Tim Fowers
United States
OGDEN
UT
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
Hey BGG
I design video games and always keeping designs under wraps gets tiring. I’ve been itching to try an open design. I wanted to tap the amazing brains at bgg for a public design collaboration. And hey - if we come up with something awesome, everyone gets a copy! (Because it uses standard playing cards )

Goal Create an interesting deckbuilding game for 1-2 players with a standard deck of playing cards. Try to minimize different card definitions or other bookkeeping. Print and Play sheet (instructions and reference) on one page would be ideal. Leveraging classic card game concepts will help teachability(Solitaire, Poker, etc) Having multiple ways to use a card is desirable.

Here is my first shot. I’d love others to change or add to this or come up with a new design toward this goal.

Poker Deckbuilder

Cards: Remove Jokers. 10 cards per player(5 card hands). 32 cards for purchase.

Setup: Deal 10 cards to each player. That is their deck. Each turn they draw 5 new cards. Reshuffle their discard when they run out of draw cards. The remaining 32 cards are dealt into 6 stacks(two stacks will have an extra card). The top card of each stack is flipped and placed below the stack. These cards are the cards available to buy. The next card on each stack is flipped and placed on top of the stack. This is to show what card will be available next.

Gameplay: Each turn a player buys cards buy discarding valid hands listed below. Each hand shows what can be taken from the available cards. The purchased card is also discarded. You can play multiple hands to buy, but each card can only be used in one buy. Unused cards are discarded as well. After a buy, move the card on the stack below the stack, and flip over the next card and place it on top.

You can also trash cards for different effects listed below. Trashed cards are put in a separate pile from the discard and removed from play. Each player has his own trash pile. You can trash as much as you want. If you can’t buy a card on a turn, you must trash a card.

Scoring: When all the piles are gone, players count the cards in his deck and trash pile. A players’ score is their deck size minus their trash pile size.


Hands

Pair - Buy a Pair of lower value(Aces High)
Three of a Kind - Buy a Pair of any value
Four of a Kind - Buy any three cards
Full House - Buy any three cards
Straight
3 Card - buy one card in the sequence (higher or lower)
4 Card - buy two cards in the sequence (not same numbers)
5 Card - buy three cards in the sequence (not same numbers)
Flush
3 Card - buy one card of that suit
4 Card - buy one card of that color
5 Card - buy any one card
5 Red - Swap all top cards, draw 5 cards
5 Black - Swap all top cards, draw 5 cards
Straight Flush - Buy cards for both straight and flush(see above)

Trash
A-5 Swap top cards on a stack - swap the two face up cards for a stack, making the next card available for purchase.
6-10 Draw 2 cards
J-K Change number or suit of another card - Temporarily change another card to help complete a valid hand.

Thoughts
So fun it’s pretty fun to play. It’s helps to be aware of what you have in your deck to inform buy and trash choices. It’s interesting using Trash abilities creatively to come up with a valid hand.

Where to go from here: It might be fun if every number had a different ability. In my design there isn’t a lot of the standard deckbuilding concepts of money, actions, buys. Also there often isn’t much choice in what you can buy based on your hand. Curious to see what others come up with!

Thanks for your time and stay awesome.
PS - I'll mock up some diagrams for my design later.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate K
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The scoring method is interesting. I'll have to give the game a try.

When I read the design challenge, I came up with some ideas, but yours might be better than anything I brainstormed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Fowers
United States
OGDEN
UT
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
After a few plays, couple things:

Subtracting the Trash from the Deck size is too large a penalty. Counting just the deck size is fine, and use trash as tiebreaker. Might be fun to have victory cards proper.

Or here are some larger changes:

It often feels like you're just breaking even with the constant trashing, and not getting a stronger or intentional with your deck. So I'm thinking of using trash powers as 'discard' powers that would be like a normal action in dominion, and adding a few more powers:

K: 3 Victory Points
Q: 2 Victory Points
J: 1 Victory Point
9-10: Draw 2 cards
7-8: Draw 1 card
6: Trash 1 card available to buy.
5: Opponent discards down to 3 cards.
4: Swap top cards on a stack
3: Trash up to 2 other cards from your hand.
2: Change another card to any Suit
A: Change another card to any Number

Should I limit buys or actions per turn? I should have starting decks?(kind of a pain for setup) Maybe each start with 2 Jacks, then draft 8 cards each to create decks of 10. Deal 2 hands of 8 and round robin draft, alternating choosing and swapping hands.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cattlemark
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
I say keep the Jokers in. Each player gets one in their discard piles at the beginning of the game. At anytime, you can play a Joker as a counter to any attempt to buy a card. The player countered by a Joker must discard the cards used in the buy attempt, and of course does not gain the buy.

Also for the scoring method, I'd keep it simple with court ranks being worth 1 VP. If you want to theme the game a bit and remove the reference to "VP", then just say the players are attempting to rebuild a shattered royal family, and must gather as many royals as they can to do so. Whoever has the most royals wins.

As I haven't tested your current design, these are just suggestions to maybe help get gears moving. I like the idea of a standard deck/builder.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Blair
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
All this talk about Poker and Rummy style hands yet I see Aces as low (aside from the Pair bit).. It just shows as low in the list. Boggles my Poker brain.

Game sounds fun.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sturv Tafvherd
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
(in reference to the original/top post)

I like the idea of using just a plain poker deck and assigning abilities to combinations.

Some suggestions:

-- as mentioned ... Aces high! all the time

-- use 8 stacks (I don't think using 6 stacks is crucial to the game design) -- makes for an even spread of cards ... and I think it allows for more variety in the "buying" of cards. That way, you're not necessarily stuck.

-- non-random or semi-random setup. I was actually thinking that each player can pick a suit and start with a deck of 2 thru J of that suit.

-- if you use the start-with-2-thru-J, then scoring can simply be K=3, Q=2, J=1.


I'm actually not a big fan of having a lot of Trash-a-Card abilities.

I would much rather have a short list of poker-combination abilities and a short list of single-card abilities. Taking your relatively longer lists, I would select:


Hands

Pair - Buy a Pair of lower value
Three of a Kind - Buy a Pair of any value

Full House - Buy any card
Four of a Kind - Buy any card
(yes, same ability for both 4-of-a-kind and Full House ... you're using up a lot of the player's hand, and both combos can be hard to achieve given the start-with-2-thru-J setup ... and these would be the only way to get the J,Q,K from the stacks)


Straight
3/4 Cards - buy one card in the sequence; except J,Q,K
5 Card - buy two cards in the sequence; except J,Q,K

(so if you have the cards 7/8/9/10/J, you can buy any card from the stack that matches (7,8,9,10), but you can't buy a J)


Flush
3/4 Card - buy one card of that suit; except J,Q,K
5 Card - buy one card of that color; except J,Q,K


Straight Flush - Buy cards for both straight and flush(see above)



Cards
A: Opponent discards down to 3 cards
K: 3 Victory Points (end of game)
Q: 2 Victory Points (end of game)
J: 1 Victory Point (end of game)

J-K: Draw 2 cards from your deck
6-10: Draw 1 cards from your deck
3-5: Swap top cards on a stack
2: Cancel A ( "moat" vs the (A)ttack )

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Hanna
Canada
flag msg tools
seems alot like dominion, but with a standard deck instead...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Blair
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Only problem with starting as a certain suit is that you automatically have a straight flush and then some. I like the idea though.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sturv Tafvherd
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Blair46 wrote:
Only problem with starting as a certain suit is that you automatically have a straight flush and then some. I like the idea though.


Yes, which is why the ability for straights and flushes is not as powerful as getting a pair, trio, or full house.

Your first two hands would automatically qualify as flushes ... but the only cards you can pick up are the Ace of your suit, if it's available, or a non-VP card of the other suit of your color. If you're lucky, your opponent did not pick that suit, and you'd have 11 possible cards.

As for straights, that is what you'd typically use to get cards of the opposite color.

Both of those abilities would be what you'd need to start stacking your deck with pairs and trios.

You'll need pairs in order to speed up the process of getting a trio and/or full house.

Trios and Full House are what you'll be using to get K's and Q's into your deck.

And the only four-of-a-kind that you would be able to build are As, Qs, and Ks (since your opponent has most of the cards of one suit). Still, if you get to use a four-of-a-kind, you can easily snag the last Jacks ... or use the K / Q / A for their individual special ability.


Admittedly, my suggestions turn the game into a rather narrow path to victory ... which may be good if the intent is to provide a gateway into Dominion-style games. But otherwise, I'd have to provide other paths to victory.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Fowers
United States
OGDEN
UT
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
I really like your additions - keeping the chart simple is key. I like how your rules trim the fat and work together.

Originally I had straights buy cards by extending the sequence in your hand: i.e. if you had 3,4,5 you could take 6 or 2. If you had 3,4,5,6 you could take A&2 or 2&6 or 6&7. It's probably easier to teach with your method, and with the limited range of straights it's harder to extend in both directions.

I'll give this some playtests and see how it goes. Might be cool to have multiple strategies in some advanced rules later on.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sturv Tafvherd
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey Tim, one more thing ...

It occurred to me (as I was playtesting) that you can make a solitaire version of this game.

The solo player gets 12 cards to start with ... if you're using my suggestions, that would be 10 cards of the same suit, and 2 random cards from the remainder. The remaining 40 cards then get dealt into the stacks.

Play as usual, except the A now allows you to trash-a-card from your hand.

The solo player wins when he gets all the (12) Face Cards (J,Q,K).


I'm not sure what kind of "challenge" or "time-limiting" factor to add in ... since the solitaire version is always solvable (I think ... I can't imagine a way in which the cards in the stacks would lock up the game).

The only "time-limiting" factor I can come up with right now (without adding any more components) is that every time you reshuffle your deck, the cards in the stacks are also reshuffled, and one of those cards is trashed (before the cards go back to the stacks). It would have a "Waters Rising" effect.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Loomis
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thomas_Hanna wrote:
seems alot like dominion, but with a standard deck instead...


This is correct, but I don't think it's a bad thing.

I'm not sure if it's in the scope of this current discussion, but if there was the intention to create a Dominion-esque feel with a standard deck of cards, it would be easy to get non-gamers to play this game. If you then see they like it, you could introduce them to Dominion, and then a myriad of other board games. For this reason, I would stay away from as many specialty rules as possible, but that's just me.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Fowers
United States
OGDEN
UT
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
Yeah there was a lot of single player intent behind the original design, and the earliest playtests were 1 player.

I was thinking about the +cards for JQK - it seems that if VP cards aren't any kind of dead weight, you don't get the elastic banding(slowing down the leader). Granted there are fewer VP cards in this game, so the impact is small either way.

As for rising waters, I that method seems to have too much of a random loss from a VP getting trashed. I'll see what else I can think of for that.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Fowers
United States
OGDEN
UT
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
Got a playtest in today, couple thoughts:

I had 2 pair a lot but they were low. It'd be nice to have a power for 2 pair.

Cards that are used for buying or a discard power shouldn't be discarded until the end of turn, otherwise you can end up with infinite turns.

The JQK power is strong. They would be worth it even without the VP. Also, the match can feel hopeless once the kings are bought up. So I'm thinking of going back to deck size or something else for scoring.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.