A Drafting Drafting Mechanic for A La Kart

Sometimes a game idea just lingers in your head for a while until one little spark finally brings it to life. In this case, I was mulling over A La Kart, the food-themed racing game inspired by the Sugar Rush arcade game from Wreck-It Ralph. Originally, I planned on it being a simple numerical option. If you bid the highest amount, you go to the front of the pack. Like any good racing game, it really needed a catchup mechanic. So here's the idea:

In actual real-life racing, there is a concept called "drafting," in which racers will trail closely behind another racer to take advantage of aerodynamics. At a critical point, after the lead racer has borne the brunt of working against the air resistance, the rejuvenated trailing racer can leap ahead at the very last minute.

And, of course, card games have their own concept of "drafting," in which players take one item of their choosing from a set presented to them.

Why not combine these two types of drafting into one game? Here's the idea:

Setup Each Round

  • Each round, players are dealt a hand of five random cards.
  • They bid any number of cards they prefer, face down, then reveal them simultaneously.
  • The highest bidder goes to the front of the pack, everyone else re-arranging according to decreasing bid.
  • Each round has different bonuses for being in certain positions, so those points are awarded accordingly.

End of Round

  • To end the round, the player in the back of the pack draws one card from each player's bid into her hand.
  • The next player ahead of her draws one card from each player's bid into his hand, but only from players ahead of him.
  • And so on, each player drawing one card of their choice from each bid belonging to a player ahead of them.
  • If cards in a bid run out, then that bid is simply skipped.

Setup Following Rounds

Then to start the next round, any players with fewer than five cards in hand draw from the deck until they have a full hand of five cards again. If a player has more than five cards in hand at this time, they do not draw.

Thus, being in last place gives you most control of your position in the subsequent round. Being in first place means you're probably giving everyone else the best choices for their next round, too. It's a drafting mechanic that simulates real world drafting!
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.