Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Show HN: My 10-year-old son has made a card game, which he is giving away
103 points by gregpilling on Dec 23, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 34 comments
My 10 year old son Troy has made a card game. It has 27 characters, each with different powers. You can download it here https://www.dropbox.com/s/jrgphx4vn95va4z/LegimonChristmasSet2013.pdf

His goal is to have 100 kids play it, and he wants to give it away free as a Christmas present so that more kids can play it. I have created a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/legimon . He would be ecstatic if anyone has feedback for him.

It may get more love at http://boardgamegeek.com. Lots of people there distribute games to assemble and play, and are always looking for kid-friendly stuff.

http://www.drivethrucards.com/index.php as well.

The unofficial home of print and play card games on the net.

Your son is very talented! The illustrations, writing and game mechanics are fun and engaging.

I hope he learns how to write code (if he doesn't already) because it would be great to see this type of thing implemented as a web-based game.

Thank you. He has done some playing around with Kodu Game Lab, and we have played with some very basic Arduino stuff.

Troy has already done a bunch of sketches for what his tablet game will look like, to make an electronic version of the card game. I hope that is an incentive to learn more for him.

Looks very cool! Good job Troy!

I'm not quite sure how the battles go down.

You pick an attack method, and the # is subtracted from your opponents HP score (possibly x2), and then they do the same?

What happens if they are still both "alive" afterwards? You just move to the next player?

And how do you win? Just be the last player with a live character?

Additionally: how does one "keep score" in this game? Do you gain points for each enemy monster you kill (in which case, it might make sense to have a "trophy pile")? Do you gain points for whichever cards you have remaining when other players are eliminated? What do the levels mean on the monster cards?


Great job, Troy! I teach math to kids about your age, and I think this could be a slightly sneaky way to get my students to practice some of their basic skills like subtraction and multiplying by 2.

The game involves a lot of subtraction. Also keeping track of who is weak guides your strategy.

Start with the HP number, and each attack subtracts the attack value from the HP number. Get to zero and the character is out, and placed in the discard pile.

Troy has not told me what the levels do; they seem to be a way to indicate the more senior characters, but do not affect game play with the LVL number.

That would be great if you would play the game in class. We have played four people at a time, three people and two people. The cards don't all have to be played, or you can use multiple decks. More cards==longer playing time.

How many kids in your class?

I tutor small groups of 4 at a time, all third and fourth graders. I don't actually have a lot of leeway with what I teach, at least not until after standardized tests are done in the spring.

So it sounds like there aren't any "points" or "score" during the game, it's just a matter of being the last player standing -- having a card left when nobody else does. The only scorekeeping you have to do during the game is tracking hitpoints and attacks remaining, correct?

If two monsters fight, do they each just get one attack (and both could potentially survive) or do they keep fighting until one dies?

In a two player game, the monsters keep fighting until one dies. In a more than two player game, the monster can attack any of his opponents, so he might alternate between opponents or team up with another to take out a monster.

We played last night, and a couple alliances were formed. There were two adults playing (me, Wai-ka) and two kids (Axel and Troy). So Troy would attack me, then Wai-Kai, killing my card. I would attack Troy, then Axel would attack Troy, killing Troy's card. The alliances made during the game are not stable though, and there is a tendency to shift sides if one player is too strong.

It reminds me of the reality show Survivor, where people are teams until the end; then it becomes every man for himself.

We initially played with a piece of paper to track scores, but found that since it was subtraction only that we could keep the scores in our head and play faster. If you forget your score, your opponent will happily remind you.

If you laminate the cards, you can write scores directly on them with dry-erase marker.

The winner is the last player with a card.

If there is a battle and the player's card still has HP points, then the turn goes to the next player, clockwise.

For all the purported evils of copyright infringement and intellectual property theft, I wonder if today's children will grow up with such an attitude that will make the Homebrew club seem like 90s-era Microsoft. With today's technology, they can create and share without (from what they can tell) any cost. By the time they're old enough to realize that while nothing is free, they'll have been naturally inclined to see that creation and distribution doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. That seems like an attitude that would be harder to get from the supply-and-demand lessons you learn from a lemonade stand.

I asked him if he would prefer to share it with other kids, or if he wanted me to pursue licensing with a toy company (I own a manufacturing company). He very clearly wanted to share, and set his goal of 100 people playing the game. He has a decent sense of money, and he understood that it was his intellectual property, and that he was retaining commercial rights.

He has more designs coming, so I am sure he will want to share those also.

The facebook.com/legimon page was at 122 likes when he went to bed, with a large grin on his face.

Great Work! I love games, so I'm really happy to see a kid so young designing game. Too bad I don't have any kids around to play this with.

Does he have any thought on "fluff"? Ask him about the Legimons he created, what sounds they make, if they are fierce or mostly friendly. Making a world and a story is almost as much fun as making a game (and will give more value to the game).

On a totally unrelated note, your son has "ruined" my weekend. Legimon just made some game mechanics ideas pop in my head, so I'll probably spend my weekend scribling stuff and making game components.

All around, thank you for sharing!

This is exciting, especially the CC licensing, which will encourage kids to expand the game themselves. As a kid I've made similar projects, and I know I'm not the only one. Good job! :)

Troy very clearly wanted to share with other kids, but to charge if someone wanted commercial use. So he picked the creative commons license.

Wow, very creative! I know it's not the cheapest way to do it, but MooCards.com makes it really easy to print sets of unique business cards (like each card in the stack has a different design) - that might be a fun way to 'make it real' with cards he can play with his friends if he manages to get a league going at his school or something!

Great work Gregpilling Jr, keep it up!

Thanks for the tip about moocards, we will look into it.

I printed out the files at work for him on paper, and used the paper slicer there to make the cards. Scissors also work of course. My kids are playing with 5 decks right now, and that seems to entertain them.

Wow this looks like fun! Printing out to play my nephews / nieces tomorrow, they will love it :D

Where can I submit balance issues? :P

You can post to here, or to the facebook.com/legimon page.

There are some issues caused by the fact that these are the first 27 characters of more than 100 written out so far. Not all of the characters in this set have "x 2" enemies.

Nevertheless, we have played about 5 games where the action went down to the last card. I have been surprised by that.

You've got a really talented kid, and he's lucky to have a parent who encourages him to distribute his ideas. One great way to expand on this would be to get him into programming this game - Scratch (scratch.mit.edu) is pretty popular amongst kids of his age. Best of luck to him!

I will show him Scratch and see if it interests him.

No cut marks? No pantone color chart for printing?

(seriously, joking! :)

Will print this and play with my godson tomorrow (13)

Awesome. I usually tend to have an asshole-ish attitude in my comments, which I highly apologize for, but in this case: I just love them :)

I remember making tons of board games when I was a kid. What happens when you want to play an evolved character? How does that work?

Downloading now for my 9yo son and I to play...

Well done Troy!

Artwork looks really nice how was that done?

Looks way better than anything I could do. Did Troy do it all himself?

Troy did a pencil crayon sketch of all the characters, with their skills, attacks, strengths and weaknesses plotted out. A nice person named Jannzky did the graphic designs from Fiverr.com

The PDF says it was made by someone on Fiverr. :))

The character sketches and features done by Troy, Jannzky@Fiverr.com did the line drawings, and then I cobbled it together to make cards out of the finished drawings.

Then give it away! If Troy is happy how it works this time then he will keep giving it away. There are some pencil sketch plans for an app that I have seen.

if your son worked in tech he'd have been sued by a troll by now. I really like the drawings :D

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact