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Casual Exploding Kittens with more of a deck manipulation theme

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BoardGent
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I'm in the process of testing a game with similar design to Exploding Kittens (i.e draw from deck and avoid bomb).
My game has 2 decks, the first containing:
-25 filler cards
-5 bomb cards
With the second containing action cards:
-10 add 2 filler cards to the bomb deck
-5 the next player draws an extra card from the bomb deck
-2 switch the player order around. The new "1" player immediately does their turn
-1 from now on, each player draws an extra card from the bomb deck
-2 randomly take 1 action card from another player

At the start, players draws 1 action cards each and take one player order card.
The player who has the "1" player order card draws 1 action card (and discard it), can play at most one action card, resolves its effect, then draws from the bomb deck. If a player draws a filler card, he puts it in the bomb discard pile the "2" player does his turn. If a player draws the bomb card, the game ends.
When no more action cards can be drawn, the discarded action cards are reshuffled.

Right now, the starting bomb deck contains 9 filler cards and 1 bomb. The goal is to make a good casual filler game where players can leave and come in freely, ending under 5min, and being easy enough to learn in under a minute.
After playtesting for a bit, 1/10 chance to lose seemed like a good start, especially since unless people are feeling lucky, 2 filler cards are usually added right away (1/12).
The reasons I'm posting here is to collect as much feedback as possible on whether the game feels more frustrating than fun, and on if the "add two filler cards" should be broken up into "add 1/2/3 filler cards". I'm having trouble deciding on higher variability produces more fun or more frustration for when you get the "add 1" instead of "add 3". I also haven't gotten enough people to play at once to see if putting in ways to add more bomb cards has any merit.
Any other feedback would be greatly appreciated as well.

chris_mancini
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I think you may have lost 90%

I think you may have lost 90% of the community at "Exploding Kittens," but do you have a theme for this game? Something to explain WHY players are drawing bombs, manipulating the deck, taking actions, etc? Exploding Kittens had the popular idiosyncratic comic style of Matthew Inman...what does your game have?

This sounds like a game that plays the players; how much decision-making is there, or is the entire game just draw a random card, do what it says and hope you don't draw a bomb?

BoardGent
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Sorry, should have given more information

I got the idea while talking about Homeopathy, the more complete version has water as filler and a virus as the bomb. The action cards are called pseudoscience cards and are themed around general homeopathy falsehoods.
At the start of your turn you have two cards in hand. Each new turn you draw a new card, and you can only play one card per turn.
I wanted a game with half decision making and half leaving it up to chance. After a bit of playtesting, I did find that getting hit with a "License Removal" (take an action card from another player) was way too strong and didn't leave you with much, so I might bump the starting hand up to 3 instead of 2, giving people a few more options and making "License Removal" weaker.

Exploding Kittens, I find, has the problem of player death in a game which could go on for quite some time for the first player out. While themed as a casual game, there's more depth and complexity to it which make it a lot more suited to the middle ground of casual board game players and frequent board game players.
Title: Dilution: the Homeopathy Game, would hopefully allow people to leave the game if they have to, or allow people to jump in, making it a good filler game if you have a party or as a lead-up to another bigger game.

I'll try playtesting with starting hand of 3 and see if people feel a bit better.

questccg
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Don't do "Exploding Kittens"

Do you want to design a game that will live up to the hype of a game such as "Exploding Kittens"??? Over $8M+ in backing... And Inman art.

So what's your game going to have that's unique? Lamas???

No Seriously Lamas...

Nobody will know what-the-fnck is this game all about - when they hear "Lamas"!

Go comedic or forget it. That's part of "Exploding Kittens" HUMOR.

That's just my 5 cents (We abolished the Penny in Canada!)

Cheers and best of luck with your "Lamas" game! LOL :P

questccg
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Seriously everyone is going to forget the kittens...

What about this as a FACE?

Kittens, cute and cuddly, still don't have anything when you take a look at that face... LOL :D

questccg
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How can you TOP explosions???

With POOP! :D

Could be something like "Dang Lamas...!"

Picture the poor farmer who has to pick-up after these bad boys "unload" (so to speak!!!) Just "working" the Lamas theme...

I'm part Joking and part Serious! LOL

Update: "Lama Dung" is another idiotic title... Could also be "Lama Farts" like backfire explosions... :) Or "Lama Junk"... A play on words...

BoardGent
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Is there a way to update the OP?

Put the theme after the first post (Homeopathy, with the bomb being a virus and filler being water).
And I do think that with a cartoon-y feel (something similar to Rick and Morty art) could do really well, since Homeopathy is a pretty well known practice while also being equally ridiculed. I'm still using open-source stock art though right now, I'm shit at drawing. And a lot of the artists I know happen to not draw much cartoon-y stuff.

questccg
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No offense...

But nobody will "buy-into" Homeopathy as a game. It's so freaken boring. I don't want to offend you, but you're not really helping yourself.

1. You want to "re-theme" "Exploding Kittens".
2. You want the theme to be about poisoning.
3. There is 0% fun factor.

I don't think "Homeopathy" = "FUN". Especially when the topic is about poisoning. Do you think KIDS will want to play the game? Do you think PARENTS will buy such a game??

Your first problem is "re-theming" an EPIC Game. "Exploding Kittens" earned over $8M+ dollars in KS revenue. Nothing you have presented get's me (or anyone else - for that matter) excited.

There's no "comedic" value to your "Homeopathic" game. It's very bland and in some ways offensive (as mentionned about parents and kids). Poisoning is not a matter to be treated lightly.

Now it's your game. I'm just telling you nobody will be interested in a "Homeopathy" re-theme of "Exploding Kittens".

You'd be better off designing a "Lamas" game where toxic "Lamas" farts or poop are the source of the farmer's frustrations...

Best of luck with your idea.

BoardGent
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No offense taken

I wouldn't have put it out if I didn't want to receive criticism. It's my first game in the prototype phase, so I expected problems and such. And hearing opinions besides my own is pretty helpful for subjective elements especially, like fun.
When I came up with the idea, my roommate and I were talking about homeopathy and obviously we found it funny. However, while homeopathy is kinda dumb, it's not necessarily inherently funny. I do want it to be a sort of wacky game, so flavor-wise I do need to put a lot of work in to give it that feel.
And I probably will have to re-tool the "bomb" into something a bit lighter. In the end homeopathy produces a placebo effect, so instead of avoiding the "virus" maybe you're trying to get the "cure" (also turning the game from one loser to one winner). I'm in the end really glad I put it up on the site, because there's a lot of stuff I probably wouldn't have thought of :)
And while it is true that Exploding Kittens has managed to come out as the sort of king of these types of games, I don't think there's actually a lot of market saturation for it, and with its easier development time than most games, it's at the very least a good starting project. That's probably why for me it was the first game I had managed to get into the prototype stage.

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