Brad N
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About a year ago, before I had ever even heard of BGG, I started to design a card game. I had what I considered to be a clever idea on a trick-taking game that made it more than just "how many tricks can I win with my big cards?" Here is the basic idea of the game I invented:

Name: GRAVITY

Contents:
-> Deck of cards numbered 0-44 (0-11 are white, 12-22 are red, 23-33 are purple, 34-44 are blue).
-> 55 Chips (white, red, blue)

Object: To collect the most chips (points) by playing the highest card during tricks and collecting the same color cards in sets of 3.

Setup:
-> Depending on the number of players, higher cards may be removed from the game.
-> Shuffle and deal out the cards to all the players.

Play:
-> Lead player plays any card from their hand (except to start the game when it’s the Red 22).
-> Each player plays one card in clockwise order. This is a “trick.”
-> When possible, every player must play the same type of card (odd or even) as the lead player. This is like “following suit” in other card games such as euchre and bridge.
-> Player who played the highest card in the trick receives one chip corresponding to the color of the lowest card played (when lowest card is Purple, highest card player gets 1 Blue chip).
-> Player who played the lowest card collects the trick and keeps these cards for the next round. If the player does not already have 3 “set aside” cards for this round, the lowest card for this trick (the one that this player played) is put into their “set aside” pile for this round.
-> Player who played the highest card leads the next trick.

End of Round:
-> A round is over when all of the cards have been played.
Set Aside
-> Each player selects cards to add to their “set aside” pile from the tricks that they took (see table below). These cards are placed face down in front of the player until the end of the game. If the player took no tricks then they will be dealt cards to “set aside.”
* 3-of-a-kind of the same color of “set aside” cards will pay chips of that color at the end of the game
* Players may look at their own “set aside” card(s) at any time.
Keep
-> If the game is not over, players who have collected more cards than they can “keep” for the next round discard cards to get down to the “keep” limit (see table).
Shuffle & Deal
-> The discarded cards are all shuffled. Any player who was not able to “set aside” cards at the end of the round is dealt two or three “set aside” cards (see table). The remaining cards are dealt to players until everyone has the proper number of cards for the next round (see table).

Table for 3 or 4 players:
ROUND, TOTAL, SET ASIDE, KEEP
Round 1, 11, 3, 5
Round 2, 8, 3, 3
Round 3, 5, 3, 1
Round 4, 2, -, -

End of Game:
-> The game is over after four rounds. Players combine their “set aside” cards and trick(s) taken during the last round. For each 3-of-a-kind of same color cards, players are given a chip of that color (3 Purple cards provide 1 Red chip).
-> The player with the most chips (points) wins. Ties are broken by (1) most blue chips, (2) most red chips, (3) most cards.

White = 1 point
Red = 2 points
Blue = 3 points


I worked on this game for months and performed a fair amount of early playtesting and tweaking with friends. Then, I found BGG and eventually I found a game called David & Goliath.

I stopped working on my game... argghhhhh... and then I finally bought David and Goliath and played it. Just like my game, I found David and Goliath counter-intuitive. When people play trick-taking games, keeping track of the high and low card feels "funny."

When I played D&G with my game group last night, they really didn't like it. They told me they liked my game more (of course, I recognize that they are probably just being nice). I am the kind of player that loves just about any game and I didn't like this one. I do believe that my game works better because it gives the players more control and more options.

This whole experience was fascinating and somewhat frustrating. Unlucky I know, but frustrating still shake.


An attempt at theme:
I named all of the cards and included their mass on the cards. This way, I felt like there was some kind of a theme to the game. That is that the lower numbered cards have the greatest mass and is why the lowest numbered card collects all of the other cards. Somewhat lame but I think it works and it provides a bit of education too .

White (Stars) Mass
0 Andromeda Black Hole 30,000,000 M
1 Milky Way Black Hole 3,700,000 M
2 Pistol Star 150 M
3 Rigel - Star 17 M
4 Betelgeuse - Star 14 M
5 Mimosa - Star 14 M
6 Polaris - Star 6.0 M
7 Regulus - Star 3.5 M
8 Capella - Star 2.7 M
9 Vega - Star 2.6 M
10 Sirius - Star 2.0 M
11 Sun - Star 1.0 M (1.9891 x 1030 kg)
Red (Planets) Mass
12 Jupiter - Planet 1.9 x 1027 kg
13 Saturn - Planet 5.7 x 1026 kg
14 Neptune - Planet 1.0 x 1026 kg
15 Uranus - Planet 8.7 x 1025 kg
16 Earth - Planet 6.0 x 1024 kg
17 Venus - Planet 4.9 x 1024 kg
18 Mars - Planet 6.4 x 1023 kg
19 Mercury - Planet 3.3 x 1023 kg
20 Ganymede - Jupiter’s Moon 1.5 x 1023 kg
21 Titan - Saturn’s Moon 1.4 x 1023 kg
22 Io - Jupiter’s Moon 8.9 x 1022 kg
Purple (Moons) Mass
23 Earth’s Moon 7.4 x 1022 kg
24 Europa - Jupiter’s Moon 4.8 x 1022 kg
25 Eris - Dwarf Planet 1.6 x 1022 kg
26 Pluto - Dwarf Planet 1.3 x 1022 kg
27 Ceres - Dwarf Planet 8.7 x 1020 kg
28 Vesta - Asteroid 3.0 x 1020 kg
29 Juno - Asteroid 3.0 x 1019 kg
30 Pandora - Saturn’s Moon 2.2 x 1017 kg
31 Phobos - Mars’ Moon 1.1 x 1016 kg
32 Atlas - Saturn’s Moon 6.6 x 1015 kg
33 Deimos - Mars’ Moon 1.8 x 1015 kg
Blue (Other) Mass
34 Halley’s Comet - Comet 2.2 x 1014 kg
35 Space Shuttle - Spacecraft 2,029,203 kg
36 Cassini Orbiter - Spacecraft 2,150 kg
37 Luna 10 - Spacecraft 1,582 kg
38 Viking 1 - Spacecraft 881 kg
39 Voyager 1 - Spacecraft 733 kg
40 Voyager 2 - Spacecraft 722 kg
41 Mariner 9 - Spacecraft 559 kg
42 Ulysses Probe - Spacecraft 390 kg
43 Helios 1 Probe - Spacecraft 370 kg
44 Cosmic Dust - Other 0.1 kg
 
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Confusion Under Fire
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I have had a similar experience but my game was just for me and no one else knew anything about it, it was similar to starcraft but I do see how this theme maybe more common than your game appears to be, I quite often have ideas which pop up from time to time in games that I happen to play. I am currently working on a solitaire tank game, now someone out there will tell me there already is one
 
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castiglione
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whatambush wrote:
I am currently working on a solitaire tank game, now someone out there will tell me there already is one


There are two.

Open Fire and Patton's Best.

I believe the upcoming World Tank Campaigns (if it ever comes out) is also playable solitaire.

 
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Michael Akinde
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whatambush wrote:
I am currently working on a solitaire tank game, now someone out there will tell me there already is one


Well, you were basically asking for it... never played Patton's Best?
 
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Tommy Occhipinti
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Yeah. The same thing happened to me. I had this great idea for a game where there would be cards in a bunch of different colors, and you could only play them in increasing order. I thought it was really original. And then I played Lost Cities...

To be fair, their were differences. There were multiples of some cards (and playing a repeat destroyed the other card), all of the cards had special abilities that activated when you played them, you could play a sequence of cards if you had it, and you won not by having the most points but by getting into play six cards of the same color. Still, the games are very similar and it was a very odd feeling seeing that someone else had thought of my idea.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Yeah but now you can release your game and call it "Hey! My Cities! I Found Them!"
7 
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Seth Jaffee
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I had never played Lost Valley before last year, and when I finally did I realized that mechanically it's about 90% similar to my game Terra Prime. That was weird!
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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sedjtroll wrote:
I had never played Lost Valley before last year, and when I finally did I realized that mechanically it's about 90% similar to my game Terra Prime. That was weird!


ACK. And now i know that feeling as the both are similar to a design I had kicking around for about 3 months. I think mine will be different enough than Goldland, Lost Valley, and your Terra Prime... but it's still a bit bothersome. But then again, there are enough games that feel like another game or so that I'm not too worried.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Rappak wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:
I had never played Lost Valley before last year, and when I finally did I realized that mechanically it's about 90% similar to my game Terra Prime. That was weird!


ACK. And now i know that feeling as the both are similar to a design I had kicking around for about 3 months. I think mine will be different enough than Goldland, Lost Valley, and your Terra Prime... but it's still a bit bothersome. But then again, there are enough games that feel like another game or so that I'm not too worried.

Fortunately Terra Prime feels nothing like Lost Valley when you play it!
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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Yeah... but will mine feel like yours?
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Rappak wrote:
Yeah... but will mine feel like yours?

Having not played your game, I'm afraid I can't help you there
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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Not having played yours OR mine can't help me either... I swear I will actually do prototypes someday...
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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sedjtroll wrote:
Rappak wrote:
Yeah... but will mine feel like yours?

Having not played your game, I'm afraid I can't help you there


Oh, was he still talking about games? devil
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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well... I definately wasn't talking about yours so
 
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