Challenge: Make a card game that uses standard playing cards.
Here is the first blush on the rules for this week's game:
1) To play, you need at least 1 standard deck of playing cards (more can be used if desire or the number of players dictates it), a scratch bit of paper, and a rather large table/flat surface on which to play. Each of 3+ players is first dealt 1 card face up in front of them. That is their form starter for the game. Each player is then dealt an equal number of the remaining cards from the deck until either there are no cards left or there are not enough cards left to go around the circle again. If this happens, set the remaining cards aside. They will not be used during the game.
2) The game consists of 3 phases: an auction phase, an assignment phase, and a play phase. During the auction phase you will be determining how many placement rules each player will assign and be assigned for the play phase. During the play phase each player will make a form according to the rules that they were assigned.
3) The placement rules are used to determine what a legal placement in a form is. For example, if someone assigns you a rule that says all red cards must touch 1 and only 1 black card, then anyone putting a card into your form (including you) must follow this rule. The only rules concerning what the rules can be is that they cannot constrict a player to a possible card pool of less than the number of cards in their hand, 2 rules may not contradict one another, and the form starter card cannot be made an illegal placement by any of the rules.
4) Auction phase: Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player will in turn bid for how many rules that they want to assign to other players. This number will also be the number of rules that the other players will assign to the winning bidder. For example, if you win the bid at 7 rules, you will have 7 rules to assign to other players, but they will also collectively assign you 7 rules. The bid starts at 4 rules. The bid is a typical auction bid that continues until all but 1 player (the winning bidder) has passed. If no one bids, the last player is forced to bid 4 rules, but instead of just assigning 4 rules, they assign 2 rules to every other player. They are still only assigned 4 rules by the other players. If you have more than 6 people, do the bidding twice with the winning bidder sitting out the second round.
5) Assignment phase: All players assign themselves 3 rules. Write the rules for each player's form down on your scratch paper. Then the winning bidder assigns out the rules that they won in the bid. The other players then assign the winning bidder their additional rules 1 at a time starting with the player on the winning bidder's left and continuing until all of the rules are assigned.
6) Play phase: Each player places their form starter somewhere on the play space. Once it is placed, it may not be moved for the rest of the game. Starting with the winning bidder, each player in turn places a card either onto their form or onto another player's forms until everyone is out of cards. When you play a card onto another player's form, you must record what card you placed. All cards must be placed with the intention of following the rules of the form that they are being placed into. You cannot move a card once you have passed the turn on.
7) Scoring: The group scores each form 1 at a time. Every card placed correctly in the form counts for 1 point times that form's multiplier. Every rules above 3 adds 1 to a form's multiplier. So with 7 rules, the multiplier would be 4. Every incorrectly placed card subtracts 1 point times the form's multiplier from the player that placed it. That is why we kept track of the cards that you placed in the other players' forms. Whoever scores the highest wins.
Now I just have to play it a bunch and tune it. I didn't explain in the rules why you might want to put a card into another player's form, but if you think about it I'm sure you can see why. You can really mess someone up with a card in just the wrong place. They key is to follow the rules as written while doing the craziest possible things that you can with the cards. Stacking and building are encouraged. Anyway, I'll update tomorrow with results form the play-testing.