Platform:
Tabletop Tools: Excel Duration: 2 months Role:Game Designer, System designer |
This card game is a solo project that I embarked in the beginning of February 2017. I really love playing card games like Hearthstone, YuGiOh, and Magic: The Gathering, and I drew influences from those games to create my game: Bars & Bodybags. It's a hip-hop themed card game where players battle each other using bars, beats, and rappers. I wanted to create this because I wanted experience with game balance, spreadsheet use, and I've never seen a hip-hop themed tabletop game.
I designed the card rules and balanced the card game, determining what kind of cards would be used, how the players would gain "bling" (or mana), and how long each action and phase should last. |

Rappers are the primary cards of this game. They are summoned by the player to fight for them. They have 5 attributes: Bling, Attack, Defense, Type and Ability. The bling is the cost of playing the card, the attack is how much damage the Rapper can deal, and the defense is how much damage the Rapper can take.

Abilities in Bars & Bodybags hold different weights for the values per how much Bling is necessary to summon a Rapper. For example, for "Bullet Proof", if the Rapper has a Bling requirement between 1 - 5, then it is valued at 1. If it has a Bling requirement between 6 - 8, then it is valued at 2.

I utilized If Statements to calculate what the value of each card would be. For example, here is the equation I used to calculate Dr. Dre's "Off the Chain" value:

In regular programming format, the pseudo-code could look something like this:

If (Bling value <= Bling Requirement (1)){

value = 1;

}

else if (Bling value <= Bling Requirement (3)){

value = 2;

}

else if (Bling value <= Bling Requirement (5)){

value = 3;

}

else if (Bling value <= Bling Requirement (7)){

value = 4;

}

else {

value = 5;

}

The ability modifier is a multiplier that I put on certain abilities. For example, Flex with Ego is valued at 1 per Ego restored. If 1 Ego is restored, it is valued as 1. If 2 Ego is restored, it is valued as 2, etc.

Flex for Draw Card on the other hand is valued at 2, so each card you draw is valued at 2. Draw 2 cards, it is valued at 4, etc.

This is because when you draw a card, you increase your options by much more, and the maximum number of cards in someone's hand at the end of a turn is 5. 1 / 5 is 20%, making it a very valuable ability. However, when a player does Ego Restore, it is only 1 out of 30, making it 1/30 = 3.3%, a much smaller gain.

There are two values: the calculated Value and the Value Estimate. The calculated Value is the value that I calculated using its attributes. The Value Estimate is what the card should approximately be depending on its Bling requirement.l

The equation of calculating each Rapper's "value" is:

calculated value = estimated value

**Attack + Defense + Ability (Ability Modifier) = 2 (Bling) + 1**

Using this, I calculated the estimate balance (the difference between the 2 numbers) and communicated in a visual manner so it would be simple to see whether the cards are relatively balanced or not. 0 difference is "perfect", 1 or 2 difference is ok, 3 or 4 difference is pushing it, and 5 is unbalanced. This is to give the cards some wiggle room with how much leweigh there is with the estimate balances and equations.

The equation of calculating each Rapper's "value" is:

calculated value = estimated value

Using this, I calculated the estimate balance (the difference between the 2 numbers) and communicated in a visual manner so it would be simple to see whether the cards are relatively balanced or not. 0 difference is "perfect", 1 or 2 difference is ok, 3 or 4 difference is pushing it, and 5 is unbalanced. This is to give the cards some wiggle room with how much leweigh there is with the estimate balances and equations.

Finally, I used a pivot table of how the Rapper cards are distributed across the levels (and also to see if I should promote and demote certain rappers to give more cards more variety). There isn't as much variety because there are all whole numbers, but as the numbers are tweaked through playtesting, this pivot table will be very important.

Bars stand in as the "magic card", cards that can be played any time during your turn.
Each has a description and ability, and I also classified each into categories of what kind of advantage it gives the player. For example, regaining health is "Resources", dealing damage is "Offensive", and so on. I also created a pivot table of the percentages of cards that utilize a particular advantage (to see if a certain playstyle is catered to and if anything should be done about it. |