A little story about Radio Tower
Here is an overview of why this game exists (or a least I’m trying to make it exists). I’m a big fan of Looney Lab™ games, such as ZombieFluxx, Seven Dragon and Threehouse. I play a lot of different games using Looney Pyramids®. Those are a great way to learn about game design.
A game that I like is: Pharaoh. However, the feel of Pharaoh after a few games is similar to Tic-Tac-Toc… but with a die. I must admit that I’m often playing at two players only. The game is fast, simple and this is great. The King-of-the-Hill feel of Pharaoh is present, but at the detriment of the strategy: Roll the 6-sided die, move your pawns to the middle of the board destroying your opponent’s pawn, align your pawns to win.
My objective was to develop a game inspired by Pharaoh, but with deeper strategy. This is leading me to change the following.
- Allowing the pawns stacking to increase strength/attack/defense
- Increasing the number of pawns (from 3 by players to 6)
- Increasing the number of dice (from 1 to 2)
- Changing the win condition (from a single straight line of 3 spaces to a choice of 2 sets of 4 spaces)
- Changing the rule about the addition of pawns to the board (from 1 edge by player to 2 adjacent edges by player)
I made a custom board similar to the one of Pharaoh to test the additions and changes. So far, we enjoy it. However, I’m trying to design a new custom board that will better fit the theme of Radio Tower. The first draft of the rulebook will come soon, I’m at the rereading of it.
I found the theme in my head! Well, this doesn’t help to explain the process… but you know the subconscious mind may be hard to understand. Going back to the theme: Radio Tower. This came from the form of the pyramids I’m using to playtest the game, the stacking of them and the desire of a new-thematic that could fit with an area control game. Wavelength, radio signal, tower, broadcasting, etc. When I’m driving to work, I listening to a radio station from Burlington (VT, USA) even if I’m living in Quebec (Canada). I have to drive elsewhere in Quebec and when I do, I lose the radio signal and cannot listen to great radio anymore…! This is sad, but during silence, I found the theme: what if a radio tower of this station was nearby? 🙂 I’m sure you get the point now.
Oh well! I just saw a tweet by Andrew Looney with a link to a post talking about his future Kickstarter project: Pyramid Arcade. They are reviewing the rules of Pharaoh, inter alia: «roll two dice, and use the higher value to get your number of movement points. If you roll doubles, you may choose to re-roll both dice. We also no longer bother blocking off the corners of the board.» Well, I still believe my game is enough different to make it stand out, but I may think to change the board and some of the ruling to increase the complexity and make the theme more present through the game board and tower tokens.
You can find a draft version of the board and rulebook here.