Does anyone enjoy playing skill games inside a CS story/game?

I’m working on a brand-new WIP (not published) where the player has to win a game of blackjack in order to pass a certain point.

I put it in there for a couple of reasons, the biggest ones being that I wanted an obstacle that didn’t require either:

a) discovery (finding/stumbling upon it); or
b) a stat check.

To get past the blackjack dealer, you have to actually win X number of coins in the game, so it requires some actual skill.

It was a fun exercise in CS programming, but I’m curious what the rest of you think about obstacles/checkpoints based on SKILL rather than just choice/luck/persistence because I’ve got several more skill games (not just card-based ones) in mind to include in my story.

Note: My blackjack isn’t EXACTLY like the real card game because programming in ace cards that can be either a 1 or 11 was too difficult for me to do :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Instead, I just gave each card a fixed point value for simplicity’s sake.


“Skill” in a game is mostly an illusion that is often based on factors outside the control of the gamer … I can not remember once recommending a developer using “skill” as a gate mechanism.

I would strongly recommend avoiding this devise in game development.


yikes! I’ll definitely keep that in mind.

That being said, it does take a measure of skill to win a hand of blackjack. Furthermore, since the cards are randomized, you can’t just memorize a “walkthrough” to get past the dealer.

Nonetheless, I will, of course, provide a longer, alternative route to advance the story for people who don’t want to engage in a “skill” test.

One last question - have you ever played a “skill” game/test in a CS story? One that doesn’t involve a stat check?

If yes, what was your experience/opinion?

That is very true. When I go to Las Vegas, I make enough off of Blackjack to pay for everything… by using the plastic “odds” card the casinos sell in their gift shops every day. Nevertheless, the actual result of the deal is chance-based, unless you are able to cheat by using counting of cards or something in its likeness.

I played chance casino games in “A Wise Use of Time” by JimD and my reaction was that the game was a fun experience.

The games involving a “puzzle” to advance, I either googled the answer, or quit. I do not enjoy these types of systems, but I know they are popular with many.


No, It is never fun. And always takes me out of the story. I am supposed playing a character not playing myself. If the continuation of a story is totally based upon me human have to have X skills that probably has nothing to do with the character that is not a story. That is directly a skill simulator.


I wouldn’t mind to play a skill based game, but it would be nice to have a workaround for those that don’t have the skills or don’t want to play the game.

And what about a riddle or something like that that has to do with the story so you have to had paid attention to it in order to solve it?

Does that makes the game more fun or it also hinders the experience of it?


That is directly a google it. I don’t care I don’t want a puzzle game If I want so I buy a puzzle. Riddles are no clever, and is not something MY CHARACTER is resolving is me. And I suck at it. And break immersion if My character is supposed to know a lot of riddles.


I recalled that The Martian Job and Donor: A Vampire Victim’s Tale (a CoG and a WIP, respectively) having blackjack minigames, but they are skippable/not needed for plot progression.

Minigames can be fun, but I imagine that I’ll be the type to go along with it for the first playthrough and skipping it on subsequent runs.


I’m impressed you managed to program blackjack into ChoiceScript. That must’ve taken a lot of effort.

Is there a checkpoint system in the game? Because I really don’t think I’d like it if losing blackjack sent me back to the beginning of the story.

Also, I’ve never played blackjack in my life. So, I don’t think I’d ever make it through the challenge. I’d consider including a choice to skip the challenge or rely on stats instead for readers who might not be interested/capable of winning the game.

That said, I’m sure some people would really like being able to play blackjack in the game. And as long as there’s an option to skip, I don’t think other readers would mind it being present.


I love this kind of minigame. But like others have pointed out, it can be frustrating to some players. My suggestion is to keep it optional, like in a side quest. If the player fails, they don’t fail the game itself and can continue with the main storyline. Alternatively, offer workarounds and different options to deal with the dealer, playing blackjack being only one of the options.


Blackjack is a fairly simple game. Essentially, you’re given cards two cards (all cards have an assigned value: numbers are numbers, faces are worth ten, aces are one or eleven depending on what the player wants). In order to win, you have to get as close as possible to 21 without going over by “hitting,” or asking for another card. If you go over, or another player gets closer to 21 than you do, you lose.

Normally, I’m heavily inclined against skill games- especially memory checks. With that being said, blackjack is such a simple and relatively easy-to-win game that I wouldn’t at all be opposed to it.


Don’t think I’d really like having this in a game. I mean, I’m pretty terrible at blackjack, but if my character is good at it, it wouldn’t make sense for them to fail just because I, the player, am awful at it.


I might be outside the norm, but personally I love “skill” games, puzzles, difficult things in games :joy: If there is a workaround, (like you mentioned) then everyone should be happy.

But yes, just to reiterate, please put in blackjack :grin:


Oh wow, hey thanks. And thanks to everybody else’s feedback as well.

Thanks to y’all’s input, I will make it possible - but lengthier - to go around (skip) the mini-games like blackjack. At no point, will you ever be required to play a mini-game.

just FYI, I decided to take it up a notch and wrote two more mini-games today. One is a logic game and one is based on the classic pen-and-paper game called tennis although I may call it something slightly different based on how the story evolves.

Again, don’t worry - you’ll be able to go around/skip all mini-games! But this is definitely more of an ACTION/adventure game than a “novel” style story, so if you aren’t into a sword fight or two, it isn’t the game for you.


If you want to see this in action, check out Missing Wings. If you want to see why it’s not a very popular concept, check out how few downloads, reviews, and everything else Missing Wings has. It didn’t even get much love in the Underrated HG Titles poll. Its author had some incredibly cool minigames (and some that were glitched or tedious, admittedly) that pushed the limits of what you expect in Choicescript, but having to jump all those hurdles turned readers/players off in a big, big way.


yah, it’s really just make a bet then (set random card1, same card2) and (set random dealer_card1 and 2)

IF you get 21, you win instantly. Dealer, same thing.

Player *choice to hit or stand. Dealer hits on 16, stays on 17. Whoever is closest to 21 wins and a tie is a push

That being said, I’m not the world’s best programmer, so it did take me a couple of hours to do it :smiley:

Thanks for the tip. I had a look at it, and I see what you mean.

In terms of programming skills, it’s AMAZING. But it really does just feel like you’re in a casino instead of something integral to the story. I can see why it really comes across as a chore instead of something fun.

I can completely understand why few people want to get stuck in a situation where they’re forced to play.

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Don’t worry, you’ll be able to skip it. If you win, you just get a pile of money, that’s the only reason to play :moneybag:

That’s a great tip, thanks. I do have one puzzle already written, but I’ll now include a hint if the player looks like they’re struggling.

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