Monday, October 11, 2010

Go it alone games

One of my recently devised prototypes is a nameless game ("Colonial Scramble", maybe) that I think of as my gateway card wargame. Roughly speaking it's set around 1890, a time when the great European powers were still grabbing colonies in Africa. With five players, the most successful players are likely to work together, it's not a game where you can "go it alone". Yet some of the players are accustomed to typical board and card games of today, which are designed to enable you to go it alone even when there are four or more players.

And now that I think of it I suspect that many modern games, certainly Eurostyle games, are designed to let people go it alone and still succeed. Even the nature of role-playing games reflects this one way or the other. If you try to go it alone in first or second edition D&D, you are probably going to die, later if not sooner. Then third edition came along, designed to let each player be a one-man army that could succeed on his or her own.

A general comment about Gen X versus millennials (Gen Y) is that Gen Xers like to go it alone while millennials prefer to share and work together. In my experience the serious Eurostyle players are much higher proportion of Gen X while the role-playing gamers include a much higher proportion of millennials. Perhaps that's reflected in fourth edition D&D which is returned to being a game in which you must cooperate or your party is likely to fail.

No comments: