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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Design Theory

Subject: Touch Based Mechanic in a Card Game rss

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Kieran Murphy
Ireland
Ashbourne
Co. Meath
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Greetings all,

First forum post here! I've designed a game that uses touch as a key game mechanic and I'm just curious if there are any other games out there that have also done this?

Just to be clear on the term 'Touch Based Mechanic', I'll give a very quick explanation of how it works in my own game 'Dodgy Dealers'. You're an Art dealer that trades on the black market and you're trying to complete a requested collection of paintings. The problem is that A) you're not the only one trying to complete a collection and B) The Black Market is filled with forgeries. (2 Forgeries for every genuine work of art) So how do you tell the real paintings from the fakes? ...By Examining them of course!

To the expert Art Dealer like yourself the genuine painting will FEEL REAL. They are lightly textured to feel like a real painting so that only the players that have the card in their hand can tell if its real or not. Making trades and deals risky. If someone were to catch a glimpse of your hand, you may have the painting they want... but is it genuine or not?

Returning to the point of this post, I've been looking for quite a while with no joy in finding something similar. So I've decided to turn to the extreme wealth of knowledge of all you BoardGameGeek's. Does a similar mechanic exist in other games? I would just like to compare to see how others have implemented it.

Thanks in advance.
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1 Lucky Texan
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Arlington
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I have a vague recollection of a kid's game where items are examined inside a bag.

I don't remember anything more specific - it may even be more an 'activity' than game.
 
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Brian M
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The closest I can think of is Dr. Shark, which uses sense of touch to pull items from a bag.

You'd want to be very sure that the cards will mix and shuffle well, if they need to be shuffled. Minor variations in cards can cause clumping in shuffling; no idea what a textured surface would do. What the textured surface be hard on the other cards?

You'd also need to be sure it wouldn't wear down.

As you've described it, it sounds a bit gimmicky (thought it might be an interesting gimmick). If hands are normally hidden, it really doesn't have any effect.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I cannot think of a game using a similar mechanic, but I will observe that if sellers can tell the reals from the forgeries and buyers cannot, that tends to mean that only forgeries will ever get sold. (See: The Market for Lemons)
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Brendan Riley
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Also, it sounds like peoples' hands are still kept secret. If that's the case, couldn't you accomplish this same technique by putting a tiny "real" or "fake" icon in the corner? Then, when showing off a card, the player doing the selling just holds it to cover that icon, and no one knows what they are buying.

I like the idea, but I suspect the execution would be too expensive.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Mountain View
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1 Lucky Texan wrote:
I have a vague recollection of a kid's game where items are examined inside a bag.


Go Away Monster! fits the description, though there could be others.
 
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Kieran Murphy
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I should've been a bit clearer when describing what I meant by 'textured'. The cards are going to be lightly blind embossed. So there will be no variations in the cards or in the surface of them other than a 'painting texture' PRESSED into the cards - which will make no difference on shuffling or long time wear of the cards.

Your right, cards will be kept face down on the table. Although it sounds (and is) a little gimmicky it serves a few purposes in terms of gameplay as well as making the game and art more aesthetically pleasing!

Cards can be checked without looking at them. (which is important when rearranging your facedown cards - as players can actually steal from your gallery)

It actively discourages trading and raises suspicion - You don't even want other players to know that you've a genuine card never mind which one it is (unless you're bluffing in an effort to make players spend to try steal one of your cards)

It also gives a huge amount of immersion into the theme, being able to examine a painting and determining its worth. (not for everyone I know - but still important from a selling point)

Having the words 'Fake' and 'Genuine' written on the card would work but thats about all. I feel like it would take away from the overall collection/deception gameplay.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far guys!

 
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Troy Laurin
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Random thoughts that probably don't help answer the question, but may be useful?

Your cards are going to have to be non-reflective for a difference in texture to not look different under various forms of lighting.

The idea of stealing from a gallery makes it sound like there should be a face-up tableau in front of each player to represent the gallery; players can still have a hand to represent items not currently on display. I could imagine conjecture around the table if the same painting is present in two different galleries.

For people who stack their games, could the embossing be flattened out over time? Is this a game your grandkids could play?

Texture does sound like a neat gimmick, but an icon in the bottom-right (or top-left, depending on how you reveal the cards to other players) corner of the card might be safer. You could still have a face-up gallery by slotting the cards under a cardboard "picture rail"/player board.

The image of a collector insisting on sleeving the textured cards does make me laugh though...
 
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Ian Liddle
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This sounds like a fantastic and innovative mechanic, and the tactile element is going to strongly appeal to an under-served niche for sure.

I'd imagine one of the bigger challenges is going to be connecting with that market online / under glass, precisely because the "real" versions are intended to be visually identical to the fakes.
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Nathaniel Grisham

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Will the paintings be shuffled in a deck or something similar at all? I think that mixing the textured and normal cards in the same deck like that would make it easy to identify where the real paintings are in the deck. You would need a better way to randomize, if that's part of the game.
 
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Jason Roup
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Michigan
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Personal opinion... I like the concept but I'm not sure how well it will play if you actually rely on the feel of the card. I would be awful at this game. Now when I think of what you are trying to accomplish, I think of a code on the card that matches a code only one player is in possession of. For example, everyone gets a 'forensic' card... most are blank and one contains a code word. The person that got that card is the only one who can actually tell the real from the fake because only they can look at the cards and find the one with the same codeword.

Just a thought
 
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