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Collectable Conflict Games

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I have enjoyed Collectable Card Games in my past but never as much as one that i got into not long ago. "Magi-Nation" was, in my opinion, the best CCG ever created, and then dicontinued. Not bassed off of the Art, witch was ameture at times and generaly childish, nor was it because it was cheaper to perchase, altho it helped. But because the game structure was unique and over all Extremely balanced. Skip to "THE POINT" below if you are in a hurry, otherwise please read the back story. One thing i have found with many other CCG is that there are Trash Cards, wich are exactly that. They fill up the packs when you buy them and fill the garbage or a random box in your closet, never to be seen let alone used. Then there are the Best Cards wich is what you are hoping for as you ruffle through all the Trash Card when you buy a portion of them. They are the ones that make the differance they are the cards that you wait for as you play your somewhat better Trash Cards. If you have ever played "Yu Gi Oh" you will understand. "Magi-Nation" was great about dealing with this, they actualy had a good range of card types and every single card, good or poor (never a bad card), was useful. Why, because it was more about deck construction and not the individual cards. I had more fun building creative fun decks then i had playing the game somtimes. With the simplest of cards i could waste people, or be thrawted by my oponant by a good play. "THE POINT" is that CCG are not easy to develope or maintian so i wanted to bring that aspect of fun and collectability to the digital realm. So my questions to you are as follows... 1) Have you ever played a Collectable game before that was a video game, i know they exist and the huge string of Pokemon copies are here to prove it, but are there any unique ones? 2) If you had limits on the number of each item, like they do with Cards in real life (Black Lotus anyone?), how could you control it so that people dont hack it and copy a ton of the rarest items? 3) This is more of a question for anyone who has played CCGs before but... Sense most CCGs are Turn Based would it lose the apeil if it was then Real Time? I would like to ask more but this is good for now. Thanks

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In response to the questions you asked:
1) I have played the Magic the gathering demo but it was not as good as the card game (I liked the social and tactile aspects of the card game).

2) If a deck had restrictions of the number of "Points" it could have (each card has a set point value). You could then just drop the idea of copied cards as unnessesary. The restriction is on the deck composition rather than the rarity of cards.

You could have added rules for deck composition in that the point cost for cards increases with the number of that card in the deck (eg if you had a card called "Magic Arrow" that had a point cost of 1, but this increased to 2 for each card if you included a second "Magic Arrow" card and 3 points each for the third, and so on).

You could also make this restriction variable for certain areas of play (competitions, casual play, certain match types, etc). If in the casual match areas, you made this player determined, this could create more meta gaming fun for the players (a big aspect of CCG).

3) This would realy depend on the type of game. There is a card game called Billionare (IIRC) which is played in real time and is very fun. If this was changed to a turn based game then it would loose nearly all its apeal. This would be the same for the oposite, turning a turn based game into a realtime game.

If you designed the card game to be realtime then you would more likely end up with a fun game, rather than if you just took a turn based game and made it into a realtime game.

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I think I remember Final Fantasy series having an inbuilt CCG, if I remember correctly. Each version had it varrying, but it was still there. I think...

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I've played a few (the crappy magic ones and pokemon). I actually thought the pokemon ones weren't too bad, and they could pull it off because the focus wasn't on "cards" but on the RPG aspect. The other one that I liked was the newest MTG one, Magic: The Gathering: Battlegrounds. It was real time and quite enjoyable. Its really hard to explain, I saw it for $5 at a half price books a few months ago, I would highly recommend spending that small amount for the great game, at least to get ideas. Also, and even though I have a lot of problems with it, Guild Wars was actually based off the concept of CCGs and does an extremely good job and the collecting aspect AND balancing the "deck" by limiting you to 8 abilities while engaging in combat. Collecting gives you an edge only by increasing your options. Theres no real good conclusion to this post, and I'd elaborate more but it's a tab late...Hope it helps some.

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1. If you just mean "collectible" games (not cards), then there's a lot of games that have that kind of feature (especially if you include "collect the seven magic dinguses" action/adventures, but I'm assuming you don't mean those [grin]). RPGs often have a collectible feature, where people try to get a full set of something (such as weapons and armour in Diablo, for example).

However, if you mean collectible card type systems, I've also played a few of those too.
  • The Pokemon Card game for the Gameboy wasn't that bad, in my view.
  • I also tried a Magic: The Gathering demo (ages ago), but it didn't seem quite as compelling as the proper card game.
  • Then there's Lost Kingdoms on the Gamecube, where the heroine attacks with magic spells based on collectible cards, which I kind of liked as a battle strategy (and was also real-time).
  • There's also Zirconia 2, a game submitted for the last Four Elements contest here on Gamedev that I really liked. It has action elements with real-time card based spells as well, and is a free download if you wish to try it.
  • Finally, there's Arcomage, a mini-game as part of the Might and Magic series, which was fun. It's a more traditional table-top styled card game.


2. If you are wanting multiplayer, you could always have a rule that says you can only have a limited number of each type of card. Edtharan's suggestion of having a point based cost system is a good idea, too.

3. No, real-time card games can work. See "Lost Kingdoms" and "Zirconia 2" above. Usually the cards are part of something else, such as an action game with a card based component in that case.

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Final Fantasy had a built in CCG for FF8 and 9, which was called TetraMaster. Its alot more simplified than most CCGs and had much more strategic element in "hand" construction as you can only have 5 cards. If you ask me, its closer to chess than a card game.

I played Magic for a long time a long while back and thought it was a fairly well balanced game to a certain extent. I tried the online version, but just couldn't get used to the rigid "timing" rules that they now use. It seems over the years, the game has gotten so complex (spells resolve from the stack sentence by sentence and interrupts can happen after a period, at the end of sentence...something like that) and picked up so many weird things from other games like Yu-Gi-Oh (summoning creatures face down as something then pay more mana to turn them over into something else) that it just got weird for me.

It is true that there will always be trash cards. Its almost an inevitability. But personally, I feel those are there for the beginners. I remember when I first started playing Magic, if you gave me a Black Lotus, I'd probably have half a clue as to what's so good about it. But a well balanced game will make use of the junk eventually. Also, sometimes players still find ways to use junk cards in strange ways. I had a friend who was able to construct a deck for the Yu-Gi-Oh game that was composed of mostly junk cards, but had a greater than 70% chance of a one turn kill. So, trash cards are trash until someone figures out how to use them properly.

Quote:
2) If you had limits on the number of each item, like they do with Cards in real life (Black Lotus anyone?), how could you control it so that people dont hack it and copy a ton of the rarest items?


Well, if its a network game, the central server should have an inventory of all the cards out and who owns what. With that, you can easily detect fraud. Create a special hash checksum related to the card, date of creation or alterration, or change of hand, and other information is also another option.

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There is also the Megaman Battle Network series for the gameboy advance and the gamecube.

One neat thing about the battle network series is the use of combos. Many cards have a "size" (mini-bomb, normal bomb, mega-bomb, or whatever) then the card has a letter with it (such as A, B, C, or the wildcard *)

Combining all different sizes of a card with the same letter created a much more powerful attach than normal, while combining all of one size with all the letters in order gave you unlimited use of that card for a certain amount of time.

Other combos were available that had neat effects.

Anyway, that system helped to eliminate the hassle of "junk" cards because even weak cards could be combined to form neat combos if you collected them.

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