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Subject: Opinions on Push Your Luck mechanic preferences? rss

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Ed Benckert
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Wondering on your opinions on a push your luck mechanic.

Players draw cards, trying to accumulate as high a 'score' as possible. At the same time, the more they draw the closer they come to a disaster happening.

What seems like the best way to handle this disaster happening?

Idea 1: Each card has a disaster 'score' from 0-5, and it adds up, each card incrementing the 'countdown'.
Pros: It builds up, you are guaranteed to have a disaster eventually.
Cons: Players can see it coming, and draw without worry if they are more than 5 away, and with managed risk from 1-4 away.

Idea 2: Each card CAN have a disaster icon. Draw one matching the target icon, and it happens.
Pros: Players cannot see it coming.
Cons: FIrst draw could be a disaster, or it might 'never' happen.

Idea 3: Hybrid - Like #2 above, but the disaster does not happen until the icon is drawn a second time.
Pros: Small build up, but hard to adjust the 'level' of danger (#1 can have different thresholds)
Cons: No worries until first icon is drawn. Then players can see it coming.

Or is there another idea someone has seen somewhere? Not sure which one we're leaning towards most. Pros and cons to them all.
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Jeremy Lennert
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You could have the disaster happen after you've drawn any matching pair of icons. The first draw is guaranteed safe, but it could happen on the second draw, and every non-matching icon you draw increases the chances that the next draw will match something.

If you give every card an icon, then there's a maximum number of draws equal to the number of different icons. (If some cards have no icon, then those ones are "free" and don't increase your risk, but that's the same as a card numbered zero in your first idea.)

If you make some icons more common than others, then the odds of a disaster on the next draw depend on which icons you've revealed so far (rather than just how many), which could create further nuance. You could also have different disasters (some worse than others) depending on which icon you match, so that you can create high-risk but low-threat scenarios, and also low-risk but high-threat scenarios.

Card-counting might become very powerful, though. (You might want to reshuffle after every run to mitigate this.)
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Richard Irving
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lasersharkgames wrote:

Idea 3: Hybrid - Like #2 above, but the disaster does not happen until the icon is drawn a second time.
Pros: Small build up, but hard to adjust the 'level' of danger (#1 can have different thresholds)
Cons: No worries until first icon is drawn. Then players can see it coming.


This is Unnamed Object / Diamant with several different disasters taking effect when two matching ones are drawn.
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Michael Brettell
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Antistone wrote:
You could have the disaster happen after you've drawn any matching pair of icons. Them first draw is guaranteed safe, but it could happen on the second draw, and every non-matching icon you draw increases the chances that the next draw will match something.


Like! That sounds very cool - are there games that implement this?
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I believe Pairs works on the premise that drawing a pair of matching cards is bad. There are probably others; it's a fairly simple idea.
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Steven Tu
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brettellmd wrote:
Antistone wrote:
You could have the disaster happen after you've drawn any matching pair of icons. Them first draw is guaranteed safe, but it could happen on the second draw, and every non-matching icon you draw increases the chances that the next draw will match something.


Like! That sounds very cool - are there games that implement this?


That sounds exactly like Unnamed Object
 
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Brendan Riley
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Antistone wrote:
I believe Pairs works on the premise that drawing a pair of matching cards is bad. There are probably others; it's a fairly simple idea.


Two other games this thread reminds me of are:

Dead Man's Draw, which uses the pair thing. In that game, each card you draw is from one of ten(?) suits, and each suit causes a particular event to happen (steal someone's card, lock the previous cards in safety, etc). You keep going until you decide to stop and you bust if you get a second card of the same suit.

The mention of Taj Mahal above reminded me of James Ernest's Totally Renamed Spy Game, which has since been renamed Before I Kill You, Mr. Spy. In that game, like Taj Mahal, you can try to go again unless someone counters you.

Last, don't forget the classic push your luck game, Blackjack.
 
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Kunter Tätte
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brettellmd wrote:
Antistone wrote:
You could have the disaster happen after you've drawn any matching pair of icons. Them first draw is guaranteed safe, but it could happen on the second draw, and every non-matching icon you draw increases the chances that the next draw will match something.


Like! That sounds very cool - are there games that implement this?


Port Royal is all about this
 
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Ed Benckert
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To be honest, it was the extreme amount of tension and fun I've had playing Dead Man's Draw that's had me integrating PYL mechanics into the games I've been designing.

The 'get one, match a second time' has been done over and over again. I'm trying to stay away from it. It's Dead Mans Draw, it's Incan Gold, and in a sort of way, it's in the other game we've designed.

I've been playtesting with the number system. The thing I like about that is different runs can be harder or easier. Don't want to give too much about the game away yet, but in short, there are different 'areas' where you can PYL, some easier than others. Without having a separate deck for each, by each location having a danger 'score', it can be harder or easier to do.

The problem is, in playtesting it, if your score is 8, there's no tension whatsoever until you pull about 3 danger 'points'. Then once you're at 3, there's only 3 cards in the deck that are 5 or higher, so you're still pretty safe. Draw another 2 and you get a little hesitant. But you can see it coming from so far away, 'failing' is more of a rare occurrence than anything else. I've considered hiding the danger threshold from the player (and having a randomizer on it) but then an opponent needs to keep track, and at the end of the day, you'll still have a general idea.

So now I'm working on an icon matching system. Different icons that when matched in pattern (sort of like a slot machine) trigger the result. On absurdly difficult runs, a single showing of the 'skull' will result in failure. On moderate runs, you need to reveal a skull, dagger, and flame. Something like that. Gonna have some programming and math ahead of me to test out the probabilities!

That seems like a good way to let you know you're close, but not have any real clue of HOW close. I think. I'll try it
 
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Gregg Jewell
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I have been working on a game like this for awhile now called Dungeon Draw.

At first I had a match 2 monsters = bust, then match 3 monsters = bust but it limited the design space.

Finally, I came up with a system where you start with a base health threshold + bonus health depending on round. This represents "leveling up" after each round, allowing players a higher threshold to further push their luck in later rounds.

I also added different heroes with higher or lower base health to make the game easier or harder.


You draw a card one by one deciding whether to continue or stop and score after every draw.

All monsters and some items in the dungeon cause a variety of wounds. If your wounds ever match your health, you are defeated.

Some interesting interactions are:
The Trap forces you to instantly draw another card and double the wounds taken if a monster is drawn.

The Sword allows you to guess which monster you'll draw next. If you're right, it's discarded instead of causing wounds!

Some of these cards have changed since this version but this picture hopefully gives you an idea of the gameplay.

 
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B C Z
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Look at some of the games available with the Pairs decks. They commonly have a push your luck component that involves getting a second of the same rank (and ranks are unevenly distributed).
 
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