Mini-games based on card games
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Mini-games based on card games Reply with quote

I created a card game snippet a couple of months ago for the mudmagic contest, and have been itching to put it to use ever since. I'm not particularly keen on having it as a literal card game within the mud, as I don't feel it would really fit the theme - so (partially inspired by Molly's post on the Wild West facedowns thread) I've been trying to think up ideas for utilising such a system.

My objective is to create one or more minigames, each of which rely purely on player skill, with parallels to real-world games (so that a newbie who was a good poker player would actually be better at certain minigames than a long-term player of the mud).

One idea would be to have various athletic contests, each represented by different card games. For example a race which utilised a round of blackjack or poker for each lap, using some sort of temporary "stamina" attribute as the betting currency.

I'd rather have something more integrated into the mud though - athletic contests are something that people might do from time to time, but they're not really a part of the "game". I've thought about using it for social encounters, such as recruiting worshippers, but that's going to be one-on-one player-vs-mob, and I'd prefer something where multiple players can directly compete against each other.

Of course card games are likely to run into issues when there are a lot of players, so it might require variants whereby each player used their own deck of cards. I'm not sure what effect that would have on the overall gameplay of a typical card game though...

There's also the issue of rewards - for a normal card game, it's usually cash, and for a mud implementation you could use the mud currency. But when the card game represents some other sort of activity, the reward should reflect that, and it shouldn't be something that can be abused (eg if the prize is a magical item, players shouldn't just be able to spend all day holding races against their own alt).

Does anyone have any ideas for good mini-games which could be based upon card games, which could be integrated into the sort of fantasy game which doesn't have people sitting around playing cards?
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KaVir



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was chatting with another mud owner today about card games, and he asked what sort of thing I had in mind. So I decided to write up a basic idea of how such a game might operate:

The mud announces that a race will begin in 60 seconds. 60 seconds later the race begins, and every player who is standing in the running field becomes a participant - at this point it is too late for new players to join, although people may watch the race by tuning in to a 'race' channel.

As the race begins, each player automatically draws 5 cards. Each turn lasts 30 seconds, and represents a single lap, during which time each player may choose to discard some cards - up to 4 cards in the first lap, 3 cards in the second, 2 cards in the third and 1 card in the fourth. At the beginning of each turn, the player will automatically draw enough cards to bring them up to 5. At the end of the fourth lap/turn, the winner will be announced.

Your position in the race is represented by the poker value of your hand. Although you won't be able to see the poker value of other players, you will be able to see their rough position relative to you, and be able to guess from that. Thus a player might choose to take a wild gamble to try and catch up with another player, knowing that it's their only chance to win. As each turn arrives the end result will become increasingly predictable.

Obviously this has little to do with poker, but it does use the same scoring mechanism, which is complex enough to provide some tactical thinking as well as to make a draw very unlikely.
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Alister



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that sounds like a very cool game, and think it would be sufficiently complex and engaging to keep people entertained. I wonder, though: do you think it would be possible to present the info to players in a different way than actual poker hands? So, for instance, instead of saying someone has a pair of 8's or a straight to the 9, you could say they have speed boost +8 or expert corner handling +9? It might be difficult to translate any possible poker hand into some form like this without losing any information about a hand, but if there's a way to do it, I think it would be worth it...
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alister wrote:
do you think it would be possible to present the info to players in a different way than actual poker hands? So, for instance, instead of saying someone has a pair of 8's or a straight to the 9, you could say they have speed boost +8 or expert corner handling +9?


Yeah, could do - perhaps rename the suits to something like Speed, Pace, Vigor and Endurance, then display the information in a table rather than as a hand:
Code:
            A23456789TJQKA
Speed     : --------------
Pace      : -----X-X------
Vigor     : ----X---------
Endurance : ----X----X----
Total     : 00002101010000

Probably worth replacing the 'Ace', 'King' etc with something as well. You could even remove them, and just have numbers 1-10, but I'm not sure how well the game would work out with such a reduced deck.
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Vopisk



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
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Location: Golden Valley, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:

Yeah, could do - perhaps rename the suits to something like Speed, Pace, Vigor and Endurance, then display the information in a table rather than as a hand:
Code:
            A23456789TJQKA
Speed     : --------------
Pace      : -----X-X------
Vigor     : ----X---------
Endurance : ----X----X----
Total     : 00002101010000

Probably worth replacing the 'Ace', 'King' etc with something as well. You could even remove them, and just have numbers 1-10, but I'm not sure how well the game would work out with such a reduced deck.


I think it would be worthwhile and all together possible to rid yourself of "face cards" and stick to a 1-10 numerical system. However, the scoring system of poker would absolutely make no sense in this sort of system.

For example, let's say I have a straight flush of speed. Sure, I can beat anyone in the short run, but when it comes to the third or fourth "lap" I should be fading like a shooting star, bright and fast. So, perhaps weighted values would be the best, and you would instead be shooting for the best all-around hand, consisting of cards from all of the "suits". Or perhaps you are just going for speed, while someone else is going for a stamina race, perhaps this could be the difference between a sprint and a marathon?

Different tactics (poker faces if you will, bluffs even) would be really neat and may actually be an inevitability of this proposed system. Someone with a high-ranking or multiple speed cards might get a huge jump early in the race, but if you've got decent speed and a lot of stamina, perhaps you can catch him in the end, unless he draws that lucky "vigor" card and pulls on the power of a second wind. Lots of fun possibilities to keep players involved and always guessing, which leads to a high level of replayability as there would be no sure way to beat the system every time.

Could even be used as a quest/mini-game tool, rather than strictly PvP. Perhaps the local show-off challenges you to a foot race as a show of your mettle or some other such nonsense?

Anyway, now that you explained it a bit further, I would definitely say that it holds a lot of potential.

My two cents, something to chew on,

Vopisk

Edit:

A proposed system for presenting the information to players?

Code:

Race Status:
               |---------1k---------2k---------3k---------#
The "Champ"    |                       @                  #
               |------------------------------------------#
Player "X"     |                   @                      #
               |---------1k---------2k---------3k---------#

Your Hand:

            123456789T
Speed     : ----------
Pace      : -----X-X--
Vigor     : ----X-----
Endurance : ----X----X
Total     : 0000210101


Edit 2:

Perhaps also you could use some different symbols to represent the different contestants location to give hints as to their hand?

I.E:

--> - Player with a heavy-speed oriented hand (the Hare)
@ - Player with a heavy-stamina oriented hand (the Tortoise)
+ - Player with a balanced hand

Etc... etc... ad naseum
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think it would be worthwhile and all together possible to rid yourself of "face cards" and stick to a 1-10 numerical system.


I'd rather not, but I think you're probably right - I can't think of any appropriate names for the face cards. Besides, removing them would help make it feel less like a card game.

Quote:
However, the scoring system of poker would absolutely make no sense in this sort of system.


It depends how abstract you want to be. The advantage of the poker scoring system isn't its realism, but rather the skillset it uses and the tactical options it provides.

Quote:
For example, let's say I have a straight flush of speed. Sure, I can beat anyone in the short run, but when it comes to the third or fourth "lap" I should be fading like a shooting star, bright and fast.


Here's another variant then, which could help account for that, and which includes some of your other suggestions:

The race consists of four laps. Each player has their own deck, containing 40 cards (0-9 of Speed, Pace, Vigor and Endurance, with 0 counting as both '0' and '10', rather like an Ace).

At the beginning of each lap, each player draws 5 cards from their deck. They may then discard up to 4 cards, and can choose to place each discarded card into either their discard pile, or at the bottom of their draw deck. After 30 seconds the lap is complete, their remaining hand is discarded into their discard pile, and their draw deck is reshuffled.

Your score for each lap would be based on your hand (+1 for a high card, +2 for a pair, +3 for two pairs, +4 for three of a kind, +5 for a straight, +6 for a flush, +7 for a full house, +8 for four of a kind, +9 for a straight flush and +10 for a royal flush). The mud would also maintain your position for each lap, which would be based on the true poker score of your hand (thus a '9 high card' would put you in a better position than an '8' high card, even though both would have a +1 score). In the case of a tie between two players at the end of the race, you should add up all of their positions - the one with the best overall position out of all of the racers is the winner. In the case of a draw, check again with just the last hand. If that's still a draw, the race is a tie.

In addition, different hands could provide special adjustments. For example a flush of Speed might give you an additional +3 to your score for that lap, but give a -2 penalty for each of the remaining laps - an excellent choice on your last lap, a worthwhile bonus on the second-to-last lap, but a poor choice for your first or second lap. This would encourage tactics such as deliberately discarding Speed cards to the bottom of your draw deck (ready for the reshuffle at the end of the lap) in the hope of getting a Speed flush in the last lap.

You could then add other bonuses to other flushes - perhaps a flush of Endurance could retroactively negate the penalties of a Speed flush and render you immune to any further Speed penalties, a flush of Pace might allow you to have a hand of six cards for the next lap, and a flush of Vigor could allow you to discard and redraw an additional card after your normal discard/draw phase on the next lap.

The same logic could even be applied to other types of hand - a straight flush might give better bonuses than a normal flush, while 4/3/2 of a kind could do something else entirely, and so on.

As far as the presentation of information is concerned, I'm not sure if I'd bother with a graphical representation of the race - the underlying card game system doesn't really lend itself so well to that sort of display IMO. The table I described in my previous post would also run into issues for blind players, as well as people who don't use fixed sized fonts, so I think there should also be another option.
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shasarak



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Kavir has already said, these "racing" games bear little resemblance to actual poker - but therein, I think, are some problems. There's not enough skill involved in these games (as described thus far) - the only decision the player has to take is which cards to discard, and the victor will be determined principally by luck. Okay, you take a calculated risk - do I go for the flush, or just for the pair? - but this is rather pale compared with real poker.

Real poker is very much a game of skill. You have to be good at computing odds, but it isn't just a question of trying to improve your own hand: you also have to make deductions about what kind of hand other players have. If their hand is better than yours, that doesn't necessarily matter, so long as you fold soon enough: in the long run, you'll end up with a better hand sometime, and, if you play it well enough (e.g. the other player bets more before folding or calls you) then you will make more money in that round than you lost when your cards were poor, and, overall, you come out the winner.

There's also, of course, a strong element of psychology - reading body language to try and determine if another player is bluffing, and keeping a firm hold on your own non-verbal signals (or, if you're a real hustler, deliberately sending out misleading ones). And, of course, you need a good memory.

Poker, as such, would be impossible to implement properly online without a high-resolution webcam, but if you're going to try and introduce an interesting card-based or card-inspired game, I still think you need to make it more of a game of skill, and less of a game of chance. At the very least your choice of cards to discard should be influenced by the cards your opponents are likely to be holding: if an opponent is hoarding "speed" cards then maybe you should be collecting "endurance" cards instead, etc.
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Vopisk



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
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Location: Golden Valley, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, what your opponent has, in the proposed system wouldn't be such a problem, since each player is drawing from their own deck of cards, much like Magic: The Gathering or other collectable trading card games. I think that KaVir's clarified explanation of how scoring could work is an excellent proposal and I must admit I just threw the graphicized display out there cause it occurred in my head, though the information could easily be rendered in text-mode.

I was thinking of this last night a bit more before I went to bed, and something like a straight flush of speed, could have a degrading bonus depending upon when you draw it, but a high endurance card could offset the degradation as mentioned above.

I still think there's a lot of potential here, and I might just make up my own little mini-game for myself, cause it seems like it would be fun to play to pass the time, and I generally have a lot of time.

My two cents, something to chew on,

Vopisk
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KaVir



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luck plays a role, certainly, but I would argue that there is also a fair amount of skill involved. Sure, you don't have to guess your opponent's hand - but you can certainly guess what cards are left in your own draw deck, and with careful discarding should be able to greatly improve your odds of winning (particularly in the later turns, as the draw deck becomes increasingly smaller). Because the skill relies heavily on memory it's also going to make it very difficult to bot, and because there are 4 turns per race it should help level out the occasional lucky win.

Another addition to my previous example could be to change the turns so that instead of discarding up to 4 cards and then drawing back up to a full hand, you could draw after each discard, and do that up to 4 times per lap (i.e. discard and draw, discard and draw, etc).
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Virago



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should one be looking for a way to use this minigame setup to affect character development, I think it'd be a pretty interesting (or at least amusing) method of simulating, say, spell research. Especially if there's ways for one to skew the deck in one direction or another. You might have to go questing with your buddies to add "face card" objects to your potential hand, for instance; sure, having more cards in the deck can make getting simpler hands a bit tougher to get, but that's the price one pays for trying to translate a huge stone tablet covered with cuneiform. The better your hand, the more valuable your time in the library/lab/whatever was. Perhaps the goal is to accumulate points towards learning a new skill, with each particular hand contributing a set amount? Clever folks could set things up so one is required to get specific hands to properly master a technique. You probably don't want everyone wandering around with the Heaven-Shaking Tsunami Bomb spell just because they spent hours getting two pair after two pair.

The obvious "wizard's duel" could also be enacted with this, except the players would bet mana for spells instead of money. You'd need a certain amount of magical upkeep every hand to stay in the game. You could also, however, spend accumulated mana on spells to blow your opponents out of the water (or at least make 'em waste resources on damage control). Remove the extra option for spellcasting and replace mana with stamina and you have an unusual--but certainly memorable!--fencing system or what have you.

Was it the Deadlands tabletop game that used poker cards in place of (or at least in addition to) dice? Assembling a hand of cards could be used for a more freeform MUD's rules arbitration; it might appeal to a style of player who's bored with more straightforward "rolling" mechanisms but don't want to flip a coin for a pass/fail result. Not to mention the fact that while luck plays a part, this lets skill nudge the numbers around a bit, so there's more actual gaming in the gameplay.
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Vopisk



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that this idea presents a wealth of possibilities. Basically any place where before a matter of dice rolling would decide the outcome could be swapped out with this. Of course, for the tedium, we don't want to have to play a four-round game of cards every time, so there's absolutely no way we're going to get rid of the dice-rolling entirely. But as a fun mini-game, I think this idea presents a clever alternative, something not really done very often (although I've seen MUDs use "the Peg Game", "Minesweeper" and other classic, addicting forms of simple gameplay to simulate problem solving and other sorts of tasks in game and make them more than spam generators).

More to the point, with the idea of a "foot race" minigame. I was doing a work-up with pen and paper earlier and stumbled upon the problem of not knowing exactly what pertenant stats (at least four) would apply. In KaVir's earlier examples, we use two pairs of stats that basically represent the same thing. In the above mentioned examples, we use speed, pace, vigor and endurance.

Since speed and pace and vigor and endurance are closely related terms, we need methods for allowing these to counteract one another and ultimately to balance the game. My idea is that speed should be thought of more as your sprinting ability, while pace is your overall gait throughout the race. What this will really boil down to is that one will be better in certain laps and the other, in the remaining laps. So perhaps speed will get you out of the blocks hot and fast, while vigor will allow you to keep on trucking into the third and fourth laps.

Now, seeing as it's entirely possible to NOT draw cards from up to three of the suits, we would also need to have ground-floor levels for these, perhaps defaulting to 1, with the cards that we have in those suits adding bonuses to their respective suit. Overall, speed and pace will decide the race, though it's questionable how far apart these two ideas are and whether or not they can actually be differentiated in a meaningful way. However, for the sake of the here and now, and because after hours of racking my brain, I can't think of a better, meaningful stat to use in a footrace, we'll use them both.

Now, perhaps, pace is something that persists throughout the entire race, although degrading slowly as the laps wear on, bringing in our endurace cards/stat. If, let's say, we have a pair of 10's, one in pace and one in endurance, the character would be able to keep a fast pace for the entirety of the race.

Speed on the other hand, would be something of a short burst, perhaps only being applied to shorter stretches of the race (say perhaps, the first and fourth laps). However, after the first lap, speed will obviously begin to wear out as no one can maintain a sprint for a long period of time, which is where our vigor stat comes in. Vigor would perhaps (although not negating entirely) reduce the amount of drain that speed makes, therefore increasing overall pace or allowing the runner to make short bursts during every lap.

To get more into the juicy details, we could say that vigor allows a speed burst of card rank (r) length per lap, so the higher our accumulated vigor score, the longer distance our overall sprint (except in the cases of first and fourth laps where we'll be going for broke). This gives the vigor stat/suit in and of itself, value and makes it something that may just make or break a race if the player plays their cards right.

Endurance, likewise, is a meaningless stat/suit in and of itself. However, perhaps a score of 1-5 in endurance will allow us to keep up pace (to varying degrees) while scores of 6-10 could even give small boosts to overall pace. Of course, that is on the presumption of only one card of the endurance suit being in the hand at any given time, perhaps it would be worthwhile to disregard multiple cards of the same suit within a hand unless they accumulate to a flush?

Pace and Speed would be, as described above, the true stand-alone values, and while it should be entirely possible to win the race with a "royal flush" (5-10 w/ matching suit) with either of these, a lower flush or any combination could be equally effective.

Anyway, I'll finish the novel now. I was just brainstorming earlier and used this as a kind of free-association. Hope it was in some way helpful.

Vopisk
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Vopisk



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
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Location: Golden Valley, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In reply to Virago:

I forgot to mention you're suggestion of "Wizard Duels" and "Fencing" as other possible applications for this system. While both could certainly be true, seeing as we can add as many "suits" as we want as to pertain to our specific application, I think that things like this would be rather dull using this system, it's much more fun to exchange lunges and fireballs than to discard and draw cards. Smile

However, your suggestion for spell/skill research holds a lot of promise in a system like this, and something that just occurred to me, the fields of telepathy and computer hacking (in the case of cyber-punk applications) would also make great applications for a system such as this. Perhaps as one studies pyschology/telepathy or computer programming/net hacking, they gain certain "cards" to add to their total deck, from which they draw when attempting to make an attack against another person/NPC's brain or a computer network system.

The overall success of system such as this, and including spell/skill research could of course, be that depending upon your overall skill/score the outcome of the "battle" could be varying levels of success. For example, while researching "Fizban's Super Fireball" you perform absolutely horribly in your research, and end up only learning "Fourth of July Firecracker" instead. Or you're given various levels of access to a person's mind or computer as a result.

Definite promise in a system such as this, I get all excited just thinking about it, and I'm pretty sure I'm rambling, but I think it's a breath of fresh air in a society/culture that has been stagnant for far too long.

Vopisk
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KaVir



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Now, seeing as it's entirely possible to NOT draw cards from up to three of the suits, we would also need to have ground-floor levels for these, perhaps defaulting to 1, with the cards that we have in those suits adding bonuses to their respective suit.


It really depends on what you're trying to do, and how abstract the cards are intended to be. While you could certainly try and make a system that required all four suits, I personally think it would also be fine to just treat the cards as a general indication of the tactics you used - a royal flush of Endurance wouldn't mean you didn't move fast or pace yourself, for example, but rather that you managed to keep ahead of the other runners through sheer determination and physical endurance, continuing to maintain your speed while they slowed down through exhaustion.

I would also list the results of each lap in this sort of way, describing how Boffo shot into the lead with his amazing speed, but eventually fell back behind Bubba's tireless gait, while Biffo maintained a strong and steady pace in third position, etc.


Quote:
I forgot to mention you're suggestion of "Wizard Duels" and "Fencing" as other possible applications for this system. While both could certainly be true, seeing as we can add as many "suits" as we want as to pertain to our specific application, I think that things like this would be rather dull using this system, it's much more fun to exchange lunges and fireballs than to discard and draw cards.


It really depends on the implementation - a Magic the Gathering style card game could provide the basis for a very flexible and tactical magic system, for example.

The problem I'd have with the research system, though, is that it tends to be single-player - and (at least to start with) I'd rather focus on multi-player games.

I have similar concerns with the one-on-one duels, as well as with things like social combat (which was one of my original thoughts for such a system). While such games could certainly be designed based around a card game, I'm currently more interested in games and contests which usually involve many players (such as races).

Another possibly usage might be for a large-scale strategy game based around influence. Assuming the players represent major powers in the world, you could categorise the suits based on types of influence - eg Economy, Military, Religion and Subterfuge. You could give each player their own deck, and allow them to perform a single action each RL day, using sequences of cards from their hand.

If you're not interested in having some sort of RTS game based around these influences, you could instead use them for minor things - for example players could use an Economy High Card to earn the card's rank*10 in gold, or an Economy Flush to earn the total ranks*100. Another player might use Military cards to obtain weapons and armour, Religion to gain access to healing potions, or Subterfuge to get training in assassination skills.

Certain special activities might require card combos - for example hiring an assassin to kill another player might require a Economy/Subterfuge Pair, while joining the Paladin Guild could require a Military/Religion pair.

After using the cards, they would be discarded and new cards drawn. Alternatively, perhaps each player draws one card each day (up to a maximum of 5) and is forced to discard one afterwards if it brings his hand above 5.

You might also choose to add additional suits - Arcane, perhaps, for wizardry spells and training, or the construction of magical items or constructs. Or Politics, if you want players to be able to control the laws of the land or run for political positions. With a clan-based system you might also allow people to combine their hands (or even exchange cards) in a very limited fashion, although this would require careful consideration for balance purposes.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
Another possibly usage might be for a large-scale strategy game based around influence. Assuming the players represent major powers in the world, you could categorise the suits based on types of influence - eg Economy, Military, Religion and Subterfuge. You could give each player their own deck, and allow them to perform a single action each RL day, using sequences of cards from their hand.


I've been trying to think of something more along these lines, and am currently toying with the following:


Each player has their own deck of cards.

Each player has 3 'hands' of cards: Resources, Offense and Defence.

At the beginning of the game, each player draws 5 cards into their Resources hand.

Each turn lasts 30 seconds. During this time, each player may perform three actions. The different actions are as follows:

1) Offense: Move one card from your Resources hand to your Offense hand. Draw a new card for your Resources hand.

2) Defence: Move one card from your Resources hand to your Defence hand. Draw a new card for your Resources hand.

3) Discard: Discard one card from any one of your hands. If the card comes from Resources, draw a new card.

4) Attack: Specify another player to attack. You may only have one target each turn, and you must have 5 cards in your Offense hand (this means the earliest you can attack is the second turn).

At the end of each turn, all attacks take place simultaneously, with the following results:

Someone attacked you and won: Lose 1 randomly selected card from your Defence hand for each point they beat you by. In this would reduce your Defence hand below 0, you have been defeated and drop out of the game.

Your were attacked by one or more people, lost no battles, but drew at least one: Lose 1 randomly selected card from your Defence hand.

You attacked someone and reduced their Defence hand below 0: Gain a victory point.

You attacked someone and drew: Lose 1 randomly selected card from your Offense hand.

You attacked someone and lost: Lose 2 randomly selected cards from your Offense hand.

Each time you wipe someone out, you gain a victory point. If you would normally draw in a combat situation, but have more victory points than your opponent, you instead count as having won by 1 point.


One major concern I have with this approach is that it's very difficult for one player to kill another, assuming both have comparible Offense and Defence. Two-on-one is a different matter, however, so in combination with some sort of faction system it could result in some interesting tactics (on the other hand, a multiplayer could completely mess the game up). One solution might be to say that a player cannot be attacked by more than two opponents in any one turn, although this does start to detract from the realism somewhat.

Any thoughts on this? I think this would be quite playable, although it doesn't have much to do with poker any more (except for the scoring system). Tactics have moved away from guessing other people's cards towards guessing your own deck. I can also see plenty of options for expanding the system, in particular for providing alternative races with different special edges (different number of actions per turn, special race-specific actions, a different number of cards in one or more of the three hands, etc).
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martin



Joined: 17 Sep 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One Idea about poker/racetrack:
Make it a Texas Hold'em - the pool cards allow to make an educated gues as to what another player might have, so you make the outcome more skill-dependant./less relying on luck. Of course, you'd need a chance to discard cards - dunno quite how.

One idea for another card game as an inspiration - Schafkopf (I think it's similiar to skat, but I've never played that) - also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick-taking_game
For those not familiar: players take turns at adding cards to a common pile, the highest card (after one round) wins the pile, winning is decided on how m any points worth of cards a player or side (The default way is to play 2 vs. 2) has won. Players have to add to the pile in suit, and there are trumps that can win over non-trumps with a higher value - but you can only play them if you don't have any cards of the suit beeing played. The player who won the last round starts the next, thus defining in which suit it will be played.
The deck is distributed evenly among the players (8 cards each), and he game has 8 rounds - until every hand is empty.

This would be well-suited for a duel situation. The points a player gains by winning one round could translate into damage, the abiity to pick the next suit to be played is initiative.

In a MUD-Implemenation, the cards a player has availible could depend on his previo actions, skills, and so on. The total number he has "in hand" can represent stamina or mana. In real Schafkopf, it is actually an Advantage to have only few suits. There are different variants of playing, most which can be declared in-game, mot of them changing which cards/suits are trumps.

Of course, Schafkopf offers tacctical possibities that would be completely unrealistical in a real fight: Play Ace of spades (actually, Schafkopf uses Bavarian suits, but for sake of argument ...) forcing your opponent to play his last spades, which you pocket (dealing him damage). Next, you play your king of spades, but since your oponent is free of spades, he can beat your king with a simple 7 of heart (in vanilla schafkopf, heart is trump by default) - now translate that into combat.

Last, how about some solitaire variant?
Solitaire could simulate lockpicking - while sifting through the deck, the player slowly builds a mental picture of the task at hand. Or any other solo-activity there's so many vriants about.
difficulty can be pretty fine-tuned by size of deck, and/or how many extra-stacks the player may build.
One solitair variant is about forming poker hands on a 5*5 grid, if you use poker in another context, this could simulate training: each time a character earns a training session, he can make an attempt with his personal deck at that time - depending on how well he does, his ability is increased - he has more cards on hand, from now on. The player would also train his knowledge of the relevant hands.
In a research context, a research goal would correspond to a certain goal in points to be achieved. The bigger & better the deck of the character, the better his chance of forming good hands and reaching this goal.

For my feeling,, card based mini-games could be well suited for a semi-player-skill based magic system, or for an abstract political system, a lot of involoved phyical tasks "feel" very different from the logic of a card game, so cad games would crash with the susppension of disbelieve some players seek.
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