Mar 282007

Well, it looks like I won this challenge by default, even though my game wasn’t really good. The thing was that I had a playable prototype, and Ian only had a partially drawn out concept.

My game is a simulation of stop and go traffic through a series of traffic lights. Ian commented that it looked like an abstract game because I was using colored tiles as cars and a deck of cards with colors and numbers. The basic gameplay is that you choose a color car and then try to position them closest to the next traffic light through card play. It still has rough edges, but it played through to completion with little rule complications.

Ian’s game is about getting passengers in cars to where they need to go throughout the city. The problem is that the cars are controlled by all players and wrecks happen frequently.

This week’s challenge is more of a preparation for a real game competition put on by Lucca Games and Comics. Basically, we’re trying to get a playable prototype card game that is language independent, has less than 110 cards, and contains no other components. Preferably, it would also fit the theme of the contest: Round Trip. This gives me the motivation to get a game finished, polished, and hopefully published!

This weeks challenge focuses around matchbox cars (or any other toy car). The main components for the game should be cars. There can be other components as well (Cards, tokens, money, whatever), but they should all work to complement the use of the cars as the focal point of the game. The game can be anything, but should be thematic. Happy Designing!

I won the design challenge this week with this entry below. It is basically an abstract game with beads. I was suprised at how well it played right off the bat with only a few tweaks to my original design. We played this one first, and Ian voted me the winner before we even got a chance to play his design! Marc emailed in an entry, but we were unable to play it since it was just two of us and the game required three. Without further ado…

Bead Game v0.1 by Dan Manfredini (C) 2007


Players try to get rid of their bead chains.


Per player:

  • 3 red beads
  • 3 black beads
  • 3 clear beads
  • 3 green beads
  • 3 orange beads
  • 3 white beads


  1. Each player randomly arranges two beads of each color into a long chain such that one end is toward the center of the table and the other end points toward the player.
  2. Each player takes one bead of each color into his hand.
  3. Randomly determine a starting player.

Playing the Game

Beginning with the starting player, and going clockwise, each player will get a turn until the game ends. The active player must take one of the following actions:

  • Play a bead.
  • Draw a bead.
  • Split a chain.

Play a Bead

The active player takes one bead from his hand and discards it to the center of the table, forming a pile with the other discarded beads. The active player then chooses outside or inside. If the player choose outside, then all beads matching the discarded bead’s color on the outside (nearest the edge of the table) of any chains must be discarded to the center of the table. Similarly, if the player chooses inside, then the same holds true for the insides (nearest the center of the table) of all chains.

If this action causes any another player’s chain to disappear, then the active player take that player’s discarded bead into his hand. Note: The active player never takes a discarded bead from his own chain.

Draw a Bead

The active player may take one bead from the pile at the center of the table and place it in his hand.

Split a Chain

The active player takes one bead from his hand and discards it to the center of the table, forming a pile with the other discarded beads. The active player then chooses one of his chains and divide it in to two sections. The division must be on either side of a bead matching the discarded bead’s color. The new sections can be of any length, but must retain their order and orientation. They should be placed side by side.

End of Game

The first player to have no chains remaining is the winner. In case of a tie, the player with the most beads in his hand is the winner. In case of a further tie, whoever ended the game is the winner.

Mar 142007

Ian and I came up with a challenge for next week to get the design mush in your head to start churning. So here it is:

Design a game using only glass beads. The quantity and color are up to you. No board, no paper and pencil, nothing but the beads.

We’ll judge them at next week’s meeting!