Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New game ideas - Press Your Luck, Bluffing, 9-Ball, and Tabloid Journalism

I have been thinking about various different game ideas recently. Here are some of the 'quick little games' I've dreamed up or discussed with someone else recently. They are nothing groundbreaking, and are really just variants on Liar's Dice (Bluffing) and Diamant (Press Your Luck)

Press Your Luck game
The first game I came up with was going to be a cross between Rock-Paper-Scissors and Can't Stop - but after a while I realized the RPS portion was bogus so I dropped it. After some revision, here's what I've got:

There are 3 decks of cards, 1 deck with single symbols, one with 2 symbols, and one with 3 symbols. These symbols are each one of 5 different types. Then there are 3 6-sided dice, with one of the 5 symbols on each side, and a Skull on the 6th.

On your turn, you pick one of the decks, and a matching number of dice (1 die per symbol on the card). You roll the dice, and if you get the right symbol, then you add 1 gold piece to the pot and put the die on the matching symbol. Then you either cash in and end your turn, taking whatever's in the pot, or you press your luck by rolling again. Anytime you complete a card (match all the symbols), then you add an additional 1 gold piece to the pot per symbol on the card. If at any time you roll a Skull, then your turn ends immediately, and all the gold is removed from the pot.

On second thought, it would be better to have something along the lines of rolling a skull means setting aside the die, rolling a second skull means setting it aside as well and losing some of what's in the pot, and rolling the third skull actually ends your turn.

Anyway, the object is to get a certain amount of gold first.

Liar's Dice variant
The other game I thought of for this was a variant of Liar's Dice, which has got to be the best bluffing game of all time. In this game you have a deck of cards numbered 1-6 or whatever, and in addition to the number, each card would also have one or 2 coins on it. Give each player 5 coins per player in the game (so 25 for a 5 player game), then deal 5 cards to each player. On your turn you first play one card face up into the pot in the center of the table, then you make a claim such as "Four 3's", meaning you assert that there are at least 4 cards in people's hands with the number 3 on them. Then the next player can either accept that assertion and start their turn, or challenge the assertion. When an assertion is challenged, everyone reveals their hand and between the challenger and the challengee, whoever was wrong pays the player who was right a number of coins equal to the amount of the pot (the coins on the cards in the center of the table).

The object is to get all of the coins, or to collect a certain number of coins.

9-ball card game
My online friend over at BGDF had an idea for a card game about 9-ball. I was bouncing some ideas back and forth with him, and came up with a system I think will work. I don't think I should blog about this just yet, as he's entering his idea in the Game Design Showdown on BGDF.com. I'll have to wait until after Thursday to divulge more.

4/5/07 Update: It's been a while since this post went up. That showdown thing is long over. I haven't done anything with this 9-ball game, but I did have some basic rules and card design laid out. Basically you have an object ball like in 9-ball, and you play a card that either hits it directly into a pocket, hit's it into another ball and then you play another card to 'sink' that ball, or you can't make a play - which results in a table scratch and your opponent gets to go. So you play through a game of 9-ball, just like you would in a pool hall. But instead of hitting a ball with a stick, you play the appropriate cards. I believe your cards would be face up, so you could get an idea what your opponent could do, and try to set them up to fail.

Investigative vs Tabloid Journalism
While riding the Underground on my recent trip to London, I came up with an idea for a game in which players publish magazines or newspapers, and they can strive to be either reputable, or they can embellish their stories. In general, embellishing the stories makes them worth less points when you publish them, but it makes them more likely to win bonuses. At the end of the game there's a bonus for both the least total embellishment (most reputable), and the most (biggest rag on the rack). I put some thought into it and I think I've got the whole system worked out, for a first draft at least. Now to make some cards and try it out!