Author Topic: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design  (Read 4816 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« on: January 16, 2015, 06:24:14 PM »
Brainstorming something here...


Your civilization is represented by a handful of cards in front of you
--  towns
--  key people
--  trade routes / partners
Each of those is a horizontal card in front of you with a particular ability on it.  Different players may choose to mix and match them differently (lots of people, 1 town or lots of towns and trade, but no special people)

Each of these cards has modifiers that go with it, represented by other cards that are tucked under them vertically
--  towns get buildings:  market, library, walls, etc
--  people get other people (military leaders get units, thinkers get followers, etc)
--  trade routes (or partners, can't decide which yet) get goods or other modifiers (tolls, trade guilds, etc)

each of these modifier cards is 2-headed, meaning there's 2 effects on each card.  Maybe it's a military unit one way, and rotated 180° it's "wool" as a trade good.  Part of your choices each turn is how to play these cards, b/c you can only play each one in one direction, and once it's played, you can't un-play it to play the other effect.

So I've got a decent idea of what I want the town buildings to look like
I've got an idea of how to handle the military leaders / units
I've got an idea of how to handle the "thinkers" - scientists, philosophers, etc - and their followers / modifiers
I've got the basic idea for how to handle the trade routes / partners and the modifier cards for that

What I need
--  one more category of 'key people' to go with the leaders (political/military) and thinkers (scientific/philosophical) and I'd rather not fall back on "artists" if I can help it, so I need a better idea
--  refinement of the trade route idea; I'm thinking the card would be labeled "trade route to Bugtussle" and your mod cards add something like "wool" and "barges" and between them they boost your trade outcomes
--  ideas on how to run a "market" for the cards, especially the 'base' cards, that allow players to add a town, or personality, or trade route
--  ideas for how to acquire / distribute the 'modifier' cards
--  better names for the 2 decks of cards


aaaaaand...  GO
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"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers


Offline Swatter

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2015, 07:10:05 PM »
"one more category of 'key people' to go with the leaders (political/military) and thinkers (scientific/philosophical) and I'd rather not fall back on "artists" if I can help it, so I need a better idea"

Sounds like trade will be important, why not include a merchant type class?

Offline Capn Darwin

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2015, 07:23:11 PM »
To build on Swatters idea you could go Merchants (sell and boost trade) and Craftsmen (use resources to make goods).
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 07:54:09 PM »
not a bad idea...  if I go with some sort of Master Craftsman, what are modifiers that we put on it?  Look back to towns being mod'ed with buildings and leaders being mod'ed with some sort of military unit or follower.
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2015, 08:05:49 AM »
What is the timescale of the game? Is it a medieval country builder or a Civ-type Neolithic to Space-age game?
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2015, 08:10:35 AM »
I second the idea of a merchant class, or even a large business-entity class (think Hanseatic League, Standard Oil, East India Co.), whose rise or fall could strongly influence the economic health of the rest of the player's country or civ or whatnot.

Also, what about a horizontal economy card that can be modified by vertical cards such as treasury level, strong industrial output (well supplied armies but not many available recruits), high unemployment (lots of recruits available but not much to pay them with), etc?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 08:17:00 AM by Staggerwing »
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Offline Capn Darwin

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 08:56:27 AM »
The other questions needing an answer:

1. What is the time period or setting of this game?
2. How do you win this game?
3. How do you attack/weaken an opponent?
4. Are there a finite number of cities(countries?) to influence or acquire as you expand?
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2015, 06:29:40 PM »
What is the timescale of the game? Is it a medieval country builder or a Civ-type Neolithic to Space-age game?
More realm-builder; definitely not running across multiple eras, but may have some classical-to-medieval-to-renaissance overlap.

(think Hanseatic League, Standard Oil, East India Co.)
I like this idea and I might run with it a bit.  I'm going to play with some graphics ideas and post a little later tonight

1. What is the time period or setting of this game?
Medieval / Renaissance...  pre-colonial, but let's us get all manner of knights, archers, pikemen, etc, and include the occasional matchlock musketmen

2. How do you win this game?
Variable victory conditions - I want to have a victory deck that mixes a few different victory criteria that you deal out at the start of the game and keep secret, so only you know what you need to do to win, but would include some kind of conquest, big cities, hoarding gold, maybe something else.

3. How do you attack/weaken an opponent?
There will be some form of orders either as cards in the deck, or triggered actions of leaders that let you attack your neighbors - I want to start with the baseline 'combat' effect from 7 Wonders and expand a little from there w/ variable units and voluntary combat

4. Are there a finite number of cities(countries?) to influence or acquire as you expand?
There's a finite number of lands in the game just b/c of what's in the deck, but every add'l land you play just spreads your other cards thinner.


this is still very rough and I've not thought thru everything, so there's going to be questions whose answers are honestly "ummmm..."
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2015, 07:12:29 PM »
some noodling around with cards
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 09:16:11 AM »
Looks good but what's the difference between card #1 and card #4?
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Offline Capn Darwin

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2015, 10:16:41 AM »
#4 shows both types of cards in play.
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2015, 11:00:42 AM »
Ah yes. Silly me.
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 05:00:56 PM »
OK - I'm mocking up some more cards for towns & people, and will get to orgs/guilds next.

Some rough ideas for the next round of stuff to nail down

Combat -
I want something more robust than 7 Wonders, less chancy than Risk, and not so overwhelming that you can't win without having to kill everything (i.e., you should be able to win some games just playing defense)

Here's what I'm thinking
rock, paper, scissors style resolution with swords, shields, arrows or something
The "start" of that circle is determined by the commander of the attacking side, so if the commander is rated in "swords" then you determine
1. swords over arrows, then
2. remaining arrows over shields, then
3. remaining shields over swords
TBD - how many rounds of combat (just one round, or until death do us fight?)

Special abilities of commanders might include adding bonuses to certain types of weapons, or mitigating casualties.
Special abilities of some troop units might include variable attack strength (you never know what you get when you call out the militia) or "first strike" attacks that hit before anything else, like artillery or cavalry.
It may be that 'tactics' cards are part of the card mix, so you have to decide if you're going to burn that 'feint' card to get you out of an attack but at the cost of the monastery you were about to build next turn.
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2015, 02:17:10 PM »
Working on the cities / towns

A few ideas

Some of them allow you to play a (____) card for free - a military unit, a supporter for a non-mil leader, etc
Some of them give you a bonus to gold/trade you can collect each turn
Some give defensive bonuses against being attacked

So...  looking for ideas of what you could do with cities, other than 'build a free building' - b/c the 'build a free building' perk is going to belong to people/orgs, not cities

keep in mind, the full mechanics are NOT figured out, so if youv'e got an idea for something that'll need specific rules put in place, that's OK
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Help Me With a 4x Card-Based Game Design
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2015, 12:25:49 PM »
Conceptual updates

There's a handful of 'resources' for you to manage, but I'm trying to be a little different with them
Goods - general term for goods/services that can be moved around but not necessarily raw materials
Gold - cash. cold hard cash
Glory - general intangible VPs for being famous and admired.  How much every woman wants you and every man wants to be you



Here's the rough terminology I'm using for the settlements

Size   Bldg Capacity
Village       3
Outpost       3
Colony        3
Town          4
Settlement    4
City          5


Types of effects of cities (waaaay incomplete)

Descriptors      Bonus/Effect
Walled             Defense
Market             Gold
Harbor             Goods  <-- I'm fine w/ cahnging this name but it works for now
Garrison           Free Unit
Court              Die Roll Mods
                   Orgs
                   Leaders


So a "Walled Settlement" gives you a defensive bonus and has a 4 building max
A Garrison outpost has a 3-bldg capacity, and let's you play 1 free unit at some point in the game (you'd put a token on the card when played, and remove it when used)
A Court Town would have several tokens on it that you could exchange for die roll bonuses

There will be some differences between village / outpost / colony and town / settlement (though "settlement" may change)

I need descriptors for those places that would grant bonuses / freebies for the trade orgs and for the leaders
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers