Looking at the card game Yu-Gi-Oh there is a specific element that peaked my interest. The power and might of drawing all of Exodia The Forbidden One’s cards and playing such a powerful monster to combat your enemy. Exodia is a powerful monster that cannot be contained to just one card unlike the rest in the Yu-Gi-Oh game. You have to go through your entire deck to get the 5 pieces of Exodia – Left Leg, Right Leg, Right Arm, Left Arm and Exodia (the torso/face).
I wanted to create a game that had elements from both Yu-Gi-Oh card game – particularly the collecting of the pieces of Exodia and the dice game Yahtzee where you roll five dice and try to make combinations to score points. The better you roll in making combinations the more points you get. Both elements are quite simple with each game, draw your deck in Yu-Gi-Oh to gather all the pieces of Exodia and, roll the dice in Yahtzee to get the best combination of numbers.
To combine these games I wanted a card game where players would draw from a deck and try to create there own Buff Dude (my take on Exodia) and with that Buff Dude compete in Weightlifting Competitions to see whose Buff Dude is the strongest and takes home the win. So my idea is a combination of Exodia limb drawing, Yahtzee dice rolling, the ‘healthy’ workout of going to the gym and the competitive scene of Weightlifting.
Players would start with the same Head Piece and have to join body parts as they go through the turns. First thought was to create a board where players would place their cards when joining onto the head. This idea was scrapped as it made the game feel rigid as it made the game more a fill-in-the-puzzle style of game play instead of just placing body parts togethers.
The design aspect of this game is meant to be quite like a cartoon as the body pieces and general aesthetic are meant to be sensationalized, much like the proportions of Johnny Bravo.
The Cards Players need to have for their Buff Dude is a Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Leg, Right Leg and Chest. There are different levels of each of these cards represented by levels as in level 1, level 2 and level 3. Each of these levels corresponds with a more muscular character. Where level 1 is a scrawny muscle, level 2 is a toned muscle and level 3 is a Muscular muscle. Having higher level muscles is beneficial for the competition portion of the game. Ideally having level 3 muscles around the body is wanted. Though that is not always possible.
This game has been designed for 4 players. Each player is given a Head Card to start. Then they are dealt 5 cards each. Of those 5 cards players choose 3 to add to their head and then discard the last 2 in a discard pile. Players are dealt 5 more cards – play up to 3 cards and discard the rest. Deal out the remainder of the deck which is another 5 cards and play up to 3 more cards again and discard the rest. With this mechanic players have to create their own risk as well as be strategic as there are bonuses for getting the same level on limbs that are needed for the competitions, though every limb is not needed for every competition.
The early card design are simply scrap pieces of paper with the limb name and the level number written on. Below is an example of this and a first run through of the game. The game currently has three levels of each limb that every player can make. So there are 3 levels times 5 different body parts times 4 players = 60 cards plus the additional 4 Head Cards.
Once players have made their Buff Dude, it is time to compete! The competition is in Bench Press, Clean and Jerk, and the Dead lift. Each of these competitions are related to working out and have a work record in some form of competition like the Olympics or Strongman Competition. For this game however the competition is broken down into what parts of the body the player needs to compete and get that edge over the opponents. The more even your body the bigger chance you have of winning.
For the Bench Press players will be looking at their Chest and Arms.
For the Clean and Jerk players will be looking at their Chest, Arms and Legs.
For the Dead lift players with be looking at their Legs and Arms.
With the competition this is where the Yahtzee mechanic comes into Buff Dudes!. Instead of 5 dice I added one and use 6 dice. The aim is to have the best rolls possible. This is done with 3 attempts at scoring the highest score with 3 re-rolls in each of these attempts. Players can keep the number on some of the dice that they like such as if they rolled three 6’s they only have to re-roll the other three dice. After that last attempt the players look at what they have ended with and correlate that with the scoring chart.
Looking at the Bench Press which uses Chest and Arms. Players who have both Level 3 Right arm and Left Arm score an automatic 6 on one of the dice. If they have a Level 3 Chest also this means they get two automatic 6’s on the dice so they would only have to roll four dice. The automatic number is always counted before the first roll. Automatic 6 was made as the game is based on points with 6 being the highest number. I wanted players to aim for the highest score by rolling six 6s.
Though the competitive aspect of Buff Dudes! comes from the luck of what muscle levels you get and how well you roll the dice. I am looking to add a positive and negative attribute feature that relates to bodybuilding and general gym behaviour. These being items that people would use to build muscle to some degree.
These items are already on the limbs of the body. Such as a Level 3 Chest with Steroids. Steroids has an effect that would disqualify the user from a competition if he scored 6’s across the board, but if he has managed to get Steroids on every muscle (Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Leg, Right Leg and Chest) one of these muscles would read “If every muscle you have is affected by steroids the negative affect is nullified”. So if you rolled all 6’s with every muscle infected by steroids you would not be disqualified. You will need that main muscle that nullifies the effect otherwise it still works.
Other items and possible effects are:
Whey protein – Up the level of muscle on this limb at the end of creating your Buff Dude
Creatine powder – Switch one of your Cards with a Random Card from the Draw Pile
Oil – If you end with a 1 or 2 in your final roll attempt half your score
Uneven Pecs – Minus a muscle level to one of your arms at the end of creating your Buff Dude
Bum Bag – Has the effect of both Whey and Creatine
Buff Dudes! is meant to be a quick game where the focus is on creating a Buff Dude and Competing. The idea of Buff Dudes was more of a test to see if I could combine elements of Yahtzee with Exodia.