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Blog Post 3: paper prototype

Game name: The Small Plot

5 by 5 board

Deck of 52

2 players

Many token both blue and red

Players choose turn order (youngest goes first if an agreement can not be reached)

Players take turns drawing a “secret card”

Each player puts their “secret card” in their “secret card zone”

(reminder: after a round players switch who goes first and second)

Begin round:

  1. Both Players draw 5
  2. Players alternate air dropping their card to an empty slot of the grid

(A player may give a hint to what suit the card they just played is) 

  1. They then alternate playing cards adjacent (horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally) to a card already on board

(A player may give a hint to what suit the card they just played is) 

  1. Repeat step 3 until hand is empty

(if they were unable to then both players lose)

  1. Players alternate Air dropping a token on top of a card 

(if they fail to find a space to do so they lose the game)

  1. If there are an equal number of tokens on the board then the player can choose to either end the round or proceed to step 7
  2. They then alternate placing tokens adjacent to tokens of their own color (horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally) already on a board and on top of a card 

(unless there are no legal moves)

  1. Go to step 6

Players then collect the all cards with their token on them face down these cards are then put in their facedown score pile

Players switch who goes first and second and start the round again until there are no more cards remaining in the deck

If the players have not LOST and the deck is empty proceed to scoring

Both players reveal their “secret card”

Determine if a player switches:

Club and club: whoever has the higher club switches to spade

Club and diamond: whoever has the higher card value switches (club to spade or diamond to 

heart) if they are equal value then diamond switches to heart

Club and heart: good

Club and spade:good

Diamond and Diamond: whoever has the higher diamond switches to hearts

Diamond and heart: good

Diamond and spade: good

Heart and heart: whoever has the higher heart switches to diamond

Heart and spade: whoever has the higher card value switches (heart to diamond or spade to 

club) if they are equal value then heart switches to diamond

Count up score

If you are:

Club: +1 for each Club and -1 for each diamond

Diamond: +1 for each diamond and -1 for each club

Heart: heart +1 for each and -1 for each spade

Spade: spade +1 for each and -1 for each heart

If score is 0 or less that player loses

1 or greater that player wins

If both players win they may perform a victory dance (optional)


rules at start of day

rules after the first day:

5 by 5

Deck of 52

2 players

Many token both blue and red

Players choose turn order (youngest goes first if an agreement can not be reached)

Players choose color (red or black)

Begin round:

1)Both Players draw 5

2)Players alternate air dropping their card to an empty slot of the grid

(A player may give a hint to what suit the card they just played is) 

3)They then alternate playing cards adjacent (horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally) to a card already on board

(A player may give a hint to what suit the card they just played is) 

4)Repeat step 3 until hand is empty

5)Players alternate Air dropping a token on top of a card (not a choice)

6)They then alternate placing tokens adjacent to tokens of their own color (horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally) already on a board and on top of a card 

(unless there are no legal moves)

7)A player may repeat step 6 or end their turn (at which the other player can choose to continue)

Players then flip over all cards with tokens on them and collect any of them that are of their color and had their token on them and discarding any that had their token but were of the opponent’s color

Players switch who goes first and second and start the round again until there are 2 cards remaining in the deck

Go through another round, but each player draws one card instead of 5

Count up score

+1 point for each card of your color with a heart symbol (i.e. hearts for red and spades for black)

-1 point for the others (i.e. diamonds for red and clubs for black)

If your score is strictly greater than 0 you win otherwise you lose


rules that were tried during family and friends play time:

5by5 → 4 by 4

At the start instead of picking a color each player draws one card without showing the other player that card is now their suit (worth + 1) with the other suit of the same color being worth -2

And cards of the other color being worth 0 (you no longer put cards in the discard)

In a round:

If there is ever not enough room to play a card then both players lose

If a player cannot play another token and the other player has more tokens than them on the board both players lose

If the other player has more tokens than you on the board you do not have the option to stop playing tokens

When playing a token you can ask for the other player to either keep playing or to stop

Collect instead of revealing

At the end reveal your secret suit and count your score if you got 0 or less you lose 1 or more and you win


Conclusion:

this game utilizes Hidden Victory Points, Communication Limits, and Semi-Cooperative Game game mechanics to enforce the desired game experience.

The game was designed as a compromise between my desire to build a board out cards and tokens and my team members desire for a betrayal game. Thus it was determined that the players should be able to (in an ideal world) work together and both win; however, the game is designed to incentivise betrayal (Semi-Cooperative Game) through risking a changed objective (Hidden Victory Points) and limited communication (Communication Limits).

Different board and hand sizes were attempted, but anything less than 5 took too long to play and anything less than a 5 by 5 when the players were dropping 10 cards total every turn was too little (after some testing I was unable to justify grid shapes more complicated than a square and risk losing player comprehension and retention of the rules).

If I were to actually produce the game I would replace the tokens and cards with color blind appropriate versions (was not a major problem, but it is plausible that color blind people would struggle and perhaps miss count during the scoring portion of the game).

The most interesting portion of the game is when players are unable to clear out the board and start to forget which cards have which hints about them and thereby need to take a risk with there tokens so as to clear room for the next round.

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