Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

21 November, 2010

Weekend Design Challenge: Clue Remix
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:56 AM

The game site Rock, Paper, Shotgun now has a weekend feature on board games called Cardboard Children. I really enjoy as I’m a fan of modern board games.

In a challenge reminiscent of my old Weekend Design Challenges, this week the author asked readers to remix Clue (aka Cluedo outside of the U.S.) I figured some people here might miss them and might be interested in the opportunity to stretch some design muscles.

Read on for some brief thoughts.

My first thought was to remake the game as a “story game” (a fancy modern name for narrative-focused roleplaying games). Come up with some rules for each character (perhaps allow some customization of the characters by each player), then have the players collaboratively play out a murder mystery. Perhaps have some of the same elements as the base game, but add a bit more role-playing flavor. Perhaps give some additional abilities to customize each character. Let players tell a story about why the wrench was in the billiard room in the first place.

A second idea would be to have the players be archaeologists from the future. They go into a recently unearthed house to find rare artifacts from a time gone by. Players get cards at the start of the game for two artifacts they must find which are scattered about the rooms, two rooms they must visit, and two other characters they have to meet up with. First person to accomplish all their goals wins.

Those are some quick ideas that don’t require too much additional work to set up. What about you? What clever ideas do you have for remixing the game?

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  1. I’m suddenly struck by the desire to incorporate the clue map and characters into a standard RPG game, without telling the players what I’m doing before hand. Just letting them explore the world while they find the various objects and artifacts (and dead bodies) scattered around the now-buried mansion…

    … and enjoy the moment when it clicks.

    At which point, naturally, the long-dead characters come back to life.

    Comment by Trevel — 21 November, 2010 @ 7:02 AM

  2. Your second idea reminds me of the game Wadjet. It’s about a bunch of competing archeologists investigating an ancient city. It’s been a while since I’ve played it, but I remember thinking the mechanics were a lot like Clue but better. My archeologist friend said it was a pretty good model of what he did.

    Comment by Vargen — 21 November, 2010 @ 10:16 AM

  3. Get rid of the board, and turn it into a card game. You’d have to add more suspects and weapons, but Clue never really seemed to make use of the board that well. You could even make it so that every player is a murderer, but you have to guess which combination of cards they chose.

    Comment by Dblade — 21 November, 2010 @ 3:20 PM

  4. A simple variation. There isn’t one but TWO killers. And you need to find both.

    Another: Impose a time limit. If you can’t solve the murder in said time, you get off’ed yourself!

    Comment by Bronte — 22 November, 2010 @ 9:36 AM

  5. Give the player time machines.
    Players can visit some of the locations it the morning, by the day and at the evening, but there’s not enough clues. At night they use time machine to travel back in the morning. There’s the catch: your previous self is still there investigating, and it’s not allowed to see your past versions (or else future will be interfered), so players must visit other locations. At the end of the day players go back in time to morning again, creating third version of themselves, then again and again, until they solve the mystery.

    There could even be just one detective, while players playing different “versions” of himself and not allowing to meet one another – this way you could go to some of the locations just to block off enemy movement.

    Comment by Phobosis — 16 December, 2010 @ 3:01 AM

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