Rules For Making A Good Custom Clue Game?

A place to discuss all aspects of Clue/Cluedo.

Moderators: Michael, BBP, Tum

Post Reply
User avatar
Murder by Death
Forensics Supervisor
Posts: 2516
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:15 pm

Rules For Making A Good Custom Clue Game?

Post by Murder by Death » Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:58 pm

Just found this Forum. Fantastic. So much great stuff here, I have just started to explore. So if this topic is already covered in the voluminous forum, please just point me to the link!

I was recently thinking about doing a custom game and have gotten all caught up in the the rules, the board layouts and the various "Super" Clue spinoff variations. Which makes me question what rules I really need to follow.

One of the things that makes Clue great is the simplicity and predictability of the original Classic game. However, I would like to add more characters and locations than the original. Also, I would like to change the shape of the board (not taking place inside a single building). What concerns me is that those aspects of the original game have been carefully considered and messing with them will upset the playability of the game.

I found this thread which is just fantastic. However, it takes considerable liberties with the board shape, number of rooms and characters and even adds an additional element.

Even the original Pratt patents reflect 10 characters and rooms and 9 weapons, though the board only allows for 8 starting spaces (which the classic board still reflects, though only 6 are used). Are these changes by careful design, or casual decision making?

Likewise the Master Detective Edition adds 3 rooms, 4 characters and 2 weapons and changes the board layout somewhat. Yet unlike the Super Cluedo variations, play is essentially identically to classic Clue. I had never seen that game, but I am stunned that it was not more successful. Is it because the new layout and elements balance didn't work? My biggest complaint with Clue now that I'm older was that it was too simple, a complaint Master Detective seemed to address while not making it any more complicated for kids. Or did people just resist the changes?
Last edited by Murder by Death on Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Murder by Death
Forensics Supervisor
Posts: 2516
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:15 pm

Rules For Making A Good Custom Clue Game?

Post by Murder by Death » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:07 pm

So, I guess what I'm asking is, are there any hard and fast rules which I must adhere to in order to make a successful game adaptation?

My list of questions in order of priority are these:

1) My primary concern is changing the shape of the board path. What should my considerations be in doing that?
2) I don't necessarily want to add additional locations or weapons. But I would like to add the option of additional players. Therefore:

While playing with the established characters adds some nostalgia to the game, is there any good reason not to allow players to choose the active characters from a "pool"? One problem when playing with 6 characters has always been that the ratio of men and women characters did not always correspond to the players, inevitably leaving a male player as Mrs. White.

To solve this and allow for additional characters in my themed version, why not have a selection of 5 men and 5 women (or more), from which the six players choose. The remaining players are removed from the deck and then the murderer is secretly chosen. The remaining players are also crossed off the detective notes. It does introduce a slight margin of error that the wrong characters made it into the deck, but that seems easily checked.

But that does not handle the other problem with 2-6 players which is no more can participate. How critical is this balance of players to actual suspects? I mean playing with anything other than 3 or 6 players results in unequal dealings anyway.

I would appreciate any thoughts from this extremely enlightened and talented group.

User avatar
Quadsworth
Slueth
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:26 pm

Post by Quadsworth » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:15 pm

Basically, you just have to experiment and find out what works. In my opinion, the best custom games are those that have a creative twist to them, such as Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem or Pathway to murder. Since I infer that you are talking about a game unlike those using a variation of the original rules, the most important aspect for me is well done artwork. Simple head shots from google images with a frame or basic text beneath them fall rather short in my opinion. Spend some time on your projects( I certainly do, as I have gotten lazy and have yet to finish one).

User avatar
Murder by Death
Forensics Supervisor
Posts: 2516
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:15 pm

Theme

Post by Murder by Death » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:36 pm

Quadsworth wrote: Since I infer that you are talking about a game unlike those using a variation of the original rules, the most important aspect for me is well done artwork.
Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a custom "themed" game, not to introduce new rules. So basic Clue (one in which people do not need to be told new rules for the old classic – which is why I really like Master Detective best as an expansion/departure), in which I have applied a theme, in this case from a television show. So not really looking to introduce any new elements, except I would like the game board to conform to the theme and mainly worried that this will impact the familiarity of play, e.g. extend, shorten, etc.

And yes, I agree, it is the artwork that is the twist on the game and the familiarity of playing with one's favorite character and locations. Granted such games are novelties, but I do prefer to play with my Simpson's Clue Game, unless it is a particularly elegant set.

User avatar
Quadsworth
Slueth
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:26 pm

Post by Quadsworth » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:53 pm

Ah yes, the television game. I have yet to see a fan made, television show based game that isn't poorly executed ( if you have made a nice one, I apologize). These games mostly feature what I described, google image results that have some text thrown on them. Good luck.

User avatar
WarnerPlum
Chopper Squad
Posts: 3638
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:13 pm
Location: Sitting in my dusty bedroom in the United Kingdom - now where was that broom...

Post by WarnerPlum » Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:27 am

Personally, I'd do some field research, see what the audience like best - if you dive right in, there'll be much complaining. I know that happened with me when I tried to make 'The Frank Triberus Edition', but now I know more or less what they'd like in a Clue game, I might try again some time..
"Caveat emptor, Plum: let the buyer beware."
"No, Boddy... YOU beware."
~ Blackmail!

User avatar
Adam106
Hatchet Man
Posts: 5759
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Post by Adam106 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:43 am

Here are two of the best custom-made games that forum members have made. We all agree that we love them. Maybe you can get a good idea the type of thing's we look for through these:

CluedoKid's: Clue: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem
http://theartofmurder.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2819&

Poirotfrmda818's: Clue: Will You Survive?
http://theartofmurder.com/forums/viewto ... postdays=0

There are some other great ones that aren't properly completed.

Hope this gives you good inspiration. :)

User avatar
Murder by Death
Forensics Supervisor
Posts: 2516
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:15 pm

Existing Games

Post by Murder by Death » Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:32 am

Adam, thanks for those links. I love looking at well executed games. Beautiful artwork. What I would not have done to have access to Photoshop (or even a computer) as a kid!

Quadsworth, I completely understand your trepidation about anyone doing a television-themed game. Despite your overwhelming vote of confidence ;-) I shall assure you that if I undertake this project it will be nothing of the sort you describe. In fact I was considering an architectural rendering theme, with the houses on the street laid out like floorplans, complete with architectural landscaping details like tress and bushes. While I mentioned preferring to play with the Simpson's game, I consider that game especially well designed and the artwork, equal to any, and superior to some, created by Hasbro and its predecessors. I would not enjoy spending time playing with anything less.

BUT I AM STILL CONFUSED ABOUT THE RULES.

Surely there must be some basic elements that must be adhered to in order to ensure a satisfying gaming experience. While there seems to be no shortage of interesting themes and ideas, in this forum, I'm not finding a lot of information about playing experience. Some of these games look great, but there's no review about how much fun they are to play.

Kristev
Crime Writer
Posts: 2520
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:12 am
Location: Idaho

Post by Kristev » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:40 pm

Okay, here's my take on it. Stay as close as you can to Clue classic or Clue MD. My own Holiday Clue has some variation to it without really changing anything significant.

Keep the ratio of men/women equal, but it's a great idea to boost it up to ten characters (five/five). I never thought of leaving the other cards out, but it might be well worth it to try.

Post Reply