eg. by getting items). Also, having an item, that allows a player to control the twisting of the board can make it really interesting.
What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
Using mobile devices to display each player's cards is an awesome idea! make sure the setup and sync is not too complicated.
What is your least favorite aspect? Why?
The level of randomness in your game might be a bit too high. Try to keep it as fair as possible for the players.
If you use touchscreen devices for the player's cards, make them feel like physical objects. There's a great gdc talk from one of the hearthstone guys on that:
The AR aspect seems to be an exciting addition, because it would enhance the "virtual boardgame" theme.
There seems to be no really intuitive way to win. Too many random variables destroy any kind of tactic.
Make the map somewhat bigger and allow more movement to allow more tactical and dynamic gameplay.
The aspect of expanding this from a pure computer game to be partly virtual partly physical.
I think this idea of a virtual game board really opens up a lot of possibilities for novel family/group games. There are just lots of things one could do with a virtual game board, that are not physically possible in a normal one.
The first alternative for how to solve the problem that one should not see each others cards (i.e. having a smartphone app for the game). I personally very much prefer the Webcam-Recognition alternative in that regard.
First, as you say in your document, it gives more of a board game feel to it. Also when you're playing board games with friends or family you don't want everyone to be constantly looking into their smartphones. Misleads to distraction such as checking your WhatsApp I'd believe. Last, I think it would be annoying if everyone had to download said app just to be able to play the game. Not, that it would take too long, but it is still really inconvenient for say guests at a party to have to download the app before being able to play.
I don't know whether you already planned for this (sorry, in case you did) but you should really program this to be usable on a tablet. Then one could just put the tablet in the middle of the living room table like a regular game board. Would probably be annoying, if all people need to look into a laptop screen and not be able to sit in a circle.
I like that the concept is very easy to grasp, and seems to have a simple ruleset, which will allow players to pick up the game easily
I don't like the idea of using real cards in conjunction with a static webcam, as i feel having such a disconnect between the gameboard & the visualization on screen will be detrimental to the flow of the game. also this requires the players to have a more solid grasp of the game rules, as the game won't have a way to stop the player from doing illegal moves. a purely computer based game would only allow the players to do legal moves.
i think a player should always have multiple options as to what he can do each turn, so it would be cool to somehow ensure that no situation can arise where a player can't do anything in a turn