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A mechanic to resolve cards

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RPotter
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Hi there, this is my firstpost so apologies if I make any faux pas.

I'm designing a game which involves selecting and playing cards in order to earn points. However I don't want the cards to just give the player points upon playing them, but rather that there is some element of risk to playing a card as there may be a chance that the card won't resolve and hence be useless for the turn it is played. Some cards give more points than others and even though there is less of them in the deck I still want some other risk involved. I am hesitant to involve dice as I would prefer there to be more than just luck involved in deciding whether a card resolves or not. What are some other mechanics that ciuld be used instead of dice?

I hope that makes sense.

Cheers,

Potter.

donut2099
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Hi Potter. Are you talking

Hi Potter. Are you talking about a solitaire game? Or multiple players? Competitive or cooperative? Is it a trick taking game? I don't know if I could offer much advice, but I don't think there's enough information to give you good answers. It might help to give some idea of the theme and how you percieve gameplay should progress.

RGaffney
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How about cards that depend

How about cards that depend on other cards.

The carrot is really good for carrot stew if you have a strw pot. Otherwise it's pretty much useless

The Barwench makes your hero +3 to boldness if you have a hero

"Double the effect of any other card"

et cetera

RPotter
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Yeah sorry I realise I didn't

Yeah sorry I realise I didn't give much context.

This is how my game is shaping:

2-4 player game where each player is a modern day magician competing with other magicians to be the next leader of "The Brotherhood". The game is played over 5 rounds. Each player has a deck of cards containing magic tricks that are common to the type of magician that he/she is, I.e. illusionist, mentalist, street magician etc. There is also a general deck of all the different tricks that exist in the game. Each turn players draw 5 cards from their own deck and 3 from the general deck, from these 8 cards the players can negotiate trades before deciding on 5 cards to play. Once the cards are picked to play each magician tries to pull off each trick. If a magician pulls off a trick that is the same type as the magician then they get the base amount of points for that card, however if the card is one of a different type then the magician gets more points. I want a mechanic which will allow the cards to be completed easier by magicians of the same type and harder for different magicians. Dice would be a simple mechanic, but I was wondering if there was some other mechanic that could be added to the game for the purpose of resolving cards.

donut2099
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Yeah its kind of hard to beat

Yeah its kind of hard to beat dice for probability. I would be interested in hearing other solutions. one possibility might be a 'magic' economy, where players recieve a certain number of trick points or whatever. Tricks outside their specialty might require more points, but I don't know if that really fits for what you want to do. Could use a combination of points and dice to make it more interesting than just beating the number on a card.

JollyJoel
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I'm confused

What do you mean resolve?
Are you talking about when the effect of the card finally happens?
Do you have a moment when the card is being played, shouldn't it resolve when that happens?

How does Dice make this easier?

Are there counters in this game, like one player can counter another player's actions?

You say a player gets 8 cards then trades during game. Is this a CCG or is it a pre-sorted game? IE: Do players build their own decks with X amount of cards. If they do then trading your personal cards wouldn't be a good idea. If it's not then why not include dice in the game that will always accompany the cards?

I'm still confused on the mechanic of "resolve" in your game.

So I'm a Mentalist but I have a card that is based on Sleight Of Hand which is not a Mentalist's trick so it is harder which rewards me with more points if I do it. You say "Pull off" the trick where does resolving come in?

I would recommend you check out these guys, they give pointers to Game Designers and they do know what they are talking about.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqqYxa3vTnU

They also have a video of "Top 10 worst game mechanics".

RGaffney
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With your theme I actually do

With your theme I actually do not like probability for resolution. Magic isn't real. Being a successful illusionist is about being skillful and presenting things right, not about luck. Therefore what if you did something with the stages from prestige "The Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige" whether or not you use that vocabularly. You need to collect and present the right cards in the right order to set up and then satisfy your tricks. Maybe you can have multiple tricks on the board before you satisfy so.

Turn 1:
Play a setup card, Dance with Assistant, Prove that she is real

Turn 2:
Play another setup card, Get inside puzzle box

Turn 3:
Play a Pledge card, puzzle box twists, and folds, Appear to be crushed.

Turn 4:
Play another pledge card Assistant disappears into a curtain which falls to the floor.

Turn 5:
Play a prestige card. The two of clubs is revealed behind the participants ear?!?!

Oh no, you did not have the right prestige. you and your assistant both appear dead, and the audience is not at all impressed by the two. you lose!

donut2099
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Hey that's classy, can I

Hey that's classy, can I steal that idea? Lol

RGaffney
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You have my permission, But

You have my permission, But RPotter may want first right of refusal also.

Edit: Now creative juices are flowing as I think about this as a different game instead of just a card dependency mechanic.

I think that the game should be a series of "Shows" and when the last trick resolves, or the first trick fails, the show is over. You get points for each show according to the number and the difficulty of the tricks you complete, and lose major points for any unfinished tricks.

A show can be represented IRL with a modified Draw 1 Play 1 Mechanic. Everytime you play a card you draw a card. Some cards make you play 2 at a time (for harder tricks) some allow you to draw extra, but basically you are going to have to depend on cards that you do not have yet in order to finish your show.

There is a press your luck element to this. So if you start with a simple card trick and keep the resolution in yoru hand, you can end the show early with just a card trick and guarantee positive points, or keep trying for other tricks and risk finding yourself unable to resolve something.

I'm envisioning this as 1 show per turn. I just don't know how to work in some player interaction.

devaloki
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You could simply have the

You could simply have the cards have a number in the top right or bottom corner , when you need to see if something resolves draw the top card of the deck. Something similar to Lord of the Rings THe Card Game's shadow mechanic

RGaffney
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To make it a whole game there

To make it a whole game there would have to be something other than the shows going on. And it would have to acknowledge in-game the annoyance of watching someone play 30 cards in a show from a 5 card hand.

I think both could be accommodated well with a sort of spoiler mechanic. So you have some currency (maybe VP and currency are the same thing) And in between rounds or shows you can spend your currency to alter your hands. There is no buying during the show. but before the show you can stack your deck with good tricks that you know, or extra cards increasing your chances of a good show, but you can also choose to spend money to sabotage other magicians. Maybe you add a card to your deck that will reveal one of your opponents secrets, or you force a useless card into their deck like "yodeling" which will effectively make it harder for them to chain up tricks because they have 1 less card that is helping.

That way is a player is being annoying and takes forever to finish their turn, you can punish them.

Man RPotter I'm sorry for hijacking your thread if this is all irrelevant to you.

Edit: Cache. The currency should be called "cache"

RPotter
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Nah no probs with the

Nah no probs with the hijacking haha.

What you're mentioning is actually pretty close to how I was envisioning my game. The game would be played in rounds and each round would be a show. The board would be changeable to create replay ability, with arenas on it that favour different types of magic. So each turn you move to a different arena encouraging each magician to master magic tricks that they would not be able to complete easily. I was thinking if throwing in a negotiation/trading mechanic that takes place after each magician has drawn 8 cards from both their own specialised deck and the general mixed-bag deck. Then when the trading is done, players choose the magic tricks they wish to perform, perhaps spending "effort" points in order to successfully perform them. After each show VPs are divied up, I'm not sure how to redistribute the "effort" points though. Then each magician moves to the next arena and we go again.

I was also thinking that any unused magic cards are reshuffled back into the magicians specialist deck and the cards used are discarded from the game, meaning each magician will probably have to attempt the tricks they didn't want to earlier in the game.

JollyJoel
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How about

How about instead of "Points" you have money. Magicians trying to make money, the better they are the more people they draw in. Just an idea.

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