Card games

In Your Dreams — Louis Louis

Last night I dreamed that I was playing a boardgame, invented by my unconscious. This is not unusual (for me, anyway) — what normally happens is you wake up excited by having unwittingly designed a new game, run through it in your head, and realize that actually either it’s rubbish or else it’s based on some existing game. A rare exception for me is Nice One Squirrel, as played by some of you, which does more or less work as a game but is unfortunately pretty dull to play. And even in that, in the original version you were playing cuckoos laying eggs in nests rather than squirrels burying nuts, until I realized that that didn’t make any sense at all.

Anyway, to get back to the point, last night’s game I think had some potential. It was called “Louis Louis”, with the players being petitioners to the court of Louis XIV of France. There are various ministers, mistresses etc who have the ear of the King, and you the players are bidding to take control of these so they can present your various projects for his approval. The idea is that you win by getting the particular projects approved that will score you more VPs than the other players, but it’s complicated by the courtiers falling into and out of the King’s favour, other players taking control of them off you, etc. I guess it’s a Knizia-like game of bidding to assemble a portfolio while having to cash in intermediate parts of the portfolio to make your bids — although that aspect of the mechanism, ie. the link between what you were winning and what you were bidding with, was not apparent to me in the dream.

Does anyone know of a game like this that exists already? It seems to me that it was likely inspired by that excellent film Ridicule, but I suppose there are also En Garde-reminiscent aspects to it.

And do you ever dream up games? And are they any good?

17 replies on “In Your Dreams — Louis Louis”

Sounds interesting! Makes me think a tad of Dragon’s Den (but with more interaction), which I’ve been half-arsedly thinking of gamifying some time (I imagine you may have come across the Cheapass game The Big Idea, though this is drifting still further from your Louis notion). I frequently dream up games in the bath, but rarely when asleep AFAIK.

Mm, I guess it is reminiscent of Dragon’s Den — although I was thinking of public works projects rather than money-making wheezes, so I hadn’t spotted it. Hmm, may need to steer it a little more firmly away from that.

I wrote a play-by-Web game, Spore Wars, loosely based on the The Big Idea idea. You were an alien, choosing which of a set of human hosts to implant your spores into. You’d get a better reproductive payoff if your spores were mingled with many of those of your co-aliens, so the skill of the game was to choose which of the (randomly-generated) hosts were likely to be most popular with the other players.

It was quite a fun game I think, although it did rely on getting fairly brisk influxes of fresh players.

Well, French & moving up & down in some sort of status does superficially make me think of Guillotine – althoguh of course there the aim is NOT to get to the top of the queue…

And do you ever dream up games? And are they any good?

Once many years ago I had a dream about a fictional AD&D supplement (back when they were all hardback books). It was a pretty thick tome apparently dealing entirely with underwater adventuring. I didn’t see much more than the cover art in the dream, but it looked quite intriguing.

I was a bit disappointed to discover it didn’t exist, but what was more frustrating was discovering that the book’s apparent subject matter didn’t seem to have much potential after all. So how had they managed to fill such a thick tome ?!

Underwater Adventures! It sounds so right, there definitely ought to have been one, boring or not. At last, we get proper value out of all those sahuagin, lacedons and god-knows-what other rarely-thumbed pages of the monster books.

…and IIRC Sahuagin did have an entire page of the original Monster Manual 1 full of all this detailed stuff about their culture and so on which nobody ever used !

They were probably better off that way, if players had gone adventuring down there they’d only have trashed their civilization. Look at what happened to those poor old Drow who weren’t bothering anybody (much).

Paula and I once wrote a game about marmottes collecting food, having sex and avoiding eagles. We even made a board, if one side of A4 can be called that. It sounds somewhat like your squirrel game.

I thought the cuckoos was actually the first re-write after you solicited ideas – wasn’t the original something to do with old sofas on a council estate (which, frankly, makes your mind even stranger)?

Wow, yes, you’re right, I’d completely forgotten about that. You were going around a block of houses leaving things on / taking them up off of their front steps. Hmm, maybe I should go back to that and give it a rag-and-bone type of concept.

There is the game ‘Louis XiV’: The game, which is about power and influence in the French court at the end of the 17th Century is by Rudiger Dorn.

The 2-4 players 12 and up take on the roles of members of the Court, and have about 100 minutes in which to carry out their missions and goals at Versailles. By using cards and influence stones, they influence high-ranking Court attendants, such as the King’s Mother or one of the countless Royal mistresses. Naturally, the Sun King himself has a special role here too.

An excellent time and a high level of tension are guaranteed. The final outcome is in doubt right up to the end. Each game is different. A change of pace but still a highly promising strategy game in the finest alea tradition, one which sits at level 5 on the Alea complexity scale.

It got a fair bit of buzz when it was released, and is now in the top 100 BoardGameGeek games…. perhaps you are dreaming of pre-exisiting games.

Talking of game design, I don’t dream of games, but I have an idea for a game that came from watching the NFL draft…

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