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Knights Templar

Knights Templar is a card game. My objective was to experiment with game design where there are two, opposite means of winning. I also wanted to try creating a casual game where the players 'respond' and anticipate rather than actively and heavily plotting (a departure for my natural design inclinations). It should also be noted that the theme here was a bit of a design challenge as well; most of the game is intended to represent a mental struggle between good and evil, both in the cards and in the player's own mind.

The premise is that the players are a group of knights templar charged with transporting the holy grail. Each knight must battle his own inner demons of doubt, greed and mistrust in the others. Eventually, each knight individually will be driven by the forces of the devil to turn on the others until only one knight remains.

Each player draws and plays a card on his turn into a series of piles in front of him -one for each opponent. Each pile represents his suspicions and preparations for the corresponding rival to turn on him; the better prepared a player is for his rival, the better his chances of defeating him if he should turn. A final pile corresponds to the player's own temptations. At any time, a player may deem his temptations strong enough to make an attempt on the other knights; once he does so, there is no turning back and the knights fight to the death.

To keep things interesting, I added special 'hold' cards that remain in your hand and may be played once a fight is initiated. I also added a physical positioning aspect - each player has a card representing himself placed in a 'field' in the center of the table; as the game proceeds, players move their knights, either out of or into contact with the other knights. The positions of the knights will have an impact once the fighting begins, depending on who turns and which cards have been played.

Results: I think there are some good ideas in this game but I took the 'passive' premise too far. I never really got the chance to play test Knights Templar sufficiently, so the issues weren't fully addressed and it still needs a little tweaking. As I remember, the physical location aspect needs to be given a stronger role (allowing for greater swings of power) and more information should be exposed to the players (the lack of open knowledge reduces some of the tension that could be building during the course of the game).

 

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