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Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

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Neoclown
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Joined: 12/31/1969

This is my first post on these forums. Please let me know what you guys think. I haven't finished typing up the rules, though I have them all written down. This is what I have so far...

Background: Your alien spaceship crashed on earth with no proper fuel in sight! The only substance on earth capable of powering your spaceship is what these strange humans call “meatloaf.” Problem is, the nearest massive supply of meatloaf is six miles away at a Beefy Foods Inc. plant, and government Agents are hot on your tail!

Object: Aliens: Get to the plant before the FBI does to collect the fuel you need!
Agents: Get to the plant before the Aliens to set a trap and capture them!

Types of Cards:

Scene Cards: These cards represent the race to the Beefy Foods Inc. plant. Each has certain requirements for Aliens and Agents to meet in order to complete it and move on to the next Scene card.

Alien Cards: These cards are played by the Alien player and are broken up into two distinct types of cards…

Alienus Erectus: These are actual Aliens used to complete Scene cards. They represent the Alien crew aboard the crashed ship.

Tech: These cards represent technology used by the Aliens in their race to the plant. These technologies are used to complete Scene cards and retrieve discarded cards.

Agent Cards: These cards are played by the Alien player and are broken up into two distinct types of cards…

Government Agent: These are actual Agents used to complete Scene cards. They represent the Agents dispatched to apprehend the Aliens.

Tech: These cards represent technology used by the Agents in their race to the plant. These technologies are used to complete Scene cards and retrieve discarded cards.

Win Condition: Be the first to the plant and complete the Scene card to win!

Playing the Game:

A round consists of a player doing the following things in the following order…

1. Draw a card.
2. Play one card that helps meet the Scene card requirements or discard a card from your hand to draw another from your deck.
3. End of turn.

If a player completes a Scene card, a new one is taken off the top of the Scene deck and placed down. Only a player who has completed the previous scene may move on to the next one.

---

OKAY... to get a visual for you guys, here are some sample cards using art from Alien Hominid (video game)...


This is an example Alienus Erectus card, where the alien would be shown with a name.


This is an example alien Tech card, where the weapon would be shown (usually without an alien holding it) with a name for the weapon.


This is an example scene card, it represents part of the journey/race to the plant. The circles represent what's needed to complete the card. In this case, one Alienus Erectus, one Blaster Gun, one Government Agent, and one Shotgun.

What I'm having a hard time figuring out is the numbers. How many cards a person should start with, how many they are allowed to keep in their hand. How many of each type of card, etc. There's one alien deck and one agent deck.

Any help/comments?[/img][/b]

clapjaws
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

Fun concept! How many players is this geared toward? Is it 1 alien player, and the rest are agents - or will it have to be split evenly?

Neoclown
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

Well, the initial thought was to make it a two person game, with one person representing the aliens and the other representing the government agents. I concluded that the game could be played with two teams if two decks were used (2 alien and 2 agents). Also, more scenes could be added to make it longer for such a game.

You do say something that could be interesting though. If one player played as the aliens and mult. other people played agents, the position of "alien player" could move from one player to another. The more plentiful number of cards for the agents would represent "home turf advantage". The Alien player would have less cards, but the chances of drawing what he needs would be better.

Also, I forgot to mention it before... there is a tech card for each deck that allows retrieval of a discarded card. This an come in handy.

Ska_baron
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Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

I really like the idea and humor involved. Just a thought about scenes (and maybe this is how it is and I'm just slow...), but:

Each player (agent and alien) lays down a sequence of scenes (favorable to them). Then start with a Start Scene and whoever wins that gets to flip over their Scene 2 and so on until the Final Scene (which should probably be the same each time, but maybe not). The only thing to caution would be to make sure there wouldnt be run-away games all the time... maybe each scene is equally hard to win, but the winner not only gets their scene chosen next, but gets a bonus (draw extra card, etc).

Neoclown
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

Well how the scene card works now is like this...

- Both players share the scene deck, which is made up of scenes where the two (aliens and agents) interact or spot eachother, etc. There fore there is one scene deck with cards in a particular order.

For instance...
Scene 1: The Escape
Scene 2: The Creek
Scene 3: Cow Patty Pasture
In Scene 1: The Escape, the object is for the aliens to escape from the space ship crash area on their way to the factory. The object for the agents is to rush to the factory once intelligence has informed them of the alien plot. This happens by fulfilling the scene requirements, which are equally difficult for each team.

For example, the Scene 1 card might require 1 Alienus Erectus card for the Alien player, and 1 Government Agent card for the Agent player.

In Scene 3: Cow Patty Pasture, the aliens and agents have to wade their way through the cows filling a field in order to get on their way to the factory.

For example, the Scene 3 card might require 1 Alienus Erectus card and 1 Moo Stick (alien cattle prod) for the Alien player, and 1 Government Agent card and 1 Shotgun (or even 2 Government Agent cards) for the Agent player.

Once the scene is completed by one of the players (by placing down the cards needed to fulfill its requirements), the next Scene card is laid down and any player who has completed the prior scene may move on to the next one.

For example, the Scene 1 card requirements were just met by the Government Agent player. So he flips over the Scene 2: The Creek card and on his next turn he can continue on to that scene. The Alien player has not yet completed Scene 1, so he can't move on to the next scene until he has completed the one he is on.

****Certain scene cards also have special bonuses on them. For instance, "whoever completes this scene first draws a card" or maybe "aliens draw an extra card the first time they start this scene."

--------------

The idea you have about making the scenes chooseable to a certain extent in order to bring some custom-ability into the game is interesting. I'm going to think on that.

(btw, when you have time, can you hop on AIM?)

Ska_baron
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Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

If you like the idea, you could keep the race mechanic (which I like - since this is a race) which will add tension and still have players pick. If the alien completes scene 1 he goes on to scene 2 (which he chose at the start) and they the agent completes scene 1, then completes scene 2, then the agent player's scene 3 comes up, etc.

I'm on AIM nightly (sometimes ;))

Neoclown
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

One of the other mechanics in the game will be specific abilities (bonuses) certain Alienus Erectus and Government Agent cards have. For instance...

Neoclown
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Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

Ska_Baron, my only concern about that mechanic as you described it is that it is more or less the same mechanic that the LOTR Card Game uses with "locations". Where each player has a stack of their own locations and if they move on from the prior one first, then their next location choice goes down.

Have you played that?

Rick-Holzgrafe
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Re: Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

Neoclown wrote:
What I'm having a hard time figuring out is the numbers. How many cards a person should start with, how many they are allowed to keep in their hand. How many of each type of card, etc.

I made a two-player card game called Thrust and Parry. No scenes, but like yours the game is one of drawing cards from a shuffled deck into your hand, and trying to play down combinations to outplay your opponent.

I did my best during early design to figure out all of those how-many questions, but in the end the only thing that worked was to make a deck and start playing. Over time it became clear how large the deck should be, how many of each kind of card there should be, what the hand limits should be, and so on.

So my advice is, make a cheap deck first. Don't kill yourself on beautiful artwork and production, just scribble in pencil on some cheap stand-in for a playing card (3x5 cards, business cards, Protoparts blank cards, anything), and start playing. You can play solitaire for quite a while, getting a feel for how it works. When you've got a better idea of how the cards should be balanced, then make a nicer prototype and grab some friends and do some live playtests. Listen to your opponent's comments about the game, tweak your deck some more, and repeat until it feels done. Then make a really nice final deck.

Good luck with it!

Julius
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

Hahahaha! I love it!

I would say 'the more, the merrier' for the number of cards for each deck. You should have to have them the same size (i.e. both have 52 cards per deck), but they need not have the same ratio of Aliens/Agents to Tech cards.

I would have the composition of each deck reflect the number needed for the scene cards. So, for example, if your Agents can get by with numbers, by all means have the ratio of Agents to Tech be much higher... but if your Aliens rely on Tech almost constantly, you might have even amounts of aliens/tech in each deck.

Try to have as much variety as possible. I just finished cards for a board game - 4 different types of decks, 450 unique cards, each with a unique ability. Your game would be awesome if EVERY alien and agent had a bonus ability. I'd try to work that in simply because the rules are so simple, and the game has so much potential for flavor.

Ska_baron
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Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

I agree with Julius in the flavor strengthening simplicity of base rules department. Let the humor drip, I say =)

Quote:
Ska_Baron, my only concern about that mechanic as you described it is that it is more or less the same mechanic that the LOTR Card Game uses with "locations". Where each player has a stack of their own locations and if they move on from the prior one first, then their next location choice goes down.

Have you played that?

Sure haven't. I would worry about it though if it works well in YOUR game. If it doesn't then it doesn't.

NetWolf
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

This looks awsome!

I like the idea that you can choose your own path, but I also like the random movement represented by the face down deck of event cards.

I really like the concept behind unique Aliens and Agents, each with their own abilities and 'personalities'. I can just picture "Trigger Happy Jim" for the agents, or "Invader Grim" (spoof on Invader Zim) for the Aliens!

Neoclown
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

I really appreciate the feedback so far. I'll revise the rules and post them here soon.

Neoclown
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Joined: 12/31/1969
UPDATED RULES

This is what I have so far guys...
---------------------------------------

Background: Your alien spaceship crashed on earth with no proper fuel in sight! The only substance on earth capable of powering your spaceship is what these strange humans call “meatloaf.” Problem is, the nearest massive supply of meatloaf is six miles away at a Beefy Foods Inc. plant, and government Agents are hot on your tail!

Object: Aliens: Get to the plant before the Government does to collect the
fuel you need!
Agents: Get to the plant before the Aliens to set a trap and capture them!

Types of Cards:

Scene Cards: These cards represent the race to the Beefy Foods Inc.
plant. Each has certain requirements for Aliens and Agents to meet
in order to complete it and move on to the next Scene card. There
are two types of Scene Cards…

Alien Scene Cards: These scene cards tell the story from the ship to the
plant with a little twist in favor of the aliens. When the Alien player completes a scene first, an Alien Scene Card is played next (in the correct order…See Completing a Scene below).

Agent Scene Cards: These scene cards tell the story from the ship to the
plant with a little twist in favor of the agents. When the Agents player completes a scene first, an Agent Scene Card is played next (in the correct order…See Completing a Scene below).

Character Cards:

Alien Cards: These cards are played by the Alien player and are broken up into two distinct types of cards…

Alienus Erectus: These are actual Aliens used to complete Scene cards.
They represent the Alien crew aboard the crashed ship. An Alienus
Erectus card may contain additional text or “special abilities”. (See Playing a Character Card below).

Tech: These cards represent technology used by the Aliens in their race
to the plant. These technologies are used to complete Scene cards and retrieve discarded cards.

Agent Cards: These cards are played by the Alien player and are broken up into two distinct types of cards…

Government Agent: These are actual Agents used to complete Scene cards. They represent the Agents dispatched to apprehend the Aliens. A Government Agent card may contain additional text or “special abilities”. (See Playing a Character Card below).

Tech: These cards represent technology used by the Agents in their race to the plant. These technologies are used to complete Scene cards and retrieve discarded cards.

Win Condition: Be the first to the plant and complete the final Scene card to win!

Before Starting the Game:

1. Shuffle your Alien and Agents decks well.
2. Correctly organize the playing surface (See Setting Up the Playing Surface)
3. Flip-a-coin to see who goes first.
4. Each player should draw four cards to start.

Setting Up the Playing Surface:

1. Scene Cards: Scene Cards must remain in their intended order. In the right hand corner of each card is the number of the scene. The Scene Cards should remain in the correct order 1-10 in both decks (Alien Scene Card & Agent Scene Card decks). These decks should be flipped face down on the surface in such a fashion that they may be retrieved off the top of the pile in numerical order (1-10).

(I’ll finish this section later with a diagram)

Starting the Game:

Whoever won the coin toss can flip over their first Scene Card (Scene Card #1
from their deck) and place it face up in the middle of the surface. Then the first round begins with that player.

Playing the Game:

A round consists of the following actions…

1. Draw a card.
2. Play one card that helps meet the Scene card requirements or
discard a card from your hand to draw another from your deck.
3. End of turn.

If a player completes a Scene card, a new one is taken off the top of the Scene deck and placed down. Only a player who has completed the previous scene may move on to the next one.

CardboardAddict
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

Your total idea is pretty cool, I like the theme and the scene-cards, but I'm not quite convinced with the mechanisms yet. There is but little in the game to which the players actually have influence:

1. They can't exactly decide which scene card is the next to be played
2. They can't decide whether they meet the requirements set on a scene card
3. They can't pick the cards they need...

I still say this game needs something to give it, well, an identity perhaps? At least something that enlarges players' influence, cause at the moment, it's kind of an all-luck-game.

Good luck anyways

Neoclown
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Card Game Idea (Aliens/Agents)

It's not an all-in-luck game at all. Perhaps I haven't explained it enough.

The scenes themselves are controlled, through the playing of completing a scene. If the Agent player really wants his next scene to be played for the bonus on the scene, he will do what it takes to make that happen.

The cards in the alien and agent decks contain tons of little tricks, from opposition kill cards, to deck filtering cards (very important). After playing games like Magic:The Gathering, Lord of the Rings, Pokemon, etc. for years, I'm positive the mechanics will work more than just "okay."

It's the numbers that will take time to figure out.

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