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Flower Game Balance Advice Needed

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/11/2015

Hi everyone,

A few months ago, I posted a thread asking for help choosing a theme for my game idea. And it was super helpful, and it spurred the idea of a flower growing game that I'm now working on. But now I'm struggling to balance out all its elements, and I could really use your help.

The game consists of 108 cards, 1/3 of which are Weather cards and 2/3 of which are Flower card (give or take). Each flower has a point value; the harder it is to grow, the more points it's worth. The goal is to be the first to grow 15 points worth of flowers.

There are five different types of weather; Sun, Rain, Snow, Drought, and Storm. Flowers can only score in one or two types of weather. For example, the Cactus Flower scores in Drought, but it dies (and is discarded) in Snow. You can change the weather once per turn. Those are the basics of the game.

Here's my problem: my game's balance and my game's theme are in conflict. Nothing dies in Rain, Sun doesn't score enough cards, and Snow and Drought are too too overpowered in killing things. Basically the game is "The Snow and Drought Show" and I want it to be "The Sun and Rain Show with special guests Drought and Snow" if that makes ANY sense. It's okay if it doesn't.

But the cards I make to balance this out make no sense. A flower that dies in Rain but scores in Sun? What flower is that? What dies in the rain?! What DOESN'T die in Snow?! I've exhausted Evergreen trees and Snow Lilies. I'm at a bit of an impasse.

I mean I can make fictional exotic flowers (which I plan to do anyway, because the idea of Space Flowers was what made me think of the game). But fictional flowers that don't ground themselves in logic are something I want to avoid.

I want the cards to make logical sense to my niece, who is 7. And I don't want her to have to second guess something that a card says because it defeats what she knows about the world around her.

I don't know if I need flower ideas to help me balance this out or if I need to rethink the whole idea of weather as a mechanic. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!

Joined: 01/17/2011
Prerequisites for extreme events

What if the extreme weather events can only be played on top of one of the others?

E.g. Drought can only be played on Sun.
E.g. Storm can only be played on Rain.

That would force Sun and Rain to be the most common cards played, and allow you to somewhat protect against Storms by not playing Rain for example.

You could also balance this with the number of each type of weather card: Make the extreme events less common than Rain and Sun.

Another thought is: Do you really need "Snow" in the game? If it is causing too much trouble, just don't include it or switch it out for something milder like "Cloudy" which would allow a greater range of real-life cards to match it. There are plenty of places in the world where snow doesn't exist, so it's not like it would be breaking reality to skip it.

Just a thought,

chris_mancini's picture
Joined: 05/01/2015
Might adding

Insects or other forms of scavenger which eat (destroy) or pollinate (benefit) the flowers help? Thinking beyond the flowers and weather in a simple and thematically meaningful way seems like it could help you overcome your "designer's block." Good luck this sounds like it could be a fun and artistically beautiful little game!

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