Friday, February 17, 2012

Game Design - Homework 5 - War Rule Change

Part one of Homework 5 for game design.

Game Design and Production - INFR 2330


War is a card game that is played between two players. There are no choices to be made in the game; therefore it is barely considered a game as the game essentially plays itself. This is because when the cards are first dealt, they are in a specific order and the player essentially just reveals the cards one by one and enacts the “battles”. In essence it really isn’t much of a game; rather it’s just an algorithm to bring two decks of cards into a single deck.


Couldn't find a picture of the game war. (Wikipedia)

To make it more interesting, more skill and choices need to be injected into the game. The first thing I would implement would be the slapping element from another card based game “Slapjack”. In Slapjack, players slap their hands down on specific cards and the person who does that first wins that round and gets the cards. Likewise I feel that adding a slapping element to war would make the game more interesting as players will get physically involved and would promote game awareness.

Essentially players would play war like normal, however instead of just deciding that a player won the battle when they reveal a higher card, whoever slaps the higher card gets to receive those cards instead. A normal game of war does not have much “action” in the game and thus gets boring after a while, so implement a slapping mechanic would get the players more into the game.

Huh. Apparently a slapjack could be a weapon. (icollector)


In the case where the revealed cards are of the same value, then the players would move onto the second mechanic change. In regular war, the players draw three cards and reveal one and compare which is higher to see who wins the cards. Again, this is not really that interesting as the game essentially plays itself.

In order to add an element of choice and decision making into the game, I propose that instead of merely drawing three cards and revealing one, the players draw three cards and look at their own cards. Then, they would essentially make bets with the opposing player similarly to how it works in poker. Each round of betting would essentially be one player betting one or more cards from their deck, and the other player can either match their bet or raise it.

If a player decides to fold, then all of the cards that are in play at that moment (The ones in hand and ones in the betting pool) goes to the winning player. If after 5 betting rounds both players still do not fold, then the three cards in each player’s hand is revealed and the player with the higher value wins. The value of the cards would be determined with standard poker rules, such as three of a kind beating two of a kind, and so on with ace being the highest value.

Like this, but with only three cards. (Onlinepokercanada)

This would essentially turn war into a game that has a mix of physical, reflexive action with a strategic portion which I feel would make the game more interesting and more of a game.

Yay for random Magic cards lying  around.

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