# gateway game for little people

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wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017

i have been working on a game that can be played by an adult (without getting bored) with a small child (without the "you are playing, were on the same team" that annoyed me as a kid) as an added complication i also decided the game should "grow" as the child does and be playable even if you cant find a child. the result is "monkey towers"

contents: 28 cards, 25 small dice, 2 monkey dice

the cards will have a type and colour (eg. red wood or blue stone) & 2 choices (guaranteed points or a gamble)

during the game 1 player places the cards, 1 player decides weather to gamble or not. then a small die is rolled and placed to score/resolve the gamble (more detail below)

monkey towers can be played by humans or monkeys;
human: a person. can be big (can read and do maths) or little (maybe need help to read)
monkey: a die (big enough not to be eaten). can be used to replace either human.
human/monkey: cant talk, read or count and tends to poo itself (a baby). basically rolls the monkey die and "makes decisions" but without the need to know anything.

game play: shuffle the deck and make a draw pile

1:DRAW: draw a card and read aloud if needed.

2:PLACE: cards are placed in columns away from you, leave faces showing so you can place scoring dice.

monkey chooses a tower with a dice roll (reroll 6s)
humans just select which face the die shows

2:CHOOSE: a player (the one that didnt place) decides weather to take safe points or gamble.
[ gambles are things like "+1 per glass in tower, -2 per stone in tower" or "double this cards points if the card above is red"]
monkey chooses by rolling die. odd= safe, even= gamble
human just select the die face.

3:ROLL: roll a little dice and put it on the appropriate box on the card that was played.

4:SCORING: count each tower from the base up.

NOTE! phase 2 (choose/place) can be done in either order, by either player (but it is recommended you keep the same roles and order in any game).
player 1 needs to predict player 2s move. player 2 needs to clean up after player 1.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
i realised i didnt go into

i realised i didnt go into detail on the cards (and i only have a rough paper prototype so no pics yet).

they are all very simple and similar.
they all have the safe option of +y points (y= the face showing on the small die)

stone cards add/take points depending on the state of the tower "+y. +1 per wood in this tower,-2 per metal in this tower"

wood cards add/take depending on the card above them
"y x2, if the card above is red. if not this card is worth 0 points"

metal cards add/take depending on the outcome of the small dice "y x3 if even. -y if odd"

glass cards have instant effects. before drawing the next card " re roll the lowest value die in this column"

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
I'm not sure I really

I'm not sure I really understand this. Like, WHY can it be played by a grownup with a child, and what is the child doing in the game? Is the child just replacing a randomizer-die in what's essentially a solo game?

Why doesn't the child need to be able to read, if the cards all have words on them?

I really can't even tell which player is doing what, and what their motivations are.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
ok lets see if i can make it

ok lets see if i can make it a little clearer (hopefully)
a (rather pointless) 0 player game would be completely random (monkey dice decide everything).

a solo/monkey game would be a human doing 1 action (ie placing) and the monkey doing the other (ie choosing)

if you have a very small child they can roll the dice- admittedly this isn't really playing but preschool children are stupid and think snakes and ladders is a game of skill (at least if they win). so a child this young is just a randomiser.

a true solo game would just be a human deciding everything, like a game of patients. a child can do this easily enough (depending on age) but might need a little help with reading if they are preschoolers just so they know what they are gambling.

in a 2 player game with an adult and a child the child makes meaningful decisions (where to place or weather to gamble) but the adult can take advantage of or mitigate the results.
a small childs choice probably wont be the best move, but it won't be as random as a dice roll.
i know my niece would gamble most of the time because she doesn't understand probability. so if i am placing first i would try to put it in a place to win the gamble, but if she was placing she would make pretty patterns regardless of how i play so i need to take this into account when i choose to gamble. (when they are older and playing games they are considered big and it becomes more co-opertive)

my reasoning for the game is for an adult it is harder to predict a child than fixed odds but still with some "logic". for a child the fun is "helping" even if they are more of a hinderence.

the child doesn't need to be able to read to play with an adult because the adult can read. they would if they are playing alone, but then they are considered "big" for game purposes.
i will add the rule "no big human alpha gaming- you may read for your child but may not make decicions."

i hope this clears it up a little

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
wob wrote:if you have a very

wob wrote:
if you have a very small child they can roll the dice- admittedly this isn't really playing but preschool children are stupid and think snakes and ladders is a game of skill (at least if they win). so a child this young is just a randomiser.

Not sure you've been around many preschoolers :)

That they enjoy snakes and ladders doesn't mean they wouldn't also enjoy something more than "rolling the dice for daddy".

Quote:
in a 2 player game with an adult and a child the child makes meaningful decisions (where to place or weather to gamble) but the adult can take advantage of or mitigate the results.

So.. it's a cooperative game?

Btw, a typical preschooler would probably need a lot more than just a little help reading the cards. They wouldn't be able to read them at all, and, as you note, they also aren't making meaningful decisions with the information there anyway.

(I realize my two paragraphs here may sound contradictory, but I don't think they are.. Kids can understand consequences even if they don't know probability)

Quote:
the child doesn't need to be able to read to play with an adult because the adult can read. they would if they are playing alone, but then they are considered "big" for game purposes.

Be careful of the slippery slope here. A 4-year-old could also technically play Magic: The Gathering if there was a parent to read everything out loud. Technically.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
i think my problem is that

i think my problem is that kids have an annoying tendency to grow up, and I'll admit im only an uncle.
i was trying to build a game that:

can be "played" by a very young child (2 years old) by just rolling. no real input but helping

can be played by a preschooler (under 5). old enough to understand rules and taking turns with a basic understanding of risk/reward. kids this age can play stratergy games but, for most, planning ahead and being consistant (i dont think thats the word i mean) is difficult.- a 5 year old can learn how the chess pieces move but they are unlikely to be a challenge to beat

after school age (5+) they should be able to read (altohough some help could be needed if they're still just starting) and their strategy should improve, at which point the game switches to a much less random game.

i think some of the confusion in my explanation is i have made to much of the age/reading ability of the child.
to summarize: if they're to young to understand they can roll a random dice (no real input but helping) once they do understand they can play just like an adult. the more they understand the less the adult has to augment/compensate the childs bad choices.

maybe its better to say its a solo game (with a helper) until they are school age then its a co-op.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
wob wrote: can be "played" by

wob wrote:
can be "played" by a very young child (2 years old) by just rolling. no real input but helping

True of almost any game, so I wouldn't put too much design weight on that :)

Quote:
maybe its better to say its a solo game (with a helper) until they are school age then its a co-op.

It did read to me like a solo game (with a monkey die), that can then become a co-op game when someone takes over that die.

However, I don't see how you'd successfully balance the game based around a co-op "player" who could be random or passable or intelligent. If the game is winnable with a monkey, what happens when it's a person?

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Btw, my own interest in this

Btw, my own interest in this can be summed up with the opening paragraph of my game's Kickstarter page..

Quote:
I've played a lot of games with my kids. Most of them are, well, dumb. Old Maid and Candy LandÂ® are both interesting for 4-year-olds, but not so much for 34-year-olds. I wanted to design a game that parents and kids could play together and everyone could be engaged and have fun.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
i agree. i think i have a

i agree. i think i have a made a solo game and/or a co-op. i think i should have sold it more as "suitable for younger players" rather than as a kid/adult game. i think i will put it on the back burner for now. (i like the idea but its not whati wanted to design).
i think i need to invent either a very unbalanced game or (just as a thought) somthing using the memory match game as an ai (maybe worker placement or a battleships variation). i will have to check out your kickstarter to see your game. good luck with it.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
http://www.heroesandtreasure.

http://www.heroesandtreasure.com

Actual manufacturing starting this week...