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November Challenge: Building a Gathering - Submission and Discussion Thread

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Welcome to the November Challenge Submission and Discussion Thread! As stated in the announcement thread, each submission must include at least 1 image of the design. You should consider including a name that you would like attached to your level (real name or alias).


A couple of details that could be included in the level post as a way to better convey the design process are:

  • The kind of sandbox that is being designed
  • Multiple Pictures, and/or video footage of the game
  • An overview of how to set up the game
  • A flow diagram of an example playthrough
  • An explanation of the source of inspiration for the game
  • Anything that helps convey the thought process behind the game


Here's an example post in the Spoiler:



These challenges have helped me understand more about myself: I don't know how players will react to or interact with my environments because I don't play them enough. I'm always theorizing and trying new things without actually bringing them into fruition. This challenge is where I decided to improve myself not only as a designer but also as a person: I will not only think and plan, but I will also do.


But first I had to the usual: plan, which was thankfully quick. In only a few days I had come up with the idea of an elimination card game centered around having two health pools: a hand to play from and a stash. The stash is sort of a personal, self-curated deck that certain cards pulled from, meaning that the player was responsible for determining their arsenal. Unfortunately only one card this ability, and it only took the cards that it placed there in the first place. Well, that's problematic. Only two other cards referenced the stash: one placed itself and an additional card from the graveyard into the player's stash while the other dealt the same amount of damaged to another player as sacrificed by the player using said card. This whole conundrum went under my radar until the first playtest.


Here's a look at one of the cards:




I bought blank playing cards online and some fine tip sharpies to make a physical game to physically playtest, a process a lot more direct than building it on my computer. The cards are crudely drawn, yet still playable. Scratch that, the wording on many of the cards were convoluted; I had written it the night before after a double shift at work, so I hadn't taken the time to simplify and establish a nomenclature. Because of this, the first playtest had everyone barely understand what each card meant. I decided that that could be fixed at another time, changed one of the cards to a base rule, and established some rules:

  1. players draw the top two cards of their stash each turn
  2. players can only play one card per turn
  3. players can place any cards from their hand into the graveyard to draw an equal amount from the deck
  4. eliminating a player allows you to add half of that player's stash to one's hand or to damage another player for the same amount (this was the card changed to a rule)

With these rule changes and the knowledge of what each card does at least at a base level, the next game had deeper strategy and more interesting gameplay. Now the cards that added to the player's stash, especially those of which allowed the player to choose which cards to add, had a ton more value in the game due to the draw two rule involving the stash. This is what mad the gameplay's intended identity possible. Now I have a unique game that I want to finish, so there's much more work to do.


The next step was to create a nomenclature and symbol for each type of action (e.g. attack, deflect, sacrifice, etc.) so that the game is quicker to play and to improve both understanding and the pace of the game. In addition, the frustation of having a few cards and their duplicates take up most of the deck made more powerful cards essentially game enders due to their effective counters also having a lower frequency. This caused me to make the frequency of each card the same: 5 of each card, 18 different cards in total.


Here's the finalized rules:

  • 3-6 player count
  • 10 cards in hand + 5 cards in stash
  • players can draw up to 2 cards from their stash on their turn starting after the first round
  • all halving effects round up


And a look at the new version of the cards:




The two playtests that I had with the new deck were successful, though I'd like to sit out for any further tests to know how newcomers interpret it. A friend of mine and myself have started creating concept art for the game, and it's starting to look quite professional.



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  • 4 weeks later...

So I'm just attaching a PDF of my work in progress design document and hoping it looks alright on here.


I don't have a name for the game I've been working on, just really calling it my November Challenge Card Game. At its core, it is a cooperative character builder. I built it around the idea of making a game like Dungeons and Dragons a bit simpler. It is still fairly complicated, but it doesn't require character sheets or a large book of rules.


Players battle against enemies to earn loot that makes them stronger and able to take on more powerful enemies. Originally the game was going to have a boss at the end, but I wasn't able to find the time to properly implement it. I'm expecting to continue iterating on this project, as I've really enjoyed working on it, and the feedback I have received from playtesting has been mostly positive.


Players can choose between two basic starting classes: Melee and Ranged




Loot upgrades a player's stats while also encouraging strategy and playing differently





Encounter cards show players the type of enemy they are facing, the number of enemies, their attack roll (top left), and the amount of loot earned upon completion (top right)





Enemy cards show all the same stats that player cards do, and are used on the playing field to track any changes to their stats and who they are attacking






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7 hours ago, Feornic said:

I don't have a name for the game I've been working on, just really calling it my November Challenge Card Game. At its core, it is a cooperative character builder. I built it around the idea of making a game like Dungeons and Dragons a bit simpler. It is still fairly complicated, but it doesn't require character sheets or a large book of rules.


Very cool!  Seems like it will be a lot of fun.  You also did a fantastic job on the PDF.  Thank you very much for sharing your work with us.  :classic_biggrin:

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