Friday, 25 July 2008

Developing Card Game 1 (v0.2)

Inspired by Chris Bateman's recommendation for current or budding game designers to make games with traditional playing cards, I decided to do just that.

This game isn't very good but it's something. And that's better than nothing...

A standard 52-card deck (no jokers)
other players. (Might be best with 5 total players)

Winning Condition:
Have 5 cards in your hand, all one suit, with a total value of 25.

Numbers count as their face value. Aces, jacks, queens and kings count as 1.

pre-game setup:
Deal 5 cards to each player.

The starting player (the player to the dealer's left) draws 2 extra cards from the deck.

The game progresses by players taking asynchronous turns.

Each turn begins with the player being passed a card. They now choose to either take the top card of another player's discard pile or draw the top card of the deck. (Skip this section for the starting player.)

The active player then chooses and discards a card into a personal discard pile and chooses a card to pass left, beginning the next player's turn. At this point they should be back at 5 cards and may declare a win.

Time to play:
5-20 minutes? I'm still unsure...

This game was inspired by a 'Boardgames with Scott' review for 'Lost Cities'. I liked the idea of needing to work out what your opponent is after and ensuring you don't give them those cards so copied the ability to draw from discard piles.

My original game had a base hand size of 3 (increasing by 2 when it's your turn) and needed 11 points to win.

The game often ended with both players needing a single card (or one of two cards) and just drawing until they got it - a long drawn out version of rolling a die. Furthermore, once one person drew a visible card, it was generally already too late to prevent them from winning.

With 5 cards, there's actually some time between it being beneficial for a player to draw a face-up card and them winning - leaving time for players to worry about the cards they put down in front of them.

I feel I need to actually pinpoint what the fun element is and then hone in that.

The fun activity I was aiming at:
choosing what card to pass left and which to expose to the table, with SOME knowledge of what your opponents may be trying to do - avoiding helping them.

Is even that activity fun? Should there be a way to force reveals - giving more information to make the choices more meaningful?

Goodnight. I'll sleep on it.

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