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Subject: Theming Card Games rss

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J S
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I'm new to this site but was wondering if anyone had any original ideas for a themed card game outside of the overused fantasy genre. I'm fascinated by card games but I feel as if I'm stuck making several very similar card games - any ideas would be helpful. Thank you
 
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Julian Anstey
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There was a recent thread with lots of unusual ideas, some more serious than others: Themes you wish were in more games
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Tom Bruno
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It's that age old conundrum of letting your theme dictate your mechanics and vice-versa.
ideally you want to make a game that is fun without a theme, then find the theme that best matches it, doing this you may find yourself naturally branching out to more interesting themes.
Sure plenty of good games started with a theme and fitted a game to it (many a good license game will back this up). But if you start out thinking you will make a fantasy theme, it is likely going to lead you down the path of wizards and warriors fighting dragons and goblins.

Or I would recommend focusing small. Rather than trying to model a whole genre in your game, find a small, interesting system or idea and work from there. I feel like a lot of Euro games do this, take a place or historic event, distill what is unique and interesting about it and model it in a game.

I think both approaches have merit

And if you inspiration for themes, then the best advice I can give it to branch out the kinds of books, movies, music etc you consume. dive into as many different subject of learning and fiction as you can. the more your experince, the more you have to draw upon
 
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Jason Martin
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I'm new here too. I think card games lend themselves to an even larger variety of games than traditional board games. (Look at how many board games later get a card game version later, but it rarely works the other way around.) I'm working on a card game that has a theme I've never seen in a board/card game, but it works well with what I'm doing. The theme came to me as I was doing something in real life, and it occurred to me that I FELT like I was doing things in a game. I thought I could turn it into a game, and card game mechanics just fit best.

Ultimately, I think card games can have literally any them: sports, abstract, vocational, as well as the traditional themes. I think the keys are that the theme is interesting & the game mechanics help bring out nuance of the theme.
 
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Jason Roup
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Watch for what's big on TV... Zombies and Vampires were all the rage for awhile. Now were in the final years of Superheroes. If I were to make a small game today, it would be about politics. A couple people already mentioned it, but sometimes the game mechanics determine what flavor will best match it. Is it a mystery? Is it combat oriented? Is it deck building or 4x style? This will help with determining what world it exists in.
 
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Stijn Hommes
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There are so many different themes to base card games on, that you won't be able to design enough of to use them all.

Right now I'm looking at a couple of card games with the following themes:
*Criminal babies trying to leave a mansion with a prized milk collection
*Spies trying unmask each other while bluffing to hide their own identity
*Collecting sets of different colored birds sitting on a wire.
*Scientists trying to build a healthy body from different organs while your opponents try to throw a wrench in the works with viruses.
*Exploding Kittens

Those are just the ones I can see from my computer, but I have many more card games with a variety of themes. If finding an interesting fresh team is hard for you, then perhaps you would benefit from brainstorming themes before making a game.
 
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