Designstorming 3 – A Car Racer in 40 minutes

Designstorms can be just about anything. Sometimes its just a very simple racing “game”, made in 40 minutes.

Disclaimer – The card images are NOT MINE, nor do I pretend they are mine. These Designstorms are an exercise in creating game designs and generate idea’s not to go into full development. If any of the images are yours and you would like me to take them down, let me know and I will.

For this designstorm I wanted to create a racing card game inspired by arcade racers like Need for Speed. I knew I wanted it to be a “small” game without a complicated track or miniatures. As always I just started designing cards seeing where it take me. Now, I try and take at least a couple of hours every week to work on these designstorms. But for this edition I had just about 40 minutes…


I ended up with a 2 player game where players (like in a deck building game) could “recruit” (how I don’t know yet) speed cards adding it to their current “lap”. Each card they’d recruit would add to their speed. For every 80 MPH a player would reach he would get a lap token. The first player to get to x laps would win the game. But off course there has to be a catch. To spice up an otherwise super boring game and make it more challenging, I wanted to make recruiting high speed cards risky and potentially dangerous. To prevent players from just taking the highest speed cards available a player must roll a dice after playing/recruiting a speed card. This roll would determined if they crash and needed to start the lap over. The speed of the card played would force an opponent to either roll a green, blue, orange or red dice. Each with an increasing potential to fail the lap.

Adding the “crash dice” mechanic alone isn’t enough to make the choice of the players more interesting. I figure a player would still almost always try and recruit the highest possible speed card. So if you could choose out of 5 speed cards, there will still be only 1 card the best option. To counter this, the cards where given effects. As you see in the card examples above, some cards for instance have been given restrictions for when you can recruit them. The cards still mention the “speed roll”, which was the first version of the “crash dice”. Adding card abilities opens legion of possibilities; adding dice to your opponents crash rolls, switching cards, adding/subtracting laps, discarding speed cards etc.. etc…

And that’s it. Nothing more and nothing less. Though I would not challenge myself every week with such a time limit, sometimes it’s interesting to see how these limits affect the design process.  Let me know in the comments how you like to challenge yourself when designing, and stay tuned for more Designstorms!

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