This applied research proposal involves the development of a Digital Prototyping Tool for Card Game Design. The tool supports the creation of a wide variety of card games, ranging from variations on existing card games like Poker, UNO and Hanabi, to conceptual Card Decks for supporting design tasks. The tool allows the easy creation of card decks, including simple designs for numbers, colours, names, types, figures, etc., but also the rule-sets of the games. Because this is done within a formal framework for specification of card games, it is easy to modify characteristics of cards, and more importantly, the rules of the game, such as move protocols and game mechanics associated with certain types of cards. The tool also offers support for playing and playtesting the game on screen.
A case study will be carried out within the game studios Codeglue and FourceLabs, who are currently developing card games. They will experiment with the tool, try to incorporate it in their development process as much as possible, and provide feedback on how to further improve the tool. If the tool proves to be successful, these and other game companies are expected to use the tool to generate more of their own games, and create variations of these games with the tool.
The project is expected to deliver the following:
- a formal framework for describing both static and dynamic characteristics of card games
- a digital prototyping tool for the iterative design and live modification of card games
- an experience report with findings about at a case study on the use of the tool in the design of an actual commercial card game by the game studio CodeGlue.
- 2 presentations about the progress within the project
- 1 Fieldlab workshop on how the tool can be used by game designers
- General publicity for the Fieldlab and CLICKNL.
These results contribute to goals of the Dutch Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (Kennis- en Innovatieagenda) 2018-2021 (de Waal et al., 2018), in particular the theme “Value Creation: New Design Capabilities”.
This project aims to support game designers in the process of creating, testing and iterativelyrefining a card game, in terms of the cards and the rules of the game. Card Games can be prototyped easily on paper, but making modifications, and playtesting with all possible variations is very tedious and time-consuming. A digital tool for prototyping Card Games allows for the creation of a wide variety of card games, ranging from variations on existing card games like Uno, Quartets, and Hanabi, to conceptual Card Decks for supporting design and other creative tasks, such as Schmidt and Eno’s Oblique Strategies (1975), IDEO’s Method Cards, and the CMD methods pack by HvA/HAN. The main research question is the following:
- How can the process of card game design be supported by an interactive digital
The expected advantage of a digital prototyping tool is that parts of decks and rulesets can be easily mixed, combined, and adapted, leading to new, potentially interesting, variations within the multidimensional design space of card games. Dimensions include the number of each type of cards in decks, hands, and piles, number of players and teams, and aspects of the rules of the game, including the goal of the game, the protocol governing selecting and dealing cards, the possible sequences of types of moves, and the game mechanics and scoring associated with particular cards and moves. Because the system knows the rules, the tool can also be used to play and playtest the game interactively. The power of the tool lies in the flexibility between designing, playtesting and modifying the card game while it is being played, and thereby exploring the design space. It also allows for finetuning a complex card game to match specific goals in a particular context.
Principal applicant: Riemer van Rozen
Affiliation: Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdam)