Director Face-Off now a game mechanic + more!

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…

Event Card

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.

Director Face-Off

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.

Win State

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!


  1. I think these revisions will be really beneficial for your game. Although there are more elements, it doesn’t seem like it would be complicating the game at all. I really like the idea of randomly selecting the genre and director cards, based on chance too. I think it will help make the game different and varied every time it is played. I look forward to seeing how it goes and would love to play test!


  2. It is only when you think through, play test, re think, playtest, and repeat for seemingly forever, when you realise what mechanics work and make a game fun and what needs work. I think that it a good idea that you’re playtesting early and you may even have more ideas for cards and elements that will work in your game after playtesting. A second opinion from playtesters is always positive too, because they make have ideas for your game that you hadn’t even thought of!

    I don’t really have much more to add except: good work. Playtest on 🙂


  3. I think the randomization will be a really good implementation into the gameplay, and the new additions seem easily digestible as rules! It’s great to see you’ve play tested so early to see how your game is going and what really needs to be fixed or kept in!


  4. Your pitch really gave me a great understanding and excitement about your game! It sounds extremely fun as someone who is also into movies and the way that you have set your game out would be easy for someone to comprehend who isn’t to in to movies. You laid out everything in an easy way and it seems like a game that has endless replayablilty and enjoyment. The fact that because of constant playtesting and revisions that you did, made you find parts of the game that could be improved and it seems like you have improved them!


  5. Wow the_mcgill! That’s a cool game! I really enjoy this use of categorised cards which contribute to the progression of the game (actor, director, genre, composer etc). I can’t help but think that with those categorised cards alone you have the basis for an excellent discussion based game, like Funemployed or Cards Against Humanity. I feel like, with those cards you’re given ample room, but with the right kind of parameters, to interpret, create, and pitch a movie to other players on the table. Person with the best movie pitch wins!


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