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Card Game Concerns - Assistance Appreciated

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-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
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Joined: 01/30/2015

All-

I have a card game that I created which I considered for families, but mainly geared for children (6-12) to bring them into gaming. As I’ve been play-testing it (mostly with adults 30+ years old and some children) the results and concerns are:

* Adults 2 player games less than or equal to 5 minutes
* Adults 4 player games about 12 minutes
* Children 2 player games approximately 10-15 minutes
* Children 4 player games approximately 25-30 minutes

(Above assumes base understanding of rules, which are under 1/3 page and simple. I may re-write to 3-4 bullets with 6 words each -or- just use 1-2 words, symbols and numbers if possible.)

I am concerned about a few things:

1- Speed of the games
a. If adults play with younger children the game experience may drag for the adults, or seem hurried for children.
b. If adults play alone the game is way to fast
c. Family wise it would be a good pre-game dinner or filler/party game, but not more from observation.
2- Repetitive Nature
a. There are deck elements as well as player options; however what a person may do is limited. (1 or 2 options for simplicity for children) which can get old for adults.
3- Enjoyment
a. Adults I’ve observed begin to loose their enjoyment after about the 3rd game.
b. Children seem to enjoy it for theme and art so it seems to be a go back. More study/understanding is necessary.
4- Wording vs. Symbols
a. Need a way to convert most cards from words and colors to colors and symbols as it seems easier for the children; however my concern is the adults will loose the little enjoyment they have as the humor element is lost.

I’d appreciate any suggestions you have on how to improve my concerns and the mechanics for the card game.

Thank you.

IcePeddlerGames
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Joined: 01/29/2015
I'll offer my opinion.

I'll offer my opinion. Please take with a grain of salt.

-Eberhardt- wrote:
All-

I have a card game that I created which I considered for families, but mainly geared for children (6-12) to bring them into gaming. As I’ve been play-testing it (mostly with adults 30+ years old and some children) the results and concerns are:

* Adults 2 player games less than or equal to 5 minutes
* Adults 4 player games about 12 minutes
* Children 2 player games approximately 10-15 minutes
* Children 4 player games approximately 25-30 minutes

(Above assumes base understanding of rules, which are under 1/3 page and simple. I may re-write to 3-4 bullets with 6 words each -or- just use 1-2 words, symbols and numbers if possible.)

I am concerned about a few things:

1- Speed of the games
a. If adults play with younger children the game experience may drag for the adults, or seem hurried for children.
b. If adults play alone the game is way to fast
c. Family wise it would be a good pre-game dinner or filler/party game, but not more from observation.

You said this was primarily geared towards children 6 - 12. If that is the way you want to go with development then make that your target market.

Parents are going to play the game with their children because their kid is enjoying it. Most of the joy for the parent will come from the interaction with their child.

-Eberhardt- wrote:

2- Repetitive Nature
a. There are deck elements as well as player options; however what a person may do is limited. (1 or 2 options for simplicity for children) which can get old for adults.

Again, hone in on your targeted market and design it for them. Stuff just gets old for parents period. My daughter's favorite movie at the moment is Frozen. I've seen it at least 100 times. I can quote it front and back, but I'll watch it tomorrow if she wants, because she really enjoys it and I enjoy the time we spend together.

-Eberhardt- wrote:

3- Enjoyment
a. Adults I’ve observed begin to loose their enjoyment after about the 3rd game.
b. Children seem to enjoy it for theme and art so it seems to be a go back. More study/understanding is necessary.

How often will the kids go back? Are we talking hours, days, weeks? There is also the possibility that your age range is to wide. If it is very simple maybe changing the range from 4 - 8 is better suited. There is a world of difference between mental and emotional development/capacity from a 6 year old to a 12 year old.

-Eberhardt- wrote:

4- Wording vs. Symbols
a. Need a way to convert most cards from words and colors to colors and symbols as it seems easier for the children; however my concern is the adults will loose the little enjoyment they have as the humor element is lost.

I sound like a broken record, but target market. Can you make the transition to colors and symbols that are both kid friendly and funny? The child probably hasn't established "normal" yet. They'll be intrigued easily. Putting something on the card that makes the parent go ... wait ... what? could be a good balance.

-Eberhardt- wrote:

I’d appreciate any suggestions you have on how to improve my concerns and the mechanics for the card game.

Thank you.

Hope that helps!

ruy343
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Joined: 07/03/2013
Hold on

You mention that the game ends way too fast if played by adults. Have you ever played Love Letter or Coup? The game takes 5 minutes to complete one round: they're designed to be short. However, that doesn't diminish the greatness of these games: they thrive on their shortness and simplicity. The key is that they have just enough intricacy to pull players back for more.

I recommend that you take another look at Love Letter to see what you can learn from its presentation.

Disclaimer: I find that my advice on this forum is to recommend that other designers play certain games that I know of: that's how I learned a lot about design: by playing others' games. Also, it prevents me from offering advice about how I'd do it, allowing you to continue to design according to your vision.

kevnburg
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Joined: 05/02/2014
To expand a bit on ruy's

To expand a bit on ruy's point on length:

It's not problematic if a game takes very little time to play. What is problematic is if it feels like the game ends before reaching its proper end, or if it feels like it ends while players are still merely setting up. You want the game to go through all of its phases, and, while this framework won't work for all games, you can conceptualize those phases as follows

Early game: Players are setting up for upcoming major conflict, with minor conflicts occuring sporadically throughout this stage.

Climax: A major conflict puts one player at a considerable advantage.

Rush to victory: The player given that considerable advantage tries to capitalize on it to rush towards victory, while other players scramble to stop him and secure an advantage that they themselves can use as leverage towards victory. If the player succeeds in his rush, the game ends here after a dramatic and fulfilling struggle.

If you're worried about your game ending too early, I can only guess that you're saying this because it feels like it is ending while players are still setting up or like the climax moment immediately ends the game instead of leading to a desperate struggle. Is that correct? I'd recommend trying to see if you're game actually fits within or somewhat resembles this early game / climax / rush to victory framework. If it does, how are these three stages playing out? If it doesn't, what sort of framework does describe your game?

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