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Card Draw/Resource Management

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johnnyworms's picture
Joined: 11/12/2014

I'm looking for ways to implement drawing cards into my game.

Currently my game draws one card per turn and also gains one "mana" per turn. The cards require different costs of mana to cast.

I've tried this method: "Draw 2 cards and choose 1". It played decent, though new players had some trouble grasping this for some reason.

I'm flirting with the idea of discarding cards to gain mana.

So, I've become curious about different types of draw/resource management that I may not be aware of.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Gimbal's picture
Joined: 12/03/2009
Ihave the same interest!

Me too, even if my current game design is very different style of game.

So, this is one of the most common actions in games since half of all games has cards!

Here are a couple of interesting (?) examples:

1: Draw from a "flop" like Texas Poker or Star realms.
2: Draw from a face-up selection or blind from the top of the deck.
3: Pay to draw from a "flop" like Small world.
4: Select from multiple face-up decks like Dominion.
5: Pay a cost to draw (from your hand, from a resource, other)
6: "Sacrifice" an "action" of your turn to draw (to make it hurt more)
7: Draw 2 and give one to the other player (not unlike 7 Wonders)
8: Draw as many cards your hand maximum allows (the most classic)
9: Draw cards equal to your opponents cards +1
10: ...

Now I am out of time...

The Professor
The Professor's picture
Joined: 10/25/2014
Drawing Cards


If you're not familiar with Ryan Laukat from Red Robin games, he has a great mechanic for drawing cards into your hand and purchasing other cards for immediate use in the game "City of Iron" which I've played extensively over the past 18 months.


DifferentName's picture
Joined: 09/08/2013
Card or Mana

People didn't understand draw 2, choose 1? That's pretty standard in games. If that's not clear, maybe they're not who the game is for? Although I could see doing that every turn slowing the game down a bit.

Netrunner gives you actions every turn, which can be used to draw cards, get resources, play cards, ect. Something like that can be fun, so you choose if you want to draw more cards or get more resources. Playing cards and resources can be an interesting choice in a game as you're choosing which card to get rid of, but it kind of hurts to lose the card!

The Professor
The Professor's picture
Joined: 10/25/2014
Bring on the tension

DifferentName brings up a very good point in game design...there should always be a degree of tension. Whether it's a Push Your Luck mechanic which means you can win big or lose it all; sacrifice cards to do something (but, you may have to forfeit other cards), or myriad other mechanics in which there's tension.


MarkD1733's picture
Joined: 07/05/2014
Trajan has a an intersting card resource mechanic

Just played Trajan last night for the first time. I liked the card mechanic it had...related to shipping commidities. Shipping was one of many things you can do. It is the only "card" mechanic in the game. If you take the shipping action, you can do 4 different things:

1) Draw 1 card from either of TWO (2) discard piles that you seed at the beginning of the game.

2) Draw 2 cards from the facedown deck and place them into your hard. Then discard a card in your hand to either of the aforementioned discard piles (which was interesting, because you could discard cards to cover up a card in a pile if you thought that top discard could give someone points)

3) Play a combination of commodities from your card hand to gain victory points (and there were a variety of combinations that could get you a variety of point values) and then place those in your "personal space" in front of you which could also give you end game points.

4) Play 1 or 2 commodity cards face up in your "personal space" which could give you end game points even if it didn't give you the combination victory points in 3) above. I think you draw 1-2 cards with this option as well.

The point being is that you had many options with just the card mechanic. In fact, you were never without a good was always a question of optimization. While there was no "attacking" other players, per se, the cards along with all the other mechanics had many ways to deny others what they needed while giving you what you needed. You never took something that someone had away, but you could prevent them from getting it in the first place.

I was really surprised by that game and ended up liking it a lot.

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