A game on Game Theory


Apply Game Theory principles into the design process, focusing on a learning experience through play. A game that can steer player's thinking towards making well-informed rational decisions.

Game Description


All players receive a Head Card and 10 life tokens. A pile of kas and life tokens, Events and items card sets, and the Auctioneers token are given to the first Auctioneer. The Auctioneer is the guardian of all common items.


To provide a dynamic flow to every playthrough there are no set rules but only a structure to play the game. One of the 3 player assume the role of an auctioneer. The role of the auctioneer cycles through the players for each round. The auctioneer sets the rules of the game for that round. The next player can follow the same rules or make up their own.

Every round is like a day and consists of three sections.

Registration starts as the Auctioneer deals 3 Event cards to the each of the two players. We can call them bidders. Followed by the Event cards the bidders also get their income of 9 Kas. Event card gives a brief of an event and its penalties. An event can be anything and all events have an item associated with them. The items can be purchased during the Auction.

Rumble starts when the auctioneer puts out 3 item cards for sale. The rules of the auction is all set by the current auctioneer. But there can only be 3 items for sale in one auction.

Reveal starts once the auction is completed. The two bidders show off their events and if any items bought during the auction to rectify any event. All losses are calculated and returned to the common pile of kas and life. And the next player assumes the role of the auctioneer.

The game ends with the last man standing.



An event card consists of an event title, descriptions, penalties for that event, type of event, and a remedy. The event had their own types and highly contextual for that event. This type of format needed to be followed through out. It is necessary for the events to have their own unique format to give the auctioneer opportunity to improvise and modify their rule. It also promotes conflict between players giving them the opportunity to discover the other player's intents.

After testing with the inital prototype, I made a new set of cards that are closer to any normal card game. To provide a clear difference between the event and the item cards the orientation of the event card changed to horizontal with a corner cut. Event types are now color coded.


the alien possession card only works if the player with that event has the alien gun item in their possession durnig that round.


Items cards are the remedies for the events. They are put up for sale by the auctioneer. It has the items name, item descriptions and its initial cost. Each item needs to match their event. The initial cost is only the starting price for the aution and the auctioneer can modify it according to their wish. Item are also contextual to their respective events.

The items are also color coded. Adding to that is another icon to convey the behavior of that particular item. Rectify, Retaliate are the initial item types. The rectify card is used to counter a particular event. There can be multiple events that might need the same Item card. But an item card can only used for one event. If there are two events that need the same items, the player must have two of the same item cards to counter them.


the scissors will not help you in anyway, instead it inflicts the same damege you recieve to the other player.

Head cards

There are the player token with a special purpose. In the time of need the player can sell their head card to get a decent amount of kas. This is like a one up for all the player. For a party of 3 player there are 4 headcards so the extra head card will be put in the events deck. if a player without a head card gets one from in a deal the player gets a one up. If a player with a head card gets dealt a head card again, s/he can swap the card but has to give it back during the reveal.


It is like a player token, with a one up

Kas and Life

These are the two types of currencies in the game. Kas is the money derived from the Tamil word for money "kasu". This currency is used to buy and sell Items. Life is health and these life tokens are distributed in the beginning of the game to all the players. The penalties are taken off of the player after each round


usually there is a common pile of kas and life in the center of the play area

Target Audience

The cards are designed with events that can be relatable and funny for the general audience. Keeping in mind that there would be tensed situations in-game and to insert stress busters, the cards waive a funny narrative with each other. Players had moments where they could make fun of each other on the events they got. The content of the cards can be altered to cater to any age group. The current prototype is designed for the 16+ age group.

Design Insights

The game has an ulterior motive. By establishing one of the three players will be the winner puts everyone up against each other. And by letting players to freely manipulate the rules makes it more personal and empowering. These two subtle hints pushes players into a pursuing their personal goals to achieve the win condition.

Initially there might be radical rules imposed by the active Auctioneer, which in turn decides the flow of the game. But since the power shifts from player to player the initial rules can change or like most cases during my playtests initial rules set by the first auctioneer will dictate how the game is going to play out. The card descriptions are designed to focus on making the event feel relatable and personal to increase immersion in the game. And ownership of items also brings out Endowment effect in people. The game ties to create a safe environment to bring out major concepts in behavioural economics.

As for the ulterior motive of the game, the player succeeds if s/he is the sole survivor and the others have lost their lives. But the game succeeds if there is a stalemate and no one can see an end to the game. It means the 3 players have understood the importance of communication and well-informed rational decisions. Ultimately it leads to a non-zero sum game at every round.

Thank you for reading.

made with by joe