Meeples and Gameplay (24th August 2020) - The Cardboard Designer

Meeples and Gameplay (24th August 2020)

Wherein I talk about little wooden men and women and delve into the deeper game play of Factory Floor


I truly believe that if anything has a chance of bringing about world peace – it would be the meeple. I have never met anyone who doesn’t like them. They make every game I’ve ever played better. Every meeple ever made is filled with joy and magic! That’s a fact!

Factory Floor is a game that will include meeples. Huzzah! They are right there on my component list – “48 worker meeples.” You employ them from the labor pool into your Staff Rooms. From there you can assign them to Production Facilities to increase your factories output.

Despite the magic, Meeples appear normal from the outside. 3 “nipples” at the top make out a head and 2 arms. A big thick V bolted onto the bottom creates the legs. Meeples have advanced over the years, they’ve become more bespoke for each of the games they are made for.

My current favorite Meeples come from Karuba. The idea of getting both a mini Indiana Jones and a mini Temple of Doom. I think it’s just about the loveliest thing I’ve seen!

Board Game Design - Karuba Meeples

Factory Floor – Worker Meeples

What then does this have to do with Factory Floor? Well, I would like to be able to add to the growing list of unique meeples out there. I’d like to create a few for Factory Floor and maybe even look at extra designs as stretch goals.

I haven’t come to any decisions here – I am more just playing around with a few ideas in my head. I like the overalls a lot – but I think having meeples with tools would be cool aswell.

Gameplay

So a little more about the actual game play of Factory Floor. I’m using a term that Rahdo coined in one of his play-throughs of another title and calling it a “A worker and tetris-y tile placement game.”

That sums it up fairly well.

The aim of the game is to acquire the most production at the end of the week. You do this by placing tiles next to one another in such a way that you can get the most points.

There is some competitive play in-so-far as players select the tiles they want to place from a common pool. Ultimately the winner is the person with the highest score among those playing. It is however more a Euro-game in so far as players are not directly affecting one another beyond perhaps taking tiles that other’s might want. The game is much more about trying to work around the difficulties that you create yourself as you build your factory.

You’ll have to work carefully to layout your factory effectively. If your Staff Rooms aren’t connected to enough Production Facilities, the space they take up could be wasted and you won’t be able to hire workers effectively. Without enough Quality Control Stations you might get the windfall needed to steal victory at the end of the game.

The game was intentionally designed to take about 15 minutes per player. So it will take 30-60 minutes for 2-4 players respectively. I wanted the game to be be something that could fit into a relatively small box. The idea is that you can pick up the game at the start of a game night or to polish one off.

The beating heart of the game is the tile placement. The way that the 4 different tile types intertwine with one another. Players are constantly constrained by the choices available to them vs wanting to create the most effective layout.

My plan next time is to create a video breakdown of me and my wife playing the game – so that you can start to see it take shape. I also will do a piece detailing the iterative steps that were taken to improve the game.

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