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Inspector Vogts, Part 2: How the Game Will (Perhaps) Work

The Inspector Vogts Game System (IVGS) is something I've been thinking about for a long time. Pretty much as long as I've been playing games, I've wanted to create my own.

I always knew it would have to be 3-D, like Mouse Trap or Hero Quest, and it would have to cover a large area and require problem solving, like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. But I also wanted it to have humor and a wide array of interesting characters and subject matter.

So this is pretty much a combination of my favorite game genres. I've written a very basic rules sheet which can be viewed by clicking -> show.

You can see there are a fair number of areas I haven't filled in, but I'm slowly working through those bits. As I write the first case and work on the buildings there are new needs or complications that have to addressed, but that's part of the fun. I have no idea how long the final rules will be, but I don't want them to be too obscure.

As far as gameplay, I wanted to give the players a choice in movement: foot, car, bus. The bus is a little chancey, but it can quite often take you further faster than the car. The car of course is more accurate but can be time-consuming. With three players able to compete, timing is very important: what you can get to first might determine what clues are available to the others, and vice versa. So that adds in some element of interplayer co-operation/backstabbing.

I also wanted to make sure there was always something going on so I created the NPC enemies who are randomly generated. I didn't want pre-determined enemies lying in wait for the player, not that there won't be in some areas, but I needed something to keep the player involved in the game between clues. I don't intend these enemies to overrun the board, so I'll probably have to impose some sort of limits on their creation.

The top point in each game, though, is to solve the mystery. This is accomplished, as you might expect, by travelling around the board talking to people and gathering clues. Each clue, or set of clues, should lead you to somewhere new and so on until you have figured the solution. I'm thinking that in most cases the solution will come as a result of a final battle.

I also want the game to be expandable. New cases, characters, buildings and such. But right now I've got to build the ~35 buildings for the normal map.

You may be thinking, "Hey, that sounds like a lot of work for a personal board game. It's not like you can sell it what with all those handmade buildings and all." Very true, and I may just work out the gameplay/case portions first and hold off on the buildings. And I don't even know if it's something I'd sell; right now I'm just trying to have a good time.

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