Inventor: James M Hazelton III,
Variant of Mega Volcano
Ranks: Six by Six
Sowing: Single laps
Region: (?)

Coastercano is a variant of Mega Volcano with treehouse dies, which was designed by James M Hazelton III in 2007. The game is still under development.

His basic idea was to create a game of Mega Volcano on the dynamic coaster board. Before each turn the player rolls a treehouse die (or maybe two).

More ideas to toss around:

  • Should the die action be optional, mandatory, or should it depend on the crest that was rolled?
  • Should the action take place at the beginning of the turn, anywhere in the turn, or should it depend on the crest that was rolled?
  • Should the eruption streams go in straight lines or should they follow the arrows? Possibilities here include: Usually straight, with arrow as a die roll; a die roll toggles between lines and arrow for everyone; everyone always has the option to go either way; players who roll any of 3 crests go straight, the other crests demand arrows.
  • One or more crests should allow manipulation of the coasters. How many?
  • Wild shouldn't just be a wild card--it should be a regular crest like the other five.
  • Should one of the crests allow the player to freely pick up a cap and place it somewhere else, or would that be too powerful?]
  • Should one treehouse die be rolled each turn, or should it be more? I'm thinking one, but it might be fun to playtest with more.
  • Here's an idea: What if two treehouse dice are rolled, and the action allowed it based on the results of both dice. For example, rolling a DIG/TIP combination would allow the player to do either of two regular actions corresponding to DIG and TIP, but WILD/WILD would allow something more powerful, like moving a cap or providing two eruptions. This would also allow for more options in the actions, instead of limiting to 6 for a 6-sided treehouse die. But would this make for an overly complicated game? I suppose it wouldn't be unreasonable for a small action index card to accompany the game, since the players already have to bring 9 stashes of icehouse to the game.
  • Mega Volcano is limited by the number of stashes it requires. If you're going by treehouse sets, it comes up to 10! Is there a way to do 5x5 volcano on a 6x6 coaster board?
  • What of the special single-tree in volcano? Should it be eliminated to make room for a stopper? Or should each special piece award something special? Maybe redeemable for a second action on a turn?
  • What's in a name? I thought about Volcoaster, but I like Coastercano better. Plus it fits the naming convention that Hexano started (kinda).
  • While my initial idea for the game came before the discussion of the next IGDC being coaster-centric, it fits the criteria too well not to submit. However, would this be too close to Volcano to be eligible? I don't know if it would do very well, come to think of it, needing 10 treehouse stashes. Still, nothing gets people playing your game like the IGDC.
  • I've never designed a game before, and this page-long list of unanswered question is somewhat intimidating. Brainstorming and playtesting help might be appreciated.

Theoretical Treehouse Die Actions

(!=denotes theoretical power/also inverse to theoretical rarity)

  • Move a cap to any square on the board. !!!
  • Move a cap one square without causing an eruption. !
  • Toggle whether eruptions follow straight lines or arrow paths. !
  • Remove a coaster and all its pieces from play for a turn/until this crest comes up again. !!/!
  • Swap two coasters and do/don't change their orientation. !
  • Rotate any/all coasters in place. !
  • Rearrange pieces in a stack. !!!
  • Allow a second eruption before your turn ends. !!
  • No player may move caps without erupting for a round. !!
  • Swap a piece you captured with a piece someone else captured of the same colour? Size? Either? !!!
  • A selected cap can't be moved until your next turn. !

Initial Idea: 11 Actions

  • TIPM - Your eruption this turn follows the arrows on the board instead of going in a straight line; you choose the exact path.
  • HOPO,A - Move a single cap one space; it does not cause an explosion.
  • DIGO,S - Choose a square. The bottom piece on that square moves to the top of its stack (under the cap, though).
  • SWAPO,S - Pick two coasters. They switch places, but their orientations don't change.
  • AIMO,S - Reorient a single coaster however you please.
  • WILD - Roll the Treehouse die again; perform the action that corresponds to the crest rolled.
    • TIPM - Caps you move this turn must travel along the path of the arrows on the board.
    • HOPO,A - Move a single cap to any uncapped square on the board; it does not cause an explosion.
    • DIGO,S - Select a square. You may reconfigure the stack that sits on it in any way you want, provided the cap (if any) stays on top.
    • SWAPM,S - Select one coaster and separate it from the others. This coaster and everything on it is considered not part of the game until the beginning of your next turn, at which point it is pushed back with the others, resuming its orientation from the turn before. You may not select a coaster with six caps on it.
    • AIMO,S - Reorient any or all coasters however you please.
    • WILDO - Your turn ends after two explosions instead of just one.

M denotes that this action is mandatory.

O denotes that this action is optional.

S denotes that this action is to be performed at the start of your turn, before any caps are moved.

A denotes that this action is to be performed at anytime during your turn, but not after you cause an explosion.


The game is still open for suggestions and the author welcomes any ideas to be posted on the following discussion page.

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