microphone with an out of focus background containing the Streets.mn logo

Presenting Nice Games Club: Pothole Run

According to Minnesota Public Radio, it’s hot girl sinkhole spring. In other words, we have a ridiculous number of potholes right now in the Twin Cities, and since we can’t do anything other than wait for the hardworking folks of road repair to fix them, we made a game about the whole situation. Andy and Beth Korth join for this special Nice Games Jam!

An example of the pothole + sinkhole situation we’re dealing with this spring.
Another view of the school bus sinkhole.

Attributions

This episode comes to us courtesy of Nice Games Club, a Minneapolis-based podcast about game development. Find more of their episodes on their website.

Our theme song is Tanz den Dobberstein, used by permission of its creator, Erik Brandt. Find out more about his band The Urban Hillbilly Quartet on their website.

Game notes

Prompt

Ellen gave us a prompt: “Create a game about patching potholes that Gabe would have fun playing”

Game type

Tabletop game

Materials

Marbles
Play-Doh or alternative squishyness
A very complicated custom game board
Road tiles of various sizes and configurations

Setup

  • Set up the custom game board
  • Distribute marbles to all players
  • Distribute Play-Doh to all players
  • Distribute road / terrain tiles to all players
  • Determine who will be the first player per the rules below

Rules

In a nutshell, the game challenges players to roll marbles down a hill. The hill is made of road tiles, but some of the tiles are pitted with potholes. Players can use Playdoh to patch potholes in the road so the marbles will make it to the finish.

The board is a grid laid over a raised pyramid where players put down terrain. Everything starts in the center (city hall); that’s where you put the marbles so they roll down the hill. Each quadrant is a side of the pyramid, there’s some method of tiling for the player to put pieces down to determine how the marbles will travel in that area.

Turn order

  • Play starts with the player who most recently hit a pothole with their car or their bike. In case of a tie (as might happen if multiple players were in a car together), the younger player goes first.
  • Play then proceeds clockwise.

Players can take 3 actions on their turn. You can do the same action more than once. The actions are:

  • Rotate the board
  • Place or swap a tile
  • Patch a pothole
  • Drop a marble

Tiles

  • Each tile is worth 1, 2 or 3 victory points when marbles pass through. The rougher the tile, the more victory points it’s worth.
  • Players also get a bit of Play-Doh to fill up potholes in the terrain.
  • Players have 5 tiles in their hand at any given time; as an action, they can play one, then draw back up to 5 tiles.

Rotating the board

  • Rotating the board happens towards the left (counterclockwise), the opposite of play order, which goes to the right (clockwise). Each rotation turns the board 90 degrees.

Scoring & dropping marbles

  • If a marble reaches the bottom of the hill in front of you, you get the victory points that it acquired from each tile it moved through on its journey from the top of the hill to the bottom.
  • You ONLY get the victory points if the marble reaches the bottom of the hill. If you drop a marble as an action, and the marble gets stuck on the way, you don’t get any points from the tiles it passed through.

Winning the game

  • Play proceeds in 12 rounds. Each player gets one turn per round.
  • Play ends when the turn counter reaches zero (game starts at the start of winter, ends at the start of the next winter)
  • Whoever has acquired the most victory points by the end of the “year” is the winner of Pothole Run

Fun stuff to think about for the future

  • We have to create an extractor to get the playdoh out.
  • Cooperative play mode? Roles for each player? Someone who’s better at filling potholes, someone who can put more marbles down, etc. Maybe two teams?

Links

Transcript

Ian: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Streets.mn podcast, the show where we highlight how transportation and land use can make our communities better places. Coming to you from beautiful Seward, Minneapolis, Minnesota, I am your host Ian R Buck. Today we’re featuring an episode from Nice Games Club, a fellow Minneapolis podcast; they feature discussions on a variety of game development topics. Occasionally they do a “nice game jam,” where they are given a prompt and spend the episode coming up with a game to fit it. They recently did a nice game jam that is right up the alley of the Streets.mn community. So without further ado, I’ll hand you off to Nice Games Club!

Stephen: [00:00:01] From Noble Robot on East Hennepin Avenue in traditional Minneapolis. This is Nice Games Club the show where nice game devs talk gaming and game development. Ellen Burns Johnson is in a meeting right now but otherwise makes nice games. I’m Stephen McGregor and I make nice games.

Mark: [00:00:13] And I’m Mark LaCroix, I too make nice games.

Stephen: [00:00:15] For this week’s episode is not just another nice games jam. We’ve invited repeat guests, Twin Cities game developers Beth and Andy Korth to help us come up with a complete game that you can play by the end of the episode. Will it work? We and you are about to find out. And so if you’re ready, let’s start.

Mark: [00:00:30] You almost got the whole thing in.

Stephen: [00:00:32] It’s so long. Welcome, Beth and Andy.

Mark: [00:00:39] So first things first. Yes, it’s warm in Minneapolis. It is. This is rare, which is weird. It’s not that rare. Well, it’s going to be freezing again next week. It’s rare for April, I guess, is what I should say. But it’s like in the 60s, 60 Fahrenheit. It’s almost 70 degrees. Like it makes no sense. I have my fan here. It’s it’s it’s like almost 70 degrees and there’s still snow on the ground. Like that’s how quickly the weather has changed. Minnesota is wild. Very strange, but only in the shade. Yeah, it is. It’s nice. I’m back from GDC, although listeners will have heard a couple of episodes that we recorded before GDC with me on them calendar math and so forth.

Mark: [00:01:17] So yeah, getting back into the swing of things, you and Ellen did a pretty good job running the Keeping the Ship afloat. We did while I was gone. It worked out really nicely, I’d say. Yeah. And I edited the The Tiny Horrors episode, so it was really fun to edit an episode wasn’t part of. That’s always a treat. That’s cool. So I got a good listen to that, which was nice. Other news. Big, big news. And Beth, you actually discovered this for us, GLOM, the card game that we made in a in a nice games jam and then sold to a publisher is available for pre-order. Yes there are two websites we found that are selling it and we’ll have links for that at [https://nicegames.club/glom]. Yeah. And all that will be in the show notes as well. We’re very, very excited. It’s going to be out this summer, maybe this fall. And we sort of knew that timeline, but we didn’t know they put it up for pre-order yet. Yeah, so now we can start hyping it sweet, but yeah. Beth you were just asking for a copy of the game to demo at Minnebar, which is coming up. And so why did you just Google searched it?

Beth: [00:02:15] I just Googled it. Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t the first hit. I’ll have to admit that there was a lot of glooms. Because if you if you search for GLOM, it thinks you mean gloom because that’s a big game, I guess. But yeah, it was there. Yeah. Oh, that’s neat. I wonder if Mark knows that. I did. And you said no. What’s that?

Mark: [00:02:35] Uh, okay, so the big news of the day, Beth and Andy are back. This is your fourth appearance as a team. Yes. Beth, you’ve been on the show one extra time. You might have been the most frequent guest we’ve had on the show. I bet that’s true. Yeah, it’s possible. Yeah. We’ll put those in the show notes so people can get the full Beth and Andy Cinematic Universe. That’s back to back viewing. You were. You were our first interview. Episode two. We talked about Steam Greenlight, which is hilarious. Rest in peace. And then we said, Hey, let’s have them back for episode 102. That’s a fun thing. So we did that where you talked about Verdant Skies in one of our video episodes, and then we said, Okay, let’s have them back for episode 202. And we missed that. We had you Episode 204. Yeah, pretty close. Pretty close. But it became a tradition, even if it wasn’t quite on the nose and in the, in the grand, uh, the grand spirit of that tradition. You’re back here on episode 301. Yes. Perfect.

Beth: [00:03:34] So just a little early then.

Mark: [00:03:36] Yeah. Yeah. So we’re still if you average it all out, we’re still off by one. Yep. So. So if we do 401 next time we’ll be back on. We’ll be right over the world, All right? And then we can get back onto the 02’s, you know, four years from now. Wow. But yeah, and also, Beth, you were on we interviewed you solo about narrative design in episode 132. Oh. Which was like three years ago.

Beth: [00:04:02] I believe you. I don’t remember that, though.

Mark: [00:04:05] I had to use the website search function to just double check that I got them all because yeah, now that we’re at 300 and past it, I don’t remember all the episodes. There’s so many episodes, y’all.

Stephen: [00:04:15] Oh my goodness. Yeah. Um, so yes, we’ve done Game Jams in the past. Listeners I assume are familiar with it, but if you are not, we try to create. I did. I did this in the intro, but it was really fast. So yeah, we try to make a game within an hour. Ellen is in a meeting but has given us a prompt. Yes.

Mark: [00:04:34] She and Dale worked on it together. Yes. And they’re very excited about it.

Stephen: [00:04:38] It’s fancy this time. We don’t normally have an envelope. It’s normally Dale just sends me a DM or something and I just can’t look at it until we actually look at the prompt.

Mark: [00:04:44] Get that right up to the mic so they can hear you unsealing.

Stephen: [00:04:47] Okay, let’s let’s do this. Taking the tape off. Oh, the paper. Okay. Create a game about patching potholes that Gabe would have fun playing. Oh, got to make a game. Tropical sun.

Mark: [00:05:05] Okay, so, yeah, a lot of potholes now that the snow is gone. Yeah. Lots and lots of potholes left in the city. A game that Gabe would like to play. Gabe is your son who has been on the show a couple of times when you were here. He is currently out in the office watching Star Trek.

Andy: [00:05:24] Yep, six years old. So you’re targeting a six year old.

Mark: [00:05:25] Yeah.

Beth: [00:05:26] Yeah, he’s almost seven. That’s true. Real close.

Stephen: [00:05:30] Oh, that changes things. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark: [00:05:32] I always think of him as the exact same age as the show, but he’s a little older than the show.

Stephen: [00:05:37] But very close. Yeah, Do track it that way.

Mark: [00:05:40] I have a very strong memory of that first time and just how much he fell in love with Martha. Yes, sure. Yeah. All good times.

Stephen: [00:05:51] Okay, so how do we start with this? So civil engineering is our game prompt. Yeah, but for seven year olds.

Mark: [00:05:57] So there’s a couple of questions. I mean, the history of these, we tend to have like categories. So we either do board games or we do like game design documents for things that might be video games. Yeah, sure. And then the other thing is like, is it going to be competitive or cooperative or I guess single player, although we haven’t done many of those. Yeah, that’s true.

Beth: [00:06:20] He is pretty big on video games.

Andy: [00:06:22] He is pretty big on video games. They’re pretty much always a hit. I think there’s I think there’s a lot of potential for board game. There is, Yeah.

Mark: [00:06:32] Okay. And he’s old enough now that he’s not going to swallow any of the pieces. Right? At least that’s good. I mean, maybe in protest.

Beth: [00:06:39] But no, he try to make you swallow them.

Stephen: [00:06:45] Oh, that’s hilarious.

Beth: [00:06:46] No, he’s a good kid. I know. Just in case anyone hasn’t met him, it’s actually a good kid. I can make those jokes because you guys know him. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:06:58] Um, okay, so I’m kind of leaning towards board game.

Mark: [00:07:03] I am too, because I like the idea of there being a road and then potholes in the road that lends itself very naturally to a board game.

Stephen: [00:07:09] And this is a road quote unquote for Gabe to get into board games. Mhm.

Mark: [00:07:13] Oh yeah that’s true. I mean as the, as the designers of this game now you can you know, and we’re going to be, we’re going to be giving this to Gabe to play, It’s going to be, we’re going to have to have him judge it. Oh yeah. Um, this is also your opportunity to get him into interested in board games or certain types of mechanics if you have any designs on that. Some parents are, you know, really love, like guiding their children’s likes and interests. My understanding is it’s generally futile.

Beth: [00:07:38] It is.

Andy: [00:07:39] It’s worth a shot, but.

Beth: [00:07:40] You can try. Right.

Stephen: [00:07:43] So we got our prototyping kit. Yep. Got the white box. Lots of pieces, lots of dye, lots of other things. We got our French. Deck of cards. Right. Which I cannot understand. But Mark is here to translate. Uh huh. Um. That’s not helping. Okay, well, let’s think what we need to fix potholes.

Mark: [00:08:05] Right is that the prompt is it’s about patching. Yeah. So fixing potholes. Yes.

Beth: [00:08:13] So are we limited to this stuff in here? No.

Mark: [00:08:17] No, we can. I mean, certainly if we’re interested in prototyping or doing a play test during the show, it helps just to limit ourselves to what’s in the room. Yes, but our imaginations can go past that. And we can just sort of like, you know, work that out because I.

Beth: [00:08:31] Instantly went to Play-Doh or something for him to actually pound into something.

Mark: [00:08:35] Oh, that’s cool. That’s kind of brilliant. I love.

Stephen: [00:08:38] That. Okay.

Beth: [00:08:39] Because he likes, you know, smashing things. Yeah. And that would be like the tactile things. Good for.

Stephen: [00:08:43] You. A safe way of doing it.

Beth: [00:08:44] And Play-Doh they can play with without. I mean, if they eat it, it just tastes gross, Right? So, yeah.

Mark: [00:08:50] Okay. That is oh, there’s a whole category of board game, which is which is really like play objects, right? Yeah. Mousetrap or like or operation things that are physical. Yeah.

Beth: [00:09:01] He really likes those board games that have like the little gemstones and stuff like he gets into like don’t break the ice because he’s got a hammer and little ice cubes and stuff. Yeah, right. Yeah. So I definitely think that some items to play with is nice.

Mark: [00:09:16] I really like this. I’m thinking of like there’s like those vacuform board games, like Escape from Treasure Island or something like that, or Fire Island or Volcano Island or Some like that. You know what I’m talking about? Where you like, roll marbles down a track and it’s just like vacuformed kind of terrain. Yeah, I’m thinking, like, pieces of that like that that are potholes that you would literally, you know, patch up.

Andy: [00:09:36] Yeah, I do really like the idea of filling or covering holes with game pieces, filling them with the the Play-Doh or something like that.

Stephen: [00:09:43] That’s how I was imagining it too. Well, when you brought up that racing thing, I was thinking like, what if you were, like, strategic with the potholes you fixed?

Mark: [00:09:51] Right? Right. Okay. Like you’re trying to you’re trying to clear a path for someone to get through quickly.

Stephen: [00:09:58] I mean, it could be like a game of marbles or whatever where you just roll things down the hill or whatever.

Mark: [00:10:04] Oh, but then they’ll get caught up in the potholes. Yes. Oh, that’s right.

Stephen: [00:10:07] So you could put so you can cover up. You have like three Play-Doh hole pothole covers or whatever, and you could put three of them down. And in any place.

Mark: [00:10:17] You have a limited amount of Play-Doh. Yes. Right. And you need to you need to use it strategically. You can fill a hole completely or like not completely to save some for the next one. That’s nice. I like that. Right? Yeah, I like that. Okay. So we’re not going to be able to prototype the physicality of this, but we can certainly draw it out. Yes. And lay it out. And then just sort of we can leave the QA testing for the if it works properly to, you know, outside the scope of this episode. Yeah. Do we have marbles? Well, no, but my point is that we don’t. I know.

Stephen: [00:10:45] What. I just want to play with marbles. Oh, I see.

Mark: [00:10:50] Well, we actually don’t have is like a pad and paper. Oh, yeah. Pad, pencil. Um, but.

Beth: [00:10:55] You told me no prep. I came with zero things.

Mark: [00:10:58] No. This is on us completely. Yep. But it might be fun to draw out a terrain, but we can use the pieces. We have to do that. Yeah, that’s fine. It should be all right. That is. I think listeners will recognize that’s like a feature of Nice Games Jam is like we need to also like, try to like make the the process as efficient as possible to fit within the episode, which is not normally a game jam concern. You can a lot of times you can just run out to target to get the stuff you need, right? You know, if you’re trying to do something like this. But I also want to make sure we’re not constraining ourselves with the things we have. Okay. So we have some sort of terrain, I guess the downhill because we’re going to be rolling marbles down it, whether that twists or turns, whatever, it’s either it’s going to be it’ll have like physical potholes that you’ll fill in with Play-Doh and either be like the same each time or it’ll be like maybe like little.

Andy: [00:11:50] Tiles, interchangeable sections. I would like.

Beth: [00:11:52] The tiles, like one of those games where you get like the stack of like tiles and then you like pick ten and you put them in the board kind of thing.

Mark: [00:11:59] Yeah, so there’s some randomness for replayability. Yeah. I think the actual, the this is going to be an expensive board game and I don’t care. Um, okay. So is it, do we have like, is it sort of co-op, do we have a someone who drops the marbles versus someone who fills the holes? Is it a, you know, a one on one or is it a board game? Four people can play, you know?

Andy: [00:12:25] You know, I kind of like the co-op aspect, but but if it’s not co-op, it seems like the the mechanic you’d aim towards would be, you know, which player can get their marble the furthest down their track. So you’re maybe making decisions like, oh, I could fill in this pothole, but it would help my opponent. So instead I want to fill in this pothole, which will get me further, but not them.

Mark: [00:12:45] Oh, okay. Okay. So that’s.

Andy: [00:12:46] An interesting right, because.

Mark: [00:12:48] There’s two ways to do that. Everyone can have their own track or they can all be on the same track, but then something influences. Either they start from a different place or twists and turns the.

Andy: [00:12:57] Tracks, the tracks intersect or something like that. So, you know, like I’ve got the red marble, you’ve got the blue marble. We’ve got our. Designated starting points and which of us can get further down the track with our limited amount of pothole filler?

Mark: [00:13:10] Okay, I like that.

Beth: [00:13:11] So I like the idea of it being slightly competitive in that. Have you seen all of the city postings about the potholes and how the people on the North side are like, why would you patch the potholes on the south side? Ours are so much worse. I want something about like that to be some somehow engaging involved in here, like some kind of cards or something that you can. Yeah, I like that. You can get more pothole filler or something.

Mark: [00:13:37] So each player represents a different neighborhood, perhaps? Yeah, I like that. Okay. Okay. I think that also that removes the burden a little bit on. So it’s not necessarily that it’s your marble down a track, it’s your section of the of town and then maybe at the end a bunch of marbles go and that just represents traffic or something and you want the most marbles to go down your area or whatever. And maybe that passes through someone else’s area, but it’s not as complicated and as as sort of interweaving interacting paths, which I think would be something we would probably just trust would work, but not be able to design it. Um, but yeah, like.

Andy: [00:14:14] Yeah, I do like that. I like the, I like the prep stage. You’re prepping your path and then each player goes and they drop, you know, ten marbles down and then you say, Oh yeah, I got seven, you know, three of them got stuck, but seven of them made it down.

Mark: [00:14:26] Oh. And you can decide where to drop them and maybe, maybe you drop them in just the best parts of town, but you only get points if it goes through your part of town or something like that. So sort of some there’s some complication to like you want to get the most of your traffic through, but also you want the most traffic to go through your area.

Andy: [00:14:44] That’s interesting.

Mark: [00:14:45] Maybe that’s a little too complicated.

Stephen: [00:14:47] Yeah. I’m trying to think how you would keep track of which marbles went through your neighborhood. Like if it’s.

Andy: [00:14:52] Yeah, I was imagining, you know, in this scenario, everyone having their own separate neighborhood track.

Mark: [00:14:58] Right, right, right. So that does. Yeah.

Andy: [00:15:00] Non non intersecting.

Beth: [00:15:01] So if everybody gets their own board. Yeah. In a way is what you’re saying. Yeah. And so, so where’s the where’s the like competition. Like I’m thinking like you get one can of Play-Doh. Right. And like we parcel it out into like four little balls or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. How do we, like, get more from someone else or something? Like, I’m thinking like those community chest cards and stuff that always, like, screw you over, like. Right, right, right, right.

Mark: [00:15:28] Right. Because I think we’re now getting into the point of like, what is actually the moment moment to play, right? Yeah. What does a turn look like? Yeah. Okay.

Andy: [00:15:35] See then we’ve got the like, Oh yeah. I drew a card and it’s like, oh I’m going to swap one of my tiles with Stephen’s. So I’ll take a tile that, that I have lots of potholes in and take one of tile Stephen’s tiles. Ooh. So that, so that lets us have separate tracks like.

Mark: [00:15:49] Competitive resource management in a way.

Andy: [00:15:53] That’s interesting.

Mark: [00:15:55] Yeah, I think. I think we should nail down what the board is. Yeah, because that’ll start to. That’ll start to help. I was. I was thinking earlier like, oh, we don’t have to decide exactly, but now I’m thinking all the other decisions will have to flow from that. Um, okay, so. It is. This thing’s still going to have to roll downhill because we’re still using marbles, right?

Beth: [00:16:15] Everything rolls downhill, Mark.

Mark: [00:16:16] So maybe what we have is a, um, like, you know, like a frame that has, like, city hall in the middle, and it’s like a pyramid, so it goes down in all directions, right? And then each quadrant would be a player. Maybe it only needs to be three, but and then those sections would sort of belong to each of the players. And then then you fill them in with the various tiles which you, which that’s the resource starts, you collect them in front of you. And then there’s like a different mode of the game. Or maybe it’s after each, after each, everyone does a turn. Then you start building and then you go back to another mode of the game or something like that. Okay. That sound all right?

Beth: [00:17:02] I like that. I like that. Like build. And then the end is where you see how well you did the point collection, right? I mean.

Andy: [00:17:10] We could if we choose to, we could have a phase for selecting tiles, placing tiles, then filling the potholes as a separate phase. Yeah, Yeah. If there’s cards that are played to interact with the other player’s constructions or not like those are all options at this point, I think.

Mark: [00:17:25] Oh, this is really good too, because then you can have as you build your thing, you’re kind of building the maze, so you want to it’s like, Oh, I need an L-shaped path here. But the only ones available in the pool or the ones I can take from other players have a bunch of potholes, which means I need to, in the next round, make sure I fill them. So there’s some there’s some like each each stage gives you new constraints that you need to resolve in the stage afterwards. I like it. Okay. So we’re done then.

Beth: [00:17:54] All right, let’s pack it up. How many minutes?

Mark: [00:17:58] No, it does kind of feel very like I can see the whole game. I can’t quite express it yet.

Stephen: [00:18:04] Explain it to me again, because I didn’t finish writing another rule. Okay?

Mark: [00:18:07] Okay. So. All right. So there’s kind of a grid of some kind where you can put down parts of of terrain roads, I guess. Um, and it’s all everything starts in the center where there’s like sort of a city hall or government plaza or something. Okay. Um, and sort of the top of a pyramid, basically. And then each quadrant is a side of the pyramid that, that each player can fill in with the, with the various pieces. And then those pieces are just a, I guess, city blocks or there’s something that have paths on them that the marbles can go down and they can they could be interchangeable. So they could go anywhere in there. Okay. Some method of tiling and then some of them will have potholes, some of them won’t. Some of them will have like interesting obstacles. Some of them will be kind of just like narrow streets or like a Lombard Street or something that like if a if a marble is going too quick, it’ll bounce off it or something. So you want to put that in an area where the marble is slower or things like that? Basically, yeah. A bunch of different types of, of tiles. And then the player also will then be allocated a certain amount of Play-Doh to fill the potholes with. And that either is everyone gets the same start of the game or through some part they, they build up their cache. Perhaps um.

Beth: [00:19:29] All the tiles cost. You have a pool, right? And so each tile like there’s a cost on the tiles, right? So like the ones that are the one way, like really if you go too fast, that’s like a cheaper one. But then there’s like the really nice block that’s like this straight or whatever kind of thing, right?

Mark: [00:19:45] That’s like straight down. Yeah. So it’ll get you faster as well. That’s the expensive one. So you have to budget.

Beth: [00:19:50] Yeah. Knowing you’re going to have to like patch the potholes. Wow. That’s a lot of peas.

Mark: [00:19:55] And, and then the, the, the Play-Doh either also costs or is the currency.

Stephen: [00:20:02] Oh. Is the current.

Mark: [00:20:04] Because it’s dough. Right. It’s dough like it. I mean the only thing about that is that the physicality of actually parceling out that might be a little finicky. So maybe that wouldn’t be useful.

Beth: [00:20:17] Oh, but that could be the twist. You don’t know that that’s the dough until you get to phase two, right? And so you’re like, Oh, I have $5 left and it’s like you get five little balls and someone’s like, I got 15. And they’re like, super happy.

Mark: [00:20:33] Right? It could we could, we could. The game could ship with a little like, um, ice cream scooper kind of thing. That would, would make it into units, right? Yep. So you’re just in front of you have a bunch of little ones that were that way. It would be easy to parse it out rather than scooping from a big chunk or something. And so everyone starts with the same amount, I guess. And that’s just the one currency. It fills potholes, but it also pays for things.

Beth: [00:20:55] Yeah, because then you can buy squares from other people, right? You’re like, I really like that tile. Can I please have it for two pothole fillers, right?

Andy: [00:21:04] Wheelin and dealin monopoly style? Yeah.

Mark: [00:21:07] Okay. That’s pretty good.

Stephen: [00:21:09] All right. Okay. So. If you if you use the Play-Doh as currency, but you also use it to fill in potholes.

Andy: [00:21:18] Well, you know, the.

Mark: [00:21:20] Idea that you can actually break off portions of it, I guess, in that point so that.

Stephen: [00:21:23] That all makes sense.

Mark: [00:21:25] Yeah, well, I wouldn’t go that far, but. Well.

Andy: [00:21:28] The idea of the roadways having like a price on them, to me that would be like their victory point value, right? Yeah. So you’ve picked a challenging roadway. It’s got more victory points, whereas you’re like, Oh, I’m almost out of pothole filler. I’m going to pick the straight road that doesn’t have any potholes in it, and it’s only worth one victory point. But this curvy.

Mark: [00:21:47] Oh, okay. Got it. The victory point. This might be a little hard to keep track of, but I think it might be worth it, which is that when you drop a marble in a marble passes through it, you get those points. Sure, Sure. Right. And so that’s just going to have to be like everyone just pay you one at a time.

Andy: [00:22:01] So if your marble makes it all the way to the end, you just add them all up.

Mark: [00:22:04] Yeah, Yeah. Now, this could also be something where we could have the marbles, could be, um, conductive. And we could have to, you know, pogo pins at the beginning and end of each one. And you could actually make this an electronic board game where it would actually close a circuit and tally up your points. So it’s doable. You don’t have to have kids paying attention. All right.

Stephen: [00:22:25] So the tiles that you purchase with the Play-Doh, I know, I’m still so lost. I am trying to take the notes.

Beth: [00:22:32] Stephen’s trying to take notes. I pity Stephen for that because that is hard. Yeah. To, like, pay attention to and type.

Stephen: [00:22:38] Normally how these game jams go is I forget to take notes till the last minute, and then we figure it all out. Yeah. Now I’m trying to do it in the spur of the moment. It’s not working. Um, what my question is though is, is how expensive are the difficult tiles versus the non difficult tiles like the easy tiles? Are they worth one or are they worth three? I guess. And the difficult tiles, they’re worth one or are they worth three?

Mark: [00:23:00] I’m not thinking about the economy of this at all yet.

Stephen: [00:23:02] Oh well, heck, you know that’s where my mind…

Beth: [00:23:04] Andy’s real good at the numbers. Yeah.

Mark: [00:23:06] This is for Andy and Stephen to work out the balance together.

Andy: [00:23:09] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I kind of like the idea of the currency only being as pothole filler, so it’s only value is pothole filler. I could be talked out of that probably.

Stephen: [00:23:18] So you can just get any tiles you want though.

Andy: [00:23:21] So I don’t know. We could do either the you know, you’re picking the tile that you’ve got the pool of tiles. Yeah. You know, I kind of like the draw tile thing. Right. So. So, so you’ve got five tiles in front of you. Yep. You pick the one you like and then it gets replaced from the blindly replaced from the pool. Okay. Okay.

Mark: [00:23:38] So, yeah, that reduces sort of choice paralysis, right?

Andy: [00:23:42] You’ve got a reasonable amount of choices, Right? But but it’s still interesting because you’re like, Oh, there’s not the perfect tile for me. I’ve got to pick. Right. You know, a good tile. What’s the best?

Mark: [00:23:52] Maybe some tiles could be bigger than others so that, like, if one tile is like two units long, it takes there’s five slots, right? And so it would take up two of those slots. And when you so when you select that, then you draw the next one. And if it’s only one, then you draw. So there’s some sort of like strategic ness as to what you pick. Governs what is available to the next player. Right? Okay. I like that.

Stephen: [00:24:17] I mean, yeah, in any drafting system and you pick a tile, you’re denying other people that tile. So yeah, you know, there’s always that strategy as well. I imagine there could be a situation where somebody picked. Um, I don’t know. I guess a tile that, like, connects in a way that makes this path really easy. But you’re like, No, I don’t want you to have this particular title that would make this even easier for you. So you take that, right?

Mark: [00:24:36] It’s not that useful to you, but it’s. Yeah. What? It would mess them up.

Stephen: [00:24:40] Yeah.

Mark: [00:24:40] Okay. That’s good. Emergent strategic. Yeah. Behaviors. It’s kind of hard to know all about. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:24:46] Yeah. It’s hard for me to imagine a situation in which you’re picking a title that specifically prevents somebody else from benefiting dramatically, but I’m having a hard time envisioning it because I’m still trying to take notes. So I think.

Mark: [00:24:57] There’s there’s so much about this that like, would need to be figured out that is outside the scope of our design. But absolutely, I’m just assuming that we’ll all get figured like how these things all fit together, you know, on a on an area which is essentially a triangle, you know, may not may not make a lot of sense initially, but let’s we can worry about that another time. Yeah. Um, okay so so currency. It’s just the you just have the dough to fill the potholes. So we’re losing the dough metaphor, which is a fun joke, but maybe a little bit too much of a stretch. So I’m happy to lose it. Um. Okay.

Ellen: [00:25:41] You guys. We made a game.

Mark: [00:25:42] Stephen, how did Ellen get back in here?

Stephen: [00:25:44] I don’t know. She broke in. Hi. How’d your meeting go?

Ellen: [00:25:47] Uh, it’s a meeting. It’s a business. Happened.

Stephen: [00:25:51] Business happened.

Ellen: [00:25:52] Nice business happened. I don’t have to do anything. I have no action items from the meeting. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:25:57] Nice. So that’s the best kind.

Mark: [00:25:58] So what are you doing here, then?

Ellen: [00:25:59] I want to talk about GLOM. GLOOOOOOM. GLOM is a game that we made. We did. Do you remember? I do. Yeah. Yeah. Good time. And not only did we make it, but we also worked with Peter to get a publisher to pick it up. Yes, Right. And that publisher is publishing it. And it’s coming out this year. Yeah. Not only is it coming out this year, but we just heard that they have like pages up for it and you can pre-order it. What do.

Mark: [00:26:29] I know? If I were a person who was all excited about all this? Yeah, not saying that I am, but if I was right, how would I be able to pre-order this?

Ellen: [00:26:38] Well, you go to [https://nicegames.club/glom] Yeah. Yeah. G-L-O-M. Nice. That’s how you spell GLOM. That’s how you spell GLOOOOOOOOOM.

Stephen: [00:26:51] Great. Cut. That’s it.

Ellen: [00:26:58] Did that sell it?

Mark: [00:27:08] So.

Stephen: [00:27:10] Okay, so the scoring system is the tiles all have a certain amount of points on them or each tile is worth one point.

Mark: [00:27:15] Each tile is has victory points that you earn when a marble passes through it. Right. But.

Stephen: [00:27:22] Okay.

Andy: [00:27:25] Challenging that.

Mark: [00:27:26] Right. And that could either be because it’s really challenging because it’s likely that a marble will roll off of it or it’s really challenging because it’s likely that marble get stuck or it’s really challenging because it has a ton of potholes and therefore you need to use a lot of your pothole filler to to make it, you know, usable. But in which case it’s then now easy to get through, you know, stuff like that. Um.

Stephen: [00:27:48] I mean, yeah, the amount of potholes that a tile has. Yeah. Like that. Yeah.

Mark: [00:27:52] Like you’re saying one, 2 or 3 feels pretty good. Then it’s not. So it’s not this enormous, wildly swinging economy of like 1 to 10 or something. 50.

Beth: [00:28:00] Especially if you want a seven year old to count their score. Right.

Mark: [00:28:02] Well, I’m I think I want to make this electronic board game as long as our budget is unlimited. I think that would be really fun to have it automatically track as it goes down.

Beth: [00:28:11] You know, you’re on your way to another published game because these kind of games. Have you been to the store recently and seen what’s on those shelves? No, not this could go.

Andy: [00:28:19] If you sell it as an educational game, there’s no limit to the price parents will pay.

Stephen: [00:28:26] That’s our next.

Mark: [00:28:26] Yep, yep.

Stephen: [00:28:27] Game. Yeah.

Beth: [00:28:29] Just call it civil engineering 101 or something.

Mark: [00:28:32] And yeah, I think, I mean, my aim for a lot of these things is always to have some sort of like, um, some applicable, either moral or teaching. Um, it could be slight. Um, that might be a tall order for this, but if, if nothing else to teach about like budgeting and, and just the, the thematic element of like, you know, cities need, you know, civic engagement and budgeting. Yeah. Like that’s enough.

Beth: [00:29:02] I guess there’s always more potholes than you have filler for. Yeah.

Mark: [00:29:06] Yeah. I mean and that can be something we make sure is we can, you know, tweak the engineering of it. So it’s always that way. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:29:13] So each person gets the same amount of Play-Doh? I think so. And each person is only allowed to use Play-Doh on their quadrant.

Mark: [00:29:21] Oh, there could be some sabotage, is what you’re saying.

Stephen: [00:29:23] That was not what I was implying, but that’s.

Mark: [00:29:25] What Stephen was saying for sure.

Stephen: [00:29:27] Sure.

Beth: [00:29:28] I just imagine this now being a square, right? Like four sides. Yeah. With the thing on top and on a spinner thing. So you can be like, Nope, turn one time to the right or whatever. And then I inherit Stephen’s board.

Stephen: [00:29:40] Oh.

Mark: [00:29:42] I was thinking just to get, like, spin it around so you can kind of see what’s going on. But I like that that, like, the spinning is a move you make.

Beth: [00:29:49] Kind of like the uno reverso kind of thing, right?

Mark: [00:29:53] And, you know, as long as we’re tracking each of these tiles, you know, electronically, you know, you could also, you know, have a way to to govern who controls each part, each stretch of road or whatever. Or it could be that the marble, once it gets to the bottom, it’s like plinko, it gets into your bin at the bottom. And so it doesn’t matter how it gets there. Oh, sure, Right. But the point is that collects along the way you get if it lands in your spot. So like there could be a fork. A fork in the road could be a plate. But then now you’re now you’re 5050. It could go one way or the other. Yeah. And wherever it lands gets the points of that and all the all the preceding and following. And then that also makes the rotating make a lot of sense because you can rotate on your turn and you’re only allowed to place things in the area in front of you. Right. Sure. And a move could be also swapping or moving or reconfiguring.

Stephen: [00:30:45] Okay, So you could, like, save your Play-Doh for a situation in which you get. The the quadrants you want, I guess instead of like patching up a thing and then somebody taking up all of that, you patched up, you know what I’m saying? Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

Mark: [00:30:59] But also, if you can remove tiles off the board, then anyone who puts Play-Doh in those, it’s now wasted. Oh, right. So there’s some strategic elements to that as well. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:31:10] Boy, I’ve only city building was this simple. Interesting. Okay. Okay.

Mark: [00:31:16] So everyone liked that idea of, like, where the ball ends determines who gets those points.

Stephen: [00:31:21] It makes it more random.

Beth: [00:31:25] Andy doesn’t like random.

Mark: [00:31:26] Yeah, well.

Andy: [00:31:27] I’m getting. I’m getting a little bit of a munchkin feel out of it, you know?

Mark: [00:31:31] Well, but the thing is, is it’s. It’s only random in so far that, like, you still have control over what the paths are. Sure. Right. So you want to. But everybody else. Yeah, it’s a little bit I see what you’re saying but that’s that’s the interaction between players I think.

Andy: [00:31:45] I think a lot of it boils down to like, what is the mechanic for rotating the board and doing like a total district swap or.

Mark: [00:31:53] Yeah, I guess my, my conception, if this is the way we go, is that you can rotate it but that you’re only allowed to interact with the things in front of you. And but on the bottom, all around the bottom, it just alternates colors between the four players, all the ending spots. So you always so you’re always able to in impact a couple of of your ending spots and also some of other peoples as well.

Stephen: [00:32:21] Does that make it so that sometimes like paths that you created, just there are no marbles will go through? Because I think part of the fun of this might be like, you know, seeing, making a path, um, you know, patching up some of the holes and hoping that your marble goes through and seeing that happen. Yeah. And. The the marble randomly going to a different path and you not being able to see your marker like a marble go through it to see like what you did if what you did worked is going to be disappointing I think.

Mark: [00:32:50] Does that make sense? When is that ever going to happen?

Stephen: [00:32:52] If I’m like, because marbles will go down 1 or 2 paths, right? What if they just always go down two and they never go down one?

Mark: [00:32:58] Well, then you. Then on your turn, you would change a piece. Oh, I see. Right.

Stephen: [00:33:02] Oh, I see. So you’re not establishing a path. The paths are just changing over time.

Mark: [00:33:07] Well, you establish. But then you can start. You can either. Let’s say it if you have. I don’t want to do an action points economy or anything like that, but let’s say it’s more costly in some manner. Maybe you have to skip a turn or something, but like you can place a tile in your in your inventory or you can swap, you can do one or the other or, or you could remove or, you know, yeah, those would be different actions that would either be.

Beth: [00:33:33] I kind of like the action economy though. You can spin it, you can replace the tile, you can drop a marble.

Mark: [00:33:40] Oh, I love that. Oh, or you can fill a pothole. So. Okay. All right. So everyone has like three action points. Okay. And all the things you can do cost a certain number of action points. Wait, that way there’s not like, phases. There’s just everyone gets a turn.

Stephen: [00:33:52] Oh, I like the idea of it just being you pick one thing to do, but I guess each thing would have a certain amount.

Mark: [00:33:57] Yeah, it makes the action economy. Okay if there’s not a bunch of different phases, if it’s just like, No, I agree with that.

Stephen: [00:34:03] What I’m what I’m saying is that like, if you just pick one thing, then you don’t have to think about I have three points and spinning the thing costs three points versus putting a new tile cost two points. You know.

Beth: [00:34:13] I would just have them each be an action, right?

Andy: [00:34:15] Okay. Like you get three actions. They’re all one point. Okay.

Stephen: [00:34:18] Okay. Oh, sure. Okay. Three actions.

Andy: [00:34:20] And then you might like, oh, this is. This is perfect. I’m just going to drop three marbles and collect my cash. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or you might say, Oh, yeah, I’m going to do like these two moves. And now I’m happy with the board and I’ll drop a marble. Yeah, I like that.

Mark: [00:34:33] Then it doesn’t necessarily have to. We don’t even have to keep track of like where the thing ends up necessarily. It can just be when dropping a marble, you just collect points. Yeah. Wherever. Wherever it goes. Okay. I like that. Right.

Andy: [00:34:45] And I think that that that that jives pretty well with like, you know, a game like Dominion right. Where at the beginning of the game you’re focusing on building up your deck your your contributing to your future economy. And then at the end of the point, at the end of the game, you’re like, I don’t care what’s in my deck. All I’m trying to do is score victory points, right? So that’s analogous here because all you’re doing at the end, okay, like this is end game. Now I’m going to be dropping as many marbles as I can to try to get the get the points I want. That’s fun.

Mark: [00:35:12] Okay.

Stephen: [00:35:13] What are the what were the actions? Rotate board, drop marble face.

Beth: [00:35:17] Place or swap a tile.

Stephen: [00:35:19] Okay place swap a tile and then fill a pothole. Yeah.

Beth: [00:35:25] Might be fun.

Mark: [00:35:27] And I think the one restriction is that you can only do the things that are in front of you and that’s why you would want to rotate. Okay. Yeah. And you rotate it like a full 90 degrees or something, right?

Stephen: [00:35:40] And so the, the points you get are not based off of what marbles go through your track. It’s where they end up. Right.

Mark: [00:35:45] There is no your track anymore. There’s just How like how. So when you drop a marble, you want it to basically go through as many tiles as possible and make it to the end. Right. If if it like if it falls off or something, then you get no points. Right? That’s a crash.

Beth: [00:36:03] Right. So if Steven makes a really kick butt track, I’m going to spin it and drop two marbles, right? Do you know what I mean?

Stephen: [00:36:11] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mark: [00:36:12] Well, actually, it’s kind of fun about that is it becomes a very high scoring game, which is which is just enjoyable. It also mean that like, for kids, if you’re not doing that well, your your strategic element could just be.

Andy: [00:36:24] Always spin, take a take, take the other person’s board and then play off that. Right?

Mark: [00:36:29] So there needs to be some balance to make sure that’s not there’s there’s no leeching a play style. But that’s okay. We can figure that out. I think it’s we’ll have to keep that.

Beth: [00:36:39] Spin once or you can only drop.

Mark: [00:36:41] Yeah right. Like or maybe when you drop a marble it ends your turn. So. So you can only drop at most one. Okay. Oh, that’s not too complicated. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:36:51] But idea that Andy was proposing where like, you know, if you’re an end game you put a bunch of marbles down because you’re like, I’m getting to the point where like, it’s high scoring now. Yeah, I think that is satisfying.

Mark: [00:37:01] Does seem fun.

Andy: [00:37:02] Yeah, some of that might be like, Oh, you can only rotate it in one direction. You can only rotate to the left when you choose. Okay. Yeah, yeah. That, that kind of mitigates. You’re not having.

Mark: [00:37:11] A bunch of fighting back and forth between two players, right? Yeah.

Andy: [00:37:13] I mean, what you don’t want to create is like, okay, we’re only working on one of the four tracks and everybody’s first thing is to rotate it one to the left so they can work on the good track and then the other three tracks languish.

Mark: [00:37:24] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, then if that does start happening, a player, I mean, it could just happen, but then a player could try to, for their own benefit, rotate it once more to throw everybody off the rhythm.

Beth: [00:37:39] I’m going to rotate twice.

Andy: [00:37:41] I guess maybe. Maybe the answer is play proceeds the left, but the board only rotates in the opposite direction.

Mark: [00:37:46] Yeah, that’s great. I like that. You like that? Yeah, because it does prevent that.

Andy: [00:37:50] Yeah. At least with 3 or 4 players, it prevents it with two players. It’s, I guess it’s unpreventable.

Beth: [00:37:56] Yeah. With two players you’re going to have two blank sides.

Andy: [00:38:00] I guess I assumed you would go past the blank sides.

Mark: [00:38:03] No, no, no. There wouldn’t be blank sides. You would just rotate it once and now it’s inside. You can use a new side.

Beth: [00:38:07] Okay. It would just be a longer game.

Mark: [00:38:08] It would. It would, Right. Yeah. I think that’s self-balancing. Even with three players, there’s just one gap. But that gap is always going to be in front of people. Just going to be somebody eventually. Yeah, because there’s no one owns any of the sides. So yeah, I like that’s I think that’s a really good rule. Is that whichever way play proceeds, the board only goes the other way because then you could you can use if you only have three actions, you can’t. You could, you know, you could rotate it three times, but then nothing else. So it’s not that useful to get to the side you want, but you can rotate it twice if you really want the one that’s two away and then just roll one marble. Or you could rotate it once and do two marbles even though it’s kind of a crappy route. So there’s lots of choices. Okay, very cool.

Stephen: [00:38:59] How does the game end?

Mark: [00:39:00] It never does.

Andy: [00:39:03] You’re here for. I think it’s when someone gets upset and flips the table.

Beth: [00:39:08] When the kid starts eating, the Play-Doh isn’t there like a it’s like after ten rounds kinds of. Yeah.

Andy: [00:39:15] Rules probably around, you know.

Mark: [00:39:18] Yeah. Round tracker is good. I think thematically it should be related to like pothole season. Yeah. So like when winter starts, that’s when the game ends, right? So you.

Beth: [00:39:27] Have a little track where you’re like, this is January, this is February.

Speaker7: [00:39:31] And that’s just what.

Mark: [00:39:32] Each turn represents a month or something. Just thematically. Sure, yeah, that’s fun.

Beth: [00:39:37] I like that. Okay. Yeah. Okay, cool. I like it.

Andy: [00:39:41] Then. Like, thematically, it’s. It’s four different neighborhoods. Nobody owns the neighborhood, and they’re like, four different construction companies or something like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you’re getting, you’re getting your credit for each car that each marble that you roll down is. Yeah. Represents well upon your company.

Mark: [00:39:58] Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s a little bit of a disconnect between like the traffic and then the person who builds because you may be sending some traffic through somebody else’s but it’s your turn so you get the points. But I’m totally comfortable with that. It’s kind of I don’t mind that being come through the.

Beth: [00:40:12] The Neighborhood after the storm. Yeah, it’s like, Oh, there’s six of the Evergreen Company picking up trees and there’s two of the so that kind of thing. Yeah.

Andy: [00:40:22] I like it. All right. Here’s my big question for everyone. Once you’ve played the game and you’ve filled all the potholes with Play-Doh, how do you get the Play-Doh out of the potholes?

Beth: [00:40:35] Have you ever played with the little extruder Play-Doh thing that.

Andy: [00:40:38] You just push it through a plate and all of it? You just.

Beth: [00:40:41] You just slide something down and it just pushes it all out.

Andy: [00:40:44] I think that’s what you got to do. You got to have, like, a little.

Mark: [00:40:47] I like it. Yeah. The the physical constraints of this, I think are numerous, but those are not those are that’s problem for product designers to solve that that can be us later or never.

Andy: [00:40:57] I mean the lame the lame solution is you put a cube and the cube shaped pothole.

Mark: [00:41:02] Yeah. And that is a way you could do it. But I don’t want to give up on the fun. Right?

Andy: [00:41:06] That’s the given up on the fun for the practical. Right.

Mark: [00:41:08] Plus, there’s I think the the thing that excited me most, Beth, when you proposed it is like you could almost feel the pothole and save some of your Play-Doh. Yeah. And that that feels very municipal budgeting. Yeah, right.

Beth: [00:41:23] Oh, there’s a lot of holes there we’re just going to have… ah, ah, it’ll roll over.

Mark: [00:41:27] Because of the way the track is. I know the marble is going to be leaning up against the outer rim of this one. I’m only going to fill this half of the bottle.

Andy: [00:41:34] We don’t really need this pothole filled.

Mark: [00:41:36] I mean, I think the other concern is like marbles down a track like those potholes, are they really going to stop the marbles? But we just assume they do. And it’ll be designed in a way that they would they could be enormous potholes, right? They could be. I mean, they could be the way it could be just like really breaking up big chunks of the road. It could be exaggerated in terms of the scale of it, as long as it would actually send the marbles. Well, I.

Andy: [00:41:59] Saw a picture of a bus in Minneapolis where the bus basically fell in the pothole and it was like up to the axle. Yeah. So, yes.

Mark: [00:42:06] Yikes. Oh, I just saw today in south Minneapolis, there’s a big sinkhole opened up. Oh, my goodness. Just eight foot.

Andy: [00:42:14] Eight foot deep.

Mark: [00:42:15] They said. Yeah, you can see it’s right near a manhole cover. So you can see the the the the tube down to the sewer. Like there’s this big cavity all around it. That’s incredible. Yeah. We’ll put the picture of that in the show notes because. Oh, boy. Jeez.

Stephen: [00:42:29] Yeah. Yeah. That’s scary.

Mark: [00:42:30] Yeah. It’s the kind of thing you see someone, you’re like, I hope it’s not like. I hope no one fell. It’s. I hope no one got lost down there, right?

Beth: [00:42:37] Yeah.

Mark: [00:42:40] Any outstanding concerns or issues.

Stephen: [00:42:43] Let me read out the rules that I’ve typed up because I’m sure I’ve missed half of them. Yeah.

Mark: [00:42:48] Just because like, we’re at 40 minutes, which is like, we’ve really gone through this quick. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:42:53] What the heck. That’s rare.

Beth: [00:42:55] Professional game designers.

Mark: [00:42:57] We’re usually struggling. I think part of this is because we don’t have the capacity to playtest this. So that usually a lot of times takes up the back half of the episode.

Stephen: [00:43:04] Right? But also, like as Beth was saying, the courts are professionals. That’s true. Um, okay. Grid where you put down terrain, everything starts in the center. City hall. It’s a hill. What is that note? That was my first note.

Mark: [00:43:18] It is, I think what I said so almost verbatim.

Stephen: [00:43:22] Mark Yeah, that’s where you put the marbles there. So they roll down the hill. Okay. Each quadrant is a side of the pyramid. There is some method of tiling for the players to put pieces down to determine how the marbles will travel in that area. Players will. Players also get a bit of Play-Doh to fill up their fill up potholes? When a marble passes through a tile, you get its points. No, it’s not accurate. When a marble passes through a tile, you the player where that marble ends up, gets those. No, no.

Mark: [00:43:57] No, no. That was my idea. We’re not doing.

Stephen: [00:43:59] Okay, so what is the rule then?

Mark: [00:44:01] When you drop a marble, you get all the points that marble collects.

Stephen: [00:44:04] When you drop the marble, you get the points. Okay. Got it.

Speaker7: [00:44:06] Okay, cool. Okay.

Andy: [00:44:07] So if it gets halfway down the track, which you’ll be doing is just adding up the point values of the tracks until it stopped.

Beth: [00:44:14] I think Mark said you get no points.

Mark: [00:44:16] I think it’s got to get all the way through the city.

Andy: [00:44:18] Interesting. Well, okay, so here’s a question. When you’re when you’re partway through the game and you’ve only got half of the tiles filled. Yeah. Is it still an option to drop a marble?

Mark: [00:44:29] I think so, yes. Because you might want to do like a beeline for the bottom. Sure. But then that’s not going to get a lot of points. The really high scoring ones are the slow winding paths, which takes longer to build. So you could you could as a player, you could start going, I’m going to start I’m going to get points early. I’m going to build something quick and try to get it going. But everyone else is the option to use that to. If they can move that in front of them or you could be methodical and I’m going to build this slowly and then, you know, delayed gratification. I’ll get a ton of points. Sure. Right. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:44:57] Cool. Um, five drafts. Five titles to draft from. Pick the best one. A new one replaces it. Yeah. Okay. Each tile is worth one, two, or three points. When a marble passes through, each player does three actions each turn from this list. Rotate board in one direction opposite of the turn order drop marble place, swap a tile or fill or not fill a tile. Fill a pothole.

Beth: [00:45:22] Yeah, right.

Stephen: [00:45:23] You can do the same action more than once. Rotating the board happens towards the left. Play order goes towards the right. There is a turn. Order. Play ends when the turn count. Ends Starts during the season. Ends during another season. Each turn is a month and we can create an extractor to get the Play-Doh out.

Beth: [00:45:42] So now is this complicated enough, or do we want to add another layer?

Mark: [00:45:47] What do you have in mind?

Beth: [00:45:48] Well, so I’m thinking like the what is it, forbidden desert where you have different roles. So like maybe players have especially good skills. Maybe I’m a really good pothole filler. Yeah, but Andy gets to pick two tiles. Okay. Sure. Steven gets to place two tiles. Or maybe for every tile.

Andy: [00:46:08] The traffic director gets to drop two marbles each time they drop a marble.

Mark: [00:46:11] Yeah, maybe. Maybe only one player has the ability to remove tiles. Sure. Oh, okay. So there has to be some. Maybe even alliance forming because you want to make the swap, but you can only do half the job. I don’t know.

Andy: [00:46:21] You know that that does open doors for cooperative play. I feel like. Yeah, because you know, you’ve got your different roles. You know.

Mark: [00:46:27] What? I think this would be a great game. Two teams of two players and there’s one person is has one skill and another person has another skill. Then there’s some things both players can do. But that way there’s still there’s still a it’s not quite it’s not asymmetrical exactly, but it’s still is varied. Yeah. But then you need four players. But that’s fine.

Stephen: [00:46:53] Yeah, that’s fine. Well we were saying that two players seems boring. Three players. I mean, yeah, it’s just being four players I think. Makes sense.

Mark: [00:47:01] Yeah. Mean it could also.

Stephen: [00:47:02] Be a teams of two. Yeah. Yeah. Or teams. Yeah. Two teams is what I mean.

Mark: [00:47:06] Right. But I like the idea of different abilities but I don’t know about like fully asymmetrical because I think it’d be so hard to balance for a game like this. I know Beth was your idea. If you want to. Oh.

Stephen: [00:47:19] This is a game jam and we don’t have to make this game so we can put whatever we want on there. That’s why I was.

Beth: [00:47:23] Like, an extra layer. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:47:25] Yeah. Also, everything is in chrome and flames on.

Mark: [00:47:30] Yeah, that’s just if we get the, if we get the, the stretch goal. Right, right right right right, right.

Andy: [00:47:37] Oh no. The stretch goal is maybe it’s all carved out of wood. Yeah. Every one of the tiles is like a meticulously carved wooden tile.

Stephen: [00:47:44] Perfect. Perfect.

Andy: [00:47:46] Melissa and Doug endorsement. Yeah.

Mark: [00:47:49] And of course, the the final stretch goal is that all the tiles are made such that as you use them, they develop new potholes.

Stephen: [00:47:57] Oh, that’s good. That’s. What? No, I mean, if you.

Mark: [00:48:04] If you could mechanize, that would be great. It would be kind of.

Stephen: [00:48:08] Interesting if you could just, like, make your own tile somehow. It’d be like.

Mark: [00:48:11] Or it’d be like a legacy game. It’s a legacy game. Eventually you’d run out of material.

Andy: [00:48:14] It comes with drill bits so you can drill, drill a pothole at the end of each game in a tile.

Mark: [00:48:21] I mean, there is something about one of your actions being like construction and that causes heavy traffic.

Stephen: [00:48:25] This is for seven year olds!

Beth: [00:48:32] Make it out of cardboard instead and you can punch out the pothole.

Stephen: [00:48:35] Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking, though.

Mark: [00:48:37] And then you don’t need to extract Play-Doh. You just throw it away. Yeah.

Stephen: [00:48:40] Yeah. Oh, that’s fun. Oh, and.

Beth: [00:48:43] Then you sell refill packs.

Mark: [00:48:45] I mean, yeah, that’s a market. Love it.

Andy: [00:48:48] Perfect.

Mark: [00:48:50] I mean, let’s stick with what we got. But that’s. I love the ambition expansion pack.

Stephen: [00:48:55] Oh, that’s good.

Stephen: [00:48:57] That’s our show. We post show notes and such on our website. Nice gameclub. Go there to find the rules of the game we made today. Visit us on Twitter and Mastodon at Nice Games Club where Dale tweets and toots about game dev resources and everything you need to know about first contact day. I didn’t put this in here. Mark did, but I guess you could find it.

Mark: [00:49:16] It’s an important holiday.

Stephen: [00:49:18] Sure.

Stephen: [00:49:20] We like hearing from you. So tweet and toot back or email us [contact@nicegames.club] Nice games Club is on Patreon. Support the show and get stuff including ad free episodes. Sign up at [patreon.com/nicegamesclub]. If you want to keep things more casual, just stop by [nicegames.club/discord] and say hello. Next week we’ll be talking endings and Lusory attitude. But that’s it for this week.

Mark: [00:49:40] So until we start again, remember to.

Stephen: [00:49:42] Play nice and.

All together: [00:49:43] Make nice.

Ian: [00:50:58]

Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Streets.mn podcast! This episode came to us courtesy of Nice Games Club. Check out more of their episodes on their website, [nicegames.club]. The music you’re hearing right now is by Erik Brandt and the Urban Hillbilly Quartet. We’re always looking to feature new voices on the Streets.mn Podcast, so if you have ideas for future episodes, drop us a line at [podcast@streets.mn]. Until next time, take care!

About Ian R Buck

Pronouns: he/him

Podcaster and teacher. Ian gets around via bike and public transportation. "You don't need a parachute to skydive; you just need a parachute to skydive twice!"