I wrote before on how it can be hard to design an original card game using a standard deck of cards. There are two type of originality to consider here, original games and original game mechanics.

I believe it is easier to create an original game, built of from existing simple mechanics. This can simply be a variant (such as poker where straights can wrap around, JQKA2 would be valid) or a new game (such as a trick taking bidding game where one suit is trumps and certain cards have special effects).

It is harder to create new mechanics to build your games around. It is possible, just looking through the list of invented games at Pagat should be enough to show you that, but it is harder.

I am not convinced that it is at all necessary to generate brand new mechanics to create a worthy new game. I think it is possible to create games that are perfectly fun to play that are just simple variants of existing games. I think that it will be very rare to see variant games achieving as much popularity as the original, but new games based on existing mechanics can do well (such as King of the Castle).

New games with new and exciting mechanics may do well amongst hardcore gamers, but I think they will struggle to find acceptance among more casual players, because new mechanics will require extra effort to learn and explain, especially when compared to common and well known game mechanics.


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