Daily Archives: November 29, 2022

Prototype 22.11 – DIY Touhou

Doing something different this time.

I am first up going to tell you what I wound up making and show you some examples of it. I’m going to explain where it’s at, and that’s all going to come before the fold. The full diary, which is a repost of material written over on my Cohost, is going to follow after. And we’re going to talk about sites like Cohost at some point in the next month or so, wew lord.

What I made this month is a prototype game design for a simple card game with a homogenous play form, focusing on hand management built on a classic mathematical puzzle you might see in the games Spot It and Dobble. The game has room to expand mechanically if it needs it, with each card having room for a rule or game mechanic to add to each character.

The game is composed of a deck of functionally similar cards; each card has a unique front and back. Each front face shows an alchemical summoning circle that describes a reading of a calamitous time, and a description of that in a set of keywords. The back face shows a magical girl from a mystical other realm (with art from the Touhou AI art bot) who represen two of those alchemical symbols and two of those key words.

The first turn of the game, you deal a number of these cards so their summoning circle faces are visible to the table, then deal each player a hand of magical girls, back-face-up. The deck is passed around from player to player, who get to do things to manage their hands, while they try and build a hand of cards that lets them ‘claim’ one of the quests as done.

That’s the game play experience, and cycle. I like that this needs no special components, and if it’s put in to a tuck box, it won’t need tons of setup. I also like that this prototype has room to develop: Each card could have a unique mechanical rule, a flavour or name joke, and the list of adjectives and alchemical symbols gives a lot of room for non-meaningful differentation.

Good idea, I like it, I did not get the time to order a prototype, but thanks to practice on Straight Outta Tucson, I have a tool available to me that can make turning this from ‘list of filenames’ to the actual cards very conveniently.

Dev diary follows!

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