Friday, 25 July 2014

Game 03 - Card Game: Research and Idea Development

I've been playing 'Gods Will Be Watching' a fair amount since it was released yesterday and I love it. It was made with Game Maker: Studio too. I loved the original Ludum Dare entry as well. It's given me a few ideas about potential uses in a physical card game perhaps similar to One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
I'll be going back to my 'this is a cool mechanic, lets explore that' strategy for creating games next week. I've made little progress with this weeks game so far. That being said, I've had a pretty busy week and I am out of my comfort zone with card games so maybe I'll go back on my previous comment at some point =P

Today I made some quick generic(ish) cards today in Adobe Flash (took about an hour), printed and cut them out to see if they'd give me any ideas about interesting uses for them.

            1.                                  2.                                  3.                                   4.
The first two are inspired by trading and battling card games such as Yugioh, Magic:The Gathering or Pokemon. Generally each card represents a 'creature' which with offensive and/or defensive uses, and 'support' cards which are generally used to temporally change the rules of play, power up a 'creature' card,  or give the player some kind of miscellaneous bonus which, when used in conjunction with other cards, varies in usefulness.
A lot of the strategy of these games comes prior to the 'battling' part; trading and putting together a deck of cards or two.
The rest of the strategy comes from the combining of various cards and card positions whilst taking into account random variables such as what card you'll get next (although you can often push the odds in your favor) and adapting to your opponents strategy.

The second set of cards have more or less only writing on them. Similar to that of Cards against Humanity or Pictionary. The writing could be questions, answers, actions to perform by a player or players, information or perhaps something else.

I like the idea of the cards containing information available only to one or a few of the players. Tension in media always comes from someone (usually the viewer/player but sometimes one of the characters) having more information (or thinking they have more information) than somebody else. for example in the book and film, The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas:
When the Bruno and Shmuel enter the concentration camp dressed in 'stripped pyjamas' to look for Shmuels' dad, the viewer is fully aware of the danger to the two boys and Shmuel is partially aware whereas Bruno is completely oblivious. This economy of information creates one of the most suspenseful scenes in modern cinema and I assume it was even more powerful in the book.

These two cards could be used in a kind of pattern linking game. Perhaps the colors, shapes, quantity of colors and quantity of shapes are all linked to other things. The cards themselves remind me of a card game (I can't remember the name) I was introduced to at Games Brittania (a games festival held in the millennium gallery in Sheffield a few weeks back) where each card has a bunch of images on it, all cards share exactly one image in common with another card and every card is different. The aim of the game is to identify which image each card shares with the next card before your opponent.

4. The last two cards are similar to the third set of cards but the shapes are arranged in such a way that they vaguely represent objects or patterns. 
Eg. The top one looks a bit like a plug socket and the bottom one looks a bit like a lamp.
I kept the different colors just because I'm sure I could add some kind of extra depth to the game with it. 

An idea might be to have just a single shape or image on each card and to have the players arrange their cards (perhaps in teams) in order to try and produce recognized objects/patterns/shapes etc...

I feel like I've made progress today actually. I like the ideas about the information economy and about making shapes into other things. I'll work some more on these ideas tomorrow.

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