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Lore in CCG


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#1 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4053

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:42 PM

The topic of lore came up in a recent meeting of the minds for a CCG (Collectable Card Game) I am designing, which has prompted me to come here to ask how important is lore in a CCG?


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#2 Wai   Members   -  Reputation: 1002

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 01:55 AM

I think this question is too open.

 

If you consider a game, its players, and a set of objectives, you can discuss the effect of a design change on the objectives. A change can correspond to a change in one game component or a group of components. The overall effect of a change is not necessarily the sum of the effects when each component is changed independently. This means that design changes is not necessarily analyzable by superposition.

 

'Importance' is an attribute of a component that tries to generalize its impact to the design. To talk about importance correctly, you will need to first know whether the impact of each component is independent (which is typically false), and if they are not independent, you need to restrict your evaluation to a set of foreseeable change sets.

 

Without defining these parameters, the answer you would get could unnecessarily restrict your design within existing assumptions and experience.

 

Examples of well-posed questions:

 

1. If Magic the Gathering has no lore, how would it affect your acceptance or involvement with the game? (Survey type question)

2. If Magic the Gathering has no lore, what else could the game add that would bring you back to the same level of acceptance or involvement? (Design type question)

3. How much resource does it take for you to complete the lore? How much resource does it take for you to complete that alternate feature? (Capability type question)



#3 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4053

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:08 AM

Wai: Thank you for your well thought-out example questions.

I rushed this to the forums. Therefore, I will be looking at re-asking my question.


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#4 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 10696

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 06:42 AM

That being said...

 

Lore in a CCG is important in that it eases player understanding of (sometimes very complex) game mechanics.

 

There was a very good article on MTG online once where they explained the importance of lore by picking abstract playtest cards and replace the keywords with 'ability name 1' etc.

Reading the cards was complex and tedious. It made little sense, and the reader wasn't really sure his understanding was correct because of the lack of retro action.

Adding a card name that was fitting, an image (thus defining the action or creature it was), and changing the ability name into something more evocative quickly made the reading that much simpler simply because players had some expectations regarding this type of creature, etc.

 

For example, no one is surprised to see a regeneration effect on a troll, and possibly an immunity to death unless burned by fire. Though these 2-3 sub-abilities could amount to a lot of text, there's no denying that most people have a preconceived notion of what a troll is and this can be leveraged to simplify mechanics in-game.

 

Likewise, a Fire Elemental dealing recurring damage in the form of burn damage is much easier to understand when presented as such (as opposed to an abstract creature dealing recurring damage).

 

This applies to various scenarios indeed and I'm only just pointing the tip of the iceberg here: how lore can help you lessen the learning curve for your players.

 

Now, as Navyman pointed out, I might have completely missed the point of this thread, but hopefully not.



#5 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4053

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 03:08 PM

The game will have lore, but because it is in the early stages I was wondering how much impact does changing lore during the time up to the launch of the game affect people and their thoughts on the game?


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#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5071

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:18 PM

If you're not producing a comic/animation/machinima/novelization/trailer/kickstarter/etc. to stir up interest in the game, then lore can be changed with impunity before launch.  It's only a problem to change things you've already told many future or current players about.  Lore is heavily related to advertising and turning people into loyal fans of your IP who will buy related products like t-shirts, plushies, kickstarter packages, etc.

 

That said, lore can inspire good concept design, and it can be a problem to change existing concepts to match a lore change and remain coherent.


Edited by sunandshadow, 14 August 2014 - 08:19 PM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#7 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4053

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:04 PM

@sunandshadow

I hit you perfectly addressed the issue I have in the back of my mind, the idea that changing lore effects the advertising ability of a project.


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#8 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5071

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:26 PM

Glad if I could help.  I wasn't sure what you were asking until your third post mentioning the time before launch, but then I got the idea.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#9 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4053

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:07 PM

Yes. We had a lore meeting last night and I raised some of the points here. It was great, because we nailed down the lore and it allowed us to name a few things that had been simply labeled "Placeholder". Thank you. 


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