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Help me Improve my Culinary Card Game for Kickstarter: Cooking Party Cards

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mouser:
I'd like to request your help in improving my Culinary-themed card game that I would like to try funding on Kickstarter.

Cooking Party Cards


DOWNLOADS:

* Everything including rulebook, one page description, and complete print-to-play pdfs for cards: http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/cookingparty/CookingPartyCardsGame.zip
* Or just rule book: http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/cookingparty/GameRulebook.pdf
* Or just one-page description of the game: http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/cookingparty/GameDescription.pdf

Here's where the game currently stands:

* I have a draft of the basic rulebook.
* I have a complete set of about 150 draft prototype cards.
* I have playtested the game with a few friend and family, and it's gone over great -- my 8yr old niece who likes cooking shows loved it.
And here's what I know I need help with:

* Coming up with a better name.
* Adding additional variants of gameplay.
* Adding a main gameplay mode that does not depend on subjective culinary judgement.  That is, I want to add an alternative, more traditional card game that can be played with the cards, for people who may not love the idea of a subjective social party game. Adding small amount of extra indicators on cards to facilitate this is possible (numbers, etc.)
* Coming up with kickstarter goals, "perks" etc.
* Finding an enthusiastic partner who likes the game and wants to handle the kickstarter parts like making a high quality kickstarter video, etc. and handling all of the work involved in the kickstarter and "markering" aspects.
* Playtesting.
* Writing an ingredient guide and glossary (basically some info+trivia about each ingredient and general culinary tips).
* Funding it if/when it gets to kickstarter!
* Inventing new Assignment Cards
* Creating expansion packs (like a Thai food pack of cards, a pack of cards for making mixed drinks, a spice/fish/cheese specialty pack, etc.)
I would really love some help from the gang here.. It's a simple game idea, nothing ground breaking, but I still think it's a fun idea and I'd love your help in exploring the possibility of using kickstarter for a fun little project.

mouser:
Updated with change to rulebook -- I've added something called "Chef Assignment Cards", which basically give Judge players a deck of suggested assignments for the Chefs.  I think this will help new players ease into the roll of Judges, giving them a wide range of creative assignments (that have been playtested for balance) to choose from.  After people are comfortable with the game they may dispense with these and simply invent their own assignments on the fly (which is what the original rules proscribed).

Examples of Chef Assignment Cards:

Title: Chef's Dish of Choice
Chefs: Prepare a single dish of your choice.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.

Title: A Unique Appetizer
Chefs: Prepare an appetizer with never-before-seen flavor combinations.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.

Title: Distasteful Dish
Chefs: Create the worst tasting dish they can come up with.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.

Title: A 3-Course Meal
Chefs: Create a 3-course meal -- an appetizer, a main course, and a desert.
Judge: Deal each chef 12 cards; they made trade in up to 7, twice.

Title: Sandwich of the Day
Chefs: Invent a new sandwich; assume you have the bread of your choice.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.

Title: Soup of the Day
Chefs: Invent a new soup; assume you start with a traditional soup base/stock and juse add flavors.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.

Title: The Special Ingredient
Chefs: Prepare a single dish of your choice, using the Special Ingredient.
Judge: Choose a Special Ingredient of your choice from the Ingredient deck and place it face up on the table.  Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 3, in addition to the Special Ingredient.

Title: The Secret Ingredient
Chefs: Prepare a single dish of their choice -- incorporate the Secret Ingredient when it is revealed.
Judge: Choose a Secret Ingredient of your choice from the Ingredient deck and place it face *DOWN* on the table.  Tell the chef's the kind of ingredient it is (spice, fruit, etc.) but not the actual Ingredient.  Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3.  After chef's have traded in any cards, turn the Secret Ingredient face up.  Chef's must create dishes using at least 3 ingredients, in addition to the Special Ingredient.

Title: Teamwork Meal
Chefs: Work as a team to create a 3-course meal -- an appetizer, a main course, and a desert.
Judge: Divide players into teams with no more than 3 players on each team. With teams of less than 3, choose which players will have to make multiple dishes.  Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.  Each team must create an appetizer, main course, and desert.  Award points to each team -- all players share the points for their team.  You may also give one player some bonus individual points.

Title: Neo-minimalist
Chefs: Prepare a single dish of your choice, using exactly 3 Ingredients.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 4; they must use exactly 3 ingredients

Title: Sabotage
Chefs: Prepare a single dish of your choice.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.  After all Chef's have traded in any cards, instruct each Chef to pass one card clockwise (or counter-clockwise); Chefs *MUST* use the card passed to them in their final dish.

Title: Pot luck
Chefs: Prepare a single dish of your choice.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.  After all Chef's have traded in any cards, instruct each Chef to choose one card at random from their clockwise (or counter-clockwise) neighbor; Chefs *MUST* use the card they pick in this fashion in their final dish.

Title: Chef's Dish of Choice*
Chefs: Prepare a single dish of your choice.
Judge: Deal each chef 7 cards; they made trade in up to 3; they must use at least 4.  ONLY AFTER chef's have traded in their cards and discarded ingredients they will not be using for their dish, announce to them the surprise -- that they will be trading their entire hand of ingredients to their clockwise (or counter-clockwise) neighbor.

mouser:
One fun idea I had for a kickstarter perk is, if by some miracle it raised enough money to make it economically feasible, we could rent out a small restaurant and a professional chef or two, and have a little one-night tournament where players create dishes at their tables, and chefs actually cook, plate, and serve up the dishes for final judging, and we hand out a trophy.  Video recorded and posted online of course.

mwb1100:
Interesting idea - on reading the instructions it feels more of a culinary 'role playing game' than a competitive game.  I watch some of those cooking shows (Top Chef, Chopped, Restaurant Impossible) with my wife, and while I'm not a rabid fan, they sure can be entertaining.  I could see how a group of fans of those types of show might really enjoy this game.  Who knows - some interesting actual meals might pop out as a result!

Also, it kind of reminds me of those 'deal-a-meal' recipe cards that were hawked on TV long ago (a nostalgia thing).

Unfortunately, being supremely non-creative, I'm ill-equipped to provide any help of the sort you're actually looking for.

mouser:
Who knows - some interesting actual meals might pop out as a result!
--- End quote ---

We've yet to play a game where we weren't saying at various points: "I'd really like to try that and see how it tastes!"

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