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Subject: Dominion Like Card Combo Puzzle Game rss

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Dustin Rhodes
United States
California
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When playing dominion after the kingdom cards have been dealt onto the table comes one of my favorite parts of the game. We all spend 5 or so minutes looking at the kingdom cards and deciding what our game plan is. Almost always this comes down to picking 1,2 or sometimes 3 kingdom cards to buy out of 10.

When I first looked at dominion I wold have said that picking which kingdom cards to buy would be trivial. It just seems like you would quickly learn the optimum cards to buy for any set, but after a ridiculous amount of games I still find myself picking different cards from skilled opponents and getting beaten.

This element of the game seems like it would lend itself very well to a solitaire experience. In my dream game I deal out 10 cards from the deck, look at them for a while pick some small number of them and then have a very quick phase with a small number of interesting decisions and a bit of randomness which gives me a final score and tells me if I win or lose.

I have been trying for a while and the problem seems to come down to this.

I can't come up with a game where card combinations are as hard to judge right off the bat as they are in dominion. In all my prototypes it's easy to spot which cards to buy for any given set.

At first I thought it was that in dominion you not only have to pick the right cards but also how many to put in your deck which made card combos easy to judge in my game. But even looking at games of dominion where I only add a fixed number of the kingdom cards I choose to my deck it still poses an interesting puzzle.

So now I've decided to post the question here. Has anyone else thought about a game like this? Is there some reason you can see that I have not why it wouldn't work? Do you have any suggestions on what to try for my next iteration of it?
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Jesters Ghost
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I'd imagine because it depends not just on you but also on what your opponents pick, and what they do to you.

With no one interfering with your choice, and no one screwing your gameplan over, then picking the "best" is always going to be easier.
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Nate K
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The difficult part about turning that sort of puzzle into a solitaire game is that you are removing the opponent. In Dominion, you can't always take the best combination of cards, because two other people are going for the same cards.

(I had this happen just recently to me. My friends Heidi and Eric were going for the same strategy as me, but they both went before me and were able to quickly accumulate most of the cards in those stacks. I had to quickly change plans and go with a more difficult strategy. It happened to work out in the end, as I won by five or six VP.)

This kind of limiting factor is hard to emulate in a solitaire game. When you have opponents, you run into situations wherein, for one reason or another, you can't use the best strategy. You don't usually get that sort of pressure when it's just you and a pile of cards.

I'm not saying it's impossible, just that it's a difficult design challenge.
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Chad Mestdagh
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There is a solitaire Dominion variant:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/43713/soloplay_dominio...

It is by a guy that calls himself SoloPlay. Here is a list of all the variants he has made:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/49479/soloplay-variant...

If you are looking to do a solo game, you should probably look at his variant. He tests his variants like 50 times, so they are pretty solid.
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Dustin Rhodes
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Thanks guys! It seems like the thing everyone is mentioning is that you can't always take the cards you want.

Either because of what your opponents are doing in a multiplayer game
Or what the kings doing in the solitaire Dominion variant.

I'll have to try working that concept into my ideas.


Also just to be clear I'm not trying to make a dominion like solo game really (it wouldn't be a deck builder), just a solo game that uses a system like dominions kingdom card system to keep the game fresh.
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Ben Neumann
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The best way to throw a wrench into the "best card" situation is to have the availability of cards changing throughout the game. If new cards and combinations are created as the game progresses, the best card will also continue to shift.

To put it in Dominion terms, imagine if you started with 5 stacks at the beginning of the game, and then every other round added a new stack. Dominion does deal with this availability in a relatively small way, by making the stacks finite. But you can do a lot with availability and opportunity.

Good luck!
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Dustin Rhodes
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Quote:
The best way to throw a wrench into the "best card" situation is to have the availability of cards changing throughout the game. If new cards and combinations are created as the game progresses, the best card will also continue to shift.


This is a great suggestion and isn't to hard to fit into my current design. I think when I next make a go of this idea I'll get a lot closer to my goal
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