After playing Wolfgang Kramer's Top Race the other day, I'm thinking about racing games again. In Top Race, each card moves several colored cars through the track as far forward as possible. Because you're betting on the race results as well as controlling your own car, you're still invested in the outcome even if your car is trailing behind. Controlling opponent's cars is very valuable and fun way to stay engaged throughout the game, which is a common problem in racing games.
I got to thinking about how to capture that same versatility and engagement with a card-driven racing game without the betting element. One way I thought about was using conditional positions instead of specific colors. For example, say I establish these key terms.
- You: A car or cars you control.
- Straggler: The car in last place.
- Leader: The car in first place.
- Chaser: The car in second-place.
- Follower: The car immediately behind your car.
- Pacer: The car immediately ahead of your car.
The cards would list a series of actions that must be resolved in that order. Each action moves the indicated car forward a number of spaces on the track. For example:
Each action is resolved in order, so you could use a card in some fun power moves.
- For example, if you played BURST! to put yourself in first-place, then you are the Leader, therefore you could move 1-2 extra spaces.
- If you play COMEBACK! and you're still in last place, then you could give yourself a huge sprint of +6 spaces forward.
- If you play PUSH! to put yourself in second-place, then you're the Chaser and can move yourself an extra 3 spaces.
My main concern at this point is that it's too confusing to make up game terms for these positions or if there are already real-world racing terms for these positions. If you're aware of any or have suggestions for more clear alternatives, please share!