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How serious is TOO serious?

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questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

Thanks for your valued opinions about "including game rules with the game."

I got it: Most people want the rules to be included. No rules = no sale.

I discovered that I had a another question after doing some playtesting today - and being left unsure how to *proceed* and move forwards.

So HOW SERIOUS do you like a game to be?

Do you prefer something which is more RIGID in design


Do you prefer something more FLEXIBLE?

What I mean by RIGID design is having a series of rounds defined and what you can do each round is predefined. Or the more FLEXIBLE design means that things can occur in different rounds (much like Magic instant cards) and that means the rules are harder to define because the game allows asynchronous type of game play.

Please feel free to share your comments!

Update: Please take into consideration that this is only a FILLER-TYPE game and takes only about 10 minutes to play one full game.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Only 10 minutes?

Since it is a short game. Then RIGID would be my preference. This adds to the speed of the game.

If it was a game that could take some hours. Then FLEXIBLE would be the choice. Personnaly I like FLEXIBLE games.

adversitygames's picture
Joined: 09/02/2014
Btw titling this about

Btw titling this about "serious" is misleading. Seriousness can appear in rigid or flexible games.

Yeah I agree with above on mini-games being better as rigid games. Flexible rules require more attention to detail to get when the flexible stuff is allowed. Not really right for a quick filler.

wombat929's picture
Joined: 04/17/2015
I don't really get the

I don't really get the difference you're making between flexible and rigid here. Can you elaborate, perhaps with some examples from other games we may have played?

Joined: 07/26/2015
I guess he's referring to if

I guess he's referring to if player actions are strongly defined in choices and order.

Flexible: can barter off turn, can barter freely.
Inflexible: can only barter at a certain time during your turn.

Flexible: game ends when all opponents are defeated.
Inflexible: game ends after the elections in the forth year are counted.

To me, this is sort of a pointless question. If the game fits the theme, and the mechanics work for the game, then use it. Even if you can't act off turn, in multiplayer games, talking off turn in an effort to influence other people is always an important part of play, in fact I would argue, the most important aspect of multiplayer games. So you can always act off turn.

It's like asking if card drafting is a good mechanic. Yeah sure, card drafting is great, but to know if a certain mechanic works or not, all you can do is rely on your instinct as a designer, and play test the game countless times, with and without the mechanic to see how it plays.

adversitygames's picture
Joined: 09/02/2014
I agree with "If the game

I agree with "If the game fits the theme, and the mechanics work for the game, then use it." as a general game design approach

But when you get more specific about the game you're making I think general ideas like that become less universal and need modifying for the context. Though I think this is a reason to have your idea first and make the game that fits that idea, rather than trying to fit your game into an agenda of meeting certain targets with how it plays.

But in this context, a specific thing is being aimed at (mini-games). So I think for a specific thing like this there are going to be some mechanics that work less well. I think more flexible games might fall into this category. More flexible games require more thought to play and you need to pay attention more when you're out of turn because with flexible stuff like "trade any time" you're never really out of turn. It's more demanding on the player and so maybe isn't right for a mini-game.

Maybe if we were more precise about mini-game this would be clearer? What exactly is being aimed for? Low-intensity as well as mini? Or could it be a really intense 10 minute game? (unusual, but possible)

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

iamseph wrote:
Maybe if we were more precise about mini-game this would be clearer? What exactly is being aimed for? Low-intensity as well as mini? Or could it be a really intense 10 minute game? (unusual, but possible)

That's what I mean by TOO serious = "really intense 10 minute game".

Bravo for expressing this, because I was unsure about HOW to explain it. Your understanding and interpretation is 100% correct!

So originally my "mini-game" was supposed to be divided into Rounds:

  • 1st round = Play Support cards
  • 2nd round = Reveal Support cards and score
  • 3rd round = Play Melee cards
  • 4th round = Reveal Melee cards and score
  • and so forth...

That can remain as is... Where I run into difficulties is "melee combat" and "Active/Passive abilities".

Basically "melee" combat is based on an RPS-9 and you see which cards face off against each other in the "melee" formation. Now what would/could be simple is just to do battle - but it affects the SCORE.

Moreover players can choose to "interrupt" the game by using an Active ability which alters the stats and can change the outcome of a battle.

What was simple and elegant (with the rounds) is that the METHOD is the SAME. Play cards, reveal and score. But for the melee combat it becomes asynchronous - because of all the options on the table.

There are seven (7) cards on the table (3 support and 4 melee). Only melee cards do battle - but support cards can be used to help or hinder... Again the problem is that it's no longer easy to know who will beat who. Active abilities can alter outcomes and affect the overall SCORING.

So I am struggling with this because it becomes very INTENSE when you battle your opponent: you need to check the RPS-9 and figure out who will do battle and then you need to check out what cards can help...

Lastly you need to re-score because of VP loss during melee (for example) or the use of a passive or active ability, etc.

You can just see how HARD it is to describe asynchronous play versus how EASY it was to explain the first few rounds...

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