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Taroky (Amy Price)

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Based on the trick-taking card game of the same name, Taroky is a game as much about tradition and relationships as it is about cards.

Learn to navigate the rules of one family’s take on a centuries old game, and the varied personalities of that family who is playing with you. Watch the Aunts knock the deck and circle the table to change their fortune. Watch the Uncles Fleck and Rare, much to the dismay of the Grandmother.

Taroky is a deceptively complex game with many layers. It is a partner game where you don’t know who your partner is, your partner changes every round, and “talking over the table” is against the rules.

Learn to play Taroky the same way I did, with a little help from the family.

 

Vote for this to be one of the prototypes we make over on Humble.com

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Hi!  I'm Amy and Taroky is a game that is very close to my heart.

To me this is a family tradition. My cousins and I absorbed the intricacies of the game over many years.  First as very young children watching our parents and grandparents and great grandparents play. Then by sitting in for hands as someone ran to the bathroom.  It was my Great Aunt Dolo who first let me sit in her stead for a whole game and shadowed me, gesturing to good plays, silently (and not so silently) guiding me.

The game itself is complex and engaging, but what I treasure most about this tradition was how I got to get to know my family through the game.

There are many variations of Taroky, but none quite like the variation my family plays.  To me this pitch is about immortalizing a family tradition, trying to capture those moments and relationships that really shine when a game is in session, and sharing this treasured part of my life with the world.

 

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Thank you so much for sharing what seems like a game close to your heart Amy. The way you described the layers of the game beyond its rules really spoke to me and as a huge fan of card games I would love to see Taroky developed further during AF. I have this amazing memory of playing a digital board game called Desperate Gods created by Wolfire Games for the Mojam Bundle which ran similarly to AF. The game is a physical simulation for multiple people and has mechanics like shuffling, dealing, flipping and hands. The fact that the entire game was played in a physics sandbox and at any point players could alter the rules or play as in real life was extremely engaging. Anyway best of luck!

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Oh wow!  I'd never heard of Desperate Gods before.  I checked out their video.  I love how the rules aren't enforced by the game!  I would love to do something similar, but maybe the characters you are playing with could "catch" you cheating and you could see their reactions.

And thanks!  

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I can imagine that would be really interesting especially if you had to try and ensure they followed the rules too!

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So intriguing! I was imagining the actual game's rules being relatively simple, but then the social layer adding strange rules and confusing twists, to where it would quickly get out of hand, like the card game Flux.

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Could this be a lot likeTelltale Texas Hold'em and Poker Night at The Inventory but basically instead of Poker you're playing Taroky against a very establsihed set of opponents?  Each game being different because of the personalities and the chances of a different AI partner every time.  

I definitely could see the avenue for this, but would hope there would need to be an UNDERLYING main version the game used, because if the rules could change that often, how would you know what to do unless the system told you what the rules were?

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I think poker night at the inventory did a fantastic job with a lot of aspects of digitizing a physical card game and I could see myself looking to that for inspiration.

To clarify about the rules, there are an unwavering set of rules, but how the game plays out varies significantly based on player choices.  For instance your partner changes based on how you bet, the number of cards you get to manage differs based on a player state that cycles between rounds, etc.  What is and isn't legal is never in question, just what is and isn't advantageous.  

The cool thing about card games is hidden information, and for this particular game there is even more hidden information that is gradually revealed during play.

We're gonna do a livestream of us playing the physical game tomorrow if you want to check it out.

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I would love to check out the stream! You've made me various curious to learn more about the rules! There's nothing that intrigues me more than old, old games I've never heard of.

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I gotta set a reminder for myself on ALL these posts so I know to watch this stream.  Hopefully it'll be during a time I can actually watch.  Busy day tomorrow.

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Nice! Really cool cards I'd assumed it used a standard deck. 

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The deck that I personally use and that you see in the video is a piatnik tarock deck.  It has 54 cards, 22 of which are "taroks".  But if you don't happen to have a deck like that lying around you can also use any "standard" tarot deck, where the major arcana are the taroks.

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I like this pitch a lot. Digitizing a unique existing card game is already neat, and trying to convey different personalities through the computer players gives a lot of room for experimentation.

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I was out in the world when this video went up streaming.  I am now going to watch and I positive after it'll just make me wish we could get like 12 prototypes.

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I like this pitch and enjoyed the stream of you guys playing, although I still have NO idea what's going on with the game rules :)

I'm a bit confused by the setting/gameplay. The art for this looks like you're going for an oldy time setting, like a noble's parlour in 19th century Europe or something. Do you have specific thoughts on the setting or is the art shown on the pitch somewhat random? Is this going to be a big part of the flavor of the game?

Regarding the gameplay, is it mostly about playing and winning the game, like lots of poker games are? So if this is the case, interaction with the other AI "players" would be fun but mostly just flavor/ tutorialization for the game. Or is part of the gameplay learning about the personality of those players, like "cheating granny" and "aggressive brother"? If so, is there any In-Game "point" to that other than learning how to manipulate those AIs in order to win the game more frequently? Is there some kind of meta game, or is it just fun to learn about AI personalities?

Finally, no one "owns" games like poker or chess, so no rights problems making games based on it. I assume that's the same with this, right, being a centuries old game? I was just curious how these things work in practice when a video game is using another game as part of the mechanics. 

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19 hours ago, Amy Price said:

The deck that I personally use and that you see in the video is a piatnik tarock deck.  It has 54 cards, 22 of which are "taroks".  But if you don't happen to have a deck like that lying around you can also use any "standard" tarot deck, where the major arcana are the taroks.

So it doesn't have the Knave, Knight, Queen, and King Cards?

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1 hour ago, Feddlefew said:

So it doesn't have the Knave, Knight, Queen, and King Cards?

It does indeed!  Though we refer to them as the boy, rider, queen, and king, but yes!

 

1 hour ago, Acheron said:

I like this pitch and enjoyed the stream of you guys playing, although I still have NO idea what's going on with the game rules :)

Thank you!  We had fun.  And yeah, the goal wasn't to explain the rules so much as show the flow.  

 

1 hour ago, Acheron said:

I'm a bit confused by the setting/gameplay. The art for this looks like you're going for an oldy time setting, like a noble's parlour in 19th century Europe or something. Do you have specific thoughts on the setting or is the art shown on the pitch somewhat random? Is this going to be a big part of the flavor of the game?

I'm no artist, so for the video I found some public domain really old paintings of people playing variations of the card game.  One of the things that excites me about making this prototype is working with the really talented artists here to create that style and setting.  I'm pretty open to ideas.

 

1 hour ago, Acheron said:

Finally, no one "owns" games like poker or chess, so no rights problems making games based on it. I assume that's the same with this, right, being a centuries old game? I was just curious how these things work in practice when a video game is using another game as part of the mechanics.

Yeah, this game is really old so there is no worry there.  It would be the same to create a hide and seek game within a game, no one owns "hide and seek".  It would also be more accurate to say this is a variation on "Taroky" since the rules being used would be those that my family has developed, which may be similar to variations of the game but are different enough that I feel the need to point it out.  I would hate to offend Czech Taroky aficionados, this is not Czech Taroky, but it is very similar.

We would definitely want to develop our own unique style for the deck of cards

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So... maybe I'm crazy but I get a Gin Rumy  meets WAR feel here.  At least those being the closest games played with the more traditional American playing cards that I can think of if Taroky was broken down in such a simplified manner.

I'm actually hoping this really makes it because there's so much for a team to have a fun tackling it.  Designed an original look for the cards possibly, the UI, just the entirety of taking a card game universally yet lesser known never brought to a huge audience at a level... so much promise especially after seeing the flow.

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7 hours ago, Reid_Harris_Cooper said:

I'm actually hoping this really makes it because there's so much for a team to have a fun tackling it.  Designed an original look for the cards possibly, the UI, just the entirety of taking a card game universally yet lesser known never brought to a huge audience at a level... so much promise especially after seeing the flow.

It's also very manageable for a prototype. Since the core gameplay is Taroky, and Amy has had years and years to understand the deep mechanics, the team doesn't have to worry about making sure it works. Programmers can get right to work implementing those rules and the team can use its creativity flushing out a fun/unique feel and tone to the game. I think there is very little risk with this project, we've seen that the teams at Double Fine can execute on exactly those things in two weeks. 

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