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Card game design

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VC
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Hi everyone! So I am designing a card/board game as a part of my final year project based on the theme cell biology. This is mainly for school students who have trouble understanding the concepts in cell biology. I am facing hard time in order to make the game informative and playful at the same time. It'd be great if I could get some inputs. I just have 3 more weeks to design this game.
The ides of the game is to teach the functions of the cell organelles in the various cells(plant, animal, bacteria). I was thinking of a game more on the lines of making your own cell, where the cell organelles are printed on cards which are equally distributed among the players. depending on the organelles you get, you design a cell that runs on those functions. Although I don't see much scope in that.
The game is intended to be universal but starting from the age of 12+

Alsooo. Do you it is possible to have a board game format in the form of a card game?
So I was thinking of a board game where the players would have to go around the board and collect different cell organelles. Whoever has the maximum number of organelles or powerful organelles wins the game.

Caeobem
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Joined: 10/21/2016
Hoo hoo hoo. I had a 5

Hoo hoo hoo.

I had a 5 dollar Fiverr gig for making card games just like that.

My advice is to use counters to keep things like water storage, food storage, and temperature with dice, while cards are used for functions and having those different parts. We can have a pile where people, upon some chance encounter are allowed to evolve different parts. These parts change their general settings for how their individual cell works. The win condition is producing a second cell.

To keep it fun, I think that have a random chance condition (using the rest of the deck) would do amazing, where it would show different environments and force them to think about how many of each organelle is best to have. To keep it entertaining, we can maybe also have a secondary pile (the rest of deck in two), doing the other function, and possibly how close the environments cells are to each other. At this moment, students can possibly through the chance encounters attempt to, according to their organelles, take resources or even destroy other cells. This would be generally used to prevent others from taking over you if they are also doing well.

bartergames
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IMHO, keep ti simple

For 12+ years, I wouldn't make a "deep" strategy game. I mean, keeping the rules simple will help to keep them engaged in the game, easing the underlying intention: teach them about biology. It's also important to have rules for player-player interaction, as it also facilitates the process of learning.

One idea. A card game with cell type as suits and cards for each organelle in each "suit" (with some text as explanation of its functions,...). Shuffle the deck, put some cards face up on the table, the players get some cards an the goal is to "build a working cell".

Or instead of cards on the table, make the players "go fish".

Arcuate
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Joined: 02/05/2016
Could be a good theme

I would get them to build a simple working model of a cell, with a few key resources like energy from mitochondria, and so on. They could all work on the same cell, and get victory points for advancing the cell's health (maybe something like Terraforming Mars, but I have not played that). Or they could each work on their own cell, so they are competing for key organelles.

Organelles could appear as cards that move along a line, getting cheaper as they progress. They have to decide whether to buy them early at a higher price, or wait and potentially miss out.

So, a mitochondrion card could come up. If you really need it because the cell is running low on energy, you pay the premium price of 6 points. Or maybe you gamble on letting it drop to 4 points, and hope you can still pick it up later because the other player's don't seem to be running out of energy and maybe they will be more focussed on repairing their cell wall. Or maybe your higher priority is some part of the RNA reading machinery, because you are running low on key enzymes... Maybe some enzymes need an Energy token on them to work, and if they don't work some other problem starts to build up.

The idea is to make the function of each organelle more than just flavour text - make it part of the game. After losing a game because you ran out of Energy because you didn't have enough mitochondria, you are likely to remember it.

But, as others have said, cut it back to the essentials. Just a few key ideas.

Tedthebug
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Tower defence/city builder

They need to try & grow & strengthen the cell while it is under attack from other things. If they grow the cell enough they can split it into 2 so there is a redundancy but they now need to manage 2, & so on. The attacks increase over time &.if one cell defeats enough of 1 kind of enemy & has the requisite items (energy, mutagen?) it can absorb some of the enemy & mutate into something a bit different with different maintenance requirements but perhaps an immunity to one type of enemy (those enemies now all focus on the players other cells, making it harder to defend them).

This could continue for as long as you need to show how cells maintain themselves & mutate to achieve certain aims (immune to some things, really effective at attacking some things etc)

radioactivemouse
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3 weeks?

If you have 3 weeks and you're not a game designer, I'd suggest getting an already established game that has the mechanics you want in a project and just re-skin (change the theme and components) it to your requirements. That way, all you're doing is playing games for their mechanics instead of thinking up a new game from scratch.

adversitygames
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VC wrote:Hi everyone! So I am

VC wrote:
Hi everyone! So I am designing a card/board game as a part of my final year project based on the theme cell biology. This is mainly for school students who have trouble understanding the concepts in cell biology. I am facing hard time in order to make the game informative and playful at the same time. It'd be great if I could get some inputs. I just have 3 more weeks to design this game.
The ides of the game is to teach the functions of the cell organelles in the various cells(plant, animal, bacteria). I was thinking of a game more on the lines of making your own cell, where the cell organelles are printed on cards which are equally distributed among the players. depending on the organelles you get, you design a cell that runs on those functions. Although I don't see much scope in that.
The game is intended to be universal but starting from the age of 12+

Alsooo. Do you it is possible to have a board game format in the form of a card game?
So I was thinking of a board game where the players would have to go around the board and collect different cell organelles. Whoever has the maximum number of organelles or powerful organelles wins the game.

Ok so what you need to make this into a game is:
Mechanics
A goal

Mechanics

What are the key features of organelles?

Now I know nothing about them, so explaining the science to me wont help. Be broad. Here's some broad game mechanic ideas that could give you a place to start in gamifying the science:

* What resources does creating an organelle require?
* What resources does an organelle require once created, and what does it produce?
* How do organelles interact? Do they help each other? Do any of them hinder each other, if used together?
* Can player cells interfere with each other? Can your cells "attack" opponent cells, or drain resources that they have access to? Then you can have an "arms race" of cells that take resources from a common pool or from each other.

Goal

What is the measure of victory? For example:
* The player who makes the most productive cell
* The player whos cell can survive best
* The player whos cell requires the least resources
* Some combination victory based on these factors

Hope this gives you a place to start!

Making a basic functional game is pretty easy. The hard part is taking this and making it really fine-tuned and balanced, but I doubt you really need to get it to that level for this project. And if it's good, you can spend some time getting it to that level later on!

Caeobem
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Joined: 10/21/2016
I am honestly going to make a

I am honestly going to make a game with this. It sounds like fun!

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