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"Zodiac" Theme/Design intergration

4 replies [Last post]
Arthur Wohlwill
Joined: 05/30/2015

I am working on a game based on Chinese Astrology. In Chinese Astrology you will see statements like "The Ox likes the rat, but should avoid the dog". So in this game if you are the Ox, you would keep rat cards (cards are picked and then some are passed to opponents) while passing the dog cards. However, if someone figures out that you are the Ox, they get points and you lose points (at the beginning of the game, you secretly chose an animal). Thus you have to balance the value of the cards with the penalties for getting caught.
A problem that looks like it may arise is that since there are 12 Zodiac symbols, it may very difficult to figure out what another player actually is, especially if they fool you by passing "friends". It could also make the game longer and more repetitive. I could lessen the problem by starting with 9 possibilities instead of 12, but theme-wise, that just doesn't seem right. I could drop the zodiac association totally and just have "friends, "enemies" and "strangers", but the zodiac idea is more enticing to me.
I will say that there is another way to determine what players are: Players can hide cards in a "hideaway' stack, but other players can search that stack. The earlier in the game they search the start, the more points they get for guessing correctly However, it does seem that a few "red herrings" will make things too difficult.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Also a good name is needed. There already is a game called "Year of the Dragon" (I don't think it has anything to do with Astrology though). I could do "Year of the Rat", since I am a Rat. "Zodiac" is kinda dull...

Joined: 03/02/2014
You have an interesting

You have an interesting start, and the theme sounds ok to me, though I have to admit I know nothing about the subject so I don't know whether it might be culturally insensitive.

Rather than have each player choose symbol, you could assign then randomly. This reduces the choices for any other player at least by one, since you know he can't be the same as you.

You could add a little more subtlety by making 5 tiers: Allies, Friends, Neutral, Enemies, Mortal Enemies. Allies and Mortal Enemies are +- 4 points, where Friends and Enemies are only +- 1 point. So it is very painful to your score to pass up Allies or to take Mortal Enemies, just to act as red herrings.

You would need different level of investigative cards, plus some other game manipulation cards, as well.

- Peek at 5 cards of your opponent's choosing from his cache
- Peek at 3 random cards of your opponent's cache
- Select a random card from your opponent's cache and replace it with your choice from your own cache
- Move the game counter token by 1 position up or down
- Move the game counter token by 2 positions up.
- etc.

... where the game counter is what determines end of game. (Perhaps there are, by default, 10 rounds, indicated by the game counter. However, if a player pushes it up a few times, then there might be only 5 rounds.)

I think you could end up with a very interesting meta-game strategy, where you start by getting cards you're not interested in at all, planning to give them away later. You'd hope that others look at your cards and guess poorly on what your you really are doing. Or maybe you're just grabbing the cards you really want, and going for a quick win. There would be bluffing and double-bluffing in abundance.

evansmind244's picture
Joined: 04/09/2015
Astronomical Projections

Name ideas...
-Astronomical Projections a card game.
-Signs of the Times a strategy card game.
-12 Cycles.
Which would also be cool to have 12 rounds of play.
-Circle of Animals
which is the approximation to the 11.86 year cycle of Jupiter.
-Celestial Sphere
-Four Pillars
-The Great Race
There's some idea's for names that I gathered looking through Wiki etc...

Arthur Wohlwill
Joined: 05/30/2015
Re; Zodiac

Thanks for the suggestions. I hand't thought about changing someone else's cache. Being able to do so would make a third players search of the cache less fruitful, so I would have to consider the effect of that (it is already hard enough to determine what another player might be)
I was planning on having the choice of animal be random, I just did not make that clear.
While I like the idea of the quick win strategy (first to a number of points wins) it might increase the role of luck in the game. Right now the game ends when either (1)every player but one has guessed (and the last player can do a search that turn and make a guess or (2) The deck runs out.

I will think about the cultural insensitivity issue. Perhaps someone else might weigh in on that.

Arthur Wohlwill
Joined: 05/30/2015
Re; Zodiac

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