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Wallet Sized Game

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Alumidon
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Hello All. I have recently been considering attempting to design a game small enough to fit within my wallet. I have run into a couple of situation recently (waiting for a train or stuck at an airport with friends) in which I would have liked to have a quick 10-15 minute game to play a couple of rounds of but didn't have one on me. This gave me the idea of designing a small game, somewhere in the ballpark of 9 cards, that can stay fresh and interesting enough over several plays. I don't have any designs that I like very much yet but I have been walking around with 9 MTG cards in my wallet for a week and, although thicker than I'd like, I think I could get used to it. I wondered what other people thought of the idea and/or what types of games may work best for the design. Also, are there any games like this on the market that people know of? Thank you all.

Itsdan
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What if you could somehow

What if you could somehow incorporate other items in the wallet into the game too, credit cards or an ID or something.

Corsaire
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Ooh, what if you could make a

Ooh, what if you could make a portable phone with a powerful processor and a touchscreen. You could make almost anything then.

Kidding. It's a fun idea. I've seen some MtG players with an abacus life counter buikt from magic cards cutout and gkued together. Lots you could do following that path.

ilSilvano
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Bonsai games

daVinci Games (now dV Giochi) used to have a line of one-card games called "Bonsai Games" as a gift for customers.
Here is the complete list, just to show you that you may need less than nine cards and still make some pretty decent games. ;)

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/4134/davinci-bonsai-game-series

infomage27
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Joined: 07/14/2013
depending on what you're

depending on what you're making, you can make do with something like Love Letter (16 cards, a bit thick for a wallet), or WordFinger (1 card)

if you also have a lot of change in your pockets, you may instead use the wallet space for a printout of an 8x8 board and play one of a very large collection of games on that - something like Breakthrough can be quite entertaining for strategic thinkers.

ckleach
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Great Idea...

I've been thinking of games on the same line for some time now. Nothing serious, but great little filler games. Fitting into a wallet wasn't exactly my idea, but fitting in ones pocket, being roughly the size of a standard wallet, was the goal.

I have about 3 game ideas to be sized and fitted in gum packs and mint tins. The Micro Format Game platform (working name) is what I'm proposing to promote here on BGDF in the fall. Nothing larger than a playing card (roughly), and repurposing components like bank cards, gift certificates, change in ones pockets would be a nice touch. I love the idea of somehow incorporating the wallet into the game. Heck, we can even make a game that IS a wallet. Dual purpose, but funds fall second fiddle to fun! :D

There is a single card CCG called Shift (Found on Kickstarter) that had an interesting appeal and forced me to think about simplifying games while still making it fun and challenging. I'd love to hear about any progress you may have on this Alumidom.

FishBasketGordo
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This idea is really cool.

I love the idea of always having a game on my person, just in case. It's like a magician who always keeps a rose up their sleeve or a deck of cards in their pocket for when the occasion to use them arises.

I have a thought just on the game mechanic; I see one of the main challenges of a game like this being to get the most gaming fun/interest within a minimal amount of real estate. What if you designed the game so that each of the cards could stand alone, but was also divided into two, three, or four sections such that it would behave differently when combined with another card. That way, one card could really stand in the place of up to five cards. Maybe this could have a geometric aspect to it? The right side of one card paired up with the left side of another, for instance.

larienna
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A few things to consider Do

A few things to consider

Do you want to play on a table or must you be able to play in any location?
How many players should the game be playable with?

I remember making a number guessing game in 2 player a bit like master mind where you indicate the number of valid numbers and their position, but that only works at 2p.

I thought once of making a multiplayer card game that does not require a table. It was called "To rule them all" and players where exchanging cursed object in order to control their opponent if they had the master object. I could not make it work, but still it was a cool idea.

Else, I think you are more aiming for a solo table less game with your 9 cards idea. Considering the lack of components, you should consider the following.

Meaning full information those 9 cards could give:

- Stacking order: Allow 9! combinations
- Card orientation: Rotating upside down double the possibilities, flipping the card face down double the possibilities again creating 9!x4 combinations.

Other things to consider:
- Almost a lack of randomness: The only random element I could see is checking the next card in the deck for a value placed in the corner of the card. Else, you could use real life elements as a randomness effect (ex: Use a circulation light as a variable for your game)
- Stack of card placement: No table prevent you from placing card in certain location. You could remove cards from the deck and place them in your wallet. But I think the best solution to remove a card from the game would be to simply place it face down.
- Dual function cards will be essential. For example you could make some cards has some advantages for you and at the same time, generate random challenges that you must face. Quick idea, you could make challenge composed of a combination of 2 cards.
- Guessing mechanic: A mechanic that could be used is for example call a number of cards, look at that Xth card for a certain information. That could be used as a form of randomness. The card tells you if you win or not, call a card and look at the answer.

Some thematic idea:
There are a few print and play games that consist in doing a series of challenges. For example, I saw a dungeon crawler game where the goal is only to fight a series of monsters. That could be an idea.

If I would had a table, I would have made some sort of tarot divination game. My first idea was a multiplayer game that had a deck of 15 cards where the card changes effect according to the position played. Maybe that could be played as a solitaire, in some sort of survival mode live civilization BG where the card you draw trigger an event and you try to optimize your chanced of survival by placing the next card you draw at the right place. You simply need to pass through the deck to win.

I quite like that idea, I might give it some thoughts.

Alumidon
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Thanks for the input

Thank you all for the input. You have certainly given me some great ideas to start with. I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks again.

~Alum

pelle
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Maybe 9 cards for driving the

Maybe 9 cards for driving the game (tables, randomization), but keeping game state on a sheet of paper to allow for a longer and more interesting game (pick it up and play a few turns when you find a free time slot, but the game itself can run for months)? The sheet of paper could be just the 9th card in the wallet, or for some games it would perhaps be better to make it much bigger (eg A4/letter) and carry it outside of the wallet. IIRC there is a pnp civ game that you play by drawing on paper rather than using a board, but I never played it.

There is a "in-a-tin" design competition running now on bgg for making games that have a volume of at most 1 dl. Maybe some of the resulting games will also fit in a wallet?
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/972604/in-a-tin-express-print-and-play-d...

pelle
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Pocket Civ

That civ game was not difficult to find actually:
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/28044/pocket-civ

http://www.backglass.org/scotts/games/PocketCiv/html/index.htm

"Using only a pad of paper, a pencil, and a specialized deck of cards,"

Probably a bit bigger than a wallet, but might have some ideas worth borrowing from.

Stormyknight1976
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What about this idea,

9 cards used as the events or action cards or game mechanic that is used to play in the real world? Meaning, players look at the 9 cards before heading off into the real world. If a certain or random event happens through the course of the day, the player can take out that event card or action card or item card that may help or change the course of thought or reaction to the situation at hand? Players win if they make it through all 9 cards. You can even call the game "9lives"? Or something?

zapcat
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Shifting word game

You could do something like what FishBasketGordo suggests and divide each card into quadrants. If you did both sides of each card, you would have72 quadrants. If you put the cards on a table or book in a 3x3 grid and put letters or combinations of letters in each quadrant, you could create an interesting word formation game for one or more players. For example, players could flip or move each of the cards they used on their turn to keep the game board changing.

SugarPillStudios
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Wow, thanks for the link.

Wow, thanks for the link. Some of those Bonsai games look pretty interesting.

ilSilvano
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Thanks!

SugarPillStudios wrote:
Wow, thanks for the link. Some of those Bonsai games look pretty interesting.

Thank you! I am the designer of one of the games, "Wordfinger", and I am really proud of it considering the format limitations.

Aspirinsmurf
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Two Versus One

A while ago, I was out drinking with some friends. We wanted to play games, but the pub didn't have a deck of playing cards or anything, so we made our own game using only our fingers instead. It actually turned out to be rather fun!

It's called Two Versus One, and the rules are:

On the chant of "Two Versus One", each player simultaneously presents from 1 to 5 fingers on one hand. All players who presented the same number are eliminated for that round. The remaining players then compare their numbers. The player with the highest number scores 6 points minus the number of fingers he or she presented. Then there's a new round. The winner is the first to get 10 points.

If I remember correctly, the concept mutated out of our experimental attempt at improving Rock-Paper-Scissors by giving variable scores for the different signs. Two Versus One turned out to be a lot more fun and intuitive!

larienna
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I made some exploration test

I made some exploration test and it seems that a solo game with a dozen of cards would fit well for a scoring game where you try to get the highest score at the end a bit like yahtzee.

The concept could be that you draw the top card and decie what to do with it. But some cards might force you to get rid of other cards or change the status of other cards preventing you to get the optimal score all the time due to the variable stacking of the cards.

Having negative event to encounter seems more difficult due to the dual nature of cards and the little way to keep track of status. Unless you only have a stack of negative events and need to pass though the deck and survive (ex: Reach the end and make sure total damage lower than X)

I thought that player's action could be related to what the player does with the card. For example, if you have a deck of monster, running could mean placing the monster at the end of the stack.

larienna
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Using a scoring system like

Using a scoring system like "Fairy tale" and trying to make a better score each time what what you have could be an interesting mechanic for such kind of card game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/13823/fairy-tale

ckleach
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zapcat wrote:You could do

zapcat wrote:
You could do something like what FishBasketGordo suggests and divide each card into quadrants. If you did both sides of each card, you would have72 quadrants. If you put the cards on a table or book in a 3x3 grid and put letters or combinations of letters in each quadrant, you could create an interesting word formation game for one or more players. For example, players could flip or move each of the cards they used on their turn to keep the game board changing.

I like the way your brain works. If you like that idea, you might like my Word fragment game

Aspirinsmurf
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The Suspects

Inspired by the dV Giochi Bonzai Games, I tried my hand at designing one! I'd love to hear what you think of the idea, especially from WordFinger designer ilSilvano! It's a game of controlled negotiation, masquerading as a deduction game. I'm not really sure if this will work at all, but here goes:

The rules, as I wrote:

Serial Killer

for 2-4 players

The card depicts 5 suspects numbered 1 to 5, but which one is the serial killer?

Prime Suspects: Decide each player’s Prime Suspect by everyone throwing 1-5 fingers down on the count of three. Do this until each player has a unique Prime Suspect.

Alibis: Each player throws down anything from 0 to 5 fingers on the count of three. Those suspects have alibis.

Murder? Each player throws down either an open palm or the back of his hand on the count of three. If there’s a majority of open palms, a murder has taken place!

New suspects: If a murder took place while a player’s prime suspect had an alibi, any such players determines new Prime Suspects by throwing down fingers again. If there are not enough unique suspects left to target, you’re all out of the game. You cannot target a suspect that previously had an alibi for a murder.

Winning: The player whose Prime Suspect was definitely the murderer, wins the game. If the murderer cannot be definitely determined, a new round begins with new alibis and a new chance of a murder taking place.

I'm pretty sure this game is about as easy to break as Tic-Tac-Toe, but I'm not really sure how. I would greatly appreciate it if someone more mathematically adept than I could show me the solution! Since it's really just a controlled negotiation, it seems to me that there must be a perfect strategy either for winning or for forcing a draw, but I just can't see it.

larienna
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I thought of something simple

I thought of something simple yesterday that requires a table but I am not sure if it is actually fun. You have 15 cards of 5 different colors with 1 value indicating the VP and connection line of certain colors.

The layout I have used has 7 positions to place a card. You draw the top card and must place it on one of those positions. But the card placement must be valid.

To do so, the connection line indicates restrictions or requirements that a card must follow. So either a card must be connected to a color, or must not be connected to a color to be placed in that location.

Since you have 15 cards and only 7 positions, eventually, you will want to replace cards already in play and make sure you score does not drop too much.

The last card, is not played, it double the VP value of all other cards of the same color on the board, so you try to guess what will be the color of the last card in order to keep this color into play.

At the end, you simply count the value of all the 7 cards in play. Try to make a better score every time.

Pretty simple, not sure if it is fun. Not sure if it could be complexified for more depth.

ilSilvano
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Serial Killer with less than 3 hands. :)

Aspirinsmurf wrote:
Inspired by the dV Giochi Bonzai Games, I tried my hand at designing one! I'd love to hear what you think of the idea, especially from WordFinger designer ilSilvano!

Aspirinsmurf summoned me! :)
I have not tested the game yet, but here are some doubts I have by reading the rules:

- in a four players game it is not easy to come up with 4 *different* Prime Suspects. I am not able to do the math (something like: the first has 5/5 chances, the second 4/5, then 3/5 and 2/5) but this phase can go on for a looooong time.

- to keep track of everything, you can use the left hand for the Suspects, the right hand for the Alibis and... another hand for the murder (?) ;)

- I guess the whole game can go on forever or last 10 seconds.

The main idea is good, though. You should definetely keep playtesting this.
Also: with the current rules, you do *not* need the card to play. :)
So, I suggest you can play like this:

- choose the (different) Prime Suspects. Then anyone puts a finger on his suspect.
- choose the alibis. Remove your finger if your character has an alibi.
- now you have a free hand to choose the Murder.

Keep building from this point!

Aspirinsmurf
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ilSilvano wrote:- in a four

ilSilvano wrote:
- in a four players game it is not easy to come up with 4 *different* Prime Suspects. I am not able to do the math (something like: the first has 5/5 chances, the second 4/5, then 3/5 and 2/5) but this phase can go on for a looooong time.

Yes. But it's a structured negotiation, so it's actually a little easier than the odds would suggest. You should be able to see a pattern that will let you target a Prime Suspect the other players don't want after a few tries. It's a bit like haggling, really.

ilSilvano wrote:
The main idea is good, though. You should definetely keep playtesting this.

Also: with the current rules, you do *not* need the card to play. :)
So, I suggest you can play like this:

- choose the (different) Prime Suspects. Then anyone puts a finger on his suspect.
- choose the alibis. Remove your finger if your character has an alibi.
- now you have a free hand to choose the Murder.

Keep building from this point!

Mmh, the card is designed as a memory aid. Putting your finger on your suspect seems very much like the reasonable thing to do if you have a hard time remembering. In addition, the actual artwork on the card could make some suspects appear as much more likely serial killers than others, making for some interesting psychology in deciding alibis and suspects. I mean, the card could depict have everything from an obvious psychopath with a knife to a girl in a wheelchair with a lollipop! :)

Alumidon
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Joined: 11/07/2012
Wanderlust

All of this conversation has really helped me move my game ideas forward. I hope to have a print and play version (with limited artwork) soon for play testing but below is a brief summary:

Wanderlust - players are lone travelers wandering the land in search of fame. The first person to achieve it (6 fame points) wins.
Players 2 -5

Components:
6 cards (one sided broken into 4 areas each)
1 wink (two sided for randomness. A coin works better but I don't want to assume players have change on them, I rarely do. Also, a wink with artwork on can make the theme of the game more immersive)

Each card has three regions players can interact with and a fourth area that players use to keep track of their gold and fame points. Players hold a single card with two hands using their thumbs to keep their score. Every turn each player chooses which of the three non-scoring areas on their card to present to the group (semi-secretly). Then each player chooses which area of the ones presented to interact with. No two players can interact with the same area in the same round and must battle each other for the area if a conflict occurs. In each region players can risk either gold of fame points (randomness with various odds by flipping the wink/coin) to gain either gold or fame points. Odds of success at each region vary with the magnitude of the reward. Players can move to a different region before any turn by swapping their card with one not used by another player.

In my initial play testing the game seems to work well and provides a decent amount of replay value for having limited components. I also like that the game is playable without a table. I thought this was a great suggestion by larienna. I am interested to see what others think when I post a print and play version if I am fortunate enough to have play testers. Thanks.

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