ChillPlayer

The Long Dark Board Game

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Today I woke up to a very strange dream of @Raphael van Lierop announcing "The Long Dark Board Game" and the dream was so vivid that I could almost touch the box. In the dream though Raph warned everyone that the board game is based on Story Mode and only people who don't mind being spoiled should play it. Fortunately my hyperdimensional self woke me up before I spoiled myself but that got me thinking: why not?

Obviously we don't know anything about Story Mode yet but just looking at the Sandbox I see huge potential for all kinds of board games based on TLD. To spitball some ideas:

- Board Game for 1 to 5 players (yey multiplayer in TLD ;))
- either one board with different Areas (ML, CH, DP and so on) or several boards, one per map, offering players different experiences/difficulties based on the board they chose to play on
- players would be represented by a token on the board which they can move around, either by drawing cards (move 3 steps), rolling dices or playing cards from their hand they have drawn previously
- all areas on the board are connected with paths which offer different boni and/or risks. Chose this path and you can grab some food along the road but you might need to spend the night without shelter, chose that path and it brings you with only few steps to a safe house but there's a thread of a wolf attacking you
- on each turn you can chose from a pile of cards to draw, one for clothing, one for food, one for tools. Clothing will provide a bonus against bad weather, food is always necessary to have and tools would allow to make a fire or craft cloths.
- moving around will cost you "Condition" which is represented by a 20-fold dice (aka MTG-Dice), drop to 0 and you are dead. One step costs 1 Condition but you can combat this by playing different cards you picked up before. To move around you also need to spend a small amount of food.
- on each turn a global "chance" card will be drawn, affecting the round for every player. E.g. a blizzard arrives and every step you make costs you 1-5 Condition, based on the clothing cards you have. If you have a "firemaking" card you can play it and are not affected by the blizzard.
- after a fixed amount of rounds (2-4) you need to eat at least 3 food, represented by cards or token you've picked up.
- Goal is to be the last man standing or survive for the longest time possible (in solo mode)

This came just from the top of my head and I am sure if the geniuses at hinterland would put some thoughts into it they could come up with a very clever board game which mimicks the Sandbox experience on board. Of course now they have their heads full with the Computer game but once story mode is released they might find some resources to develop (or let develop) a board game based on TLD, I would certainly love it and I think others would too.

Anyone else wishing for a board game or even dreaming about it? How would your TLD Board Game look like?

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You're onto something here.

However, I personally wouldn't make it a board game, I'd make it a tabletop game, and those are surprisingly easy to homebrew for personal use. Here's how to:

  1. Decide on a setting. This has already been done for you by Hinterland, but feel free to alter anything you wish.
  2. Decide on a ruleset. This may be a bit tricky for the layman, but it's quite easy to translate the Basic Roleplaying System (with it's comprehensive percentage values!) to both the TLD setting (you probaby won't need a skill for internet research, whereas you probably want one for gutting animals) and tabletop-gameplay (Just decide how much each movement point actually lets you move, translate weapon ranges etc.)
  3. Add additional rules for the different needs a character has. This may require some playtesting and tweaking.
  4. Decide on a scale for miniatures. I personally prefer 28mm because they're pretty.
  5. Get miniatures. This is where we actually begin to spend money. Here's a good page to start on.
  6. Assemble and paint miniatures for your characters, NPCs, wildlife etc.
  7. Make maps. This is where you'll need materials, patience and a lot of space if they're gonna have to feel meaningful in any kind of way: Depending on weaponry used you're gonna have to have several square meters worth of plywood which you'll need to shape your map on, paint it, add buildings etc. There are some moneysaving tips though, dried moss for example makes excellent brushwork if sealed with hair spray.
  8. Choose a Gamemaster.
  9. Have players create characters
  10. Gamemaster creates storyline or just makes it sandbox RPG.
  11. ????
  12. Fun!

there are hundreds of substeps, so it really helps if you've played a tabletop RPG before. Personally, I'd use the homebrewed system a friend of mine made for our zombie-apocalypse TRPG, since it already has rules for nutrition, warmth, water, shelter strength, diseases, infections, parasites and so on.

Keep in mind that this way of doing things is expensive and requires a lot of dedication before you roll your first die, but when it's done you've got a versatile game system that's good for years of weekly fun with a group of friends!

Now, some pretty pictures:

teaser-6.jpg

Here's one of the maps you'll probably want. This one's relatively modular and can help you save money, but they don't feel as unique.

Fenris-Wolf-Set-I-Gamezone_b4.jpg

A wolf miniature.

BlackBearMiniB10227.jpg

And a bear!

 

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Wow this looks a.w.e.s.o.m.e :geek: I never played tabletop games but this one I would certainly give a try. Would need to find someone to build it though, my skills are not fit for miniature work for I usually work with big stuff (I was sanding a 2m branch all afternoon my wife wants hanging from the wall :D). But that wolf looks like taken out from TLD and made real, and the bears are much cuter than the ones ingame :x

I think the franchise offers enough for both, a board- and a tabletop game. They could release building plans and recommended rule sets for a TRPG without the involvement of a publisher by just putting them online for people to download. And I would put chances rather high that someone at TLD is also playing TRPG and when Story Mode will be released maybe "he/she" will remember this thread and do something in this direction with the sudden spare time ;)

The Board Game I was thinking of would be a conglomeration of mechanics from different games I love to play, namely Agricola, Village, Sons of Anarchy, Magic the Gathering, Tore der Welt (no english version) a bit of Lord of the Rings and Elder Signs. Although the last two are co-op games I would see the TLD board game as a competitive game without direct influence on others, e.g. you can't fight other players or take ressources away from them, just some friends playing side by side trying to survive the longest.

The disadvantage of a board game as opposed to a TRPG is that you have to buy it, you can't build it yourself. The advantage though is, you can buy it and don't have to build it yourself. And it would bring hinterland some more money if it becomes a world wide success, I would certainly propagate it at our local board gaming communities.

 

Edited by ChillPlayer
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2 minutes ago, ChillPlayer said:

Tore der Welt

Gibt's da irgendwie 'n Regelwerk zu? Irgendwo hab ich den Titel doch gelesen...

3 minutes ago, ChillPlayer said:

The disadvantage of a board game as opposed to a TRPG is that you have to buy it, you can't build it yourself. The advantage though is, you can buy it and don't have to build it yourself.

True. TRPGs are, of course, marketed towards people who not only love to play the game but also to collect, assemble and paint miniatures and landscapes. Personally, I'm actualy not one of those, I pay a friend of mine to paint my miniatures for me :D I do enjoy making landscapes though. Guess I'll try to make some TLD maps in a few months when I finally manage to furnish my nerdcave...

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4 minutes ago, Wastelander said:

Gibt's da irgendwie 'n Regelwerk zu? Irgendwo hab ich den Titel doch gelesen...

das Spiel gibts eigentlich überall noch zu kaufen, da sollte auch ein Regelwerk dabei sein. Ist ein Brettspiel, ohne Brett, Figuren und alles was dazu gehört wirds schwierig.

Edited by ChillPlayer

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Just now, ChillPlayer said:

das Spiel gibts eigentlich überall noch zu kaufen, da sollte auch ein Regelwerk dabei sein. Ist ein Brettspiel, ohne Brett, Figuren und alles was dazu gehört, wirds schwierig.

Okay, gut zu wissen, schau ich mir beim nächsten Besuch bei Highlandergames mal an ;)

Back on topic and towards the English language for our non-German Survivors out there: A month or two ago I suggested making a TLD pen&paper RPG, but nothing came out of it.

However, a helpful user there put some very interesting info on game design there that actually made me feel ashamed of the low quality pen&paper games I designed before. Give it a read! The info in that thread can easily be applied to board games as well.

Unknown Armies, by the way, has a pretty good rulesystem for such a setting as well.

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Ik denk dit is een heel goede idee, maar je moet permissie vragen van Hinterland studios wanneer je gebruik werk van hun.
See I can play the funny Germanic accent card too ^_^

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45 minutes ago, EternityTide said:

Ik denk dit is een heel goede idee, maar je moet permissie vragen van Hinterland studios wanneer je gebruik werk van hun.
See I can play the funny Germanic accent card too ^_^

"I think this is a really good idea but we have to ask Hinterland studios for permission to use the name"

Correct? :D

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Pretty much. It might be a bit off because I learned Dutch as a third language (thanks to being born in the UK, despite being a Dutch national) 

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Oh I didn't think about making the (board) game myself, I was hoping someone at hinterland will read this thread and think of it as a phantastic idea which they would pursue :D

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On 2016-10-01 at 1:08 PM, ChillPlayer said:

Agricola

Nice to see a fellow Agricola fan :winky:

If I remember correctly the standing policy on fan creations is that the studio cannot officially endorse them. You'd have to ask @Patrick Carlson for clarification though.

Also, don't keep your scope small! There are many mechanics to draw on in board games than just roll and move! There's a Long Dark themed "Dead of Winter" possibility (replace zombies with wolves), deck building opportunities a la "Arctic Scavengers", base building and adventuring like "Agricola" or "Caverna", and a "Space Hulk" or "Descent: Journeys in the Dark" like run with player vs player or player vs group. Really, endless possibilities of mixing and matching the mechanics :big_smile:

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Why not create a discord channel, get together every Friday nite for a few weeks and talk about how to build a game as a team? Seems to me that everybody able to show images and talk on a mic might be more productive at tacking what is a series of small-medium sized problems in building a board game. The whole concept of a 90 minute multi-player game of the TLD might be best captured as a last man standing game, or a shorter 45 min games based on the challenge modes of the Long Dark. To build on @ChillPlayer's concept so far I'd propose the following ideas.

"It is the near future. The Earth underwent a catastrophic stellar event. Electricity does not function the way it did prior to this event. Humanity has abruptly entered into a new age called "The Long Dark"  The goal of the game is to be the last player alive. Players stay alive by trading and collecting, Food, Forage, Forest Medicine cards for the purpose of playing them to meet their characters needs. When they are unable to play a card they then have to play a condition card, once the player is out of condition cards "They fade into the Long Dark" and the player needs to remove their token from the board. 

A. Objective: The objective would be survive of course longer than your opponent.

B. Materials

1 Game Map, Starter map, Pleasant Valley

1 Six sided die

50 Condition cards 

50 Food-Clothing-Medicine Cards

50 Fire-Firewood-Water Cards

50 Weapons-Ammo Cards

50 Injury Cards

50 Medicine-Health Cards

50 ? Cards

C. Gameplay:

Setting up the game: Separate all cards by color, shuffle then place face down in the respective color piles. For each player playing choose a token. (Tokens are Wolf, Bear, Mountain Lion, Crow, Rabbit, and Deer. Each player then draws 10 condition cards, 3 Red, Blue, and Yellow cards. Each turn is a "day" and each player will decide what to do on their turn in order to advance their character play a series of cards roll a die to determine outcomes, taking any cards they are entitled and returning cards as the rules specify. 

9mqrEDa.png

First, All players pick a starting location indicated by the purple X's on the board. Only one player per starting location. 

hsCPhRH.jpg

Next, Each player rolls 1 die. The player who rolls the lowest starts the game. If two or more players tie, those player continue to roll 1 die until one player rolls the lowest. This player becomes Player One. Starting with the Player One and continuing to the left of Player One with Player Two, Player Three the game will progress by each player taking their turn. Each Player has to take their turn and this is considered to be a day. All players must play through a day sequentially before the next day begins.  

Before the first turn, Player One performs the Daily Observation Rolls.

Player One will roll the dice once for a weather observation, and the a second time for an aurora observation. These value of these rolls is recorded a piece of lined paper and remain in effect for all players during the day until every player has performed their rolls. The next day Player Two will perform these rolls, and Player Three the following day. If a player dies then the Daily Observation Roll is made by the next player in the order.

Weather modifies how far players can travel, and modifies the likelihood of injury. Aurora, increases the likelihood of animal activity, both aggressive and foraging making it more likely to both catch wildlife in snares, via hunting, or be hunted by wolves or attacked by bears. Larger rolls indicate more risky conditions, smaller rolls indicate risky conditions.

Taking the turn: First, each day, each player starts their turn by drawing one tan condition card. If no tan condition cards are available, they may draw one red, blue or yellow card to substitute the condition card. Next a player has to decide if they are going to move or stay put. A player might decide to move to find a better area to hunt, or a shelter, or to trade with another player. A player might decide to stay put to heal an injury or if conditions are not favorable for travel. 

 A player deciding to stay put can then perform actions depending on where they are. If and only if a player is in any type of shelter, they can heal an injury. If a player is on any passable ground they can choose to forage. If a player is in a deer or rabbit square they can choose to forage or hunt. If and only if a player is on a fishing square then, they can fish. 

Hunting, Fishing, or Foraging require action rolls to determine the outcome of the attempt to perform those actions. Example, For hunting deer, a player must be on a square on the map with the deer symbol, and then reference the instructions on the Action Rolls Card. 

Moving requires a roll of the die, always add base 4 to the value of your roll, then subtract the total of any injury card modifiers you have, and the weather observation roll for the day. Lastly, anytime you cross an ice square you must make an Injury roll.

Three examples...

Example A. Roll a 3, add base +4, then subtract -1 for injury, and subtract the weather observation, -2, So 3 + 4 - 1 - 2 = 4 This means you can move up to four squares. 

Example B. Roll a 5, add base +4 subtract -2 for 2 injuries, and subtract the weather observation -3, So 5 + 4 - 2 - 2 = 5 This means you can move up to five squares.

Example C. Roll a 2, add base +4 subtract -1 for injury, and subtract the weather observation -6, So 2 + 4 - 1 - 6 = -1 This means you cannot move at all. However you must still roll your action and injuries rolls as if you had attempted to move. 

Card Rules: While performing your rolls you may play weapons cards which aid you in improving your roll outcomes. If you moved to a spot where another player is located, you may trade with that player any cards except injury or condition cards. You may also give or receive a gift where you give or receive a card but do not give or receive a card as well.

After you have completed all of your rolls, you must eat & return a food card each day at the end of your turn. If you do not have a food card you must return a condition card. If you do not have a condition card "You fade into the Long Dark" and remove your game piece from the board. 

If you stayed put, or moved to any shelter you may return one injury card. 

If you moved to an exposed outdoor shelter you must return a forage card. If you do not have a forage card you must return a condition card. If you do not have a condition card "You fade into the Long Dark" and remove your game piece from the board. For any protected shelter you do not have to return a forage card.

 

Edited by KD7BCH
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Clarifying the Game

About the game

"It is the near future. The Earth has suffered a catastrophic stellar event. Electricity does not function the way it did prior to this event. Humanity has abruptly entered into a new age called "The Long Dark". The civilization which relied on electricity has faded away. The goal of the game is to survive this new age, much as humanity survived, long ago before civilization existed.

Players stay alive by trading with each other foraging for Food, Wood, Weapons and Ammo, and Forest Medicine to meet their character's needs. When they are unable to meet one or more of their needs they need to return a condition point. Once a player has lost all of their condition points "They fade into the Long Dark" and the player removes their token from the map.

Preparing the game

Separate all cards into piles by card type, Food, Forage, Forest Medicine, Injury, ?, and Weapons and Ammo. Shuffle all piles of cards. Place piles face down. Each player draws 3 Food, 3 Forage, 3 Forest Medicine cards. These cards that you have are said to be in your "backpack" and your backpack can store an unlimited number of cards.

More things to know

  • Each "day" includes a "turn" by all players.
  • Each player turn always starts by the player declaring if they are going to "move" or "stay".
  • If they are moving they roll the dice to determine how far they can move from where they are.
  • If they stay they roll the dice, and perform an action.
  • Actions include foraging, hunting, fishing, trapping. Some actions can only be performed in certain squares on the map, such as ice fishing.
  • Each action involves rolling dice to determine outcomes. Cards are taken or returned based on the outcome of the rolls.
  • Some cards also have directions which also must be followed. 
  • Players who occupy the same location can choose to trade any card except ? and Injury cards.
  • Players can assemble snares, a hunting bow, arrows, or find a gun and ammo or hooks.
  • Found items can be used to help players hunt, trap, star fires, ice fish, and can be traded as well.

Starting the game

  • Start the game having each player rolls the D20. Whichever player rolls the highest number will start the first day. 
  • At the beginning of each day any player will roll the dice twice, once for weather and once for aurora. These rolls modify the rolls for the entire turn day. Once all players have taken their turn day then these rolls are performed again by any player for the next day. Weather affects travel, fire starting . Aurora affects how active animals are.

Taking the Turn

 

 

Edited by KD7BCH

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One note I would offer is that theme should be a secondary consideration to mechanics. There's some very thematic games that just aren't fun to play because their mechanics don't match. So it comes down to "what type of game mechanics do you enjoy?" and then adding the theme (the Long Dark) afterwards.

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Just as a note: We're fine with players putting together projects like this as long as you are very clear that it is a "fan creation" and not in any way "official." And of course if you ever wanted to sell it, that would raise additional questions. 

But it looks intriguing! Curious to see more of what you come up with. :)

 

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10 hours ago, Patrick Carlson said:

Just as a note: We're fine with players putting together projects like this as long as you are very clear that it is a "fan creation" and not in any way "official." And of course if you ever wanted to sell it, that would raise additional questions. 

But it looks intriguing! Curious to see more of what you come up with. :)

That's awesome to read, thank you Patrick and hinterland :x I think everyone agrees that if there's money to make you should get it but just having the possibility to be able to put a fan creation online is awesome.

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"This is a non-profit, purely fan-made creation and is not in any way endorsed, supported or otherwise backed up by Hinterland Studios Inc."

There, I made a disclaimer :D 

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So each of these cards I've been thinking up, Injury/Food/Weapons & Ammo could use user submitted photos of the items on the card or user taken photos of the dead guys for when something bad happens. I've been thinking up the mechanics and have the majority of the mechanics in my head but would need a few play-threws with players to see if they are any good. Is anybody interested in getting on Discord and discussing? I'll create a Discord channel is you all want. Or does TLD have an official Discord server already?

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Sadly I must be discordant as I have no time for live chats :winky:

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While it was fun to spitball some ideas unfortunately actually designing a board game is too time consuming for me right now too, I'm in the middle of exams and barely find the time to play a game, let alone to design one. I might jump on the wagon though later near the end of the year ;)

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I'm all in for a live chat and will gladly pitch my ideas there, although I have more experience with pen&paper/tabletop games. Still, it'd be nice to work on!

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16 hours ago, ChillPlayer said:

While it was fun to spitball some ideas unfortunately actually designing a board game is too time consuming for me right now too, I'm in the middle of exams and barely find the time to play a game, let alone to design one. I might jump on the wagon though later near the end of the year ;)

More of less my situation! :D

(except thesis writing instead of exams)

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Anyone play the The Walking Dead board game? It sucked. It was 100% reliant on random card draws, with little actual 'input' from the player. I never completed the game in the 20 times we played it properly, so I figured out how to do 'speed runs' and eventually figured out that there was a tiny chance (next to impossible) to 'win' the game, and was entirely based on drawing the right cards at the right time, and rolling a 6 nearly every turn. Even if you rolled a 6 every turn it was still only 50/50 that you COULD (not would) win. Very badly made and thought out.

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Progress update. I am almost finished with the cards for use with the game. Here are a few examples of what they look like. 

9vsLYmk.jpg

Edited by KD7BCH
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