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Question
Dear Dante

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_game
http://www.scrabble.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_(game)

Will it be difficult to design and construct all Board games geometrically viz scrabble, monopoly, snakes and ladders, ludo etc where maximum number of players can exceed 4 ?.

Games like Chess, Checkers can be excluded as it is a 2 player game.

The advantages could be more number of players can play the Board Game. i.e. n>4.

As a example, The scrabble board game rules will remain the same, more tiles has to be constructed for the same.

For example : Hexagonal Scrabble Board, Pentagonal Monopoly,
Octagonal snakes and ladders, decagon ludo game etc.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
Hey Prashant,

Your question has a handful of interesting points to it that I want to address individually.

First, with respect to number of players... remember that more is not always better. In many games, each player only spends 1/x of the time playing where x is the number of players (E.g. in a 4 player game, each player is only actively playing 1/4th of the time). Adding additional players tends to increase the downtime of the game which can result in less focus. Case in Point, the Clue game supports 6 players, but there was a "Clue Master Detective" which increased the player support to 10. Larger board, more weapons, more suspects, etc... which resulted in longer downtime between turns and the additional aspects didn't make the game better, only longer. The game was a flop.

Second, polygons. Remember that only triangles, squares and hexagons can be arranged into a flat board. Once you go beyond those polygons, you're not actually adding anything by using polygonal spaces. Additionally, the polygons can make things much more complicated. For instance, consider a hexagonal Scrabble. In normal scrabble if I use the word "Game" and you wish to place the letters B, O, R and D to position Board, this is trivial. However, on a hexagonal, the O would end up adjacent to both the G and A, which isn't a problem, but the R ends up with "RM" which isn't a word. It would be EXCEEDINGLY difficult to add words onto other words, which I suspect would restrict the game. There is an edition of Scrabble called "Super Scrabble" which makes the board larger (and MAY allow more players, I don't remember offhand), but most players state that the larger board doesn't really ADD much, just makes the game longer.

Third is production. Most production houses have a very easy time producing game parts of 'normal' shapes. Ask a game manufacturer to create rectangular game boards, and they have no issue. But, as soon as you start discussing hexagonal cards or the board itself, and you'll find that the costs go SIGNIFICANTLY higher. In many cases, they will charge you as if you were making rectangular cards, so you don't save there, and then charge you extra for cutting the cards to hexes.

HOWEVER, even with all of this, it does work sometimes. Take the game Blokus for example. The game is square in shape with square pieces and supports up to 4 players. Unfortunately, when you only have 3 players, the game is a bit unfair to the player who doesn't have an opposite opponent. A game company based on Korea released "Gemblo" which was a similar game but on a Hexagonal board. It increased the player count to 6, and you don't have the "I don't have an opposite opponent" until you get to 5 players. (You don't have an opposite in a 3 player game, but since EVERYONE doesn't have an opposite, it ends up fair). Since the downtime between turns in either game is reasonably short, the move to the hexagonal board is actually a boon.

So, I don't think it would be difficult, but just keep the points in mind. The biggest question to ask is WHY are you trying to increase the number of players... and will it actually make the game better or only longer.

It's a great question... thanks for the thought exercise :)

--Dante

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Dante

Expertise

My expertise is fairly broad on board games. I've been collecting board games since I was old enough to count and have over 700 games in my still growing collection. I spend my spare time playing and teaching games, including doing demonstrations at stores. I don't have much experience with wargames, but when it comes to American games and/or most Eurogames, I can offer advice of the concepts in a game, and what kinds of audiences it might appeal to.

Experience

I've been an avid board game player and collector for over 20 years. I own more then 700 board games personally, and spend a significant amount of time both teaching and playing these games.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science/Math.

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