Zachary Huff
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Entry Thread for Desperate Vegas Magician - Contest Ready
Designed for the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest

* Game description: You are an up-and-coming magician who has just gotten the chance of a lifetime: your very own nightly magic show at a premier casino in Las Vegas. Life is certainly good, but you must be careful to not blow this opportunity. Can you keep normal show attendees, bloggers, casino executives and anti-magician documentary makers happy, or will the pressure of it all yield to poor performances and scathing publicity?

* Game images:

Initial game setup



Game in progress



* Components: A standard deck of 54 cards.

* Approximate Playing Time: 10-20 Minutes.

* Links to the current game files:

rules

cards

card list (for playing with a standard deck)
 
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Zachary Huff
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Re: [WIP] Desperate Vegas Magician - 2013 Solitaire PnP Contest - Idea Phase
Hello everyone! I decided to finally join the site (I've been a long-time lurker here) and try to further my aspirations of game designing, and I figure that this contest was a great way to start. I realize that there's not too much time left in the contest, so I'm going to give it my best. I welcome any and all comments and feedback, and I'm really excited to finally dip my toes into the BoardGameGeek community!
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Benj Davis
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Summer Hill
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Re: [WIP] Desperate Vegas Magician - 2013 Solitaire PnP Contest - Idea Phase
I'm quite intrigued by your theme. I'm prepared to be dazzled!
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Clark Kingston
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Re: [WIP] Desperate Vegas Magician - 2013 Solitaire PnP Contest - Idea Phase
"The disappearing audience" will ensure a gig in Vegas.
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Chad Mestdagh
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Edmonton
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Re: [WIP] Desperate Vegas Magician - 2013 Solitaire PnP Contest - Idea Phase
Definitely a great theme! Of course, it helps that I am completely addicted to Theater of Magic on Pinball arcade.
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Chris Hansen
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Riverton
UT
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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Re: [WIP] Desperate Vegas Magician - 2013 Solitaire PnP Contest - Initial Playtesting
Very fun theme. I'm looking forward to playing it!
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Chad Mestdagh
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Re: [WIP] Desperate Vegas Magician - 2013 Solitaire PnP Contest - Initial Playtesting
Read through the rules. Seems like a pretty clean game system.

In order to play it, are we going to need to write on our own playing cards? Or just have a sheet of paper that we would look up what the actual audience requirements are? i.e. a reference sheet?

Or do you plan to have cards printed up?
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Zachary Huff
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Re: [WIP] Desperate Vegas Magician - 2013 Solitaire PnP Contest - Initial Playtesting
radchad wrote:
Read through the rules. Seems like a pretty clean game system.

In order to play it, are we going to need to write on our own playing cards? Or just have a sheet of paper that we would look up what the actual audience requirements are? i.e. a reference sheet?

Or do you plan to have cards printed up?

I'm working on making up cards that can be printed up, but I also plan to make a reference sheet should people not want to print up the cards. It will probably be easier to play with the cards I am making, but I figured it'd be good to accommodate those who would rather play with a standard deck.
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Zachary Huff
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Re: [WIP] Desperate Vegas Magician - 2013 Solitaire PnP Contest - Components Ready
I just finished up some changes to the rules and cards, they are now finalized. The game is more or less contest ready, I just want to take a few pictures of the game in progress before sealing off the post for the contest. As an aside, the game cards will not have artwork. I am working with my dad, as I am not very artistic, and look to post a complete version of the cards with art at some point in the future (likely after the contest). As always, any feedback and comments are welcome!
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Zachary Huff
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The game is now contest ready! I'm really looking forward to checking out all of the entries for the contest, good luck to all!
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Ed Lovell
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Tracy
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Just tried out your game and I found it to be a fun little filler. I know this is a little late for the contest, but perhaps some revisions for after the contest is over...

The Ace of Spades is a little confusing. It says I can take a card from the discard pile and use is according to the rules. What discard pile? I took it to mean the face up pile of tricks I have in front of me. Is that correct?

Finally, since this is a solo game, it would be nice to know what a decent score is. Perhaps you could develop a scale that says how good of a magician you are. My first game I ended up with 30 points. Is that good? My second game I ended up with -50. I am pretty sure that is bad and would read something like "you made the kids cry at the birthday party gig"

Overall good game. Artwork would definitely make it look cooler, but it does not take away from the game itself. Great work!
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Zachary Huff
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edlovell wrote:
The Ace of Spades is a little confusing. It says I can take a card from the discard pile and use is according to the rules. What discard pile? I took it to mean the face up pile of tricks I have in front of me. Is that correct?

Thanks for the feedback! That is the correct way to play the Ace of Spades, I was having trouble figuring out the wording and just went with "discard pile." In retrospect, I should have said something closer to what you described in your reply.

And I definitely need to develop a scale. I was a little late to the party for this contest, so I was rushing to get everything tested that I completely overlooked it. 30 points isn't bad, but I definitely like your description of -50 points!
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Jake Staines
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Grantham
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Hm... I wonder now whether I was doing something wrong, 'cause my first game had a score of 180 out of 200! I only failed one Jack, and I suspect that was largely 'cause I'd not paid enough attention to the Ace powers. I may just have been lucky to have a fairly decent spread of required-suits on each round, though - I think only one of the four rounds had a particular suit required by every card (guess when I lost the Jack?).

Overall, it's a nice little solitaire card game, which certainly made me think a bit and kept me entertained. I didn't feel the theme much, but then I was playing with a regular deck of cards and the crib sheet, the theme might as well have been paying off loan sharks or giving jewelry to mistresses or making recipes out of ingredients.

(Tip to anyone else trying the game: I found it very helpful to have a second deck of distinguishable cards, so whenever I started a new round, I could slip two cards of the corresponding requirement suits under each of the audience cards to remind me easily what suits they required.)


A couple of things:

- Why are the review scores and the required scores different, when there's a direct linear relationship? Making them the same would only have the effect of doubling people's scores from a range of 0-200 to a range of 0-400, the relative scores would remain the same and you could eliminate one of the pieces of information from the card.

- The Ace of Hearts power is a bit easy to forget - I ended up stacking it with the other cards played on that audience member but rotated ninety degrees (like a wild-stopped deck in Canasta) to remind me that it needed to be counted as 11 and removed at the end of the round... but even then, I forgot at first and had to go and retrieve it after already shuffling the Bag of Tricks. I don't have any particular suggestion for this, though!

- I found it difficult to judge a useful point to use the Ace of Spades. Possibly this was because I'd been doing the typical Klondike thing of dealing my three cards from the Bag of Tricks directly over the top of the last three cards, so I didn't remember what was in there at all times. Perhaps it's worth mentioning in the rules that it's recommended to simply deal out a long line of cards so you can see all the past options, unless it was intentional for this to be a bit of a memory game? (All the same, it seems a bit weak compared to the other aces.)

- My main complaint with the game, to be honest, isn't something that you could really do anything about, probably. It's simply that unlike most regular-deck solitaire card games, it's next to impossible to play this with a regular deck of cards without having the rules present, because you have to know which suits each of the audience cards requires. Klondike is an awful game but it's widely known and played precisely because everyone remembers the rules easily, so it's often the only or the first solitaire card game people remember. It's not a huge flaw, it's just a shame that I couldn't easily pull out a deck of cards and play this whenever I was bored unless I also carried the crib sheet around, or carried around a deck which was made up specifically to play this one game. (This gets me thinking as to whether it would be possible to reimplement the same ideas in the Decktet, where the suits aren't so systematically applied...)

- Lastly, above the Aces box on the crib sheet it reads "these cards may be removed from the game", which makes it sound optional. I presume you mean: "These cards must be removed from the game"?
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Julian Anstey
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Barry
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There are some good comments above so I can't add much, really.

I like the theme, and I like the flavour text, but I played with a standard deck, so didn't get that while playing.

I too only lost one Jack. Maybe it's on the easy side, though I would have to play more to be sure. I don't necessarily mind that, but to fit with the theme of a struggling magician it might be best to aim at it being a reasonable challenge to break zero.

I understood the "remove from the game" text above the Aces - you can just play them as a 1 point card if you want, but if you want to get the power you discard them instead. The powers are all very strong compared to scoring 1 point, unless, say, you get the Ace of Clubs as the last card (I did one time).

It took me a while to figure out what you meant by the discard pile, too. I just realised that it couldn't be anything else in the end.
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Julian Anstey
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Okay, having played again I can see how it can be tougher to score. I had one round where no-one wanted hearts. Yikes! My total for that game was 80.

I wondered whether it might be worth having, say, red audience cards worth 5 points more (or less), so that you care more about some than others.

I also had some ideas about possible reduced Ace powers:

Ace of Clubs - look at and reorder 4 cards (fewer cards, but you still get to choose what will be the top card for the next two turns).

Ace of Hearts - double the value of a bag of tricks card on an audience member (so you get a maximum of 9 extra points).

Ace of Diamonds - I'm not sure about this one, but the standard power can be huge, especially if you get it early in a round. Maybe something along the lines of swapping an audience member with a future one or a previously dissatisfied one that matches suit?

Don't take these suggestions to mean that I don't like your version of the game, though, because I do.
 
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Catalina Gerlein
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Bogotá
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Hi, I just wanted to let you know I've really liked this game! Well, done!
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