7 Questions for a card game designer
Hannu Pajula
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This is a geeklist on (or at least around) game design. More specifically this geeklist is about card game (or card driven game) design.

This might be useful for you if you are designing a card game (or card driven game). Or you might just read this for the exceptionally high entertainment value. Dim the lights.

The dance goes so:

Each item in this list is a question about (your) card game. Answering the question will elaborate the game by 3.14 iotas on harmonic average.

Hopefully, after providing answers for as many as you can/want/prefer/cheesechoose, you will have a beautiful core of the game, into which it will be easy to hurl the rest of the rules. Or you just bloody wasted another 30 minutes of your valuable life by believing what a Scandinavian pseudo-oracle wrote in the Internet. Buy hey - at least it's your call.
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1. Board Game: Access Denied [Average Rating:5.45 Unranked]
Hannu Pajula
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How will the player(s) get cards?

This is probably the most important question of the game, so consider few seconds before answering. You can turn pretty decent game into a horrible nightmare by screwing this up. Permission to answer granted.

If you can't come up with answer by yourself, turn to your favourite card games and think how they would answer:

Race for the Galaxy
Hearts
Ticket to Ride
Dominion
Biblios
Taj Mahal

What? You say Dominion isn't one of your favourite card games. And Ticket to Ride is a board game. And the person behind the avatar has not even played Biblios.

Ok - fair enough. But answer this question: Do you think that Scandinavian pseudo-oracle cares? Your call.
 
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2. Board Game: How's That [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Hannu Pajula
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How do player(s) play cards?

Pretty important question, I think we have two-in-a-row.

What? You say that every card game doesn't need cards that are somehow playable; that the fact that you have them is sometimes enough.

Just one question for you - Did you already forget the stuff about Scandinavian pseudo-oracle and caring?

Ahem - back on track. In your answer you can address things such as timing, cost, prerequisites and method of playing a card. This answer will affect very much the flow of the game.

In dire cases of sudden-panic-and-inability-to-provide-a-coherent-answer, consult your preferred card games to-go for their answers. This time I won't provide you with a list of your games to-go. The gloves are off.
 
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3. Board Game: Guess What I Am! [Average Rating:5.07 Unranked]
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What do the cards do?

This is quite insignificant question. Just whip out an answer on the fly and we can continue to more important stuff.

I am dead serious. Really. If the rebel inside you disagrees, just remember these two calming words: Scandinavian pseudo-oracle and caring.

...ok, stop making faces, I hear you. You are a nice person so I will comply. But I will not change my mind, mind you. Rather, I will explain myself.

I don't want you to take so much time answering this question as I suspect you have used too much time answering this question already, at the cost of ignoring the other questions. Think of this as an exam. You don't want to spend all your time on the question you like to answer, instead use more time on the ones that you'd rather skip.
 
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4. Board Game: Fu Manchu's Hidden Hoard [Average Rating:5.13 Unranked]
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The three of you who still are reading this list, here is your reward. Let me present you (all three of you):

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF THE LIST:

[Imagine way too lazy drum fill]

What is on the other side of the card? And why is it there?

Now we are talking. If you honestly got this far without seeing this question coming, go design a *bleeping* board game. I really mean it. Go. But once you are at it, make it a good one. Maybe I one day write a geeklist to make it really easy for you. See, Scandinavian pseudo-oracle really cares.

Ahem.. Back on track again. This question is too dang important to forget so I will repeat it: What is on the other side of the card? And why is it there?

If you answer... no... If you transcend this question into an answer which is your game, it doesn't even matter what there is on the face side of the cards. Pikatchu, Igglypuff, Mew - IT FREAKING DOESN'T MATTER!!!

Sorry, got a little bit excited there. Maybe even out of hand. But I did it for a reason. Answer this question, and you see will see doggod - or at least nice sales figure for the next bad-boy of card games.
 
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5. Board Game: Count Dino's Number Marathon [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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What are the numbers?

Show me a game without numbers and I show you a caring pseudo-oracle.

Card games can have numbers in many different uses: in cards themselves, in rules of scoring, in the amount of different/same cards and in dozen places around the rule book, including page corners.

Good game with bad numbers is usually playable and bad game with good numbers is mostly forgettable. But getting the numbers just right can be dividing line between the good and the great.

If you think this item is as interesting and surpriseful as a bowl of water, you are completely right. But I got too heated up in the previous one and strategically tailored this item to give me time to cool down. Also, figuring those numbers can also be most boring, so this item sets the mood.

Almost forgot - If you have trouble figuring out just the right numbers, use the same numbers that UNO uses.
 
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6. Board Game: Why [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:12951]
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Why are cards used in so many games?

Calm down (both of you). I admit this is cheating, this is not about your game. And to cheat even further, I provide you my answer: Versatility.

Which leads us into a new question: What kind of processes and dynamics cards facilitate?

As a special assignment you can answer this question 50 times. With different answer each time. Maybe you can use one those processes or dynamics in your game, who knows? Or maybe you once again was fooled by the caring Scandinavian pseudo-oracle.
 
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7. Board Game: Admiral Ackbar "It's a TRAP!" GAME [Average Rating:3.72 Overall Rank:16712]
Hannu Pajula
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Why am I still reading this geeklist while it makes increasingly less sense?

While you could be watching one of the greatest of athletes of our time playing the best sport of all times:



Who knows? Not Scandinavian pseudo-oracle.
 
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