SUPERHOT: The Card Game – Designer Diary 1

boardgame, boardgame prototype, designer tips, game design, Superhot

SUPERHOT is a first person shooter in which time only moves when you do.

I’d like to tell you how I brought that core mechanic to SUPERHOT: The Card Game.

If you look at it closely, SUPERHOT is pretty much turnbased already. The super slow motion gives you time to look around and plan your next move, and the choice of when to speed it up is in your hands.

The mechanics in SUPERHOT: The Card Game are based on Agent Decker, whose core systems are deckbuilding and mission progression. The main thing that didn’t fit the theme was the Alarm, which is the main threat and the source of the hardest decisions.

This was the perfect time to bring in SUPERHOT’s core concept: “Time moves only when you do”.

superhot_line

At the center of the table there’s a line of six cards. They represent where you are, what you see and which enemies are there. Using the cards in your hand you can destroy or knock them out, changing the line.

In the following example you have used two cards from your hand. This means the last two cards in the line will be discarded at the end of the turn.

superhot_line2

The remaining cards will scroll to the right and the line will refill back up to six cards.

It’s up to you. Use one card and the line barely moves. Use your whole hand and it can change radically. Time moves only when you move.

This change worked in both a mechanic and thematic thematic sense but without the Alarm we needed a new source of tension. Something to make the players think twice about scrolling the line at maximum speed. Something that is coming in your direction.

I’ve got just the thing: bullets!

superhot_line3

The final piece of this puzzle creates interesting dilemmas, which I’ll cover in the next article.

SUPERHOT: The Card Game is coming to Kickstarter very soon. You can stay up to date by subscribing to the newsletter.

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