Monday, May 19, 2014

Random thought on game mechanics

I've always got ideas floating around about game themes or mechanics. Sometimes they're thoughts that pass through my mind, recurring every once in a while. Other times I write them down and forget about them until I come across the note later.

I have such a note sitting next to my computer from a while ago... about a trick taking game where you have a track for each suit, and you increment the tracks as you take tricks including the next card in that suit. Perhaps you win the game by getting to the top of one/some/all of those tracks, or perhaps advancing on those tracks simply helps gain you benefits which you can use to win the game.

For example, if I take a trick that has a 2 of hearts in it, I increment my hearts track to 2. To increment it again (to space 3) I need to take a trick containing the 3 of hearts.

In the meantime, there would have to be reasons to play cards as well, like when you play one you get the action printed on it, with lower cards being early game actions and higher cards being late game actions.

And I don't think people would need to follow suit, but maybe the highest card of the led suit (or the suit matching an Event card which is drawn at the beginning of a round perhaps) is the one that takes the trick.

I like the sound of that. Each round a card could be revealed from an Event deck with an effect or special rule that applies to everyone. That card would indicate a suit, and the highest card played in that suit "wins the trick" - I suppose if nobody plays a card in that suit, the highest played card would win (probably the first copy of it, if there is more than one card of the same value).

Then players would play cards, either simultaneously or in turn order (probably turn order... I don't care much for simultaneous play, and I think you need to be able to see which cards you might be winning), resolve their effects, and the player who played the highest card in the indicated suit takes those cards, advancing any appropriate track.

Alternatively, rather than needing to take specific cards, maybe the winner of the trick advances any track matching one of the cards taken, or the specific track matching the suit indicated by the event.

And the tracks, as they advance, would be your tech tree. Each track would apply to a different aspect of the game, and as you advance on that track, you get batter at  that particular aspect.

Maybe one of these days I'll develop this further...

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