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What do you think of a 4 Player game?

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questccg
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I have been struggling with one aspect of my "filler-type" "mini" game called "Monster Keep" (MK). Only with one preliminary playtest - I just has 2 decks ready and just wanted to give it a try (tee-hee)! ;)

My struggle lies with the fact that the game is a four (4) player versus game.

Now when I say four (4), I mean 4. Not three (3) or two (2) or five (5)... FOUR (4).

Is this too restrictive? Is four (4) players a frequently seen game? Or is this absurd that it can only play four (4) players, no more, no less???

Comments/opinions/feedback, all welcomed!

Cheers.

radioactivemouse
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questccg wrote:I have been

questccg wrote:
I have been struggling with one aspect of my "filler-type" "mini" game called "Monster Keep" (MK). Only with one preliminary playtest - I just has 2 decks ready and just wanted to give it a try (tee-hee)! ;)

My struggle lies with the fact that the game is a four (4) player versus game.

Now when I say four (4), I mean 4. Not three (3) or two (2) or five (5)... FOUR (4).

Is this too restrictive? Is four (4) players a frequently seen game? Or is this absurd that it can only play four (4) players, no more, no less???

Comments/opinions/feedback, all welcomed!

Cheers.

There are plenty of games that are ideal with 4 players, but advertise more/less people for versatility. At least give the option of 2 or 3 players, even if it's lightly applied.

Still, there's something about saying it's strictly for 4 people...2 couples easy. Family with 2 kids. 1 polyamorous family (well...maybe not so much).

If it's strictly for 4 players, it's certainly ok to do so, but of course you know it restricts your audience.

questccg
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More reasons...

Well playing two (2) person duel is... NOT fun. Because the game is divided into rounds, where Player #1 plays three minion cards face down. Then for each player, he reveals one (1) card (out of the 3).

See there is "teamwork" that the other players can utilize. In a two (2) player version, there are no negotiations.

The player whose round it is (Player #1 - for example), can earn +2 Victory Points (VP) for each card alive by the end of the round. So therefore Player #1 stands to earn +6 VPs. Each other player, the three others, can earn +1 VP for their only minion alive.

And the whole thing is centered around TOKENS. You use tokens to entice your minions to do tactics (such as attacking) using various modes Basic or Advanced. Two (2) players kinda makes the game pretty boring.

Plus you have the POT Luck, during a round all tokens USED go into the POT (in the center of play). At the END of the round, players reveal the LAST card at the bottom of their deck. The player with the LOWEST level card WINS the pot! If there are ties, the pot is shared...

With two (2) players, either Player #1 or #2 will win the POT Luck. Ok there could be a tie and the pot is shared... But I think you get what I mean...

It's not as much FUN as four (4) players. Maybe I could make it three (3) players... But to have the most amount of diplomacy and tactics, you would need four. More than four (4) and you would need decks more than 15 cards. So I can't go higher either.

I think it's ridiculous saying 3 or 4 Players. Making it four (4) players based on the game sounds the most credible.

Zag24
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Rubber Bridge, for instance,

Rubber Bridge, for instance, is pretty strictly a 4-player game and it's pretty popular. :)

I do think that it would hurt the marketing for a game to say that it is for exactly 4 players, but I don't think it would be fatal. If the game really doesn't work for other numbers of players, I'd rather it say so up front. Given good reviews and it looks like something I'd like, I would still buy it.

Midnight_Carnival
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not uncommon and could work in some situations

I think you might have picked up by now that there are several specifically 4 player games already in existence right now.

I'm thinking of advantages and disavantages to needing specifically 4 players (card game bridge being a good example).

disadvantage no 1 being that it would work wonderfully in a family situation (mom dad and 2 kids or 4 kids in a big family) but with professional adults who have families of their own, aranging a meeting of 4 players to do a game might be sidelined quite often, if your target players are adults then perhaps include a way of 'recording games'.

advantage 1 being that if you do go with the above situation there is the possiblity that you might create a sort of dedicated game club or league situation where serious dedicated players form their own subculture around your game (that would be pretty cool)

Disadvantge 2 being that even if the 4 players are identical and play in exactly the same way, you are creating roles for the players: in a game with only 2 players there is only one role for each player, oponent (unless it's one of a few games which encourages cooperation), with 4 players there are other factors like turn order etc. It makes the game more complicated by specifying that you need exactly 4 players, with any number between 2 and 6 the roles are more fluid.

Advantage 2 being that players having to fulfil a certain role encourages a social aspect to the game so that interactions around the game add to the enjoyment as much as interactions in the game - of course that could go the other way too, but I'm assuming you wouldn't play the game with people you don't really like.

- those are just some of my thoughts, the way I'm understanding you makes it seem like this would be quite a 'serious' game but I may be wrong here.
An important thing I think you should note is that you need 3 other people to play test it with and then you should suspend your preferences and try the same game with 2 and 1 other person - if it doesn't work unless you have 4 find ways to make it work, I've found with myself that sometimes something I thought was a functional preference was actually an aesthetic preference and it annoyed me when others pointed it out.

Zag24
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Midnight_Carnival wrote:...

Midnight_Carnival wrote:
... but with professional adults who have families of their own, aranging a meeting of 4 players to do a game might be sidelined quite often, if your target players are adults then perhaps include a way of 'recording games'.

This would certainly not be an issue with my gaming group. We get together when somebody bothers to plan it, and more than 2 other people commit to going. There are typically 4-9 of us, and the decision of what to play is generally made after we're all there. If there happen to be exactly 4, then your 4-players-exactly game has a pretty good chance of being pulled out. And when there are 8 or 9 people, we will typically split into two groups, so again the 4-player game has an excellent chance.

Also, questccg, you didn't say how long the game takes, but any quick game is likely to get a chance to be played, while we're waiting for the stragglers.

All this, of course, presupposes that one of us actually bought the game, which I realize is the aspect that you actually care about. My point is that, knowing that these opportunities will eventually arise, being 4-player-exactly wouldn't prevent the hard-core players amongst us from buying it.

questccg
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My aim is

To have a four (4) player game completed in 20-30 minutes. But I'm working on all kinds of aspects like

  • Who goes first? There is clearly an "advantage" in going first. Why? Because at the start of the game, people usually play more conservatively.
  • Player(s) who win the pot will usually have "more" to say in how the rounds get played. Because they have more tokens to spare.
  • Conservative play by most players will tend to make a closer scoring game. And for now there can be ties...
  • The player at then end is the unlucky one. Everyone will "dump" their remaining tokens and go full force on the poor bastard! :D

Still got some thinking to do!

Michael Melkonian
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Joined: 12/19/2015
You'd be cutting out a major

You'd be cutting out a major part of the market by saying the game supports exactly four players. Nowadays I'm reluctant to pick up games that don't support some kind of solo mode. Part of that comes from the feeling of "I want to be able to open the box and play some version of this thing I bought, regardless of who else is around." I know not every game type can fit that, but its something to consider.

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