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Subject: Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! - rules thread rss

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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Hey gang!
I have been working on a simple, fast-playing card game for over a year, and am happy to finally reveal the details to the community. Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! is a card game of rhyme and reason for kids of all ages. The game is for 2-4 players, has special solitaire rules for a single player, and takes about 15 minutes to setup and play. GDFR! is designed by David Luis Sanhueza (me), with illustrations by the supremely talented Mike Maihack.

The goal behind the design was to create a game which would encourage young girls and boys to play together and with their parents. Although a simple and humorous game that is quick to learn, GDFR! was designed with real educational value in mind: playing promotes language skills, problem solving, and strategy. This is all wrapped up in a cute and funny Goblins vs. Fairies theme, with game mechanics revolving around rhyming and symbol matching.

This is the first game that GAME-O-GAMI will be publishing this year, and it's time to vette the written rules. The latest version of the rules has been posted on the GAME-O-GAMI development blog:
http://www.game-o-gami.com/2012/03/29/how-to-play-goblins-dr...

The card designs haven't been revealed yet, but here are some of the really cute illustrations which Mike Maihack has created so far:



I have also included the rules in this thread, for review and discussion. We want to make sure that the rules are as clear and easy to follow as possible. So any feedback you can give us now on parts of the rules that seem confusing or broken will be a BIG BIG help to us.


[edit: the rules have been revised to v1.1 - thank you for your help and feedback! Check page 2 of this thread for the updated rules.]

---------------------------------------------------------------

Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! (rules v1.0)
by David Luis Sanhueza

Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! is a card game of rhyme and reason for 1 to 4 players.
A gang of mischievous goblins have escaped from the Fairy Circle, and it is up to the players to send them back before they cause trouble! But an ancient spell of rhymes which transforms goblins into fairies and fairies into goblins makes this a trickier task than you might think…


The Cards
This game consists of 20 unique cards. Each card has two sides, one representing a goblin, the other representing a fairy. When a card is goblin-side-up, it is called a “Goblin.” When a card is fairy-side-up, it is called a “Fairy.” Cards with stars around the edges are called “Star Cards.”

Each side of a card has one of 4 Symbols. The Symbols are “Sun”, “Moon”, “Mushroom”, and “Frog”. If a card has a Sun Symbol, then the opposite side is always a Moon Symbol. If a card has a Mushroom Symbol, then the opposite side is always a Frog Symbol.

The names of the Fairies and Goblins are divided into 5 rhyming groups. All names end in one of these five sounds: “oop”, “elly”, “ock”, “our”, “ew”. No two cards share the same combination of Goblin and Fairy rhyming groups. No card has the same rhyming group on both sides.


Setting Up The Game
Players sit in a circle and take turns going in clockwise order. All players can see each others’ hands at all times, so there is no secrecy. However, it is against the rules to look at the face-down side of any card once the game has started.

When dealing, all cards in the deck should be goblin-side-up. At the beginning of the game, each player is dealt one random Goblin Star Card. Any un-dealt Goblin Star Cards are then set aside, out of the game. The remaining cards are shuffled, and then each player is dealt 3 more Goblin Cards from the deck, starting with the player to the dealer’s left.

Once each player has 4 Goblins, then 4 Fairies are dealt from the deck to the “Fairy Circle,” in the middle of the play space. All remaining cards are then set aside, out of the game.
Then determine which player goes first.


How To Play
1) Add - On each player's turn, that player must add 1 of his cards to the Fairy Circle. A player can add any 1 of his cards, including a Goblin or a Fairy.

2) Flip - If the names of any cards in the Fairy Circle rhyme with the name on the added card, flip them over: Goblins become Fairies and Fairies become Goblins. The added card does not flip over.

3) Take - After the player finishes flipping the cards over, she must take all cards from the Fairy Circle which match the Symbol of the card she added. (Example: all other Sun Symbol cards when the player added a Sun Symbol card.) The player does not take back the card she added.

Star Cards are special. When a player adds a Star Card to the Fairy Circle, ALL other cards in the Circle are flipped over, regardless if they rhyme with the added card or not. The player then takes all cards with a Symbol that matches the card she added, as usual.

After a player has finished taking cards from the Fairy Circle, the next player starts her turn, going in clockwise order.

The goal of the game is to be the first player with NO Goblins when your turn is over. It is okay if a player has Fairies when his turn is over. As long as he has no Goblins, that player wins!



Rules for a 1-Player Game
The rules above are for a 2-4 player game. Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! can be played by a single player, much like Solitaire. The rules for a 1-Player game stay mostly the same, with a few changes:

Setup
At the beginning of the game, deal yourself one random Goblin Star Card. Any un-dealt Goblin Star Cards are then set aside, out of the game. Shuffle the remaining cards, and then deal yourself 5 more Goblin Cards from the deck. You start with a total of 6 Goblins.

Then deal 6 Fairies from the deck to the “Fairy Circle,” in the middle of the play space. All remaining cards are then set aside, out of the game.

How To Play
1) Add - On each turn, add 1 of your cards to the Fairy Circle. You can add any 1 of your cards, including a Goblin or a Fairy.

2) Flip - All cards in the Fairy Circle which rhyme with the added card are flipped over: Goblins become Fairies and Fairies become Goblins. The added card does not flip over.

3) Take - After you finish flipping the cards over, you must take all cards from the Fairy Circle which match the Symbol of the card you added. (Example: all Frog Symbol cards when you added a Frog Symbol card.) You do not take back the card you added.

Star Cards are special. When you add a Star Card to the Fairy Circle, ALL other cards in the Circle are flipped over, regardless if they rhyme with the added card or not. You then take all cards with a Symbol that matches the card you added, as usual.

The game continues until you have NO Goblins when your turn is over. It is okay if you have Fairies when your turn is over. As long as you have no Goblins, you win!

Special Challenge: each time you play, see if you can win in less turns than the time before.

If you give up, then the Goblins will run amok and cause you endless amounts of mischief… You have been warned!



Rhyming Guide
Here is the list of Goblin and Fairy names, split up into the 5 rhyming groups:

Dusty Dour, Nappy Hour, Needs a Shower, Cringe and Cower,
Petal Flower, Sweet and Sour, Dewdrop Shower, Pixie Power

Chicken Pock, Cobweb Shock, Cuckoo Clock, Old Man Sock,
Candy Rock, Poppy Smock, Hickory Dock, Goldie Lock

Gobble T. Goop, Dastardly Droop, Salamander Snoop, Goblin Soup,
Lemon Loop, Rainbow Swoop, Hula Hoop, Vanilla Scoop

Earwax Stew, Spidery Glue, Full Moon Moo, O.P. You,
Baby Blue, Willow Sue, Morning Dew, Penny Clue

Nervous Nelly, Vermin Vermicelli, He So Smelly, Big Big Belly,
Kokopelli, Snowflake Shelly, Lucky O’Kelly, P.B. and Jelly


-------------------------------------------------------------


So there they are! Please do not hesitate to dig in with thorough criticism. What does not squash us makes us stronger! Thank you very much in advance for your feedback. Sincerely,

- Sanhueza

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Liam
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As before I really like the idea. A mechanic that uses rhyming, with charming images is... rather charming.

I've only read the rules through once so I'll wait till tomorrow before making more substantial comments.

I do understand how the game works from the rules you've provided, but an image showing what the table should look like would be helpful. (four legs right?).

The one thing that did jump out at me was the use of gender in the rules:

Quote:
3) Take - After the player finishes flipping the cards over, she must take all cards from the Fairy Circle which match the Symbol of the card she added.


I'd replace 'she' with 'they' - making it gender neutral.

Questions:
Who is the target user?
How long does a game take?

PS: Just read out the rhymes together with my girlfriend - fun. Perhaps 'O.P. You' - could be spelt out more... only one that stood out to us (we got it in the end). 'Oh Pee You'/'Oh Pea You'/'Old Pea Chew'
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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monkeyhandz wrote:
I do understand how the game works from the rules you've provided, but an image showing what the table should look like would be helpful. (four legs right?).


For a two player game, yes, four legs is common. For a three or four player game, it's usually six and eight legs respectively... devil

The use of gender in the rules was to try and make them more personal, while also trying to avoid incorrect grammar. "After the player finishes flipping the cards over, they must take all cards from the Fairy Circle which match the Symbol of the card they added" is grammatically incorrect, I believe, because "player" is singular while "they" is plural. I could be wrong about this, though. Being picky about grammar probably isn't that important for these rules, as long as the meaning is clear. So using "they" instead of "he" and "she", as you suggest, might be the better choice.


monkeyhandz wrote:
Questions:
Who is the target user?
How long does a game take?

PS: Just read out the rhymes together with my girlfriend - fun. Perhaps 'O.P. You' - could be spelt out more... only one that stood out to us (we got it in the end). 'Oh Pee You'/'Oh Pea You'/'Old Pea Chew'


The target user is children ages 7 and up, and their parents.
A game usually takes 15 minutes or less. The less players, the faster the game typically plays. Players who really think out the possible outcomes of each move and play very strategically will likely experience longer games. Actively trying to block other players in the lead by tossing in Goblins you know the leader will have to pick up can make the game take longer - but is also really fun to do. ninja
The target ages and game length should probably be included in the rules (I was already planning on including them on the box.) Good catch!

"O.P. You" was an attempt at humor through subtlety (although the illustration will probably make it much less subtle.) "Old Pea Chew"... gross! I love it! Thank you and your girlfriend for these suggestions, Liam. I'll definitely consider them.

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Herc du Preez
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gameogami wrote:
"After the player finishes flipping the cards over, they must take all cards from the Fairy Circle which match the Symbol of the card they added"

Could also be written as:

"After the player finishes flipping the cards over, that player must take all cards from the Fairy Circle which matches the Symbol of the card that was added"

You might consider using "you" instead to make it more personal/less formal.


I have read the rules a while ago. The images and they rhyming card names is extremely fitting. I can see this game being sold in book stores to parents that think fairies are cute. Even the goblins are cute in this game. thumbsup

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Jarratt Davis
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I love the sound of this game, and the art is fantastic!
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Thank you for the suggestion, Herc. I think rewording some parts to focus on "you" is a good idea. If you want to see some more cute goblins, check out our latest news posting:

http://www.game-o-gami.com/tag/goblins-drool-fairies-rule/


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Tom Scutt
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I really like the game idea, and it sounds like it will be fun.
One bit that I think is ambiguous in the rules:
Quote:
All players can see each others’ hands at all times, so there is no secrecy. However, it is against the rules to look at the face-down side of any card once the game has started.
Use of the word "hand" suggests to me that you pick the cards up. However, from later rules it sounds like you leave your cards face-up on the table in front of you and don't pick them up. Just to be safe, I think it would be worth making this explicit (and maybe replace "hands" with "cards")

A minor nitpick is that:
Quote:
A player can add any 1 of his cards, including a Goblin or a Fairy.
suggests there are cards other than Fairies or Goblins. I would replace "including" with "whether" or "either".

Also, it seems a shame to have those wonderful rhymes and not read them out as you flip them over! In fact, for young kids it would be great to have a 'gesture' icon on each card (e.g. hold your nose for "He So Smelly")
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Steerpike wrote:
One bit that I think is ambiguous in the rules:
Quote:
All players can see each others’ hands at all times, so there is no secrecy. However, it is against the rules to look at the face-down side of any card once the game has started.
Use of the word "hand" suggests to me that you pick the cards up. However, from later rules it sounds like you leave your cards face-up on the table in front of you and don't pick them up. Just to be safe, I think it would be worth making this explicit (and maybe replace "hands" with "cards")


Yes, the cards are left on the table (with whichever side was up when they took them), and players never hold them in their hands like a typical card game. So the term "hand" is misleading. I'll probably replace it with something like "the cards you have" or "the cards in front of you". A poster on the blog had a similar concern to yours:
http://www.game-o-gami.com/2012/03/29/how-to-play-goblins-dr...


Steerpike wrote:
A minor nitpick is that:
Quote:
A player can add any 1 of his cards, including a Goblin or a Fairy.
suggests there are cards other than Fairies or Goblins. I would replace "including" with "whether" or "either".


Good catch, Tom. That will be easy to fix.


Steerpike wrote:
Also, it seems a shame to have those wonderful rhymes and not read them out as you flip them over! In fact, for young kids it would be great to have a 'gesture' icon on each card (e.g. hold your nose for "He So Smelly")


Reading the names out loud as you flip them is something that players often tend to do already. Others have also suggested putting it specifically into the rules, so I'm considering whether I should do this or not.
Your "gesture icon" idea rocks! That could be so much fun. I have to consider the effect it would have on the simplicity of the game and the card designs. Maybe include it in a "deluxe" version of the game? But wow, what an awesome idea. Thank you!

- Sanhueza
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Ben Argo
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Heart the goblin!
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David Thornton
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Such a fun looking kids game!! Definately getting this for my boys, they love rhyming, just like thier Papa!
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Glad to have your clan on board, David. You will be able to preorder Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! on Kickstarter, hopefully soon.

Henry - me too!
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Kevin Nunn
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monkeyhandz wrote:
I'd replace 'she' with 'they' - making it gender neutral.


The third-person-plural pronoun convention is increasingly coming into question. More common now is either writing the rules in the second person:

3) Take - After you finish flipping the cards over, take all cards from the Fairy Circle which match the Symbol of the card you added.

or picking a single gender--she is perfectly fine--and sticking with it:

3) Take - After the player finishes flipping the cards over, she must take all cards from the Fairy Circle which match the Symbol of the card she added.

I personally prefer to write in the second person but most publishers I work with prefer rules written in the second person so YMMV.
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Joe Mucchiello
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kgnunn wrote:
The third-person-plural pronoun convention is increasingly coming into question.

According to whom? They was good enough for Chaucer and Shakespear wasn't it? It's how native English speakers TALK. Only uptight folks call it into question. Don't listen to them.

And don't write game rules in 2nd person, you find that rules written in that manner annoy you.
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Jake Staines
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jmucchiello wrote:

According to whom? They was good enough for Chaucer and Shakespear wasn't it? It's how native English speakers TALK. Only uptight folks call it into question. Don't listen to them.


I tend to agree that it's mostly unnecessary to be completely grammatically perfect in boardgame rulebooks, and I get the idea that - as with all things - a lot of the supposed changes in the state of things are fads which are like as not just passing through.

Personally, as much as I realise that it's just as valid as 'he' in a literal reading, and while I have nothing against the idea of equality between the sexes, using 'she' throughout a book just smacks of political correctness to me and puts me right off a game, author, writer, etc.
(Fundamentally, the English language has used 'he' as a non-gender-specific general pronoun for a long time, it's what people are used to, and as a result 'she' actually makes the text less readable unless you're talking about specifically female subjects. If anyone feels like complaining about 'language as a tool of subjugation', they'd better hope they don't use any words like 'right', 'dexterity' or 'sinister' in their game text, or as a left-hander I'm going to call them a giant hypocrite. )



The key factor should always be readability and clarity. On one hand, if a colloquial tone doesn't detract from clarity, then it can be a good thing as it's often more readable for a lot of people. On the other hand, going out of your way to be different and using different conventions to those that the language has had for a long time definitely hurts both.



(That said, I'd also advise against looking to Chaucer for inspiration; these days his writing is pretty much totally unintelligible! ;-)
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Thank you Kevin, Joe, and Jake for your feedback.

This game was designed specifically with the goal of bringing boys and girls together in a fun activity. I wanted the game to be appealing to and inclusive of both genders. A big part of this is in the theme and artwork: the Fairies are an exaggeration of the image of young girls (sugar, spice, and everything nice), while the Goblins are an exaggeration of the image of young boys (frogs, snails, and puppy-dog tails).

The rules were written with this purpose in mind, by using both "he" and "she" in an attempt to include everyone. But I realize that this might be confusing. Sticking to only "he" or "she" would avoid this confusion, but might work against the purpose of inclusion. Another goal of the game design, to aid the development of children's language skills, makes me not want to use the word "they" incorrectly. But like I said earlier, I might be being too picky about this, when what is important is making the rules clear and easy to read.

I will try writing in the second person to see how that goes. It might be a little tricky to fit "you" into some spots, but at least it's only a few sentences.

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Sean Forrester
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Using "they" in the singular is not incorrect. At least, it is not definitively incorrect. You can check out the Wikipedia page on the subject HERE. You are using "they" to refer to someone of an indeterminate gender. Apparently, even the 2011 NIV Bible has adopted the singular they for this as well (check about 2/3 down in the "Acceptability" section).


Personally, I find the second person "you" to be very informal. However, this may be more accessible to kids, if that is your target audience. Point being, use whichever format you like. They are both acceptable and I've seen both successfully used in rulebooks.

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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Thank you for the info and the link, Sean. That is most helpful!

I have been thinking that I should add some strategy tips to the rules. Some of the strategy behind Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! is not apparent until you have played for a bit. Some examples would be:
------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Don't be afraid of taking a bunch of Fairies - they will not slow you down from winning. As long as you avoid taking new Goblins, you are doing well."

"Hold on to your Star Cards until you are in a pinch. They will flip all of the other cards in the Fairy Circle over, regardless of the rhymes. When none of your other cards gives you a good outcome, or you seem to be in a stalemate with your opponents, tossing in a Star Card can change the game for you."

"If you cannot get rid of any of your Goblins without taking even more Goblins, consider getting rid of a Fairy instead. It will not get you closer to winning, but it might keep you from getting even farther away. Adding a new Fairy to the Circle might also help slow your opponents down if it turns into a Goblin that one of them has to take."

"Always pay attention to how many Goblins each of the other players has. When a player has only 1 or 2 Goblins left, he is close to winning. You can try to slow that player down by adding to the Circle a Goblin which shares a symbol with one of his Goblins. If it doesn't get flipped or taken by another player, he'll have to take it."

"When flipped, a Fairy of one symbol will turn into a Goblin of the opposite symbol. For example, a Moon Fairy will become a Sun Goblin. Remember this to set your opponents up with tricky traps!"

"If you find yourself in a loop where you are getting rid of and then taking back the same Goblins on every other turn, it might be time to take drastic measures! Adding a new Fairy or Goblin to the Circle which forces you to take back even MORE Goblins could be the solution. This can set you back a turn or two, but by changing up the Circle it might just set you on the right path to eventually winning."


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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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The card prototypes arrived from Hong Kong last week, and we've had a ton of fun playing with them since. It's really, REALLY exciting to be this close to the finished product, and to hold that glimpse of things to come in my own two hands! You can read more about it and get the sneak peak of the prototype on the development blog:

http://www.game-o-gami.com/2012/04/17/the-goblins-drool-fair...

The artwork is coming along great, although there is still much more to do. Some things will change, including the corner symbols and star border. What do you think?

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I had the opportunity to playtest Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! this past weekend with four adult strategy gamers...it took about 30 seconds for them to be giggling like little girls. We played four games in a row and we're eager to see the game when all of the art is complete.

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CleverMojo wrote:
...it took about 30 seconds for them to be giggling like little girls.


That is about as good of an endorsement as one could ask for.

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Wow, I just saw this thread. The game looks great! I'm sure my son would enjoy this game - he really likes rhyming.

The goblin/fairy names are genius. Well done.

I'm subscribing to this thread to hopefully find out when this game will be available (Kickstarter right?)
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Andreas Pelikan
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When I write rules, I tend to use third person in the Setup section (one player shuffles, each player gets, ...) and then switch to second person (on your turn ...).

When describing Flip and Take, you have to explicitly exclude the 'added card'. What if 'Add' happens as a last step? You'd choose a card to 'Enter' the fairy circle, causing unrest, 'Flip' rhyming cards, then 'Take' matching cards, and finally you'd 'Add' the new card.

Uhm, 'card'. It would be good to have a common thematic name including both fairies and goblins. Just like you refer to a 'card with goblin on top' as 'Goblin', you could refer to 'card' as character, being, or something along that line.

On first read I felt uncertain about the goal. I would have guessed it's a coop and the goal might be to fill the fairy circles with fairies. But there are no goblins in the circle. Only at the very end I learn that we are competing to be the first player without any goblins in our own hands (houses?). A section 'Overview' before 'Setup' could set expectations right.

What about a standard flipping poem, something like "Here comes ..., Good Night ..., Sleep Tight ...., ". 8 lines long, just in case all characters of one ending are out. And of course encourage players to modify the poem if they want to (no penalties!).

And since there's the rhyming in the Flip phase, why not also some formula for the Take phase? Well, frogs go 'ribbit', but I have no idea for sun/moon/mushroom.

Nice little game, and really cute.
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Nathan, that's great to hear! I am confident that this is a game the two of you will enjoy playing together. Yes, Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! will be available first on Kickstarter, at some point in the near future. An announcement will be made to the community when it's ready to go. In the meantime, you can get status updates by subscribing to our newsletter on the home page: www.game-o-gami.com


Andreas, thank you for the thorough review and suggestions about the rules. You raise a very good point about stating the goal of the game earlier rather than later. Although the goal is loosely stated in the first few sentences of the rules, I think the rules will be clearer if I put the specific goal statement at the beginning of the "How To Play" section, in addition to restating it at the end.

It's been suggested before to describe the player's space as their "House." In my mind, I've pictured the players' spaces as Our World, and the center is the Fairy Circle where the Goblins need to be sent back to. It might be good to describe this more in the beginning, to better get the theme across.

The. Flipping. Poem. Is. Awesome.
That is such a good idea, and would satisfy others' desires to have rhyming out loud be included in the rules. I picture what you've suggested working like this:

(player puts their card in) "Here comes Gobble T. Goop!"
(flips over the rhyming cards) "Good night, Lemon Loop, Salamander Snoop, Rainbow Swoop."
(takes the matching symbol cards) "Sleep tight, Needs a Shower, Poppy Smock."

OR

"Here comes Gobble T. Goop!"
"Good night, Lemon Loop."
"Sleep tight, Salamander Snoop."
"Don't fright, Rainbow Swoop."
etc... but that might be too much to have to remember.

Including something like this as an optional rule, and one that players can modify, is such a fun idea! Your suggestion for the symbols is similar to the "gestures" suggestion made earlier. Definitely food for thought for another optional rule.

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Andreas Pelikan
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gameogami wrote:
(player puts their card in) "Here comes Gobble T. Goop!"
(flips over the rhyming cards) "Good night, Lemon Loop, Salamander Snoop, Rainbow Swoop."
(takes the matching symbol cards) "Sleep tight, Needs a Shower, Poppy Smock."

OR

"Here comes Gobble T. Goop!"
"Good night, Lemon Loop."
"Sleep tight, Salamander Snoop."
"Don't fright, Rainbow Swoop."
etc... but that might be too much to have to remember.


I was actually thinking of the second version, but the first one makes more sense. It needs some tweaking for a smoother flow (the words should tell you what to do, and set the atmosphere right). Below is a short example how it could look like. Feel free to pick it up, or tweak it further to set the mood right. Probably it should be more explicit and unmistakeably tell you 'if the name rhymes, flip it over', 'if the corner icon matches, take the card' .

Anyway, here my attempt:


(Add a card)


Gobble T. Goop
jumps inside


(Flip rhyming cards)

now flip to hide
Lemon Loop
Salamander Soop

-- or --
now flip to hide
no-one far and wide


(Take matching cards)

The Sun will shout:
" Needs a Shower out
Poppy Smock rout
... 's a trout
... "

-- or --
The Sun will shout:
"No-one's about*."


(* Shakespearean language, meaning 'no-one's around'. Not sure if that's would be suitable)

I think playing with the poem should be optional (i.e. play without reciting if you think that's too childish). Game-play sounds pretty tactical and might have a broader appeal, but the poem might put some teenagers / non-parent adults off.

I also like the gestures suggestion. Like the poem, it would lend itself as an option.

Edit: formatting, and lower/greater than signs clutch.
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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I like the way you think. I agree that the poem should help convey what is going on during the actions that the players are performing. Optional, of course, for the reason you listed above, but it will be a nice addition to extend the fun of the game for children.

I think you just earned yourself a "thank you" somewhere in the credits.

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