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Safari Zone Roll-and-Write board game

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    • Seen yesterday
    I've been working on a roll-and-write fan game based on the Safari Zone. It can be played solo or in a group, and the idea is to have the most successful trip through the park. Your scores depend on the kind and amounts of Pokémon collected during the game. Early on, you have limited options each turn, but as you explore the areas of the map, gather items, and collect more Pokémon, you're able to take more actions per turn and chain their effects together so that choices you made earlier in the game pay off in a big way later on. It's a roll-and-write game, so it's physical game with a score sheet that you write on to keep track of your progress.

    Check out the website for the full rules and browser prototype. Last updated May 20, 2024.

    Read on for the features, explanation of the game, and how to play. The game is still in a rough and early version but thanks in advance to everyone who checks it out and leaves some feedback!

    Features

    • Can be played solo or competitively
    • Wide variety of play styles and strategies. Players balance between exploring the map for access to different monsters, obtaining items to gain extra abilities, encountering Pokémon to catch, and avoiding hazards, all while trying to be efficient with their limited turns and Safari Balls
    • Diverse collection mechanics: capturing during encounters, repeat capture evolution, item evolution, area evolution, combo chain evolution
    • 35 different species to collect

    Mockup

    Mockup of the Safari Zone roll and write game sheet.
    A mockup of the game sheet that you write on to keep track of your stuff during the game. The score sheet itself is the main component of the game, and since it's about the Safari Zone—sort of a combo theme park and wildlife preserve—I'm trying to make it feel like a board game version of a theme park map crossed with a naturalist's field guide, with similar style to Ken Sugimori's artwork from the Red and Green era.

    Overview

    The object of the game is to have the most impressive trip to the Safari Zone, a game preserve where visitors can capture the monsters they encounter inside the park. Players gain Victory Points as they complete their Field Guides which provide references, maps, and checklists to be updated during a visit. Early on, players have limited options each turn, but as they explore the areas of the map, gather items, and collect more monsters, they are able to take more actions per turn and chain their effects together so that choices they made earlier in the game pay off for them later on.

    Players roll dice to determine which actions to take each turn. They can roll up to three times per turn, keeping dice they like between rolls. Actions from rolls include exploring the map, encountering Pokémon, gathering loot, using items from their backpacks, or getting caught up by hazards. After rolling, players mark off any new map areas or items they've discovered, and then look for Pokémon to catch in an encounter.

    Pokémon can be captured during encounters by tossing Safari Balls at them. At the start of an encounter a player might come across more than one monster, but they can only choose one to try to catch. After players catch a Pokémon, they update their Field Guides since they might be able to add a new Pokédex entry, evolve a Pokémon, or unlock another area of the park.

    The game is over when each player is out of either turns or Safari Balls, and the winner is the one with the most Victory Points.

    Components

    • Game sheet: a single piece of paper you write on to track your progress in the game by marking off boxes for Pokémon collected, items in your bag, and areas explored.
    • Expedition dice: A set of five 6-sided dice you roll at the start of their turn. You can roll up to three times, keeping and re-rolling any dice you want to between rolls, except for Hazards. The die faces are labeled Area, Trainer, Item, Grass Habitat, Water Habitat, and Hazard.
    • Encounter deck: A 52-card deck that you can draw from after rolling Grass or Water Habitats. Each card shows a Pokémon, its encounter criteria, and its capture rate. Encounter criteria can include having rolled a certain number of Habitats that turn, access to certain areas, or possession of specific items. You can only choose to encounter a Pokémon if you meet its criteria on the card.
    • Safari dice: A set of three 6-sided dice with faces numbered 1–6. You roll them when trying to capture a Pokémon during an encounter. If the total rolled is greater than or equal to the monster's Capture Rate, it is caught.

    Full Rules

    Check out the Rules section of the website.

    Stuff To Do

    • Tabletop Simulator mod
    • Final artwork and design for game sheet, cards, and dice
     
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