Friday, November 06, 2015

Monster Girl Card Game - Brainstorming I

Writing productivity is still shite.  I suspect it's a mild case of writer's block.  The ideas are there, but the mechanics of transcribing them down as words and sentences are a little jammed.  I suspect it's a little bit of mental sluggishness brought about from trying to make this my sole activity.

In the past I've found programming projects a good way to get the cogs moving again.  It might be a good time to start thinking about monster girl games again.  While going through old notepads I found some notes on a card game idea and thought it might be worthwhile to brainstorm things out here to see if the ideas could form a viable game.

The most obvious way to use succubi/monster girls is in an adult Pokemon-type game where the player summons various monster girls and has them fight (or fuck) monster girls of his opponent(s).

I want to avoid this.

The moment you slap a */* on a card to represent attack and defence values for the purposes of fighting other cards, it's very easy to get stuck on a path that terminates in generic Magic: the Gathering clone.  The design space is large (as witnessed by Magic still being a great game despite being nearly 20 years old) but the basic mechanics tend to end up being very similar.  That said, Magic/Yu-Gi-Oh-lite, with sexy monster girls doing smexy stuff to each other, would probably still be a fun game.

The other and main reason I want to avoid travelling down the obvious road is thematically it doesn't feel right.  Succubi to me seem more about seduction and subtle use of influence behind the scenes rather than bare-knuckle fighting in a pit.

Picture two warlocks (in Phil's world for example) summoning a pair of succubi to fight each other Pokemon-style.  Rather than fight, I think it more likely the two succubi would give each other a wink and then put on a lesbian sex show so hawt their gormless 'masters' would get so horny they'd have to join in... and then get their life/soul sucked out.  (I should write that story!)

I like the idea of the player taking the role of a warlock with access to a bevy of beautiful monster girls and succubi to (maybe) do their bidding.  That seems fun.

I also like the idea of just keeping it to monster girls and seductive succubi.  Having random orcs and other monsters drags it back to being about fighting, which I want to avoid.

So I was thinking of how to represent sexy succubi in a top-down way for a strategy game, and this is what I came up with:

Seduction and Corruption.

And this gives a goal and an idea for the central mechanic.  The players are warlocks.  They summon succubi and other tempting monster girls to attempt to gain control of a kingdom behind the scenes.  This is done through using their succubi to seduce and corrupt various NPC characters.

 Mechanically this can be represented with three decks.  Each player has their own deck and between them is a third deck representing the kingdom.  At any one time there will be a number of cards in play from the central deck.  These are the characters (and also maybe locations and items) that each player will attempt to subvert and corrupt with summoned succubi.

One way of determining a winner would be which player has brought the greatest influence value under their control at a designated end point.

Another thing I thought might work is to have the win condition be a variety of 'king' cards.  The victory condition would them be the first player that successfully had one of their succubus minions seduce and bring a 'king' under the player's control (the game could have a variety of 'kings' such as an actual king, or a pope, or top general of the military - each would have different strengths and weaknesses).

The idea I had then was of chains.  A player wouldn't be able to bring a king under their control right away, even with their most powerful succubus.  They'd need to engineer a situation to be able to get at them.  This could be achieved by chaining through various ranks.  Gaining control of a squire opens up opportunities to seduce knights.  Gaining a knight opens up an opportunity to compromise the elite royal guard.  Compromising the elite royal guard exposes the king.  Once the king is exposed the player can slip their most powerful succubus into the king's (or queen's) bedchamber and claim victory as their succubus corrupts the king into a puppet to carry out their every command (or the succubus's command if the warlock is not careful, succubi being deliciously duplicitous creatures and all that).

It's a rough idea anyway.  I'll add to it with a few more brainstorm-type posts as I think things through.  If it sounds interesting, feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

At this point there's no point getting too excited.  I don't need to remind anyone my track record (especially this year) has not been the best on this type of thing - but if it gets cogs turning again for writing it will be fulfilling its purpose.  And there might be a cool game there to build.


  1. I don't think you should think too much about what gameplay "fits" the succubus theme.

    In the end,
    "Succubus uses sexy lingerie (+2) to increase her natural seductiveness (3) and overpowers the knight's loyality (4)"
    is, in gamplay terms, no different from
    "Orc uses club of hurting (+2) to increase his natural strength (3) and overpowers the knight's defense (4)"

    Or, to return back to your magic example, excange a card's HP with something like "favor points", and once they run out, the card is desummoned, because the summoner lost interest in the succubus.

    That's not to say, your conquest of the kingdom idea is bad, but you don't need to think too much about "gameplay that fits with the theme of the game", since you could always adjust some "flavor text", to make a mechanic so that it fits with a specific setting.

    That said, though, this also leads to the main problem:
    Gameplay always ends up being about numbers and mechanics, no matter what the explanation for them is. So you need a compelling ingame narration for all that happens, so that the player uses his imagination to try to visualize what's going on in the game world, instead of seeing the setting just as sugarcoating on the bare mechanics.

    1. Yup. Most games are bottom-up. Someone comes up with mechanics and then skins them with a theme. Switching the flavour for combat to represent sexy moves rather than club bashes is perfectly valid (most of the MGQ type games are slimmed down versions of FF or DQ with sexy artwork), but I wanted to see if I could come up with a different slant.

  2. This reminds me of White Wolf's "Pimp: The Backhanding" card game.

    1. Just checked that out on BoardGameGeek.

      Yup, the basic mechanic is similar, but with succubi instead of pimps, and dignitaries/buildings instead of hos. But with no dice rolling. Definitely no dice rolling! :D