I am currently creating an multi-player browser version of the Triple Triad card game from Final Fantasy 8.
The matches work in a similar way to most modern mobile games in that they are not 100% live. It is possible for a player to be playing multiple matches at any one time. The player is free to log out and come back at a later date to take their turn in any number of matches.
Players are able to build up a collection of cards to play with. When a player joins a new match they allocate 5 cards from their deck to play in that match (this is so that the player can't play the same card in more than one match simultaneously)
The problem is I can't settle on the best way of allowing players to acquire new cards.
My first thought was to just go with the original trading mechanism from FF8. If a player wins a match they can steal a number of cards from their opponents hand to add to their own deck. I like this method because it adds a real element of competition between players but there seems to be a number of draw backs...
- If a players deck size drops below 5 (the number of cards required to play a match) then how do they ever recover? (Maybe they can choose to abandon their deck and start again?)
- How do I introduce rare cards if players can only ever gain cards from other players
My second idea was to allow players to earn credits from playing matches. They could then purchase new cards from a store. Again, I've found problems with this method...
- There's nothing to stop players buying large numbers of the better, rarer cards from the store. This leads to an arms race where eventually it will be impossible to win a game without having the very best cards.
- This method effectively removes risk from games because there's nothing to lose
Does anyone have any suggestions that could get me past this road block? The project is actually coming along quite nicely apart from my inability to settle on these points.