Blog Post 3: Prototyping


  1. Rules and Inventory:
    1. Inventory:
      1. 2 Dice 6 sided.
      2. Game Board – custom.
      3. Full deck of playing cards – 52 cards for poker
      4. Game pieces representing the player – can be anything
    2. Rules:
      1. The Point of the Game:
        1. The players go around the board collecting cards making a hand, like in poker.
        2. The players roll 2-6 sided dice for their movement.
        3. The player that wins is the one with the better hand.
        4. The player starts off with no cards and slowly builds up their hand.
        5. The player can have no more than 5 cards in their hand at any given time.
        6. To end the game one of the players must go around the board at least once and then enter the center from where they exited in the beginning.
        7. When players pick up a card they may also discard the same card or another in their hand – as to not go over 5 cards.
      2. Both players start in the center of the board
      3. First player rolls the dice
        1. If on the first roll they roll a 7 or 12 they go right right and get to hit the draw 2 square.
        2. For anything else they go left.
      4. For every turn after the first
        1. On the rolls the player can move up to a maximum of the dice roll. For example if they roll a 5 they can move up to 5 spaces but can move a min of 1.
        2. On any other turn (other than the first)  if the player rolls a 7 they get to draw a card. BUT they can not pick a card if they stop at a draw square.
      5. The players must go around the board at least once before entering the center.
      6. The first player that enters center can draw one more card before the game ends.
      7. While the players are drawing cards from the draw pile, if they at anytime have more than 5 cards they must drop 1 card in the discard pile face up.
      8. If the next person gets to draw a card they may pick up a card from either deck.
      9. If a player has a joker card, they can at any time in their own turn play the joker card which switches the player’s hand with one another. So player 1 will get player two’s hand and player two will get player 1. The joker card is discarded to the side (in another pile by itself, cannot be picked up again) and the player who got their hand swapped can pick a card from any pile.
      10. If you roll snake eyes you lose a card of the other players choosing.
      11. If you roll triples (5, 5, 5 or 7, 7, 7) you lose your whole hand.

The board 

We were quickly trying to think of a game to make and had an idea to combine some aspects of other games together to make something new. We had to use a board of some sort and I figured we would use dice to move around the board. Also, because poker is generally well known and easy to play so we decided to also include a 52 card deck as well. 

Time was against us so we quickly got the cards and dice, picked up some game pieces drew a fairly boring game board and got to playing. The first game play was more of think up the rules as you go type thing. We knew we wanted the dice roll to indicate the movement but what were we trying to do? Why move around the board?

 What we figured is this, when you roll the dice you can move that far OR you can go less if it has you go across a square with a draw card. When you stop at a draw card square you can pick up a card. Sounded  easy enough to us. If you have 5 cards and you go to pick up another card then you had to drop one like in some poker games. Max then had a good idea in drawing a card you can draw from the discarded pile or the new pile. The discarded cards had to be put facing up so the players can see them and decide to pick something they know they are going to get or something random. This would add a bit of strategy,  if you see someone picking up all hearts you know they are going for a flush. Then you don’t want to be dropping any heart cards unless you think you have something better. That was the bases of the first play through. You go around the board trying to collect the best poker hand you want. Once you got it you aim to get in the center of the board to end the game. Whoever has the best hand wins.

The Second Game play

On my second playthrough I was way more critical of the game. It sucked. In trying to salvage it we (my wife and I) came up with some new rules. When you exit the center of the board you have two ways you can go. Roll a 7 or a 12 and you go right which will allow you to draw 2 cards getting a head start right away. Roll anything else and you go left and get no bonus.

I wanted to give a small bonus for luck but nothing too big. So if you roll lucky you get  to get a small bonus of getting an extra card. That was a nice but I wanted more strategy, something more than just going around the board. What happens if you hit another player? Can you take a card from his hand? What could I add to really flip the game. As I was playing with my wife and we were going through the turns I was fighting with going with something that is small OR putting something in that could really change the game. I wanted a blue turtle shell.

A blue turtle shell comes from Mario Cart. If you are in last place you have a high chance of getting the blue turtle shell which when used it would take off and hit whoever is in first place making them stop for a few seconds. Normally this is enough so another person can take first place. For our idea we would be using the joker card to be our blue turtle shell. Since the point of the game is to collect the best 5 card hand the best  way to completely screw over the other play would be to switch hands. So if you get a the joker early you could make a really crappy hand and before the game is over you could play it and switch hands with hopefully something better. And it works beautifully.

In one of the games me and my wife played I had gotten the card on my second card pick up. We had been going around the board and I could see she was building up a nice hand (she was smiling as she was picking up cards… bad poker face…) and getting close to ending the game. Now in the rules to play the joker you had to be in you own turn. She was heading to the finish (the center of the board) and I had maybe one turn left. When playing the joker you want to make sure that the game will be over quickly. If you play it to early then they have a chance to go around again and fix their hand. I happen to play it when she was 2 squares away from entering the center and winning. I played the joker, got her hand and spent the rest of my turn heading full speed into the center myself. With nothing else she could do she entered the center of the board and lost. I got a flush from her and she got my hand of mix match cards.

The start of a game Both players in the center.


The Third Game play

My third gameplay was the final refinement. I again played this with my wife. Honestly, at this point the game needed a lot of work. My wife I had played this game way too much in trying to make it better. The biggest problem I had is that you generally started to rush the game. If the game went too long then both players would have a really good hand and could end in a draw or both having full houses which wasn’t fun. I wanted it to be a bit longer and be more of a board game rather than running through the board as fast as you can.

What we ended creating was a rule in that if you rolled the same number twice or if you rolled snake eyes you lose a card. If you rolled trips that is you roll 5 then 5 then 5 you lose your whole hand. This made the game go on for a bit longer but ultimately did not make it any more fun. We toyed around with some things but nothing made it any more fun. I wanted to feel like poker but with a twist and failed miserably. In our last game play we just went through the motions, she started off strong rolled a 7 got 2 cards right away. I rolled a 3 and crept out to the left. In her next turn she rolled a 10 and moved to the next card square and picked up her third card. I rolled snake eyes but lost nothing because I had not yet been able to pick anything up.

The game went more or less like this. She had a complete hand by the time I had 3 cards. She was already setting herself up for the win and started racing towards the entrance. Because you have to go around the board at least once I had time to put together a pair of two’s but it wasn’t enough. She ended up getting a straight flush and I had my two’s so she won.

As for the rules during this game play, we couldn’t really come up with anything to make it better. We were thinking of refining movement or have more traps for players to fall for.  But at this point I was really sick of the game and didn’t want to think of it any more. It was trash and that’s where it ended up.

Alex hiding her cards during a gameplay


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