This week, I’m focusing less on the mechanics and gameplay of the board game, and more on the motivations of players and what they’ll experience through the gameplay. I feel like this will allow me to plan out the game better as I move forwards.
What is a Good Theme Park?
Disney Parks around the world are known for their highly-detailed, elaborately-themed rides and attractions as well as for creating an atmosphere that invites stories to be formed by those visiting. Each land in these parks contains:
- A variety of rides, with usually at least a C ticket and and E ticket per land
- Everything is tied together with a theme
- Transitions between themes
- Some lands are kid-focused
- Weenies in the back
- Good variety in types of food
- Each attraction/restaurant/shop tells a different part of the theme’s story
I want players to only have to build those parts of a theme park that further a theme’s story. Some of the stories found in the park today include:
Tomorrowland is the travel hub of the future, providing several types of transportation for curious guests wanting to explore the stars
Frontierland/Liberty Square showcases westward expansion over time with Haunted Mansion on the East in the late 1700s and California on the West in the late 1800s.
Roller Coaster Tycoon/Planet Coaster
In modern tycoon-style theme park games, parks are rated in a variety of categories. In Planet Coaster, for example, a park is rated with the following factors:
- Ride Rating
- Monetary cost of the ride, its prestige, and how “price effective” guests would find the rides to be, as well as the test results, mostly focused on excitement
- Scenery Rating
- How much scenery you have in the park
- Park Balance Bonus
- The ratio of scenery bonus to the ride bonus
- Marketing Bonus
- Guest Happiness
- Park Rating
The tricky part comes from mixing the interesting parts from both sources. I want players to build what feels like a real theme park, while still having an enjoyable board game experience.