Today I’m celebrating my 10th game idea in my marathon of 52 Game Ideas! Cool! Never thought I’ll make it this far!
This week’s game idea (originally prepared for the “Make Monopoly Fun” design challenge at Game Career Guide) is a board game. It is a derivative of the infamous game brand Monopoly. Here, however, you’re not trading real estates, but internet domains. The rest is almost the same. Read more about the differences below!
Finally I also want to add that by submitting this idea three days earlier than I normally should, I have repaid the three days delay during the submission of game idea #8. We’re fit now, are we?
Game Idea #10
Times have changed. Monopoly Man is no longer the type of business man that is able to see the new opportunities out there. He simply belongs to a past world. But thanks god there is Will Gates, the young Generation X business man! He gives Monopoly Man a great hint: ” The new generation of businessmen invests into virtual estates. It’s no longer the age of Monopoly, but that of DomainZ! Nah, don’t worry; the rules of the business are still the same… errr, almost. We still invest in properties; but they’re virtual and located in servers. Neighborship works a bit different in virtual space: You use banners if you want to connect your domains; you don’t need to have them adjacent anymore. With enough server power you can run e-stores and link them for combined sales! It’s really very easy. And I tell you one thing: Those who visit your domains will spend lotsa money there! Got it?”
“Hmmm” says Monopoly Man, “to be honest, it sounds a bit complicated, but hey, I haven’t lost my spirit yet, so let’s give it a try! You’ll help me, Junior, will you?”
“Betcha!” says Will, “Why don’t you say hello to DomainZ! then? C’mon, let’s start by buying ourselves a server, then… Oh, a server? Well, Monopoly Man, a server is…”
In DomainZ!, the real estate squares from the Monopoly game are replaced by squares that represent internet domains. But like in Monopoly, players can buy as many domains as they desire. A major difference in DomainZ! is that before players can buy and start to make a profit from their domains, they must set up servers. A server can only manage three domains at one time; therefore each possible triangle of domains will require the player to establish an additional server. This will result in players growing their own server farm over time. A player who cannot afford the required server structure cannot buy new domains. There will be also server down-times (caused by luck cards “Server Maintenance!” squares) in which the affected domains will not be able to charge money from the “site visitors”. A player can further develop her domains by adding e-stores and banners to them. Both these methods multiply the income gained from “site visitors”.
In contrast to the classic Monopoly game, in which players had to buy adjacent squares to build houses and hotels, in DomainZ!, players can link remote domains with banners (indicators with identical colors that can be placed on squares) to create groups of domains. In other words, the squares and property cards no longer have colors printed onto them as it was the case in Monopoly. In Domains!, players are free to link (and therefore neighbor) any squares they wish. All that players need to do is to buy banners and place them onto the related squares to show that they are linked with each other. Once the player has the money to add banners to his sites, a general indicator will also be placed onto the board, under a server token.
In DomainZ!, every player starts with one server in hand. The number of servers can be increased. But each time the player passes the internet gateway (start square) she must pay a maintenance fee for her servers. The first player who is, after selling all her assets, still unable to afford the fee for at least one server is the ‘absolute’ loser of the game. The player with most servers, domains or cash (in this order) at the moment of defeat will be accepted as the winner of the party.
If skyscrapers were the ultimate signs of the real-estate based economic imperiums of the age of Monopoly, today, the world-wide recognized domain names of multi-billion virtual businesses are the signs of economic power. DomainZ! is a board game that tries to capture this change in the world. Instead of trying to bid for the Broadway, now you can bid for the precious’ of our new age, Facebook, Youtube or Google.