Wk 11, Pt. 9 – Game Rules/Dossier Preparation

startup art
Concept for Start-Up! Box art. 

Articulating my game rules in a clear and simple way is probably the most difficult experience of this game creation so far. I have a tendency to mash words terribly; I’m probably the world’s worst explainer-er (see what I mean?). I am using this blog post as practice at streamlining the rules so that they may fit in one single card.

About the game:
Start-Up! Is a card game that can be played with as few as four players and can include as many players as you would like (within practicality, of course). Each player takes the role of an entrepreneur, using the flashcards that the Investor draws as inspiration to create a product or start-up business venture idea. The investor chooses who to ‘invest’ their time in by granting them a large bonus in points, while each entrepreneur chooses their favourite answer from each other to grant a bonus point to.

Included with the game:

  1. A deck of word cards.
  2. 8 x 250 page notebooks
  3. One sand-timer that measures 30 seconds
  4. 200 x red “Investor” Tokens
  5. 500 x green “Entrepreneur” Tokens

How to play Start-Up!:

  1. Shuffle the deck of cards and place it in the middle of the play area. Pick the person who will go as the Investor first. Rotate as the investor clockwise around the circle at the end of each round.
  2. The investor will draw 3 cards from the top of the pile and lay them down for everyone to see. The investor will then flip the sand-timer to start the 30 second countdown.
  3. During the countdown, all other players (entrepreneurs) will take this time to come up with as many business or product ideas as possible and write them down in their notebooks.
  4. When the sand-timer countdown elapses, all ideas are then read aloud by each entrepreneur to the group and the investor.
  5. The investor will choose which idea to invest in with a red investor token (worth 5 points), which will be handed to the winning entrepreneur. The winning answer should be something the investor deems worthy of investing lots of money into!
  6. Each player will nominate another player’s idea for a green entrepreneur token (worth 1 point). These tokens represent points for creativity – each player may choose their favourite answer, no matter how bizarre!
  7. Tally the scores at the end of each round and mark them down in the scores section of your notepad. Add the 3 cards back to the bottom of the deck. If the deck reaches the beginning again, shuffle the deck to continue playing.
  8. Continue the game until one entrepreneur reaches 15 points (or another number pre-determined by the other players). Congratulations, winning player! You are now a billionaire (at least, in your dreams).

The Game with almost infinite play styles!

Think you can bend the rules for a different type of game? Perhaps you’d like a speed round. Using the cards as your inspiration, feel free to be as creative as you’d like!


Okay so perhaps the above needs to either be streamlined more, or I could use a card-sized folded pamphlet instead. There is potential for lots of different play styles to be enacted in future, which the prospective community may collaborate on. Unfortunately for now, I don’t think I will have the time to think up more rule-sets to include in the final dossier; as much as I’d like to!

Wk 10, Pt. 8 – Confrontation


To some degree, almost every single board game has it – even the cooperative ones. In the format that exists within my game, Start Up!, the players are directly competing against each other. However, there is no direct confrontation or conflict. In fact, adding the element of the “points for creativity” in my game, there is an added layer of strategy and cooperation in a game that is otherwise completely competitive.

This was actually pretty fun to do.

There was no time for a play-test this time around, however I was able to look to my online community on discord for some suggestions about the concept, as well as to aid in the brainstorming of some words.

This activity actually aided in concept development – it showed that people were willing to throw out words and ideas, and that people definitely had a thought process behind their flow of words. But I digress; back to the subject of confrontation.

In this game, confrontation is indirect. The players are competing against each other in order to appeal to both a judge and their competitors. In fact, the majority of interaction with their peers is in order to appease them –  which adds a very interesting element to the game competitively. This draws direct inspiration from a lot of the games from the Jackbox series of games (available on Steam) as they are primarily party games focused on being entertaining to both the players and the audience. Jackbox works through both the base game, displayed on a TV or streamed through a streaming service such as Twitch, allows players to join the games through their website on their device of choice to participate. Quiplash, in particular, has players come up with witty responses to a series of pre-determined scenarios. The game then takes these answers and displays them for all to see, and the other players who did not take part in answering that particular question vote on their favourites.

Image result for jackbox quiplash
Final round of Quiplash, from Jackbox games. 

Choosing to add this element to my game, I believe, takes away from the stress part of competition, especially as there are those who strategise their winning by appealing directly to the judge (at least, that’s how all of our games of Cards Against Humanity ended up being after a few rounds). The focus is now to be creative, witty, and create unexpected or hilariously practical answers.

Wk 9, Pt. 7 – Abstraction of IP

Featured Image
Shark Tank: The card game?

The game idea that I’ve been developing is a relatively simple concept to begin with for my game, Start Up!, so the abstraction of the game itself is very minimal. In fact, I’ve yet to come up with more than one ‘restrictive’ rule – ie, rules stating that a player CANNOT do something. The rules I have developed are basically general guidelines for gameplay. I am still finessing the details of the wordplay for said rules, but the basic gist of the instructions is as follows:


  1. There is a large shuffled deck containing a mix of adjectives, nouns, verbs and adverbs (I am currently balancing the percentage of these mixes). This is placed in the center of the circle.
  2. Each player (entrepreneur) takes the turn at being the judge – aka. investor – (go around the circle clockwise). The investor draws three cards at the beginning of the round and places them in the center face up for all to see.
  3. Each other entrepeneur then has 30 seconds to write down as many ideas for a start-up business or product as possible on a notepad.
  4. After the conclusion of the 30 seconds, each entrepreneur reveals their ideas. The investor then picks what they deem to be the best idea that they would ‘invest’ in. This entrepreneur gains 3 points.
  5. The other entrepreneurs then get to choose one other idea that they will grant points for creativity into. Each entrepreneur has one point to grant per round, and they cannot pick their own idea.
  6. Make sure to keep count of your score throughout the game. The players may determine how many points to set the goal at, which will also determine the game’s length. Otherwise, the standard would be first to 15 points.
  7. There is a potential for other formats for the game – speed rounds, shark tank, etc – to be added as further expansions, or for each player to make as they go.

In fact, perhaps the most complicated part of this entire process is settling on a preliminary list of words that is fair and balanced. For instance, ensuring that there is not too many adjectives in the list. This is probably the biggest abstraction point for this particular game, as the player will never know just how much degree of thought went into this part of balancing such a simple game. The scoring system draws inspiration from games such as Quiplash (Found in the Jackbox games) and Cards Against Humanity, however each player is in charge of keeping track of the scores and are trusted to be fair and honest. Perhaps in future to assist with keeping track of fairness, I may implement a token system, as well as include a ‘timer’ in the box of each play pack.

Wk 8, Pt. 6 – Detail Ind. Game Materials

Despite my high hopes for what would have been a great addition to the D&D universe, due to time constraints in this semester (and also life being lifey) I have decided to go forward with one of the more simpler (and ironic) games that I came up with – the Brainstorming Game. Something similar to this already exists for entrepreneurs taking classes (and is something we engaged with previously in BCM112 for our digital artifact ideas) however, I wanted to make something more focused on having fun with a group of people, engaging the silliness of our creative minds.

Disruptus has a similar premise however the game is much more complicated than my proposed idea.

My idea for my “Start-Up!” Card game is to have a series of flash cards with word suggestions on it. 3 cards are drawn from a shuffled pile by a judge. Each other player then takes 30 seconds to list as many ideas for a product or business as possible. Points are scored 2 ways. 5 points are granted to a player chosen by the judge for having the best idea (which is subjectively chosen). Then the players are to nominate their favoured player to grant “points for creativity”. Each player (bar the judge) would go around the group and gift 1 point to their player of choice which they believe has the most creative idea.

The game ends when the player-base-decided points cap is reached. It can be raised or lowered to determine game time.

As far as the game materials for this project goes, it would be a simple card-based game with the potential for expansions. We can start off with a set of about 50 cards for play-testing and then further expand this to approximately 150-200 cards of just words. It would also be nice to include up to 8 notebooks initially with 250 pages on each, with places for keeping score. This would ensure that the game can be played immediately upon purchase. If in future someone would like to purchase the official notebooks, they can be made available through a merchandise store online. Otherwise, regular notebooks will do just fine.