Need to build a simple laptop card game

I assume this goes into “Technical Stuff.” I have a very simple need - I’m hoping it’s also easy. The people here were great with my need for a simple “pointer” spinner app previously (Selector is pretty amazing and in spite of no instructions, easy to figure out and very versatile in allowing the people to be chosen from to simply put their fingers on the screen - the kids loved it!)

For this one. We need to have a card game in which we have, say, 3 to 4 decks or levels. Each deck will have simple challenges (this is for challenged individuals.) So for example, the first deck may have a card that says “Pick two other people in the group and see who can make someone else be the first person to laugh.” Each deck will either be a different category of activities or a different level of challenges.

So all I need this “game” to let me do is write the actual activities or challenges for each deck. Maybe 20 or 30 per deck. Maybe more depending on the number of people. Each activity or challenge being a “card.” Then, for each deck, it randomly chooses and displays a card each turn (and removes that card from the deck so it doesn’t replay it.) The individuals take turns until the deck is exhausted, then go to the next deck.

That’s it. I’ve got a selector app and a timer app we can use, all I need this to do is let me write activities/challenges, put each on a “card”, then randomly select (and remove) each card until that deck is exhausted. Should run on a normal laptop (an iPad would be awesome but I suspect it is easier to do something custom like this on a regular Windows 10 laptop.)

Is there an easy way to do this?

Thanks! (For those curious, my 27 year old daughter, who I’ve posted about here in the past in terms of her struggling with drug addiction, depression, being forcibly confined to a mental health hospital on suicide watch, etc. has been blessed enough to work her way through all of that and now works at a place where they have “day care” for severely mentally handicapped individuals and she is a care giver there. This is for a “game day” that they are going to have on a regular basis.)

There are tons of ways to build such a thing, but none that I can think of that doesn’t require actually writing code, I’m afraid. Also, you don’t mention if it can be an online/web-based thing, or if it needs to be offline… because if a web app is viable, then it gets considerably easier to implement and maintain, I’d say.

Maintaining web apps can be a pain, unless it’s a simple p5.js app deployed to Github pages or some other free hosting service.

I’d prefer offline for flexibility. Also the fact that I had no idea what you were saying in your post tells you my sophistication level!

In my mind this is writing a number of word or text documents or pages, no graphics, grouping them into “decks” (e.g. level 1, level 2, etc) then a random number generator that picks it one and subtracts it from the deck.

I suppose at the crudest level I could just write a bunch of text pages (each a “card”) with a 1 to highest number in that deck and then use a random number generator to come up with one of those numbers and manually pick that page and display it on the screen. But there must be a more elegant way.

Well, it’s going to involve some sort of programming and I’d recommend GameMaker for no other reason than it’s dead simple.

Here’s an example of someone asking almost exactly what you are looking for & they give the answer in a forum post.

Could you use Quizlet or another flashcard app to create single sided cards?

A random flashcard app is a good idea, or even the quiz app, as your contents are no different from questions, fundamentally

Can PowerPoint be easily made to go to a random screen?

Also, you didn’t mention why physically producing this deck is not an acceptable solution. If it’s about robustness just ensure the card is thick and laminate them?

Actually, physically producing the deck (would need to have the backs display which level that card was in, with 4 different decks with each at a different “level”) would be OK, but it would be nice if the text was typed and not handwritten for various reasons, and the other piece would just be ensuring the option of being able to easily modify the actions as we learn what works well and what doesn’t. That’s why my “ideal” set up is simply a set of text “cards” that can be modified at will, with a random “picker” that pulls a card from the deck and displays it and removes it from the deck such that it isn’t played again in that play session. It sounds really simple in my head! ;)

I’m looking at Gamemaker but it feels a touch over my head to start with. But if I can’t find something else I’ll dig in to it this weekend. Thanks for the suggestion.

From what I’ve seen, flashcard apps are set up to go through them in order, vs. setting up a large number of cards and then randomly choose them.

HTML/JS pages can run offline on the Desktop too. They don’t have to be online. It’s what I do when I need something interactive/programmatic and want it done quickly.

It really seems like buying a bunch of flash cards is the way to do it, absent coding knowledge. If needs be could you not print some labels and stick them on the cards?

Ok here’s what you guys have helped me decide. I’d like to basically build my own physical card sets. So what I need are either nice sturdy cards I can print directly on with my laser printer or labels the exact size as regular planting cards that I can print and then stick into the cards.

My google-fu is weak, though, when I try to google to find such things I get a lot of stuff, much of which does not appear to be what I’m looking for.

FedEx office and printing has a variety of card stock and can even laminate. (Previously kinkos)

I’d recommend dropping in and seeing what options they have. If you don’t want them to do it, get the name of the card stock you like and order some.

Don’t have a Fedex near here, so ordered blank playing cards and Avery printable name tags that are supposed to fit them. We’ll see how well this works.

Is there a reason you want to use labels instead of printing directly on the card stock? Most printers have a manual feed mechanism.

Boardgamegeek has numerous resources in their forums for someone who wants to make card/board game components. Check 'em out. They have layout software, materials/printing advice etc.

No if I can find the card stock to print on. I’ve just not found what I’m looking for.

Wow, that is a VERY content rich location! It will take time to find what I’m looking for but it appears they can help me find exactly what I need. Thanks!

FWIW, if anyone has any need for it, before deciding to go with actual card decks, I found some tutorials on how to create a set of Powerpoint slides with buttons that will choose one randomly and remove it from the deck. But I like the idea of not having a computer in the middle of everyone for this group of people.