Skip to Content

A card game for kids but engaging for adults?

23 replies [Last post]
jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017

I am trying to come up with a card game that is very easy for kids to play but when adults play it even with kids, it has some form of strategy.

1 idea i had, dunno if ill expand on it or not but you start the game with 3 heroes. the heroes place at the beginning of the game and you have a deck full of action cards like a punch, kick spell cast fire, ice whatever. some action cards work better with certain heroes than others. but yeah thats all i had dunno how to go further with that

I need some more brainstorming, any ideas that could help me out?

wob
Offline
Joined: 06/09/2017
asymmetry of hero complexity.

asymmetry of hero complexity. this could either be on shared cards or separate decks for each level.
for instance "novice" level, for beginners/youngest players would be just play this card do x. i would also make x twice as powerful. this is just the strategy of drawing the best cards.
"apprentice" level is for kids that have played games before, but wouldnt normally stand a chance against an adult. it would be much the same as novice (with "normal" power) but also if y is discarded or z board conditions are met the action becomes more powerful. this will make them think more about when to play each card.
"expert" level is for older players. you can only play this card if you discard y or z conditions are met. no easy plays here. if your using separate decks you can really go to town here as the novice and appreciate wont get confused by all the extra rules.
this is effectively a handicapping system for better players, so a novice vs expert still should be a close fight.

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
I have a design right now for

I have a design right now for that type of game :) More like M:tG than like hero combat, though.. no overlap.

We can help, of course, but you might want to go a little more down the design path yourself, first, so you have more of "you" in it.

You have a basic framework. Start making your deck. Make a list of the different kinds of cards you can have.. You want a fairly small set of rules and specials, if this is for kids. Fire, ice, great. Each can have a special effect of some sort, maybe (freeze or whatever). Don't have too many kinds of effects. Favor simplicity, and then see what cards you can make out of that.

For my game, for example, the only states a monster/card can be in are normal, stunned, and invisible. So there are some ways to get monsters in and out of being stunned, to make them invisible, and to detect things that are invisible. There are other rules for combat, of course, and ways to affect that, but simple all the way.

I playtest with my now-7-year-old. She can beat me. There is a fairly large random factor, and also strategy to playing and to fighting. With a good enough card advantage, she can overcome my tactical advantage.

There are other questions you need to answer too, like do the players have separate decks, and if so, where do the decks come from.

I'd say simplifying rule sets is my biggest strength, so I'm happy to help out if you can start with a rule set and some cards.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/07/2011
Family Editions

wob wrote:
asymmetry of hero complexity. this could either be on shared cards or separate decks for each level.[...]
this is effectively a handicapping system for better players, so a novice vs expert still should be a close fight.
This is one way to go about it, for sure. Several games add in or remove components from the base game to create a "family edition." With handicapping, don't forget to do enough playtesting to provide proper balance.

I think it's refreshing to see game systems that provide effective handicapping, so that experienced/mature players don't necessarily have to "dumb down" their own play style to accommodate someone with less experience.

You may also want to research some games that provide some strategic depth, but are geared towards younger audiences. One that immediately comes to mind is Agricola: All Creatures Great and Small. The base game of Agricola includes a family version of some of the play boards, and also omits the cards. The game is still satisfying (and plays in less time, generally) than the original, full-featured version.

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
wob wrote:asymmetry of hero

wob wrote:
asymmetry of hero complexity. this could either be on shared cards or separate decks for each level.
for instance "novice" level, for beginners/youngest players would be just play this card do x. i would also make x twice as powerful. this is just the strategy of drawing the best cards.
"apprentice" level is for kids that have played games before, but wouldnt normally stand a chance against an adult. it would be much the same as novice (with "normal" power) but also if y is discarded or z board conditions are met the action becomes more powerful. this will make them think more about when to play each card.
"expert" level is for older players. you can only play this card if you discard y or z conditions are met. no easy plays here. if your using separate decks you can really go to town here as the novice and appreciate wont get confused by all the extra rules.
this is effectively a handicapping system for better players, so a novice vs expert still should be a close fight.

The problem with this is that you're sort of designing 3 different card games, all of which need to be power-balanced against each other.

Also, you need to have the decks be designed such that becoming a very good "novice" player would make you able to move up to the next deck and have those skills transfer (which might not be terribly hard if the decks are all sort of similar)

Let alone the logistical issues of maybe needing to ship a game with at least two of each type of deck.. eek.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Be DIFFERENT, approach from a NEW angle!

jedite1000 wrote:
I am trying to come up with a card game that is very easy for kids to play but when adults play it even with kids, it has some form of strategy.

That's like all the game ideas that I have. Make it for ADULTS but accessible to kids (in some shape of form). Find ways of including younger players in the game (not necessarily playing 100% either). Or make the game sufficiently EASY to "Teach" so that an Adult can show a younger player how to play without requiring them to read the rulebook.

Quote:
1 idea i had, dunno if ill expand on it or not but you start the game with 3 heroes...

Not to over-simplify the "concept". What you need to do FIRST... Is figure out HOW "your" game is going to be DIFFERENT from all the other games out-there. You need to think about... And it's not "starting with 3 Heroes" or "each player has his own deck", etc. You need a HOOK which is SPECIAL and UNIQUE for your game! Maybe that involves in determining which mechanism you want to use?! Or picking a theme that is less used... and don't say Pokemon! (LOL) Just because everyone wants to MIMIC Pokemon because they've either collected or played the game in the past.

Quote:
but yeah that's all i had dunno how to go further with that. I need some more brainstorming, any ideas that could help me out?

Like I said, it's up to you to figure out what is going to be SPECIAL about your game. Forget about things like Pokemon or Magic and think how you could design YOUR OWN game. Like I said earlier maybe figure out what MECHANICS you'd like to see. Here's a more-or-less complete listing:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgamemechanic

Instead of approaching it from a more THEMATIC side (Heroes, 3 Heroes, etc.) What kind of mechanics would you incorporate into your game...? For example Rock-Paper-Scissors combined with Set Collection, Deck-Building and Action Points! This is ANOTHER way of "designing games". Different because it's a little bit more ABSTRACT.

I'm just trying to offer you alternatives to "theme-based" designing (I want Unicorns and Angels, etc.) vs. "mechanics" (as above for example).

Or do a bit of BOTH (I want Heroes and Deck-Building)... Of course this will sound a lot like EPIC or Hero Realms. That's why I invite you to see other ways to design, just so you can be DIFFERENT than a lot of the OTHER games in the market.

I know in the past you said "I just want to design a game... Not for sale..." If that's still true, forget about my advice. But if you want to TRY to design something people will be interested by, well then look over my advice and think what does and doesn't work FOR YOU!

Best of luck finding what works best for you... and to maybe make something different also.

Cheers!

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
As a matter of FACT...

Most games if you think of THEME-ONLY, you will find that there already is a similar game. Using Theme and one Mechanic, is another more subtle way but is also prone to games already designed. The good news is that your early ideas can be IGNORED until you've gotten around to three or four iterations of a Theme + "core" Mechanic.

So when I said: "Heroes + Deck-Building", you get EPIC and Hero Realms. But take it just ONE-STEP-FURTHER and ADD "Rock-Paper-Scissors" and all of a sudden you have a blend of "Hero Realms" + Pokemon! (As an example)

Maybe that excites you... Or maybe not. I'm just suggesting that you experiment before you are FIRM on the direction of your latest game IDEA.

Cheers!

Tim Edwards
Tim Edwards's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2015
I think Quest's point is an

I think Quest's point is an important one.

Kids will play a game as long as it's easy enough to know the rules. The potential for strategy can be as deep as you like.

Take chess for example. Kids will play chess. They'll generally play it badly, but they can enjoy it. I still remember my very first games of chess. My "strategy"(???) was to do things like line up my queen with my dad's queen and HOPE he didn't notice! :)

I think it worked once.

I stopped doing that as the years went on.

But the point is, I was 5 years old and I was asking to play chess regularly. The depth of chess didn't make it inaccessible. Neither did losing. It's all about having easily retained rules.

My advice would be: you MUST have simple rules. But strategy can be as deep as you like.

And If you want something to level the playing field between a child and an adult - randomness. I am 45 and I still love rolling a double 6.

I have a sense that nearly ALL really good games are playable by children, and making that your aim is a good way of making a good game.

Also......MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!! ALWAYS MONSTERS!!!!!! :D

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Monsters, Lore, and ... more Monsters!

Tim Edwards wrote:
Also......MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!! ALWAYS MONSTERS!!!!!! :D

Yeah well that means three (3) Designs with Monsters!

1. @Jesse's "Dymino Monsters".

2. My own "Monster Keep".

3. And a third one of your choosing.

But in my own WIP, the "Monster" is more of an "abstraction"... Each realm has a Nexus which is all linked to the "Monster Keep". The "Kingdom of Calahan" has different rules than say the "Veritee Province" controlled by the High Elves. So it's about BATTLING the "INNER" Monster in each Race as they try to control the Nexus and become "Lord of the Keep"...

Also BACKSTORIES also help. Another aspect to designing a game.

And if you think NOBODY cares... Believe me people love LORE. I had a quick 15 minute demo with a Magic FLGS Manager and she analyzed every bit of "Monster Keep" to make sure the NAME was correctly implied... The demo went terribly wrong (this was like 6 months ago when the design was at 60% only)... But anyway I may have "burned that bridge". Even when you TEACH a game you need to follow proper "protocol".

But sure something about "Monsters" is always FUN. Just find an interesting ANGLE to the subject...

Cheers!

jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017
Yeah lore in my games tend to

Yeah lore in my games tend to be nonexistent, I'm just never good at storytelling, I do have an idea for character designs, the monsters won't be scary-looking like how I usually do monsters, they're actually pretty basic designs, all it is, a circle with facial features with noodle arms and hands.. that's all

jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017
I have an idea of a game, the

I have an idea of a game, the mechanic would be flipping cards. You have a deck of how many cards. since most kids like tcg booster packs and love to open it, ill probably have it booster pack-friendly, so the pack would be random but with just 1 booster pack you can start playing the game without limitations. Of course, there is the main box you can buy that has all cards available in the game. Anyway back to the main point

both players draw... I'm thinking of either 3 cards or 5 cards. you will always have the same number of cards in hand at the start of a new turn.

The monster cards will have a type (out of 3 types) and a power level and a support effect.

Ok the field will have a main battle zone, a support zone, deck zone, and a zone next to the deck i haven't thought of a name yet. So at the start of a round both players place a card facedown in the main battle zone. You can then place another monster from your hand that you want to use as a support face down in the support zone, you then put the remaining cards in your hand facedown next to the deck zone.

The battle starts and both players reveal their main card. the battle then becomes pending so at this stage you reveal your support card. the support card will haave an effect, whether its either add attack power to your main card or lower attack power of opponents main card or negate the opponents support card.. whatever the support effect does will resolve at this stage. After the effects have concluded then the battle goes through, whoever has the highest power level wins the battle and takes the opponents defeated card, your main battle card goes to the zone next to your deck and your support card goes out of play to the discard zone which cant be used again for the remainder of the game. once the round is over, the cards next to the deck goes back into the deck and then shuffle your deck.. The next round starts and both players draw cards from their deck until they have either 3 or 5 cards (depending on what hand size i want for the game). Whoever has i dunno 10 points (cards) wins the game

Now another part i was thinking of adding types, there will be 3 types and each type acts as a rock paper scissors, so if you play a monster that is a rock type and your opponent plays a monster with a paper type, then your monster's power is reduced by whatever points.

that is all i have so far

I might remove types if i dont like it when playtesting the game

Tim Edwards
Tim Edwards's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2015
jedite1000 wrote:Yeah lore in

jedite1000 wrote:
Yeah lore in my games tend to be nonexistent, I'm just never good at storytelling, I do have an idea for character designs, the monsters won't be scary-looking like how I usually do monsters, they're actually pretty basic designs, all it is, a circle with facial features with noodle arms and hands.. that's all

I think the lore thing is a matter of taste. I'm one of those who - if there is lore - will happily remain unaware of it.

For me, 'my monsters have to destroy your monsters' has always been adequate background. :)

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
Regarding random booster

Regarding random booster packs.. It might be tougher to find a manufacturer for those. Just saying I'd check on that before I got too far into a CCG design. I know TGC can do it, but.. they're a bit pricey of course.

jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017
yeah TGC tends to be more on

yeah TGC tends to be more on the expensive side especially for me since im from Australia, but its the only site i know that makes random foil booster packs. Anyway, i dont really need a booster pack that was just an idea that i was throwing out. i only suggested it since kids love that kind of stuff

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
There is one SERIOUS reason not to go BOOSTERS

Because you need SUFFICIENT ART (a minimum of 300 cards) to get into the game... And that means no duplicates. Boosters are COOL but you need to really understand the BUSINESS behind them. If you are partnering with an artist ... well that could be reasonably do-able. But if you are paying your artist up-front ... that's like $30,000 bucks (and just for ART only!)

That's one reason NOT to go into the CCG/TCG game.

And then you may say: "Hey Quest, Monster Keep is a CCG... Why the contrary advice???" In truth, the model of Monster Keep is an LCG/XTG3 product. It IS "Customizable" so I call it a CCG (Customizable Card Game)... But it's very SPECIAL in that there is a version for CARD COLLECTORS ONLY and two or four player bundles. And how you customize your deck is also SPECIAL because there are rules you can follow to do some quick match-up or go FULL custom with a bunch of cards you get from purchasing THE GAME!

That's RIGHT, MK is first A GAME... It can be 2 player duel or 4 multiplayer game... Depending on how much you want to "invest" into the game.

So I have taken VERY SPECIAL "care" in HOW MK was/is being designed. And to be honest, MK is FUN. I like it better than all Video Games I see nowadays ... just because it's depth is like CHESS ... mixed in with TACTICs that give the game some "randomness". And as @Tim pointed out, nothing like "rolling some dice" to even the playing field.

And NO I will not be featuring BOOSTERS in MK. Like I said LCG/XTG3 where you can get full packs of cards per Edition/Version.

So EVEN I am NOT pursuing the BOOSTER business model. Because ASIDE from the tension from opening a booster pack, it's really a way to SELL a lot to a STORE and return very little back. Remember stores buy boosters by the box and you need to sell 60% of a box BEFORE making ANY PROFIT.

Stores hate this... even though Magic is capable of doing this because of the Draft and Sealed game modes. Those two (2) modes ENCOURAGE players to BUY BOOSTERS just to play the game and it's from $15 (Draft) to $30 (Sealed) to participate in such events (per player).

Only Magic. Forget your own CCG. Unless you really understand and figure out a way to make it PROFITABLE. Most CCGs/TCGs FAIL. And the main reason is NOT ENOUGH PLAYERS. Games are TOO complicated and there isn't that kind of "community adoption" required for the CCG market and Booster model of business.

The bottom line is that like ME, you TOO should design A GAME, FIRST!

And then see how well it does. If it sells okay, you can make an expansion down the road. If it does great, well maybe 2 or 3 expansions... etc.

We did this with "TradeWorlds" (TW) and people were excited for all the extra content (expansions). So I do have some experience with some prior success. Like I said, you need to gain some experience and launch stuff to better understand the market and how your product fits into it.

I'm sticking AWAY from things that require $30,000 investment in ART only.

MK is SPECIAL too. But we'll see how people react to the product... Once everything is said and done. TL;DR sorry was not intending it to be so long... Anyhow this is just one person's perspective.

Cheers!

jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017
I appreciate the tip I really

I appreciate the tip I really do and I’m well aware of the tcg business model, but people forget on here that I’m not making games for profit, I am just making games for fun and something for me and my nephew to play, he enjoys opening booster cards so it would be nice see him get excited when opening my pack. I do want to sell my product but not in the way people think. I do everything on the game crafter, so I sell on there. I am not good enough to sell a game professional since my art is a bit too cartoony so I know it won’t sell professional. The game crafter is all I need at this stage

I know I can hire an artist but I like to do everything myself as it’s more fun

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Different path than most designer would choose

jedite1000 wrote:
...but people forget on here that I’m not making games for profit, I am just making games for fun and something for me and my nephew to play, he enjoys opening booster cards so it would be nice see him get excited when opening my pack...

Ah well then that is VERY different. If your goal is to create two or three Boosters so that your nephew can open them and have a look at what he gets... That's cool too.

I understand now that your designs are "Hobby" designs. You enjoy designing games ... but aren't interested in Publishers or Kickstarter, right? If that's the reality... No harm or foul. Make some booster packs!

Usually most designers want to make money ... SELLING their games/products. And yeah you can make and sell on TGC too. Another avenue.

I definitely can see the "FUN" in opening a BOOSTER!

But in terms of making a retail-able game... not very likely. Most of us are busy figuring out ways to make money on KS. Because a long story short, many, many, many KS fail due to too small margins.

Anyway that's not your concern ATM. You just want to design something cool and FUN. And just share it with Family and Friends.

Nothing wrong with that! Cheers mate.

jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017
yup just for fun Ok i am

yup just for fun

Ok i am having trouble coming up with a way to use the rock paper scissors mechanic. It doesn't really feel engaging if the types will have lowered attack power if it is up against a type that is strong against it.

My rock paper scissor is called

Blue champions = rock
Red Outlaws = scissor
Green Envy = paper

I want the system to be meaningful and weak/strong against the others but pretty different from each other in terms of gameplay

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
RPS-3

So first, you should establish that a Type VS the SAME Type is a NORMAL attack. So these types of battles will rely on POWER.

Blue vs. Blue
Red vs. Red
Green vs. Green

Now for the RPS-3 Rules.

Blue beats Red beats Green beat Blue

There are a number ways of handling the RPS-3. For example, it could be a BONUS POWER (like +3 Bonus Power). Or instead it could be a "Special Attack" instead of a normal attack (like using an card Ability instead of Power).

It doesn't ALWAYS need to be a comparison of Power. Could be something as simple as that!

You can do EITHER/OR: use of a "Special Attack" or a bonus (like +3 Bonus Power). Which ever the Attacker prefers using...

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
3 Heroes

I had a bit of ideas when just thinking about some of what you wrote... And IF you want this to be a "kid-friendly" game, I think @Tim hit it on the nail about "randomness". Okay let me explain...

So the idea is based on your concept of three (3) Heroes. Both players have a hand from which they choose FACE DOWN to play three Heroes in three different lanes: Lane #1, Lane #2 and Lane #3.

The next round, each player may place up to two (2) Bonus cards on two (2) of the Lanes again FACE DOWN, BENEATH the Hero cards (which is also FACE DOWN).

The last round, going one lane at a time, players REVEAL their cards simultaneously. In each Lane, the player with the HIGHEST POWER wins. And Player's can OPT to REVEAL a Bonus card if one is present. The idea being that to WIN you must win 2 out of 3 Lanes.

It's a bit of a more "complexe" game with Lanes which makes it a more strategic version... And you could of course use a RPS-3 with Bonus Abilities that also alter the outcome of a Lane Battle.

There are three (3) Battles to a game. So this means you repeat this 3 Hero battle (with the three Lanes) 3 times. It requires a Deck of 24 cards for each player. Each battle, players DRAW eight (8) cards into their Hand, Five (5) Heroes and three (3) Bonus modifiers.

All cards go into each player's Discard Pile, once the victory of a battle is determined (ALL 3 Lanes).

The GOAL is to WIN two (2) BATTLES!

Could be as simple as this... It's really an inspiration of the classic card game WAR! Something this basic could be FUN for BOTH Younger and Older players because there is a bit of a "Head-Game", trying to outwit and predict your opponent's moves and card plays.

It requires ONLY 24 Cards (15 Heroes and 9 Bonus cards) per player and you never MIX decks therefore you COULD have a "Deck-Construction" mechanic in which you could USE BOOSTERS.

Again just some ideas... Feel free to modify and improve upon (or even ignore). Here's something pretty basic which could be FUN to play (IMHO).

Try it out... See if it is FUN or not. Cheers.

Note #1: If you want it to be less predictable, instead of 9 Bonus modifier cards, you could have a Deck of 15 of them. Making two (2) piles: 15 Heroes and 15 Modifiers. This adds the fact that some card may not be drawn each game. Again adding some more "randomness".

jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017
Nice idea, i have a lot to

Nice idea, i have a lot to think about, do you think it is possible with that idea to have a multi player game like more than 2 people?

jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017
I kind of have a revamped

I kind of have a revamped idea of my card game. it wont be as diverse and strategic thinking as i hoped for but this new version might be better since more than 2 people can play it

so there is a grid in the middle of the table, the grid size will depend on how many players are playing so lets say 2 people are playing then the grid size might be 4x3 if more people are playing then the grid size would increase by whatever size.

Ok so you have your deck, both players draw 6 cards. choose who goes first, if you are playing with a child then let the kid go first, anyway 1 at a time you will place cards anywhere on the grid until the grid is filled up. starting from the center you reveal the card. on each 4 sides of the card has symbols indicating rock, paper scissor, and a score next to a symbol, So the first card is revealed then you reveal the card left of the center card, the right side of the card is a scissor symbol and the center card left side symbol is rock. so the center card wins that battle and add the symbol score to your tally. the card on the left scores 0 so far, but that does not indicate that the left card has lost as it has 3 more sides to score. so you reveal each card and work out which cards score which points and whoever has the most scores at the end wins the game.

As i said there is not much strategic to the game but some (not all) cards will come with an effect, so 1 card might say add 100 points to the cards left symbol score, you just hope no one plays a card on the space or the score will be added to your opponents card if they place it there. As for the factions i might keep it so if the blue champion cards favorite symbol is rock then all blue champion cards will have a higher scored rock symbol, so if most symbols are 200-1000 then all blue champions that have a rock symbol will have 1500 score on each side that has a rock symbol, will be the same with the other factions.

I also might have a 4th faction but these will be very strong and you hope that you will get to place it in one of the corner squares and all but 2 sides will have a score of 0 and the 2 remaining sides will have like a score of 2000 and has no weakness to the RPS mechanic, so whatever symbol is next to the special faction card, it will always be the losing symbol

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
The cards are placed face

The cards are placed face down? That certainly limits the strategy to "remember what cards you placed, and what symbols they had where, and then place your next card so that the symbols line up in a useful way".. which would be pretty hard even for adults.

Also, the way you flip a card will matter ("vertically" or "horizontally") if you are strategically placing them, so you'd need a rule about that so people can't choose (or CAN choose) the orientation when they flip.

Also, who scores the points? The flipper I assume. Who's probably flipping an opponent's card much of the time, which will be a mystery?

Anyway, not sure I see strategy here.

See Also: "The Works" https://cheapass.com/girl-genius-the-works/ (click the rules link). I've played that several times with my 7yo, though it says 12+.

jedite1000
jedite1000's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2017
hmm got a lot to think about,

hmm got a lot to think about, i understand how silly it seems having flip mechanics and the RPS sides, like what happens if i place my own cards next to my cards on the grid. maybe i should change it to symbols i need to match, kind of like tick tack toe or something

like top is circle left is square, bottom is triangle and right is x, i need to match these cards and if 2 match then i get like a point or something... Does it sound little too basic though?

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut