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Slot Machine - Regular questions and Meta-question

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Joined: 10/05/2011
Slot Machine Prototype Cards

Hi all,

I'm certain that everyone has been waiting with bated breath for an update on my Slot Machine themed card game. (Right....?) Well you're in luck! I have made a rough prototype on blank poker cards from The Game Crafter (thanks The Game Crafter!) and have begun playtesting with friends and family.

The gameplay is pretty simple. Each player is dealt a hand consisting of 5 cards. Players take turns drawing a new card, most of which are slot machine symbols such as cherries, stars, etc. Players then optionally play a card to their reels, and optionally spend money (coin cards, drawn to your hand from a separate deck when you hit a payout) to take additional actions. Additional actions include drawing an additional card, playing an additional card to your own reels, playing a card to an opponent's reel, paying to "bank" coins from your hand to a safe pile from which they can't be spent but can't be stolen, stealing a card from an opponent's reel, stealing a card from an opponent's hand, forcing everyone to discard half their cards, or drawing the top three cards off the deck to make a stand-alone reel that pays off double if it hits.

A completed reel pays off according to pay tables based on the rarity of the symbol. You collect coins from the coin pile when a reel is completed, though you don't acquire the cards into your hand until your next draw phase.

There are also penalty and bonus cards that are mixed into the symbol draw deck such as 'win five money from the bank' or 'discard half your hand.'

The game ends when the draw pile is empty and everyone has had one more turn. Then count the money in each player's bank and hand, and the person with the highest total wins.

My question at this point is a bit of a meta question: How can I best use the aggregate wisdom of these forums to advance to next steps? Does it make sense to work up a formal rules document and post that, or is that too dry to glean any advice from? It's not to the point where I want strangers to play it, so I guess that is the next hurdle and question. What are the steps in getting from home playtest on a homemade prototype to finding out the game IS fun and moving forward? I guess my stretch goal is pitching the game to publishers, but I realize I am nowhere near that yet.

At your mercy,

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
Writing up the rules and

Writing up the rules and posting them here is a good idea if you want informed options about your game. Another upshot of writing the rules will be that it will cause you to think about them in detail possibly seeing flaws that you can fix on your own.

Have you tested this game yet with a group?

Joined: 10/05/2011
Not yet

Hi Dralius,

Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it!

Right now I have played at home a half dozen times, and on one occasion with my usual gaming group. Another game with that group (it is four people and includes me, so it is not really a test 'in the wild'...) should happen very soon, with luck tonight.

Posting the rules here is a great idea, and I think I will do it after figuring out tonight if any obvious changes need to be made.

I've read other suggestions here about testing at the (very) local gaming store or in other mixed company, but it seems premature to do that now. And a bit daunting; they're definitely local and quite probably friendly but I don't really know the folks over there.

Thanks again for your feedback (and anything else that crosses your mind).


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