Dev Diary - Project 2: Node Blocking

In the original Up Ship Creek game, node blocking is a thing. You cannot move onto or through a node that is being occupied by another player (unless you are the Contortionist character). With the hex based game though, it's different. There are 2 distinct areas, one being the ship tiles and the other being the environmental tiles. What we decided on, was that the ship tiles had the original node blocking rules, while the environmental tiles, are still up to debate. 

It's fairly agreed upon that in these outside tiles, node blocking wont really be a thing, that players can move through nodes with other players in them, but at a cost. We talked about it briefly, stating that a player can move through a node with another player for an extra 1 AP cost. But what does that mean? From what I see, there are 2 different ways that this can go down, each with their own pros and cons:

  1. Moving onto the node of another player costs 2 AP. This would then mean that 2 players inhabit that node.
  2. It would cost 2 AP to switch nodes with an adjacent player. This mean only 1 player can inhabit a node.

The first one is the option most people agree with, yet when you bring up the fact that it would need to have a rule for 2 people to be on a node at once, there's disagreement. When you say that it costs 2 AP to go through a node with a player on it, most people would picture in their mind, a player moving past the node and on wards with the other player in it. But what if you are next to them with only 2 AP. Can you still move past them? Or do you just go onto the same node as them? If so then there needs to be a rule for multiple people in a node at a time. Can all the players be on a node at a time? If so would it cost 3 AP for the third player to join? If you say no, only 1 person can be on a node at once, yet you still agree with the 2 AP cost to move past them. Then that doesn't make sense. It wouldn't cost 2 AP to move past a player, node blocking would just not exist.


The second option was one that I thought about. What if you wanted to go onto or past a node that a player is on, but it would cost you an extra 1 AP (so 2 AP to move) to switch places with the player in your way. If the player your trying to pass is on their way to a goal, switching with them will set them back a node. It may seem bad on their side, but since it's a co-op game, it can be agreed upon. Generally, if you are setting out towards a goal, all the players would picture their turns ahead of time. Yet if you are clumsy and just go straight for a goal, then there might be a problem when later on, 1 player needs to get past another, as they still have AP and need to get to a goal. Spending 2 AP to get onto their node and to set them back to your node, will in my mind, be balanced. There is the 2 AP cost in the first place, so that it isn't as easy as just moving around normally, and there is the set back, which can be punishment for poor planning.


Thematically, the node blocking rules in and out of the ship seem pretty good. Inside of a ship (especially a crashed one), it would be crammed, so moving past people would be hard. Whereas, moving around and past people outside would be easier as you are in the open.