So, for my application to DigiPen, I'm supposed to make up my own card game, and write an essay about it. I assume this is to prove my general creative ability, as well as my ability to playtest, and fix problems in my design. The game is called Traitor, and is heavily influenced by Real Time Strategy games like Starcraft 2, Age of Empires, etc.
Here are the rules after way too much time playtesting it:
Setting Up and Objective:
Requires a normal deck of cards, and two players.
Clear an area big enough for a single column of 5 cards, as well as 2 more spaces to the side: One for the deck, and another for a discard pile.
Deal 5 cards to both players.
Assign each player a color, either red or black; to match the color of the cards he or she will be playing.
Whoever has chosen red will go first.
Imagine that the area you cleared for play is the playing field, and that there are 5 spaces on the board in which cards may be played.
The objective is to fill all 5 of these spaces with cards of your color.
At the start of each turn, you may choose whether or not to discard one of your cards, and then draw another from the deck.
If they do not discard at the start of their turn, they may not do it later.
Once you are ready to make a move, select a card to play, and place it in the space nearest to you.
Any cards you play on the board in this fashion must always be a card of your color, either red or black.
After playing this card, you will be able to advance forward, and play another card in the space after it in your next turn.
There will only be one space available for you to play a card on at any given time: The space immediately beyond your furthest card.
After a few turns, every space should be filled, and your cards will meet your opponent’s cards in the middle of the board.
Once this happens, the next card you play must be a higher number than the card in the space you are trying to play to.
If you play a stronger card onto one of your opponent’s cards, then leave your card in that space, and move the opponent’s card to the discard pile. Doing this marks the end of your turn, and no further cards may be played.
If you cannot beat your opponent’s nearest card, then you must end your turn without playing a card on the board.
At the end of every turn, draw a card from the deck. Even if you didn’t make a move that turn. (Note: You do not draw after playing a card, unless you are discarding it. You draw once at the end of every turn, regardless of the circumstances.)
Aces are the strongest cards. They can beat any card, and can only be beaten by 2s.
Using a Traitor: If you have a card of your opponent’s color, and the next space available for you to play in contains the matching card of their color, in another suit, then you may play your card on theirs, causing both to be sent to the discard pile. This does not use up your turn, so you may play another card of your color in the same space afterward.
Equal Strength: If you play a card on an opponent’s card of the same value, both cards will be sent to the discard pile, and the space will remain empty.
Reinforcements: During your turn, you may choose to swap your furthest card for a card in your hand. Play the new card on the same space as the old one, and return the old one to your hand. Doing this marks the end of your turn, and no further cards may be played.
Rescuing a Lost Card: At the start of your turn, if you have a card of the same value as the top card in the discard pile, you may retrieve that card from the discard pile. You must show both cards to your opponent. Color does not matter in this case.
Discarding Pairs: If you have two or more card of the same value in your hand, then you may discard all of them at once, and draw the same number of cards from the deck. Color does not matter in this case.
Playing Pairs: If you have two cards of the same value, of your color, you may play both of them on the board consecutively in one turn. They must both defeat any enemy cards that they are played on. Matching an enemy card’s value does not count.
End of the Game:
The game ends once all five spaces on the board are filled with cards of the same color. Whoever’s color has filled the board is the winner.
If there are no cards left in the deck to draw, and neither player can make a move, the game ends in a draw.
I'm supposed to write an essay on it, so I'm not able to use pictures, examples, or even a numbered list like this, so I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out how to explain the rules in that format. So, let me know if it makes sense to you, and if there's anything you think I should change/worded poorly. Also, if you want, I'd love it if you tried playing the game, and let me know how it goes. :D