Game Design Blitz #9

And today’s card is…

The Card

Color: Blue

Number: 8

Piece: Card

Mechanic: Press Your Luck

The Definition

Games where you repeat an action (or part of an action) until you decide to stop due to increased (or not) risk of losing points or your turn.

The Idea

The press your luck mechanic is quite an open subject and can be interpreted in many ways, and that’s good for coming up with ideas, but it isn’t great for a timed exercise like this, so let’s look at the card a bit more to draw inspiration. The card is blue out of four possible colors also including magenta, yellow and black. It shows both dice and a card, and has dice with the numbers 2 and 6 to determine the number 8 on the card.A very common approach to press your luck is to continue flipping over cards until you either get the combination of cards you are looking for, or you hit a card that is bad and ends your turn. What if we use cards and dice, where the cards give us the goal that we are trying to reach with our dice? At the basest level we can have a deck of cards running from one to thirteen. Two cards are flipped over and each player starts with two 6-sided dice which they begin to roll. Players may re-roll as much as they want and may lock a die at any time, however, if a 1 is rolled it must be locked. Whenever a die is locked the player may take another die from a pool of available dice. These may or may not be various special dice ranging in numbers. This is optional, and a player may lock all their dice if they choose. The first player that locks all of their dice takes the cards, then scores points equal to the combined total of their dice minus the difference between the total on the cards. Aces can be used as either 1 or 11. The closer you get to the total of the cards, the better score you get, but you risk someone else ending the round if you take too long. If you go over the total on the cards then you are busted and are out of the round.Each player puts back their extra dice and new cards are drawn to begin the next round. Play continues until one player collects all thirteen different numbered cards (I.e. Ace through King). The player with the highest score is the winner.

The Pitch

High Roller is a real-time dice and card game where players race to collect and lock dice in which the total of all the dice matches the total on the cards for the round. Don’t take too long because any player can lock all of their dice at any time and take the cards out from under you! The first player to collect all thirteen cards ends the game at which point the player with the most points is the winner!

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Game Design Blitz #5

And today’s card is…

The Card

Color: Black

Number: 10

Piece: Chess Pawn/Dice

Mechanic: Guessing

The Idea

What immediately pops into my head is something like Guess Who or Memory… but we’re looking to make games that are a bit more engaging than children’s games. Nothing wrong with games for kids, that’s just not the demographic that I tend to a for.A card game with one card that is the “target”. The goal of the game is to be the person with the card, but not to have anyone else guess that you have the card. The game starts with each player having two cards. These are looked at initially sand then kept face down on the table unless a card tells a player or players to look at one or more cards. On a player’s turn they pick one of their cards and reveal it, then follow out the rule on that card which will cause players to take various actions with their cards, like passing them around and across the table. Once every player had taken a turn, each player guesses who they think has the target card. If a player guesses them self, and they have the card they get a point bonus equal to the number of players. Every player that correctly guesses who has the card gets a point and that player loses a point. Incorrect guesses don’t have any effect on points. Play continues until one player reaches a predetermined number of points and is crowned the winner. I worry that this is too simple and too random, but it could make a pretty decent party game.

The Pitch

Monte is a card game in which one player has the “Monte”. Who has it? At the beginning nobody knows because all cards are secret! Each player has to take a turn to flip one of their cards and carry out the action on the card. Actions will include passing, trading, shuffling, etc… and once all players have taken an action, everyone has to guess who has the Monte. Correct guesses gain points for the guesser, but lose points for the player with the Monte. If a player correctly guesses that they have the Monte then they get a bonus! Play repeats until one player gets to a predetermined point value and is crowned the winner!

Game Design Blitz #4

And today’s card is…

The Card

Color: Black

Number: 13/K

Piece: Chess Pawn/Die

Mechanic: Negotiation

The Idea

Oh boy. If you know me then you know that I’m not the biggest fan of social games… Making up stories, convincing other players that I’m not the werewolf or trying to sell my best sun-block parasol are just not my forte.Negotiation doesn’t have to mean social deduction, but that’s the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the card. I’m not going to back down from my own challenge however, so I’m going to try and come up with something that is negotiation but is not a social deduction type game.There are plenty of games where you trade with other players. Even Catan has negotiation in it, but that isn’t the focus of the game, and my game has to focus on the negotiation. The easiest theming that comes to mind is a set collection game where you have to trade with other players to get the cards that you need. Perhaps each player has a secret point system or win condition that they are playing towards. Once the opponents figure it out they can take steps to block that player from meeting the win condition. How will this game work? Each player will be dealt two (out of 12 or 16 total) win condition or point cards. They will choose one and discard the other. This let’s each player know some number of win conditions that aren’t present in the game. The main deck of cards will be made up of, let’s just say 4 suits for ease so that we can prototype with a standard deck of cards. You will start with a hand of 7 cards. Each turn you have to negotiate a trade. Then using some number of cards from your hand you play a set of some kind, containing 2 or 3 cards. For now let’s say that can be either multiples of a number (i.e. a pair of 2s), matching suits (i.e. a flush), or a run of three cards (i.e. a straight). The cards in the set that you play may include the cards that you just traded for, or it can be only cards that you already had in your hand.The negotiation may include anything from cards in you hand to future trade considerations to random allowances of card draw to having the player discard their hand, and even cards that are already on the table in a set. For that last one any cards from a set on the table that aren’t included in the trade must be discarded.Instead of trading or drawing from the main deck, a player may discard their win condition the. draw two win condition cards and then discard one. This way the player is always only going for a single win condition.If your sets on the table ever match the win condition on your card, then announce that and you win the game.

The Pitch

Draw, Trade, Win is a negotiation card game where players are trading to collect sets which they use to fulfill a hidden win condition that is unique to each player. The only way to escape negotiation is to draw a new win condition. Negotiation has no rules so entice your opponents with anything you want to be able to collect the cards that you need. Be alert however, the first player to meet their win condition will win the game immediately!Full Disclosure: this challenge took longer than I wanted to. I stayed on the train for an extra stop and still didn’t finish in time… but I still haven’t gotten to the office yet, so it’s still valid in my book!

Cast Iron Game Review – CV Pocket

IMG_1658.JPGCV Pocket (BGG Link) is a new small box card game designed by Filip Miłuński with art by Piotr Socha and published by Granna, and distributed by Passport Game Studios in the US. CV Pocket condenses a player’s whole life down to a fifteen minute drafting and set collection game for two to four players. Who can make the best life for them self? Let’s find out!

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Game Design Blitz #3

And today’s card is…

The Card

Color: Blue

Number: 4

Piece: Card/Die

Mechanic: Trick Taking

The Idea

Trick taking is a mechanic that has been around forever. I must confess that I haven’t played too many trick taking games, but I have played a few, and one of the games I am currently working on is “in the style of” a trick taking game. True to my word though, that is not the game I will pitch today. What are the main components to a trick taking game? Typically a deck of cards is shuffled and dealt out to all players. A “trump” suit is identified, that is the suit that will beat all others no matter the number on the card. Each round consists of a player leading the round with a card and all other players have to “match suit”. If they can’t then they are able to play any other card. This is where the trump suit comes in. After each player has played then the one who played the highest card in the lead suit wins the trick. If anyone played the trump suit then the highest one in that suit wins the trick. The different variations introduce all manner of restrictions and exceptions that make each one different.

How do I come up with something unique and exciting? I tend to start with theme and then see if I can find mechanics to fit. In this case since I am dictated the mechanic I’m doing it a little backward and I’ll need to find a theme that will work well with trick taking.

I’m thinking about a stock market game. The suits are different stocks and in the end this is a set collection game, where the value of the sets fluctuates throughout the game. This could be based on the prominence of a particular suit in any given trick. For example, if I lead with hearts and then no other player has a heart the opponents play a spade, a spade and a diamond respectively, then the spade ticks up a dollar on the stock value, and clubs (the only suit not represented in that hand) ticks down a dollar. Once all cards have been played and the round is over players earn income based on the current stocks that they own. I’m thinking that the stock value tracker will be what dictates the trump suit, and not having a the lead suit isn’t the only way to not have to follow the lead. Maybe a player can pay some number of dollars to ignore the lead suit.

The Pitch

Day Traders is a trick taking card game where players are vying to own the most valuable stock. Players influence the market with the stocks that they contribute to the pool which are dictated by the lead player, the current stock value or even the money out of their pockets. In the end the player with the most cash is crowned the best Day Trader!

Note: I was re-reading and noticed some formatting and grammatical errors, so I made some fixes.

Game Design Blitz #2

And today’s card is…

The Card

Color: Blue

Number: 12/Queen

Piece: Chess Card

Mechanic: Set Collection

The Idea

There was a computer game that I played when I was younger and pc monitors only had 4 colors. For some reason the first thing that I thought of when I saw this card was in implementation of that game, Battle Chess!

Battle Chess didn’t have any special rules, it was just Chess where the pieces would come to life and smash each other whenever a piece was captured. My first inclination was a drafting game where you draft then play cards against each other to see who wins that hand of Chess. The problem with that is the fact that a queen would simply win all battles. I have to introduce things like component powers and… you guessed it, set collection!I’m not 100% set on drafting as the method by which you collect cards, but we’ll go with it for now. A deck of cards will sit in the middle of the table. A row of five cards are set face up, and in turn each player will choose and take a card to their hand. Once All five cards are drafted, the players will each play a card or cards from their hand. These cards will be compared and a winner will be determined. Cards can be held from round to round, so as the game progresses the players will be able to build better and better hands to play, and an additional bonus is that the cards that a player has drafted will be harder and harder for the opponent to remember. That is where the set collection aspect will shine. Whether the winning hand is three pawns or a knight combined with a Bishop, or even the dynamic duo of Queen and King, players have to collect sets and battle them against each other to win.

The Pitch

Battle Chess is a drafting/set collection card game in which players draft the best cards to build sets then battle those sets against each other to determine who will get Checkmate.

Brief Overview – Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous

Tpic2564484_mdhe world of Pathfinder is immense, including a popular role playing game and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game with multiple base sets and expansions that capture the dungeon-crawler feel of an RPG but without the time and imagination commitment that a role playing game entails. The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous is a card based RPG  designed by Mike Selinker by Paizo Publishing which plays 1-4 players with a scenario running about 120 minutes. Each player takes the role of a character represented by a stat card consisting of the usual stats that you see in RPGs, a character token, and a deck of cards. Each character has a favored card type upon which their deck is heavily based (i.e. a mage likes spells). The board consists of a number of locations determined by how many players are in the game, with the locations represented by decks of cards consisting of various blessings, treasures, weapons and monsters including a final boss, as defined by the particular scenario which the players are attempting to complete. Whenever the player comes across an enemy, trap, or even treasure, they usually have to make a stat roll to see if they defeat the monster or find the treasure, etc… Each character has a base set of stats which define the dice that they will roll for that check, but these can be enhanced by playing cards from their hand such as equipment, blessings, etc… In addition, the other players can play blessings to help out the player making the roll. The caveat is that your deck of cards is your life total. The more you use the closer you get to death. The players take turns using the cards in their hands to explore the locations in order find treasure, fight monsters and eventually defeat the boss to win the scenario. If you run out of cards in your deck however, then your character dies.

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