Macy, Wilson, and I teamed up to make an analog game incorporating these three randomly chosen mechanics:
- Players cannot see their own resources. Other players must describe them (ex. Hanabi)
- A random generator determines the resources the player generates each turn, based on decisions players have made in the past (ex. Settlers of Catan)
- The game is played in rounds where one player wins the right to determine the adjudication of that round (ex. Bridge)
We had all played Catan previously, but not Hanabi or Bridge. The required mechanics seemed to not fit together for many of our ideas, particularly 1 and 3.
We also have quite different backgrounds and preferences; Macy comes from fine arts and illustration, plays lots of digital games and hates playing with people, while Wilson has always been very into gamey-gamer-games, video games, European-style board games, and strategy-based games, and I am unable to play many games because I react/process information/think too slowly to survive, and so mostly stick to casual games and mobile games, and I used to be in fine arts and fashion. An interesting mix of people for a group.
The idea of a color-based game came from me. I was thinking of Blendoku, where the player organizes colors into gradients a la Sudoku. I was also thinking of a question in the American quiz game show Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? asking what colors red and yellow make combined, which is a kindergarten level question, every kid and student in this school knows that the answer is orange, and the adult contestant answered PURPLE. Amazing. This color game could be educational (haha).
We had agreed upfront not to use numbers, as we had an unpleasant time counting points and reading the mismatched dice during Catan, and to keep it visually simple so that we would not have to do too much drawing. The easiest way to keep things fair would be to have a cooperatively competitive game like Catan, and since we had been thinking of making the color wheel our “board,” the game would not be path-based.
Wilson wanted to make it like the Euro-style territory gaining games, wherein each player is assigned a single color and must steal and convert the territory of the other players into their assigned color. This was too confusing and contained too much counting, so it was scrapped.
We decided to make colors resources and to make smoothness of gradients a goal. An idea was to have 3 players sit around the color wheel and have each player assigned to a certain gradient (red orange yellow, yellow green blue, blue purple red) based on which primary color they had that they would have to complete first by trading cards with other players. The board ended up confusing us, so it was scrapped. These bones of an idea set up the concept of what we have now.
After brainstorming at home, we pooled our ideas and Macy, being the only one who has friends, tested them out. We ended up with this:
A 3 player card game based on trust where the player or players aim to create a full rainbow gradient composed of cards representing ROYGBIV and the colors in between those seven colors.
EACH PLAYER GETS FOUR CARDS.
THEY FACE THE CARDS TOWARDS THE OTHER PLAYERS.
YOU CAN SAY WHAT ANOTHER PLAYER HAS. THIS CAN BE HONEST OR DISHONEST.
ONCE THEY KNOW, THEY CAN CHOOSE TO PLAY THAT CARD. OR TO WAIT.
players can choose to play cards to reach a collective gradient, or play a 4 gradient to start building their own.
COLOR BAR – A GRADIENT OF 4
The primary colors are laid out on the table
The first round consists of each player telling the person next to them what card they have. They DO NOT have to be honest.
From then on, everyone one by one makes a move: they can either decide to play a card, tell someone what they have (ex. pointing to a specific card and saying “this is a blue card” or “you have two colors that you could use to make a color bar”), hold, or remove a card. Once again, they DO NOT have to be honest.
If a player choses to play a gradient and they’re wrong, all the cards reset back to RED/YELLOW/BLUE
If a player chooses to play a gradient and they’re correct, they collect all the cards in that 4 set and they’re removed from the table. The players must wait until they return again from the deck.
If a player plays a double because they think it’s not a double, the colors to the immediate right and left of it remain on the table and all other cards are reset. They can also choose to completely discard it and draw a new card.
VICTORY (SOLE OR COLLECTIVE) IS DECIDED ONCE A GRADIENT IS COMPLETED.
Improvements that can be made at this time would be:
- 5 or more players
- change number of cards to correspond to player number so that hypothetically, each player can make their own full rainbow; 12 cards per person in deck
- players ask questions about their cards during their turn and anyone can answer
- regardless of cooperation levels, make the deck of cards deliberately confusing to throw players expectations off by having unequal amounts of each color card, like a deck containing 20 reds, 8 violets, 34 yellow-greens, 3 red-oranges etc. This could limit the amount of creatable rainbow gradients, forcing some players to work together
- players can hoard cards – would be good with very large decks