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snarles

A different kind of strategy game

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snarles    122
The game I'm proposing is not a card game, but the closest analogue is probably booster drafting. See this is you don't know what I'm talking about: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/academy/13 Booster drafting rewards players for making good choices in response to random events (in this case, the cards in the booster packs.) It demands solid card evaluation skills, as well as the flexibility to re-evaluate cards based on which ones you've already picked. And because there are other players drafting as well, "signaling" is important as well-- you have to not only consider whether a card would be good in your deck, but also how picking that card will affect the draft as a whole. Will it keep the other players out of your colors? This is an element of "chaos" in the booster draft-- the way your actions can affect the rest of the game in unpredictable but dramatic ways. But as I said, this game isn't a card game. It's actually a single-player RPG. Here's the gist of the game. Every time you visit an area to fight a monster, it takes a "turn." Other things might take turns too, like crafting weapons, or healing at hospital. The goal of the player is to beat the game in as few turns as possible. In order to beat the game, you have to move from a "starting town" to the "final castle." To get there, you must pass through several locations, which are often occupied by boss monsters that you must defeat through special quests and then through a battle. For example, to beat a giant fly boss, you might have to collect the ingredients for a giant spider web, to catch him. Then you'll have to defeat the insect in battle. There are many different roads that lead to different cities, and you can select which ones to follow to the final castle. Which road you take at any given time is akin to which card you pick from a draft pack-- except you know which roads there are from the start. Instead, the different roads will have different values depending on random events in the game, just like how different cards in a pack have different values depending on which cards you've already drafted. For example, if early on in the game, if an enemy dropped a rare item-- a "giant flyswatter", which does extra damage against the giant fly boss in the city to the far east, you might lean more heavily towards choosing the roads to that city. This is just like if in Magic, you get a "bomb rare" for a particular archetype, you will be leaning towards drafting it. However, also like how it's foolish to 100% commit to an archetype just because of a few cards you opened, it would be foolish in this game to go for the fly city just because you got the giant flyswatter. You'll have to see if conditions are right later on. For example, if you don't get a crossbow to drop on the way, then it will be hard to kill the rats that you have to defeat to enter fly city-- and you might have to reconsider your plans. The element of chaos comes in because of all the little consequences choosing a certain road entails. If you go on the road leading to the fly city, that also means you'll fight all the monsters on the way, which have their own rare item drops-- including something like a "mouse trap axle"-- a quest item for another area-- that encourages you to visit the giant cheese city after you're done with the flies. But you'll also be missing out on the rewards of the quests on the other paths, which might make the final battle harder than you expected. And there's another element to this game: when you start a new character, it doesn't launch you into the full complexity of the game right away. It starts you off as an "ignorant" character who can't even see all the paths to the castle, use all the weapons, or beat all the monsters. But this ignorance is bliss, since now you won't have to decide between these multitudes of paths and choices-- you might only have to decide where to turn on the occasional fork in the road. This way you can focus on getting used to the complex battle mechanics, get a feel for the level advancement, and learn what your class skills do. But once you've beaten the game once, you can start over, while unlocking a new layer of complexity. So in the end, this RPG would be a booster draft that takes a bit longer, doesn't require you to gather 7 other players or the purchase of any product, might involve some sort of storyline, and as a bonus, has a better learning curve. Tournaments could be a snap, too, since you'd just need a number of players to sign up, play the game once on a tournament server, then compare scores. And when you've finally unlocked the whole game, it could be just as strategically rich as the 8-man pod.

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NathanRunge    725
I actually quite like this game concept. It's quite original, for a video game, and I think it could be actually quite interesting if executed properly.

I was hoping that, perhaps, you could go into more detail on the 'unlocking'/'unlockables' you talk about?

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Kylotan    9981
It sounds like it could be fun, but the devil is in the details.

In Magic, the key is in the many permutations of cards and ways in which you can use those cards together. You would therefore need to provide many such permutations, or something that approximates the mechanic, and make it clear to players how they work. You would also need to provide visibility of the sort of challenges they may be likely to face which can then influence their choices.

I think you will also need to be clear on what stuff happens randomly, and what stuff the player gets to choose. If you get that balance wrong, the game will be lacking in strategy one way or the other.

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