Final Game Brainstorm

My partner Olivia and I sat down today and discussed the game prompts, our personal interests, and what we think would make a good game. Starting in the 1920’s and ending somewhere around feminist pirates, here are our two best ideas

Game 1: Queens of the Speakeasies

Helen Morgan, famous 1920’s speakeasy owner

Our research brought us to the 1920’s, where we found details about a group of flappers running renowned jazz clubs as fronts for stylish speakeasies. A game about these women, with elements of betrayal, reputation, secrecy, running from the law, and running not one but two businesses set exactly 100 years ago caught our attention.

We imagined a game where a player would have to recruit people to work for them, both legally and illegally. This would take a great deal of charisma and reputation, two in-game “resources”. The player would also have to go on “supply runs” against not only time, but also the law. Players would also be given opportunities to go head-to-head, recruiting each other’s people or even reporting each other to the police. The winner would be whoever receives the most fame and fortune before the end of prohibition.

An incredibly rough outline of a potential game board
Red: Speakeasy Blue: Jazz Club Orange: Suppliers

The board shown above is an idea of what the game could potentially look like if it is created. The red and blue places are areas to keep track of resources in each business. The side bars are the supply runs, where a player could choose to go retrieve more resources, but face many risks. There would also be Dungeons and Dragons elements in the game, such as using a d20 and charisma to recruit people to your fine establishments.

Game 2: Sea Dogs

Art depicting Anne Bonny

Before flappers and speakeasies, there were pirates. Not just pirates, but female pirates. While this game has elements similar to the potential Queen of the Speakeasies, the point, style, and magnitude of the game are far different.

This would be a game in which the players each play as famous female pirates from history. Competing against each other for the title of Pirate Queen, players would search for buried treasure, recruit crew members, attack and be attacked by passing villages, and sail the seven seas with pride.

Each character and ship would create a unique gameplay every time. With each pirate having a different code of conduct, charisma level, and other skills. This would allow each player their own play style. Perhaps you want to be the most famous and generous pirate, almost a Robin Hood type, while your opponent is simply as brutal and bloodthirsty as they can be. All of this is possible.

Another disgustingly rough game board outline

The board and style for this game would be choice-heavy. The board would model the seven seas, being incredibly interconnected with many different destinations. The choices in this game would stem from choosing where to go, choosing how to use your turn, and choosing what to do for the card events at the end of each round. This game would also include a lot of Dungeons and Dragons elements, both in its choice-heavy exposition, but also in its mechanics.

Moving Forward

Both of these games have research, merit, and interest behind them. Moving forward, we want to choose which game idea we think we can execute the best, and that we think will be the most fun and interesting to play. From there, we’ll flush out the mechanics and story, add some better and more defined art styles, and playtest.

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3 thoughts on “Final Game Brainstorm

  1. Really loving both of these ideas, but personally I lean toward the pirate one. There’s something that seems more exciting to me inherently about pirates, but it depends on what mood you’re going for with this prototype. Both options seem fairly complicated though, so I’m interested to see what mechanics you guys start with. From the posts that I’ve read, I think most people have begun with “Resources” of some sort, so that may be a good place to start. Have you thought about a more concrete ending for the Sea Dogs version though? What would you spend your resources on? Perhaps you’re stealing, and resources can’t even be bought. Overall, both are interesting concepts though and I think it’s a solid start.

    1. Thank you so much! I think our plan is to start with resources, something like money and crewmembers. Money could be spent on ship upgrades, like increasing attack or defense. We’re definitely working on a more concrete ending. One idea is ending it in a final battle after a certain number of turns, and whoever wins that battle is the winner of the game. Another idea is having it be more like Monopoly, where whoever manages to gain all of the resources wins the game. We’re still working on the main mechanics and building the end goal out of that.

  2. Both game concepts seem super fun! I love the idea of recruiting members and the different pirates having different codes of conduct. I think those mechanics give your players a lot of freedom to make the game their own and choose their crew. It gives players a lot of room for strategy as well. Both games seem cool, but I like the pirate idea better because it feels like there is more to do between attacking villages, finding treasures, and building a crew.

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