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Building Blocks
A game by BlueChicken for the 2018 54-Card Game Design Contest

Game summary
Who doesn’t love building blocks? In this cooperative game 2-5 friends try to build four perfect towers. Deciding on build order, getting rid of useless blocks and dividing newly gained blocks are some of the challenges they will face.

Inspiration
The inspiration for this game comes from this thread about player selected turn order in cooperative games and Hanabi

Categories
Best Overall Game
Best Cooperative Game
Best New Designer

Duration
20-30 minutes

Components
54 custom cards (Poker size, full color, could be played without colors):
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MDc8LRi-U1YvosGviKp8AyA1DS...
Or use concept cards (Bridge size, low ink, do require color):
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tdVEp0_T2cnmt_Su9jBhQFJbEt...

Rules
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZQUQlux2JnMAFsBKrP1eO9v-_L...

Tabletop Simulator
Contest version of the game:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=15013...

Images
Two player game


Two player play test with concept cards


Contest results
2nd place in the Best Cooperative Game category
2nd place in the Jury Prize category
 
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Perry Kleinhenz
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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This seems like a really interesting game!

I like the building block cards a lot. They're very cute and I like how the shapes subtly call to mind the placement restrictions.
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J de K
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pkleinhe wrote:
This seems like a really interesting game!

I like the building block cards a lot. They're very cute and I like how the shapes subtly call to mind the placement restrictions.
Thank you for having a look and for your kind words!

I am glad you like the art since I am still learning to use Inkscape. Placement restrictions were indeed one of my considerations while choosing the shapes, cool that you picked up on that!
 
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Re: [WIP] Building Blocks (2018 54-Card Game Design Contest) - Contest Ready
I am happy to announce Building Blocks got its own game page: Building Blocks

In the meantime I am considering to create a slightly more difficult variant by adding an 8th level of each color, restricting the building rules and adding 2 joker cards. I will try to keep this thread up to date if I make any progress with this.
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Dustin Culbertson
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Re: [WIP] Building Blocks (2018 54-Card Game Design Contest) - Contest Ready
BlueChicken wrote:
I am happy to announce Building Blocks got its own game page: Building Blocks

In the meantime I am considering to create a slightly more difficult variant by adding an 8th level of each color, restricting the building rules and adding 2 joker cards. I will try to keep this thread up to date if I make any progress with this.
Fantastic! I’m so glad we are able to work with you on this one!
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Re: [WIP] Building Blocks (2018 54-Card Game Design Contest) - Contest Ready
Just made up this game. We are not playing exactly by the rules (we are allowing verbal communication so its not too frustrating for her) but my 6 yr old is loving it. Thanks for the game!
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Re: [WIP] Building Blocks (2018 54-Card Game Design Contest) - Contest Ready
m0mof6 wrote:
Just made up this game. We are not playing exactly by the rules (we are allowing verbal communication so its not too frustrating for her) but my 6 yr old is loving it. Thanks for the game!
I can imagine that the no communication part is difficult for a six year old. I am glad you came up with a suitable rule change and you are having fun. Thanks for trying and sharing!
 
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Re: [WIP] Building Blocks (2018 54-Card Game Design Contest) - Contest Ready
BlueChicken wrote:
I am happy to announce Building Blocks got its own game page: Building Blocks

In the meantime I am considering to create a slightly more difficult variant by adding an 8th level of each color, restricting the building rules and adding 2 joker cards. I will try to keep this thread up to date if I make any progress with this.
Based on some play testing and thinking I must conclude that I am not sure if this variant is an improvement. The 8th level makes the game more difficult, which might be ok, since the jokers make it a bit easier again. I think I like the restriction of the building rules (that you for example only can put only a 6 on a 5 and not a 7 on a 5), since the possibility of skipping a number is already used very little.

The most difficult rule to add was the jokers. When there are cards that can be used as any number/color combination, you can throw a 7 or an 8 early in the game to get more cards and then fill this gap with the joker at the end of the game. This makes it too easy.
Then I considered the option where the jokers give less points if they are used in the towers (zero or a half). I think this makes it easier to get a good score, but it doesn't help to get the top score. However, I feel that getting a good score is already quite doable. So then the jokers don't add much.

Currently I am thinking to restrict the jokers to a number. For example a joker with number 3 can be used as a number 3 of any color. Furthermore, I am considering to add a fifth color (then aim would be to build 5 towers of height 6).
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If anyone wants to give Building Blocks a try, but doesn't want to print it, the contest version is available on Tabletop Simulator now:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=15013...

If you have any comments or questions about the game or the Tabletop Simulator implementation, let me know!
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Currently, I am playing around with a variant. The first play tests seem to indicate that in this version it is more difficult to get a decent score, but slightly easier to get the perfect score. This is what I hoped for, but more play testing has to show if this is indeed the case and if this version is not too unforgiving for new players and/or bad luck.

The changes compared to the contest version are:
- added a fifth color
- maximum height of the towers is 6
- only one level 4 card per color
- it is not allowed to skip a number when adding a card to a tower
- added four white joker building block cards with value 2, 3, 4 and 5, that can be used a 2, 3, 4 and 5 of any color, respectively.

Rules can be found here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSsoSKu98x9n42e8...
And the cards here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bh-W0EJRin_KgMB-KvK5rWKxCO...
If you already printed the contest version cards, you only need to print the first two pages.
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