As of Week 6, Director Face-Off: Masters of Hollywood was in somewhat of a crisis.
While I had figured out the basic gameplay elements that would feature in my card game, I was still yet to find a clear way in which these would interact with the game, and more-so, how I could implement rules into what I had already created. In summary, I had a game…without the game.
This week, during my informal presentation I spoke of my “Studio” and “Composer” cards, which would allow players to gain “points” and build on their fictional production, in order to achieve the winning end-state of ten points. A member of the class pointed out that I should have an “Actor” category as well, an earlier feature I had included but subsequently dropped when I realised I had no way to implement it.
Then came the simple idea of chance.
Chance can be a real bastard, particularly when players are just starting to feel like they have an edge over their opponents. So this has inspired a set of new game-state rules I will now implement in my final game:
Genre and Director Cards
At the beginning of each game, the 6 Genre and 6 Director cards should be placed flat on the table ready for selection. From those who rolled highest to lowest, each player will choose one random face-down Director card and one face-down Genre card.
Each Director and Genre pairing will have strengths or weaknesses depending on how well they are matched together, of which the player will need to take into account when strategically acquiring their other cards during the game.
Studio, Actor and Composer Cards
At the beginning of each game, these three decks will be shuffled and placed beside each other, face-down on the table. Depending on the number rolled by each player (1-2 Studio, 3-4 Actor, 5-6 Composer), each player will draw a card from the top of their respective deck and “Negotiate a Contract”.
Each card will cost a certain number of points, so if the player decides to partner their production with the card they have drawn, they will be charged accordingly. Note: Some Director’s may have perks which allow certain cards to be acquired without the cost of points, with that specific Director.
If a player has already partnered with a Studio, Composer or more than two Actor cards, they will be offered a chance to “Revise a Contract”. This will allow players to swap their previous Studio, Composer or Actor for the card they have just drawn. Doing this will add/take no extra points, but will save the player from having to draw from the Event card deck.
If a player chooses to “Refuse a Contract/Trade” (i.e. Not trade for a new card with the deck they have rolled) they will be forced to instead draw an…
An Event card is drawn once every three turns (regardless of their decisions on the third turn) or when a player chooses to “Refuse a Contract/Trade”. Most Event cards impact a player’s production, based around scenarios and set incidents inspired by real life. While some Event cards might benefit the player (which is rare), others may drastically shift the flow of play, by forcing a player to swap cards with another.
When a player reaches 8 points, another player can declare a “Director Face-Off” on their turn, regardless of the points they are on. This will result in each player rolling the dice. If the player who has challenged the other (on 8 points or higher), rolls a higher number than the player they have challenged, they will MATCH the same number of production points as the player they challenged. For example, if they were on 4 points and the player they challenged was on 9, they will now also be on 9.
If the player rolls less than the player they challenged, they are immediately eliminated from the game.
Once a player has gained 10 points while also possessing a Studio, Composer and two Actor cards, they will win.
I hope to iterate these rules over the next few days, as I get into play-testing. By next Friday I hope to have a functional prototype. Leave your thoughts and comments below!