How to Build a Game #83 Designer Challenge: Score Tracks

I would like to issue a challenge to myself and all you designers reading this. I would like to see score tracks become something more interesting or more versatile. I play a fair number of games that use score tracks and I always felt like these were underutilized. They take up board space and seem to only have one function and always leave me feeling dissapointed.

I would like to see some score tracks that have a little bit more flavor than vanilla. I am not asking for a reinvention of the wheel, I am asking for some vanilla ice cream with a spoonful of crushed Oreo or sprinkles.

I can think of one game that had a little flavor, that was Aquasphere where players were not allowed to pass a certain point on the score track if they did not play a crystal. (I think that was the mechanic) I am also sure there are other games out there I have not played, but the games I have played all have a vanilla score track.

Since I am issuing the challenge, I will start with what we are doing with a score track in one of our games. The working title of the game is Bounty Hunters. We are using the score track as an initiative track and as a score track. We are also dividing the players movement and their attack action on the initiative/score track. Players will have the option to roll a die during their turn and depending on what they roll, they can allocate that number to their move and attack action. So in theory, a player could pile all their initiative into attack and always move last. Something to consider are the npc characters that get to move and attack on the same turn.

So, before I get too deep into the weeds of a game Aidan and I have only talked about once. We use the score track for scoring, initiative management and npc actions. If there are games you know of that so something similar, please let me know. I would be excited to check them out.

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If you have made it this far, would you like to go a little farther? We have a regular Google hangout with other designers. We talk about the games we are working on and share helpful tips and ideas on how to make designing our game easier. We meetup every other Saturday. Either comment here or tweet me or email me and I will add you to the list and send you a link to the Google hangout.

2 thoughts on “How to Build a Game #83 Designer Challenge: Score Tracks

  1. THANK YOU! I’ve seen some pretty bland and gigantic score tracks lately.

    As to the challenge, I’m working on a semi-cooperative, hand building card game where a player’s position on the score track effects what actions / cards, they have access to, who is first (favored) played, and determines how many threats pop up each turn.

    • I like the sound of that game. Can you please keep us updated on progress you make? I assume the players in first get better cards but they get hit by more enemies acting as a balance to the game?

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