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Messages - madunkieg

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Design, Development, and Gameplay / Need a Kid's Cardgame to Adapt
« on: March 15, 2008, 12:28:10 pm »
Thank you for all the cardgame suggestions. I have a lot to choose from now.

Can anyone see any pitfalls to watch out for in the game design concept?

How would you make a game seem magical without having magic?

Design, Development, and Gameplay / Need a Kid's Cardgame to Adapt
« on: March 14, 2008, 07:58:39 am »
I've reached the point where I realize that a concept that I've been fiddling with won't work with any of the systems I've designed thus far, so I'm looking for some input, potentially on both concept and system. First, the concept and inspirations:

Are you strong enough to lift a spirit?

If no one can see the stars beyond the lights of the city, will anyone notice when one of them goes missing? A star has fallen to earth with the hopes of secretly helping ease some of the troubles it saw from above. It manifests as a boy or girl, but found itself in need of help, and asks for assistance from dreamers it encounters, which are the characters. With the characters acting like both caretakers and friends (like in Yotsuba), they set about secretly helping people (like in Amelie and 3 Iron), and also helping to lift the star's heavy heart so that it may return to the heavens.

The world of Endless City is inspired by the illustrations by Imperial Boy. It's not a world filled with magic or great danger, but a lot of rather odd characters. My intention is to make the game seem very playful and always hovering near the edge of fantasy, but the star will be the only thing that is truly magical. There will actually be several stars for the gamemaster to choose from, and which one is chosen will shape the campaign.

As for the system, I want adapt a kid's cardgame that can be played with regular playing cards to give a playful feel to the game. I also want to avoid cardgames that are regularly associated with gambling, like poker or blackjack.

Thus far I've come up with, or had suggested, the following possible games:
War, Go Fish, UNO, Old Maid, Rook, Canasta, Rummy, Crazy Eights, Slapjack, Hearts
Does anyone know any other playing card games they played as a kid that I might look into?

I'm new to this forum, so hi to you all (though some of you seem familiar from elsewhere). Running horror is a bit of a specialty of mine, so I thought I'd start here.

Horror can be defined as a genre, but the word horror also refers to the visceral reaction we have to the violation of the body (be it ours or someone else's). Because it's tied to our survival instinct, it's an almost universal fear. Just as description in a book can produce horror, so can it in a rpg.

When it comes to game mechanics, however, terror (the fear that something really bad is going to happen and there's nothing you can do about it) is much easier. Terror can be reinforced by using a mechanic that presents an inevitability, but builds up to it while not revealing exactly when it's going to happen. The Dread rpg uses Jenga to good effect this way.

Horror isn't so easy because a lot of games reduce injury to math or over-focus on the physical aspects of injury while overlooking the psychological aspects. Just having a psychological trait doesn't work, unfortunately, because the mechanic needs to reinforce the horror's effect upon the player, not just mirror it in the character. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to make a mechanic that does this and had to rely purely on description to achieve the effect.

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