Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

16 December, 2008

Weekend Design Challenge: Game rules
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:33 AM

Continuing our work from last week, it’s time to start planning out some of the game rules for our proposed board game.

This week, come up with an initial draft of the rules for the game. This is basically a refinement of last week’s discussion. So, make a stab at the initial version of the game rules that you would submit to your boss.

I’ll play along this week and will post my thoughts up near the end of the week. My version will be based entirely on cards without a “game board” exactly.

Extra bonus points if you actually make a prototype of the game to test it out.

I look forward to see what people come up with!


  1. So, my initial concept is to use two decks of cards like in Munchkin. One deck would be for “Patients”, and the other is “Hospital”. Perhaps a third deck would have the equivalent of class/race cards representing roles for the players, as discussed before.

    Roles would determine what he player’s goals are, as has been discussed before. I think it would be most interesting to have players draw 2 role cards in order to give the game a lot more possibilities. Each card would have abilities and/or restrictions.

    Chief of Medicine – Earns 1 point for every patient treated with an expensive procedure or without a costly procedure. Can deny the use of one costly procedure per patient.
    Surgeon – Earns 1 point for a surgical consult. Earns 1 point for each operation. Surgery can resolve the following problems: …
    Nurse – Earns 1 point for every patient he or she helps in this role. Can negate one negative card played against the patient he or see is caring for. This role cannot prescribe treatments.

    Patients drawn from the patients deck would have different problems to be treated. Players could use abilities and cards to resolve the problems. Any patient that is not taken care of is counted as a negative mark against the hospital as a whole.

    Coughing patient – Possible diagnoses: Tuberculosis, Cold, Lung Cancer.
    Cancer patient – Possible diagnoses: any Cancer.
    Bleeding patient – Must stop bleeding. Requires a surgical consultation. Draw another card to see if there are further problems.
    Hypochondriac – Nothing is wrong with the patient, but every doctor must attempt one diagnosis.

    Hospital cards would have various abilities that the players could use to help patients. These could include specialized knowledge, equipment, etc.

    Oncology Training – Can diagnose a patient with any Cancer.
    Familiar Patient – You know this patient and understand his or her problems well. Diagnose the patient or successfully treat a Hypochondriac.
    MRI Scanner – Diagnoses internal problems. Expensive/Costly procedure.
    Super Doctor! – You get the first chance to treat a patient if the first player passes. Lose this card if a patient you take under your care is not treated.
    Misdiagnosed! – Play this card after after a diagnosis. The previous diagnosis was incorrect, ignore all previous effects. Players must find a new diagnosis. Discard at the end of the round.

    A player wins if they get X points. The hospital loses if they lose Y patients. These numbers would probably depend on the number of players.

    Each round a player draws 2 Hospital cards on their turn and then draw a patient to treat. The drawing player gets the first chance to resolve the issue. If the doctor passes, it goes to the next person in turn order. A doctor can pass or attempt treatment. If the patient is not treated by the time control returns to the original player, the patient is considered untreated and is considered “lost”.

    One issue I see is that there could be a lot of specialized terminology required. A design challenge will be to make sure there aren’t a million terms to memorize.

    Any other thoughts?

    Comment by Psychochild — 19 December, 2008 @ 5:44 PM

  2. Weekend Design Challenge: Another week for rules

    [...] that I was the only person to respond to last week’s challenge, I’ll give everyone another week. But, if I get no more responses, I’ll end this project for now. [...]

    Pingback by Psychochild’s Blog — 23 December, 2008 @ 2:03 AM

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