Little Blog Adventure

A gaming "sketchblog"

Monday, January 30, 2006

Throwing stuff on the wall to see what sticks: Pt 1

Right-o. I've got a few ideas for this assignment 1. So I'm gonna just put em all down here and see whether any of em are worth developing further.

Idea 1: Card Fu!

This idea came to me after playing the FPS board during the first tutorial. I love fighting games, maybe there's a way to implement something like a fighting game in a traditional format? A card game is the obvious solution- it's eminently possible to make a fast-paced, back-and-forth using the format. Just to make things more interesting, I'm going to try and design this game using a standard deck of cards rather than a customised one.

Standard deck's got 4 suits, so we could assign 4 unique functions to each of them. Well let's work things out this way: diamonds beat spades, which beat hearts, which beat clubs, which in turn beat diamonds. So that's a loop, with each suit able to threaten another suit while being vulnerable to yet another suit in turn.

So how would gameplay work? There's only gonna be 2 players, that's for sure. Each player should draw a set number of cards from a shuffled deck- let's say, 10 for this game. Then, at the beginning of a round, players have to decide who goes first (that player becomes the attacker for that round). One way to solve this dilemma would be for each player to draw a card from the deck and compare- whoever gets the higher-valued card goes first. Once that's decided, the attacking player has to decide on a card to put down- that card would represent his first attack.

Let's assume that the defender has to put down an equal or higher-valued card of the suit that's NOT vulnerable to the attackers card in order not to lose the round. The round continues in this way until one player is unable to defend against the others attack. Now I'm going to run through a hypothetical scenario just to see what might happen: Attacker puts down a 2 of Hearts. The defender puts down a 4 of spades. The attacker puts down a 5 of diamonds. The defender doesn't have a higher card and the attacker wins the round. Now I wonder if there's a situation where a draw is possible? Perhaps not in a single round. Perhaps best to toss aside the idea of a draw for now.

The big problem right now is that the game's not very interesting. Seems like everything's basically dependant on the attacker's choice of first card. And of course, the tendancy would be for attackers who have very high cards to put them down first for an instant-win. One possible solution is to place an upper limit on the value of the first card that can be put down. But perhaps adding in one more game mechanic would make things more interesting: if a player doesn't have a high enough card to defend against an attack, he/she can sacrifice any 3 of his cards to negate the attack. This, I think, makes the game slightly more strategic.

Damn, I'll have to playtest this to see how this works. I'm pretty sure the mechanics need a lot more polishing before the game'll be fun for players, if at all.


At 8:13 PM, Blogger alex said...

Sounds interesting... some thoughts:

Maybe there needs to be a reason why the attacker wouldn't want to throw down their most powerful card in the first attack, something that encourages a strategy of holding back a good card until later...

If you add the 3-cards to defend rule, what happens when one player runs out of cards?

At 6:25 AM, Blogger hazylium said...

Good question. I'm leaning towards the round ending in a draw if a player runs out of cards, and additionally not allowing a player to use the 3-cards if the player only has 3 cards left.

Yep, definitely will have to think of a suitable rule which would encourage holding back a good card til later.


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