Game Design #5: Chores

Yes, you read that right. The name of the game was Chores. The idea was that I could make doing chores fun as a game. Then, maybe the kids would end up LARPing the game. It didn’t happen.

This game was designed during the Kaiju era, in the swathes of time when I waited for art to be completed. I was eager to move on to something else. Chores was my first attempt at a Euro style board game. Up until then it had been mostly card games. Even Code Mage was more of a card game than a board game.

Chores Game BoardThe basic premise is that each player is a teenager who wants the keys to the car on Friday night. Of course, only one player can have them. Players have to gain their parent’s favor by: doing chores around the house, mowing the lawn, washing the car, and, of course, they always doing their homework.

There was the main board where players fought over household chores, but each player also had their own room board where they had Chores Player Matother chores to do. They had to: do laundry, pick up their room, and feed the pets. They could also goof off and play video games, annoying their siblings in the process.

Each round dirt,  lawn, and laundry cubes were added to the house. You could also goof off and play on the console. It got you a lot of points but if you got caught you’d have to add blue cubes to your player board which could eventually end up on the grounding track. If you filled the grounding track you would lose the game.

I don’t particularly like player elimination in games. I can’t think of any games I play on a regular basis that have player elimination. Interestingly enough, every game that I had designed to this point had player elimination. This was my attempt at a Euro game and I style had player elimination.

That’s something that I hadn’t considered. It’s forced me to reevaluate my self as a designer. Why would I put player elimination in games when I don’t like it in games I play myself? I think part of the answer is that I’ve just not been experienced enough to know a better way to do punishment. You do bad enough in a game, you lose the game. Everything looks like a nail when all you have is a hammer.

There were some interesting ideas here. I like how laundry started on your floor. You had to put it in the hamper and wash it. Then put it away. Each day you added more laundry in a never ending cycle. Mowing the yard and washing the car were worth a lot of points. However, you could only do those on a sunny day and it just happens to be rainy season.

Chores isn’t something I’m likely to come back to. It wasn’t really a fully developed idea to begin with and it’s hard to come up with a solid game that’s not based on a solid idea. Still, there’s part of me that thinks that chores could be a fun light Euro if I ever gave it some development time.

What do you think? Let me know on Twitter @billyboardgame, on or in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Status: Abandoned


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