Dice. The ultimate form of simple randomization. I am a big fan of the way dice have been used recently in games such as Alien Frontiers and Kingsburg. Dice allocation as a mechanic has a big appeal to me because it offers fresh take on rolling dice and provides interesting decisions based around a randomizer. What you roll isn’t the end. It is how you use what you roll. I wanted to design a game based around this mechanic so I was trying to think of a theme that fit dice allocation well and thus, Temps was born.
In Temps, players will be hiring temp workers (dice) from a temp agency and using them to complete jobs to earn money. The player with the most money at the end of the game is the winner. There are three main things a player will be focusing on to accomplish this goal.
1) Hiring Temps – The dice in Temps represent different temp workers that players can hire to complete jobs. There are different color dice that represent different worker specializations (like technology, office, or labor). The temp agency is a market that represents the cost based on the supply/demand of different specializations. When players hire these temps they will pay the going rate to the temp agency for that specialization. They will then roll the hired temps (dice) to see what skill level that worker has in their specialization.
This is the idea that resonated with me. When hiring temps you may have of what they are specialized in but not how skilled they are in that specialization. You are rolling the dice just as you are in Temps. I don’t want a player who gets lots of high rolls to automatically be the winner so the game isn’t based on high rolls. Sure, they represent higher skill but the winner of the game will be the one who is able to recognize market needs, get the temps they need for the lowest cost, and use them to gain the highest revenue and thus, profit.
2) Expanding your office – Players will have a player board that represents their office. This will be where players put their temp workers before they are used. The office will start out small so players will only have space for few temps. Players will be able to use their revenue earned from jobs to expand their office to not only accommodate more workers but to also augment their workers to make them better. Eventually, players will be able to start hiring (keeping some of their temps) by building offices for them.
3) Completing Jobs – The ultimate goal of the game is to make money. There will be a certain number of cards dealt up each round that represent the current jobs available for players to complete to make money. Players will want to use their temps as efficiently as possible to make the most money they can for the least investment. When players complete a job they will then pay the temps they used based on their skill level (the rolled number). The higher the skill the more they will cost.
Temps is almost at a place to start play testing so I hope to bring play test reports here soon. If you want more info about Temps you can look at the design document or the information posted in my Google+ Community.