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Game design challenge (kinda like construct & play rather than print & play)

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Joined: 04/01/2009

***Please note that this is a challenge. Not a contest. There are no prizes, judges, deadline, or voting. Maybe if enough people like the idea, it could turn into a GDS? *** (Sorry if this is in the wrong forum. If it is, please feel free to move it to the most appropriate forum)

I decided to try and create a game using certain restraints as an exercise to try and get the creative juices flowing and thought I would share it and extend the challenge to others.


1. The game must use at least 3 of the following components:
A single deck of standard playing cards
A single set of standard chessmen (32 pieces. Not including the board)
A single set of standard Dominoes (28 pieces, "double-six")
A single set of standard checkers (30 pieces. Not including the board)
Standard six sided dice (any number of dice within reason)
A single set of poker dice (5 dice total)

2. If any game boards are used, they can only be either a standard unmodified chess/checkers board, an unmodified backgammon board, or a custom board no larger than
17x22 inches (4 8.5x11 sheets)that is easily printable.

3. Rules cannot be more than 8 pages long.

4. Any additional charts, tables, score sheets, chits, tokens, etc. cannot total more than 4 standard 8.5x11 sheets of paper. (or a single pocket mod)

5. The game must be solitaire for one player. Or at least have a solitaire variant.

The game can be any theme and use any mechanics possible with the mentioned materials.

*No custom dice.

*Any custom cards must be able to fit on no more than two 8.5x11 sheets of paper total. Each page printed only once.

* Chessmen and checkers include both sides (black/white) but it is not necessary to use every single piece in either set. I put 30 checkers total because that's how many are used in backgammon.

*Miniature decks of cards are allowed to save table space if they need to be laid out. Not every single suite or value needs to be used from the deck.

Hope this inspires others to design some new games.

I had this idea because I haven't worked on any game designs in quite a while and wanted to make something new and simpler besides my unfinished projects.

The reason I chose the rules and restraints that I did is because most of the components are things that your average gamer already has or can obtain fairly cheap. I chose a solitaire game because they are easier to playtest and almost none of my friends are into games so I wouldn't have anyone to test it for me anyways.

Here is the brainstorm I came up with tonight.

I'm using a deck of cards (jokers included)
Chess pieces, and an undetermined number of dice.

The idea is a kind of abstract dungeon crawl.

The player starts by rolling a single die. The number rolled divided by 2 (round down) determines how many pieces the player starts with.

The player then picks which color and pieces to use. All pieces move the same as regular chess except the pawn which can move one space in any orthogonal direction and capture in any diagonal direction. Each piece will have some sort of special ability.

The player then rolls a single die and places that many cards face down in the same pattern as the pips on the die and places their pieces on any one of the cards.

The player then rolls the die again and places the certain number of cards in a particular fashion according to which number is rolled (I won't get into the exact way right now). The last card placed down is turned face up. This continues in the same fashion until the value of the being turned face up is lower than the total number of face up cards on the board. Face cards, aces, and jokers are all worth 10.

Every time a card is turned up during this setup, a chess piece of the opposing color is placed on it. Number cards are pawns and face cards are corresponding higher rank pieces. If there are more cards of a certain type than there are pieces left, then a piece that is the next lower rank is put down instead. If a joker is turned over, then a die is rolled and placed with it's current value on the joker card.

The player will then draw an number of cards for their hand.

The object will to be to remove all of the enemy pieces from the game.

Every time the player moves, the card they land on is turned face up and will determine some sort of event or action.

I haven't decided exactly how capturing pieces will work yet, but it will be something simple dealing with the rank of the pieces, the cards in the players hands, and the cards that the pieces are on.

I haven't decided what each type of card will do yet. One thing for sure though is that certain cards will be used to bridge gaps in the "game board" since the player can only move oto a space that has a card on it. The setup method is made to leave gaps and make randomized boards.

The die on top of the joker will be triggered to roll around the map and change value kind of like the game "Chase". It's meant to be a type of wild card or element of chaos.

That's all I have for right now. Hopefully I can flesh it out into a fun, cheap, and easy to construct, abstract, light dungeon crawl with meaningful decisions and re-playability.

This game currently does not have an actual theme. If I do decide to give it a theme, I think I will probably go with a Hell/horror theme or my own Sci-Fi/Norse mythology/dark fantasy/Horror theme idea I've had kicking around. Instead of the usual fantasy dungeon crawl cliches.

I really hope some other people will join my design challenge. I'd love to see what kind of games others can come up with.

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