Happy holidays everyone!
This game comes from a 24-hour contest over on BoardGameGeek, with the theme of “travel” if I recall right. I think it’s probably the most visual effort I’ve dumped into a 24-hour game so far, but I’m proud of how it managed to turn out.
Nominally, this was supposed to be about travel, but I was working on it shortly after receiving and playing WOTC’s Scoundrels of Skullport expansion for the board game Lords of Waterdeep. The expansion is more like two mini expansions, one for Undermountain that adds lots of more grandiose and long-term goodies to go after, and the titular Skullport, which is a den of thieves with a new mechanism I can’t get enough of: Corruption.
In a nutshell, Corruption is a fantastic push-your-luck mechanic. Players can take actions that give them Corruption in exchange for getting a huge pile more “bang for your buck” from their actions than they would otherwise. However, Corruption is exceedingly hard to get rid of, especially quickly, and at the end of the game, each Corruption token you took is worth more negative victory points based on how many Corruption total were removed: If everyone took Corruption, each one they took will cost them a bucket of points, but if only one or two players lightly partook of them, their negative values will be negligible.
I wanted to capture that mechanic in Dig Site, and so decided to use that setup for the artifacts. Combined with the way the rules for gas work, it means that the game essentially has two push-your-luck systems, of weighing how far to press for a gem or statue before turning home, and how long to hold on to them to cash them in to try and maximize your value.
In addition to this, I wanted to toy with a “competitive cooperation” mechanic with the limited fuel and the stranding of players. Players can ignore a stranded player and keep trying to score, but seeing as how each player is valuable in being able to refuel the outpost space, this can become incredibly risky, especially when helping a stranded player is relatively easy to do.
Unfortunately, due to the condensed timeframe and my focus on the art, I didn’t have time to playtest and thoroughly proofread this, but rest assured that I’ll be revisiting it in the future for a full revamp, testing, and hopefully print-on-demand publishing from The Game Crafter!