I’m trying to research games that are similar to my game so I can see if I’m doing something that has already been done or if there is further inspiration I can draw from other published games. The issue being that I’m not really sure how to search for games similar to mine as I’m still not really sure of how to define my own game.
The short version goes like this:
2-4 players take on the role of archaeologists competing over the same dig site. The site is made up of a 5×5 grid of small decks of 8 square cards. The cards in each deck are ordered top to bottom by layers (grass, soil, deep, stone, bedrock) but are randomised within those layers.
Players take turns digging away a card and claiming the rewards, they could find nothing (bad luck), gold to further fund the dig, or uncover artefacts that must be paid for to safely excavate. You will receive income each turn based on how deep you have been digging. It costs more to dig deeper, but the rewards are more lucrative.
As players dig, soil tokens will build up on an adjacent card increasing the cost of digging them away. Players my use their gold to analyse the ground and peek at what is coming up in one deck.
Aside from not really knowing how to define the game, I can think of some games that have similarities. I have played other 5×5 card games such as “Tranquillity” and “Dingo’s Dreams”, but really this is the only similarity and the gameplay is very different in both cases. The only gameplay similarity I am aware of is the resource mining mechanic present in “Minecraft: Builders & Biomes”. I’m sure there will be more but I can’t seem to find them.
If anyone has any suggestions of how to research, or know any games that play like this, your feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Great idea! This game looks amazing. This appears to be an original concept.
You asked how to know if a game idea has been done before. My answer would be for this game in particular, its main concept revolves around the set up. So you can easily search up “board game ____” and input key words that would be similar to your game. Then look in images to see if any board set ups look like yours. Some good key words could be dig, mine, excavate and archaeologist. Once you find a game with a similar look then you can look into the games rules from there to find similarities
Though if a game you’re working on in the future is instead set apart by a certain rule, it may be difficult to double check the idea is original. When you start play testing, you can ask the play testers what game this reminds them of. You can also learn the rules to a variety of games which will help this process in the future, as well as inspire future games.
That’s a good idea, and an immediate “board game dig” search has shown me that “Dig!” won’t be the title of my game (I wasn’t married to it anyway to be honest). At least that game is thematically completely different, it’s a push your luck card game.
And thank you for your kind words, I’m glad you think it’s original (even if that is just from a description and not a playtest). I’m really hoping that soon I can finish of some (at least functional) rules so I can actually post a Tabletop Simulator playtest package, so stay tuned for that!