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Subject: Card game mechanics? rss

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Traveem Eko
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I'm trying to design a card game, and was wondering what mechanic(s) I should put in the game. What card game mechanics are usually the most successful, other than deck building?
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Set collection and hand management are big. I like card drafting, too.
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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trick taking
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Holger Doessing
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Not so common, but Bohnanza has an interesting mechanic, where you cannot re-arrange the order of the cards in your hand.
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W Scott Grant
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This is too vague a question. There are conceivably hundreds of core mechanics for card games, and for each of them, hundreds of variants. If you're lucky enough to find a new mechanic that's never been tried before, I would commend you, but if I could think of one, I'd use it myself in my own game before I'd share it for general consumption!

I would strongly suggest you find a theme or setting for a game then try to figure out what mechanic works best for it. Then to make it unique, take a look at similar games to see what they do and do something different.

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sunday silence
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Ditto what Sligo said. Whether a mechanic works or not depends on lot on what you are trying to accomplish in terms of theme as well as what type of thinking you want to reward. Also depends on the rest of the mechanics and how they interact.

A better idea is to go to the pagat.com site and start playing as many games as you can, or take a look at the various mechanics that are listed there.
 
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Glen Dresser
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I'm not sure if there's a single phrase that describes this mechanic exactly, but having players 'race' for common assets. Like in Dominion, racing for limited quantities of certain cards, Thunderstone racing to get combinations to defeat monsters. These are turn-driven races. Some older card games like Pit or Dutch Blitz are a race without the turns but in one big free-for-all.
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Nate K
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Shuffling?
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Nate K
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Discarding?
 
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Nate K
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Rotating cards?
 
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Nate K
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Hidden information?
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I like role choosing and bidding. But whether a mechanic will work with your game or not depends on the rest of the game. You can build a game around mechanics, or you can select mechanics that work with your game theme. Citadels has role choice but that mechanic doesn't make sense for Go Fish.
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Chris Hawkins
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el Traveem wrote:
I'm trying to design a card game, and was wondering what mechanic(s) I should put in the game. What card game mechanics are usually the most successful, other than deck building?

At this early stage, there is no "should." This is when you get to be creative. Think about what kind of game you would have fun playing, and then mechanics will be tools in your toolbox. Until you have a creative vision, you won't know the right tool for the job.
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Noah Gadea
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I love seeing creative battle mechanics utilized in card games. BANG! is a solid example.
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Mark J
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kurthl33t wrote:
Shuffling?


Yeah, that was my first thought.

You forgot to mention dealing.

Something I really like in card games is starting to shuffle and then accidentally dropping a couple of cards face up on the table. At least, I do that a lot when playing. I think there should be a game where that's built in to the rules.
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W Scott Grant
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There are games that don't involve shuffling, but cards are put in a pre-arranged order. There's an old card trick I read about in a Hoyle book where thirteen cards are arranged in a specific order and what the magician does is spell the card and as he does, he puts a card from the top of the deck to the bottom. Then, when the card is spelled, the next card turned face up is the card he just spelled.

Obviously, the Ace starts in the 4th position from the top, and "Two" is in the 8th position.

The point is - you can't just randomly pick from a list of potential mechanics and build a card game around it. Firstly, it's probably already been done, and secondly, you need some meat in your game. Even abstract games have a hook of some sort.
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Jordan Booth
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saneperson wrote:
kurthl33t wrote:
Shuffling?


Yeah, that was my first thought.

You forgot to mention dealing.

Something I really like in card games is starting to shuffle and then accidentally dropping a couple of cards face up on the table. At least, I do that a lot when playing. I think there should be a game where that's built in to the rules.

LOL, I do this A LOT too because I get carried away and just keep shuffling until it is my turn again.

I'm going back and forth on whether escaped cards should be a penalty (RFG for one turn/round) or a benefit (put in play immediately instead of paying cost from hand - probably a different effect too depending on how it was cast.) Now that I type that last part I like it.
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Jordan Booth
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Sligo wrote:
The point is - you can't just randomly pick from a list of potential mechanics and build a card game around it. Firstly, it's probably already been done, and secondly, you need some meat in your game. Even abstract games have a hook of some sort.

Copycat - The whole design concept of this game is, "Let's take popular mechanics and slap on a flavorless theme." (disclaimer: I actually do like this game).
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Sligo wrote:
The point is - you can't just randomly pick from a list of potential mechanics and build a card game around it. Firstly, it's probably already been done, and secondly, you need some meat in your game. Even abstract games have a hook of some sort.


Yes you can. I have done this. But to do it, you need to pick one main mechanic and start to build your game around that. You can't pick 4 mechanics right off that bat and start to build around all of them. Start with one main one you really like and you can add in others if they fit how your game is developing.
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sunday silence
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yeah but did you pick this mechanic from a survey among your friends, or did you have an idea of what you wanted and a mechanic that fit that?
 
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Benj Davis
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This seems like such a weird question to me. It feels like "I'm trying to write a novel, but I want to know what stories are good. What story should I write?"

Unless it's for an assignment or something, I don't see why you'd start at all if you didn't have some idea what you wanted to do first.
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