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trapdoor

what makes a good card game as a minigame?

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Using the two futuristic franchises: Star Trek and Star Wars, each has it's own minigame, either within the game, or within the TV / Movie / Book series. Star Trek uses Poker or some Klingon game usually. Poker being that the whole idea is that it's a representation of where we are in 400 or so years so Poker still exists. Star Wars has it's own game since it is unknown where humans came from... or if the humans in Star Wars are actually humans at all. I'm not sure if George refered to Han and Luke as humans... anyway. Star wars has sabacc. It's like blackjack more than anything. Difference is you have 4 cards you can use at any time that are also custom cards. Beyond Good and Evil also had a minigame, it was more of a twitch game than anything. So with my own game in mind, i wondered if I could come up with a card game that was unique, was simple enough to be easily learned, and yet was still not too childish that people who are into gambling wouldn't want to play. My first attempt was rather complex. It was a dueling game along the lines of magic and yugioh (spelling). It was meant to be played with a regular deck of cards. Red numbers were attacking cards, black numbers defending cards and face cards all had a unique purpose. Object was to knock off as many points as possible of the opposing player while maintaining your own. But after I created that game, I find that it is still to complex and you need to use the chart to see what each face card does. It also was more complex with more than just 2 players. Where i'm stumped is making a game that fits the following:
  • I want a game where there are not a billion different cards. Preferably a regular 52 (maybe +2 for jokers) deck of cards. It is intended to be played with 2 or more players. More players shouldn't change how it is played... like how poker or blackjack is like. Oh, and no specialty decks which give advantages for some players over others.
  • Made so people play against each other, but the number of players can be almost any. Obviously depending on how many decks are being used.
  • I also want to reduce how much of a chance there is in the game. Maybe something along these lines: 1/4 bluffing skill, 1/4 luck of the draw, 1/2 actual playing skill. The 2 values to change are bluffing and actual skill. But I'm trying to remove how much of luck there is in the game.
  • Simple but not too simple. Definitely not complex like my original game.
  • Quick rounds. While I want skill to be involved, I don't want the player to have to run calculations in his head to figure out the best possible outcome and taking forever. Or having to look at the reference chart every 3 minutes. The rounds should be quick with the only thing holding up the game would be the guy bluffing that he is unsure what to do.
  • Optional: Dueling style. I like the whole dueling style of play, but i'm not sure how more than two players will work out. My second idea which isn't even close to complete is this: 4 cards which have special abilities but if you lose them, your out. Objective is to make your opponents lose them before you do. Anyway. Any ideas on a mini game? Even the first requirement should be optional to allow for some non-card games. But change it to limited number of X where anyone can be equal or at least statistically equal.

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    If I'd put a minigame in my game I'd made sure it said something about the game. Like you said, poker says something about the history in star trek.
    Day of the Tentacle had a computer in it where you could play Manic Mansion, to which Day of the Tentacle was a sequel.
    In fool's errand the card game a necessity to win, but at the same time the symbols come across so often that you won't forget 'the high priestess' 'the hanged man' etc. They reinforce the symbols in your head over and over.
    Minigames in sam and max hit the road were a modified version of battleships and just generally silly.

    That's also not a bad idea: if you can't come up with something yourself from scratch, it's ok to take an established game and modify to suit your purposes.

    You have to decide if you want your minigame be a diversion or an enrichment of your game. Is it time away or time deeper into the game?

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    In France, there is a game, roughly translated "Battle", where you draw a card, and check its value against that of the other players. If your card has the higher face value, you get all the cards, if it has the lowest value, the opponent with the highest value gets all the cards. Most of the excitement comes from the fact that, when you have a draw, you add, as an ante, a face-down card, and draw a second one to make a new check. Same rule applies then.

    I used a derived version of this game to play a TableTop RPG once, in a Western universe, because it was summer vacations, and I didn't bring my dices along. It allowed for a fast pace, but I added a quirk. The draw came from a total of eight complete 54-cards packets, and you kept your cards, and used them as you saw fit. You could add one card, and it gave an additional +1 to the value of the first drawn card, or you could land a "hand", that is five cards, and it gave you special effects, on a normal Poker range. A Pair would give you a small bonus, while a Royal Flush would be Ultimate Doombringer Critical Draw.

    Of course, the cards you landed as an addition to the draw were put back into the full-deck, you didn't keep them, because that would mean the first one to have the higher "hand" would be unbeatable by anyone else. But on the other hand, I, as a GameMaster, could draw the "hands" from all the cards I drew from for each NPC...

    I find this system to be simple enough to be computer-simulated and removing a fair part of the random, while adding an important part of strategy in regards of what cards to land and what cards to keep, and still not being overly complicated to code. AT least, I think it isn't. I can't say for sure, because I ain't no programmer.

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    Quote:
    Original post by Fournicolas
    In France, there is a game, roughly translated "Battle", where you draw a card, and check its value against that of the other players. If your card has the higher face value, you get all the cards, if it has the lowest value, the opponent with the highest value gets all the cards. Most of the excitement comes from the fact that, when you have a draw, you add, as an ante, a face-down card, and draw a second one to make a new check. Same rule applies then.



    We have that game here too. Here it is called "War".

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    I had no worries in supposing this game was more or less universal, since it's one of the simplest forms of cards games. But I didn't know the name of it. I wasn't that far off the mark, though...

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    Quote:
    Original post by FullThrottle
    We have that game here too. Here it is called "War".


    I prefer the varation 'egyptian war'.

    Anyhow, trapdoor, I would learn how to play several real life cardgames, the more the better, and I would just create a variatian of the one you like best. As for the option of more than two players, most card games I've played change drasticly depending on how many people play. If you want a bar in your game where you play cards, perhaps it would be easier to make two card games: a five player and a two player.(And maybe a solo one). If a game is made for two players than it bacomes quite deformed working it to three or four, likewise if a game is made for multiple players, two players create an odder form of the same game. There are exceptions to this, such as the afore mentioned battle/war, so it would be easier, I think, to play several of these exceptions and make a game based off them. Here are several games I know of that a easily played with two or more players.

    War
    Speed/Cali. speed/Amer. speed/etc..
    Nerdz
    Rummy/Gin Rummy
    Goldfish
    Mow
    Poker
    Blackjack


    And that's pretty much it... These games are best with three-four players, but can be played with only two. Another idea is to have a game that is a solo game, but that people compete at to complete it first.

    Pazaak is one of my favorite mini-games, too bad that doesn't come packed with windows. Sigh...

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