Blackjack 35

On Mar. 29th, 2021, 16:41, I posted on my own Wechat Official Account (below is literal translation of the original post):

The first Game Creation assignment was published last week: To revision a board (in Chinese, card or chess-like) game. Our group members has straight-forwardly established the goal of adaptation and that the final production should be centered at stragety. Under our coordination, the game has made great effects on the players, and has won the first place in the final poll. Therefore I would like to share to you our thinkings on the designation.

This is the first group assignment I had done since the game courses started, and also the only non-digital game I've ever made during my undergraduate years.

We only had one week to finish the design, and we chose to revision the Black Jack. We had set our goal at the first place: to make a fun multilplayer game. This could be expanded into:

  • The Black Jack is essentially a two-player game between the dealer and the player; to fit it to a multiplayer purpose, we need to introduce gambit between players.

  • But we also don't want to limit the playability between only 2 players, so we need to keep the downward-compatibility.

  • The original game has a short per-round period, so players would get bored after a few rounds; We will need to tweak the numbers to provide a longer playability and chances of deeper development.

With these ideas, we had designed the following rules:

The Goal

To balance between strategy and gambit, make the total value of your hand card as close as possible to 35.

The Configuration

A deck of poker, without the jacks; (at least) 2 players.

The Routine

Suffle the cards. Paper-scissors-rock to decide which player goes first. Each player draws one public card and holds backward towards themselves. This card is called the public card. Until the final stage, this card is covered to its holder.

Each player takes their turn in a circular order. In a turn, a player can choose between 3 actions:

  • Draw: Draw a card into your hand. The card should be facing towards you and is called a private card.

  • Exchange: Ask another player for exchanging a private card. If they don't agree, you must choose between the other two options.

  • Close: You can cover all your private cards on the table and close the game when you're satisfied. Other players will have an optional extra round. They can either draw or change a private card from the top of the pile. After this round, the game enters the final stage.

Each player must decide whether to count the Aces in their hand as 1 or 11, then uncover all their hand cards and calculate the sum. Jacks, Queens and Kings are counted as 1, 2 and 3. The player with a sum closest but not exceeding 35 wins. If all has exceeded, it's a draw.

Although I probably shouldn't say this, but basically I just did all the design works. It's satisfying to see my design is the most popular one in the class.

And I tried to criticize those pretty but rather dull designs after the class:

Our design is a multiplayer game based on pure rules. Although it lacks a beautiful appearance, it's capable to deliver the fun. It can provide a strategical mind battlefield for every player. We think that, a game, no matter how beautiful it is, will eventually fail if it has not a carefully designed ruleset. From our communication with other groups during the class, we found that many people choose to make pretty instead of fun designs. Maybe they just want to attract attentions to get a good grade, but if one is making a game based on such thoughts, one should probably transfer into an art major instead.