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Nintendo - a love affair with CARDS, huh?!?

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questccg
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As history would have it, Portuguese sailors "discovered" Japan and shared with the Japanese firearms and "gambling"! Yes, gambling. What kind? Card games, which became very popular!!!

But as history tells, western influences were removed from Japanese culture when Shogun took power over Japan (because European Card games were banned).

Card and card games fell into obscurity until eventually ONE company made a card game that was acceptable to the Japanese government. On September 23, 1889 a skilled artist named Fusajiro Yamauchi founded, guess what?!?! That's RIGHT: Nintendo Playing Card Company... that company produced hand-made cards...

The cards were beautiful and became really popular with the Yakuzas. They would play high stakes games of hanafuda and would use a new deck every time!

Nintendo made a "killing" and as they say, the rest is history!

radioactivemouse
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Also...

questccg wrote:
As history would have it, Portuguese sailors "discovered" Japan and shared with the Japanese firearms and "gambling"! Yes, gambling. What kind? Card games, which became very popular!!!

But as history tells, western influences were removed from Japanese culture when Shogun took power over Japan (because European Card games were banned).

Card and card games fell into obscurity until eventually ONE company made a card game that was acceptable to the Japanese government. On September 23, 1889 a skilled artist named Fusajiro Yamauchi founded, guess what?!?! That's RIGHT: Nintendo Playing Card Company... that company produced hand-made cards...

The cards were beautiful and became really popular with the Yakuzas. They would play high stakes games of hanafuda and would use a new deck every time!

Nintendo made a "killing" and as they say, the rest is history!

Let's not forget Nintendo dabbled in cab services and even invested in "Love Hotels" at one point.

andymakespasta
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The name Nintendo actually

The name Nintendo actually has a strong gambling connotation:
nin--entrust, leave to
ten--sky, heavens, fate
do--hall, or artisan company
The meaning has been lost in translation, and Nintendo is now somehow the most family oriented of the big gaming companies.

The story makes me think though.

I've always loved the standard poker deck, and how you can play so many games with the same deck. It's also easy to prototype card games using a sleeve, normal printing paper, and a set of poker cards.In fact, bang! is played on a special poker deck, but with extra information written on the face.

Do you think designing a small card game around a poker deck is a good idea?

On the plus side, if you have interesting art, people are more likely to carry your game around with them, as they can play bridge or trump or other common games with the deck.

On the down side, it's much easier to pirate your game--just get a marker and a set of cheap playing cards.

questccg
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Check out Smoking Aces!

andymakespasta wrote:
Do you think designing a small card game around a poker deck is a good idea?

Hmm... I think that's what Nicholas did with "Smoking Aces" (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pawnjokergames/smoking-aces-hybrid-...)

Like Bang! it too uses a standard Poker deck with enhanced abilities written on the cards themselves.

Do I think it's a good idea? Well I initially reached out to Nicholas asking if he wanted to co-design a more "thematic" version of Smoking Aces. Something with characters like the Bandit, the Sheriff, etc. Western themes that could go well with a card game.

Personally I think a more "thematic" type game would be closer to Ameritrash, which I love BTW. I was thinking combining Steampunk because of the story and characters, not the just the theme. Western/Steampunk could be an interesting fusion - and could make for interesting characters.

But I think "Smoking Aces" as-is, an enhanced game of Poker, doesn't seem to be very popular with Backers. I don't know if it's the look of the cards, or the type of game, etc.

Most people tell me this: "In their down-time, they like to read up on the story told by the cards (if there is one). It adds depth to the game because you have a basis to which understand the source of the game... Sort of like adding a frame to a picture.

Which reminds me that "Tradewars - Homeworld" has an original narrative of nine (9) unique stories that are all incomplete in the First Edition. Players will need to wait until the First Expansion in order to complete said stories... If you read the cards consecutively, that makes for interesting "factoids" which seem random. But when the deck is sorted by Resources (Back of cards), each narrative plays out one by one, explaining more about the setting of the game itself.

It was a costly investment of about $900.00 but then again someone else contributed towards designing the game. Just like our US playtesters who shared input: we redefined roles and added game variants based on those test. And we streamlined the game - in hopes of making an expansion.

So the missing endings to storylines are yet another reason to buy the expansion! :P

questccg
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andymakespasta wrote:The name

andymakespasta wrote:
The name Nintendo actually has a strong gambling connotation:
nin--entrust, leave to
ten--sky, heavens, fate
do--hall, or artisan company

When I translate those I get different meanings:

nin -- man
ten -- store
do -- earth

The "Manly-Earth Store" or the "Earthly Man Store"?!?!

markgrafn
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questccg wrote:andymakespasta

questccg wrote:
andymakespasta wrote:
Do you think designing a small card game around a poker deck is a good idea?

Hmm... I think that's what Nicholas did with "Smoking Aces" (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pawnjokergames/smoking-aces-hybrid-...)

Like Bang! it too uses a standard Poker deck with enhanced abilities written on the cards themselves.

Do I think it's a good idea? Well I initially reached out to Nicholas asking if he wanted to co-design a more "thematic" version of Smoking Aces. Something with characters like the Bandit, the Sheriff, etc. Western themes that could go well with a card game.

Personally I think a more "thematic" type game would be closer to Ameritrash, which I love BTW. I was thinking combining Steampunk because of the story and characters, not the just the theme. Western/Steampunk could be an interesting fusion - and could make for interesting characters.

But I think "Smoking Aces" as-is, an enhanced game of Poker, doesn't seem to be very popular with Backers. I don't know if it's the look of the cards, or the type of game, etc.

Most people tell me this: "In their down-time, they like to read up on the story told by the cards (if there is one). It adds depth to the game because you have a basis to which understand the source of the game... Sort of like adding a frame to a picture.

Smoking Aces! I know that game. I'm a huge poker fan and have always wanted to add spice to the game which is really where the concept began. I never thought of adding a theme to the game because I wanted if to feel like playing poker. With the experiences I've had with both Kickstarters I can confidantly suggest that a theme would have helped the game immensely. I'very had a conversation the other day with an associate of mine about kickstarter and I think the most brought up point was the importance of theme and how well the game looks in terms of design and art. The old add age "sex sell" comes to mind here, I've learned an immense lesson that my future games be thematic with great art. Pretty much stopped work on a few abstract games as they will not do well on Kickstarter as evident by Smoking Aces!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pawnjokergames/smoking-aces-hybrid-...

questccg
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I think you did a GOOD job

Yeah - your video is cool, maybe could have made the card fly - in slow motion... Explanatory videos on playing were also good.

The only thing is marketing... I don't know if you invested in getting the game out there. But I guess there isn't too much to say: "Hybrid Poker Game", let the chips fall where they may...

Yeah abstract games don't do well on Kickstarter. But then again a real light theme like "Exploding Kittens" made millions. Agreed The Oatmeal has a HUGE fan base and that's what made part of the attraction.

The other fact was the theme "kittens", people are so enamored with their pets, if they own a cat, I bet you they bought the game also... It's like all those women who post pictures of their 10 cats in their office cubicles. We get it: you love cats!

I just wonder how a 50 card set sold over $2M dollars in backers! I don't even think they had a finalized game going into the Kickstarter, just some ideas about cards and the game...

But coming back to "Smoking Aces", Nicholas did exactly that: transform the usual Poker experience into something different... Again using a standard deck of 52 cards. I guess Backers are not really into Poker-variant games, that's not the Kickstarter audience.

From a podcast from The Game Crafter, I learned that Tarots cards sell well on Etsy. Obviously you need the proper cards and a theme to match, but it makes me think about "hanafuda" and Koi Koi. It was smart to divide the deck into 12 seasons each having 4 cards each and only artwork to make similarities... Kudos on that kind of thinking.

Learning about "hanafuda" has expanded my knowledge of card games and makes me think, numbers in games are important. Creating a deck with only flowers is sort of like "Pai sho" which is sort of an game people are trying to invent rules with flowers... And it uses a RPS system as well.

andymakespasta
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questccg wrote: When I

questccg wrote:

When I translate those I get different meanings:

nin -- man
ten -- store
do -- earth

The "Manly-Earth Store" or the "Earthly Man Store"?!?!

Do you even moonrune?

markgrafn wrote:

The old add age "sex sell" comes to mind here, I've learned an immense lesson that my future games be thematic with great art. Pretty much stopped work on a few abstract games as they will not do well on Kickstarter as evident by Smoking Aces!

I feel smoking aces is a victim of the piracy problem. From the consumer's prospective, I'm spending what, fifteen bucks? for a poker deck? No way. I'll just get a marker and do it myself.

Bang! manages to sidestep the problem by actually having artwork, and a few additional components (like character cards) that aren't so easy to DIY.

I think the disadvantage for abstract games is mainly how difficult it is to properly convey how great your game is. The game might be able to provide hours of great fun, which is worth at least 10$ per hour, but a consumer can't look at a game and see the hours of fun. Instead, they think they're buying the physical game itself, which in your case is just a standard poker deck.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/less/less-like-chess-but-less/descr...

is doing fine, probably because they emphasized exactly when and how you're going to have hours of fun with the game. Also, the base set only costs 16$, an easily justifiable purchase for a game with unique pieces.

But I'd have to agree that kickstarter is biased towards gorgeous artwork.
Just look at Kingdom Death.

radioactivemouse
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Nintendo

andymakespasta wrote:
The name Nintendo actually has a strong gambling connotation:
nin--entrust, leave to
ten--sky, heavens, fate
do--hall, or artisan company
The meaning has been lost in translation, and Nintendo is now somehow the most family oriented of the big gaming companies.

From my understanding (and what I teach to my students) is that Nintendo means "Leave luck to heaven", which is pretty close to the translation above.

By "leave luck to heaven" it means that the company does not rely on luck or chance to get them through (as with a lot of companies), they do it through hard work...they themselves make their own luck.

larienna
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Considering Nintendo was born

Considering Nintendo was born at the end of the 19th century, they had a chanc to do a lot of stuff. I found a book once of all the things they did before the age of Video game. It went from card games to game and watch. Pretty impressive what they did.

So one thing you can expect is that they are not going to die anywhere soon, at most they will adapt to the new currents.

Stormyknight1976
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Speaking of poker card games.

Really quickly here.
I use a set poker cards in my Dungeon Hall game to be used as two mechanics.

1: Face down cards are used as tiles for the level of the Hall.

2: Face up cards are used as number of creatures on that tile.

Dungeon Hall is a hack n' slash card game. Solo and co-op campaigns. Since there are 54 cards including the jokers in the deck, there are 54 levels in the hall.

This game can be played anywhere as well and its a fast setup and clean up.

I would like to see Nintendo bring out those 1889 card games. That would be interesting.

questccg
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Hanafuda

Stormyknight1976 wrote:
I would like to see Nintendo bring out those 1889 card games. That would be interesting.

They are a deck of 48 cards divided into 12 months. Each month has 4 cards, and all 4 cards have the same "flower" in them. There is no writing or numbers on the cards.

That's what they look like. And "Koi Koi" is one of the games you can play with these cards. Here is a YouTube video link showing the cards and how you play "Koi Koi":

Sample Video

There is a more modern version with Mario and Luigi characters in the cards themselves. But the above cards are the original ones...

Note: The idea of the deck is to be able to play different games with the cards... Koi Koi is just one example.

Stormyknight1976
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Very cool.

Thanks for sharing.

let-off studios
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Chiritori

This is a video of my favourite Nintendo toy: the Chiritori vacuum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKVHdx30MsQ

There's also a video segment that shows a private collector's Nintendo collection, on display at a Japan department store, called The Nintendo Museum. Hanafuda cards are prominently featured as "part 1" of the museum exhibit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ4gjxgg5M8

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