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Yokai Haunting: Double-sided Card game mechanic

8 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/06/2015

Hey guys, I'm looking for advice and suggestions for a game design that I've done so far. It is a 65-card game, themed around Japanese Yokai creatures and players recruit these creatures to haunt regions.

The cards are double-sided which functions as the Yokai creatures on one side and Resources on the other. Players use these Resources to recruit the Yokai.

Players must do one of two available actions each turn:
a. Draw Resource cards
b. Move&Recruit a Yokai.

To Move&Recruit, player must move their token from left to right, leaving a Resource on each space moved (as in the example above), similar to the mancala mechanics. If player has sufficient resources, he may spend resources to recruit the Yokai corresponding to the space he's moved to by paying it's costs.

My concerns are
1. Are there any games that has similar game mechanics of using the reversed side of card as a resource?
2. What recommendations or suggestions to improve the game while keeping the game time low?
3. Are there any features/problems that I have to watch out for?

Thanks again in advance. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Tbone's picture
Joined: 02/18/2013

Is there a specific reason as to why the cards have to be double sided? It doesn't happen that often in card games so if it was me I would want to make the mechabic more engaging than just two options. Will it ruin the game to have the resource in the top left corner with the creature?

radioactivemouse's picture
Joined: 07/08/2013
Resource cards

There are two card games that stick out when you talk about using the backside of the card as a resource.

The old World of Warcraft TCG gave an option to put a card facedown from your hand into the resource row as a resource.

The newest Vs. 2nd edition 2PCG from Upper Deck has a resource system that allows you to use a card from your hand and play it facedown as a resource if you do not have one in your hand.

A suggestion to the game while keeping the game time low is to have a static amount of resources per turn. That way, all cards can be played, it's the player's decision on how they want to divvy that resource. The worst thing in games that have resource escalation (which is incredibly common in today's games) is that you can essentially have a starting hand with cards that are beyond your resource capability, i.e. a hand of 5 cost cards, and you're essentially boned for the rounds it takes to actually play a card. Fixed resources gets players immediately in the battle and therefore a quicker game.

If you stick with a resource escalation system, the biggest problem is not being able to play cards in hand. It's a forced strategy; you have no choice but to wait until you can play it...or sacrifice it as a resource.

That's my thoughts.

Joined: 03/02/2014
In my own game, Jelly Bean

In my own game, Jelly Bean Farmers, a player can use the back side of the card in one of four different ways depending on how he orients it when he places it on his tableau. Although the game had some other (fatal) problems, this aspect of it was something that the playtesters consistently liked.

This is the back image for all the cards. You can play a card "front side" for its action, or "back side" in one of four different ways.

You need two cards to make a field or a silo, so you put them together with the appropriate part showing. Or you can turn one card sideways to represent either an armed man or a card that is saved for later.

I'm not sure if this info is relevant to your question, but, since it was something that the

Joined: 08/06/2015
Design explanations

Tbone wrote:
Is there a specific reason as to why the cards have to be double sided?

The main reason is to reduce deck size. I got the idea from Flip City (aka Design Town) which efficiently reduce the card number by half but of course it has its share of problems.

Tbone wrote:
Will it ruin the game to have the resource in the top left corner with the creature?

Card design wise, the resource icons are placed on the top right to hide from other players since it will be faced outwards.

Joined: 08/06/2015
Resource management: static vs escalation

Thanks for the list of games. I would definitely look into that for reference.

I like the idea of static resource, making the player draw up to maximum card hand. It will definitely focus player more on game strategy than worry on getting resources.

Although, this would limit the player choice to just moving and recruiting Yokai, which could be monotonous and reduce replayability. I'll definitely try out this mechanic before fixing on resource escalation.

Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions. Its much appreciated.

Joined: 08/06/2015
Thank you.

Thanks for sharing your game mechanics and playtesting experience.

Joined: 08/02/2014
shazarin wrote: Card design

shazarin wrote:

Card design wise, the resource icons are placed on the top right to hide from other players since it will be faced outwards.

I'm getting confused. Do you want to hide the resources on a card from other players or the player that is holding it?

Joined: 08/06/2015
Card design clarification.

The cards are double sided. All the cards the player hold in-hand are the Resource side (not the Yokai side). so the Resource icons, on the Yokai side will be hidden by the OTHER players.

Also this section of the forum is on game mechanics. I will appreciate that questions be directed more on the game mechanics instead of Card Design/UI. Thank you.

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