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Old forum comments

(The Ludocity website previously had integrated forums, but they fell into spam-covered decline and were shut down in 2015. The comments in this section have been automatically converted from that forum.)

An open challenge to others: how do you make being a Border Guard into a fun role? Right now they're like glorified babysitters.

In my variant of Checkpoint, I'm toying with various ideas - let the Guards search for the stash at point A so the smugglers must hide it well or move it; let Guards employ one "rat" on the smuggler team; let Guards employ a small "plain clothes" black ops squad, etc. What do you guys think? --Robert Yang (talk) 24 September 2008

I don't know, I've been a border guard twice now, and have found that there's still a good amount of enjoyable strategy in it for them. If there are a lot of entrances to the end zone, you need to strike the right balance between strict patrols and spur-of-the-moment deviations, which makes for an interesting lesson. And if it's a busy public space, there's a lot of fun in identifying the smugglers and second-guessing their motives - my proudest border guard moments have been when I've picked someone out of a crowd purely from their sudden 180° turn, or nervous second glance.

If I was going to make it more fun for the guards, I think I'd just up the theatrics - the UV lamps and Polaroid mugshots at Hide and Seek were great, and it'd add to both coordination and drama if you could get hold of a few walkie-talkies for the guards. --Kevan (talk) 24 September 2008

Mm, when we've run Checkpoint we've usually treated the guards as part of the game world, using volunteers rather than players, and that's seemed to work best. When you do get random players to be guards, a few of them always really take to it, but most of them just don't find it as much fun. But if you've got volunteers who see themselves as being there to make the game function, then both they and the smugglers will probably enjoy it more.

If you can't use volunteers, letting people choose a side rather than assigning one helps a bit - so that you do get border guards who are going to enjoy the theatrics of guarding.

It would complicate the game a lot and make it into something quite different, but it might be interesting to have smugglers able to triumph individually as well as as a team - the smuggler who gets the most items through is the winner. That creates some leverage for the guards to use when talking to individual smugglers - they can try to sow dissidence among the smugglers' ranks, or bribe one smuggler with "I'll let you get through if you tell me what route the rest of them are using".

And if you're rewarding individuals, then rewarding the guard who manages to confiscate the most goods would also make sense, and add more of an element of competition to the guard side. --Holly Gramazio (talk) 26 September 2008

Can Border Guards claim dropped objects outside the start and end zones? --Guilherme Töws (talk) 3 November 2008

They can, yes; I'll clarify that. --Kevan (talk) 4 November 2008