Tag Archives: Playing Cards

Getting to know the Move Rate 20 Games staff

Meet Mr. P. a.k.a. Steve P., a.k.a. The Creative!

Man in a little hatI started my life as a gamer in my freshman year of high school, back in 1981, with the D&D Blue box and a group of new friends. I had just moved into a new neighborhood and was invited to play this “new” game that one of the guys had just gotten. I knew of D&D before then, I had a friend in middle school that said he played, but no matter how much I asked, he would never invite me to play or teach me how. I was so new to the whole experience that when given a “Cleric” to play, I wondered what this magical race looked like. Since there were dwarves and elves, surely a cleric must be an equally fantastical being.

It’s been a long time since those humble beginnings, I’ve played countless game systems, created dozens of fleshed out worlds to run campaigns in, modified rule systems so they ran smoother at the table and tried my hand at designing games from whole cloth. This is the first time I’ve tried to do it professionally, and I’m realizing there’s still a lot to learn and a great community of indie game designers to turn to for advice.

I’ve been a graphic artist for most of my career and I bring that to Move Rate 20 Games as well as my gaming and Marketing experience. Like most people who work with computers I have a love/hate relationship with them, but I certainly wouldn’t want to layout a rule booklet by hand (though I could in a pinch).

A Game Better Than “Cards Against Humanity”?

Crowdfunded Game With A Big Claim

So I saw this come across the feeds today, an Indiegogo funded game that claims the people who have played the Beta Test say “It’s better than “Cards Against Humanity. I’m dubious. For all the copy on the games fundraising page, the only way to figure out how the game is played  is to watch the promo video. The game is called “Crazy Mix ‘Em Ups” and it looks like a cross between a college drinking game and the “Dare” part of “Truth or Dare”. Some of the challenges on the cards were “>Blank< and >Blank<, switch tops.” or “>Blank< play the rest of the game topless.” or “Everyone make a tinfoil hat.” The video includes lots of pictures of young men and women playing the game in their underwear and drinking shots presumably playing the game.

Better Than “Cards Against Humanity”?

Here’s why I doubt the better than CAD claim; I don’t think a game like this will have the same mass appeal. Where CAD allows you to say horrible, politically incorrect things in the frame work of the game, it’s quite a threshold to cross to reach the point of actively doing the physical act described on a card. Last holiday season my wife and I went to a house party thrown by her boss (who was a V.P.) with co-workers and spouses, and we played Cards Against Humanity and were coming up with completely inappropriate combinations for the black cards, but everyone had a blast, because the game gives you license to do so. I don’t see that scenario playing out with this game, no matter how much the game gives you permission to act out, it’s a big step to cross the line from verbal to physical.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just a grump, but check it out and comment below with your thoughts.

-Mr. P

More gaming news from the Taskmaster

Hello all, and thanks for coming back to Move Rate 20 Games!

Not much to report from the business side if things this week. Legal stuff still in the pipeline, art work still being drawn, playtesting continuing, Mr. P still answering to my every beck and call! (Always a pleasure to be of service, Mr.R.)

So for this week I have been contemplating ‘flavor’ and gaming. We are striving to have a game environment that is rich in its history and pageantry. We want our world to feel alive. I want it filled with interesting characters and quirky personalities.

Now, coming from a D&D background, I can see where I developed this need, but I am not always this way. When I am playing Magic for instance, the background flavor of the plane I am battling in means very little to me. The same goes for games like ThunderStone and Ascension. I love the gameplay but ignore the flavor.

The games that I do play and enjoy the background environment tend to be in universes that were flushed out in different mediums. Games like X-Wing or Legendary Aliens would not be as enjoyable for me without all the rich history that came out of their franchises. Of course, the great gameplay in these games is essential, no matter how good the flavor, if the gameplay is lacking then I will not enjoy the game.

So I guess my question to you, the great internet masses, is this: How much does flavor matter to you in a game?

Until next time….stay frosty!

Steve R

Playtesting News From Our Beloved Taskmaster

Greetings and salutations, and thanks for coming back to Move Rate 20 Games!

So…what’s new this week you ask? Well, let’s see what I can disclose out to the public without incurring the wrath of our legal department (and their endless supply of >REDACTED<)!

We continue to move forward with playtesting on our first release called >REDACTED< (What really? We can’t have the name in print yet! Oh well…) We have made a few small last minute rule changes and add-ons and are now making sure that they improve the gameplay through playtesting. We have also made a few more tweaks to the awesome art that is being drawn up just for us, as well as some card re-designing that will make >REDACTED< (oops, sorry!) look as good as it plays!

Speaking of playtesting …we would like to start taking our first (but not last!) game on the road for some playtesting. So if anyone out there reading this missive has a favorite haunt that may want to participate, then please feel free to drop us a line via out “contact us” link. Maybe you can be added to the growing ranks of play-testers that have tried >REDACTED< at the very least you’ll be able to find out what the game’s name is!

Until next time….keep >REDACTED<!

Steve R

Playing Cards: The 2nd Game mechanic

Chinese Playing cardsBelieved to first being invented by the Chinese, then traveling to the Middle East via India, playing cards may be the second oldest gaming tool in the world after dice. Despite the centuries and the adaptations and changes made to the playing deck by many cultures two things have remained fairly constant, they are Suits and Face Cards.

The Faces of Playing Cards

In early decks the face cards were all male with the Knight, the Prince and the King. It was the French who shuffled things up by added the Queen card to the mix, demoting the Prince and putting the Knight out of business. There are many stories a to whom the face cards represent and it’s hard to know which ones are true, chances are the face card represent personas unique to each culture and there is no one true origin storey to the identities of the Jack, Queen and King of each suit.

Each culture throughout history has modified the deck to suit its own needs, the biggest change to the european deck was after the French Revolution. Back when the aristocracy ruled, the highest valued card in the deck was the King; however, that didn’t sit well in a post-revolutionary France where “liberty, equality and fraternity” were the new slogan, So they took the “1” card, already called the Ace, and made it the trump card of the deck. The idea actually went back to the original Chinese deck, that had both a one card and a trump called the “Dragon” card.

The popularity and widespread acceptance of the playing card deck was largely due to its portability and wide variety of games of skill and chance that could be played with it. The first historic record of playing cards in in western Europe is in the 14th century, when the king of Spain outlawed them. Chances are they had entered a Spanish port via a Mediterranean merchant and caught on significantly enough to gain royal notice. Clearly his ban did not stifle the popularity of playing cards, and probably, as in most cases where something is banned, just fueled the desire to have them.

So what about the Tarot Deck?

The interesting variant is the Tarot deck. I’ve seen some articles that claim that the playing cards are descended from these tools of divination, and while I admit that my research is far from extensive, I believe that Tarot cards came either after Playing cards hit Europe or the Arab countries or may have been developed on a parallel track.From the standpoint of a travelling fortune teller, cards could be more easily hidden from the representatives of the church who would likely not look kindly on a person partaking in such activity.They would also be less obvious than reading the bones of dead animals or searching through their innards for portance of the future.

Regardless Playing cards introduced more of an aspect of skill into games of chance than dice allowed for. Calculating odds, misleading strategies and bluffing added more challenge to the games and an almost limitless variations to established games.