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detlion1643

tgc/ccg - changing how cards are first played

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I've been dabbling in coming up with an idea for a card game. I've been intrigued by magic in the past, mostly because I used to play it. Now that I've done a couple 'smaller' games my creative side was running full steam...

Anyways, one aspect I never really liked was the 'lands' that had to be played. I did like that cards had requirements though. So here is what I came up with:
1. Players get a set amount of increasing "points" (haven't came up with a name yet) per turn. These points are used to play most cards (think all but powerful). Like 2 points max per turn for 2 turns, 3 max for 3 turns, etc... Points won't really get too out of hand, maybe cap them at like 10 per turn if it gets that far?
2. Most (again, all but powerful) cards create a certain type and amount of "resource" (again, no name yet).
-- This combination of points and resources I think help restrict the cards somewhat, but not too the point that you can literally have turn after turn after turn of not be able to do anything.

The cards are split up amongst the resources (kind of like magic's colors). I was brainstorming some cards like engineers or mechanicals where they create "gear" resources. These gears are used to upgrade and create creatures (much like an engineer creates things). Another might be 'dark like', where they create "soul" resources and use those to destroy creatures/armies, but don't have much an army themselves...

I was mainly thinking on how to change the the beginning 5 turns of the game, where if in magic you had no lands in hand or first couple turns, your basically done for. If you had generic points to play your cards, then a couple more turns to create your resources to use those abilites...

I don't know, I feel like I'm rambling now. If you have thoughts please discuss whether this might be worthwhile to keep going!

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I believe every card game designer should play Alteil. It uses a point system like you're saying and it's rather interesting.

[url="http://alteil.gamepotusa.com/"]http://alteil.gamepotusa.com/[/url]

I like both the gear idea and how you feel about points not screwing a player in the early game.

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Best way to find out, create a mock-up version of the game in real-life. But you probably already know that :)

MtG is, in the most part, about good deck construction. You had to choose between having powerfull, but costy creatures, fast spells and amount of lands. Each battle was as much luck as the thought you put into creating your library. I believe that is the whole soul behind the game.

Allowing for an equal start for both players and throwing out the random factor in the start could be a good idea, but would give blizterz an advantage. A deck composed of low cost cards (that would use the constant flow of mana/points that is pre-defined each turn) would be the ideal strategy to win fast.

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Awennor - I"ll have to check out that link after work, but thanks!

Zeth - Mock-up version in real life is kind of difficult as all my buddies who I used to play mtg with are away at college. I knew about ideal deck construction when I played but still never liked that I [i]had[/i] to rely on luck to even play one card at all (however rare that might be).

[quote][color=#1C2837][size=2]Allowing for an equal start for both players and throwing out the random factor in the start could be a good idea, but would give blizterz an advantage. A deck composed of low cost cards (that would use the constant flow of mana/points that is pre-defined each turn) would be the ideal strategy to win fast. [/size][/color][/quote]
Hmm, I kind of thought about this but not too any extent. It all comes down to balancing cards, which would take the greatest amount of time. I'm trying to combat the routines in order to 'balance' the low overrun strategies vs save for the most powerful card...

The creative part of making the cards is the most fun I've had in a long time! It's easy to pump out card after card, but I'm trying to make them all useful and unique. I'm sure some other people might have an idea or two to toss around!

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[quote name='detlion1643' timestamp='1318874105' post='4873557']
Anyways, one aspect I never really liked was the 'lands' that had to be played. I did like that cards had requirements though. So here is what I came up with:
1. Players get a set amount of increasing "points" (haven't came up with a name yet) per turn. These points are used to play most cards (think all but powerful). Like 2 points max per turn for 2 turns, 3 max for 3 turns, etc... Points won't really get too out of hand, maybe cap them at like 10 per turn if it gets that far?
[/quote]
Obvious lesson from M:tG, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Star Wars and other successful CCGs: counting sucks. Resources are represented by cards or card attributes because it is explicit and it makes mistakes difficult. Don't you expect discussions along the lines of "I spend 3 points..." "No, you have two!" "No, I had two last turn!" and unrecoverable play errors when both players count wrong?

[quote]
2. Most (again, all but powerful) cards create a certain type and amount of "resource" (again, no name yet).
-- This combination of points and resources I think help restrict the cards somewhat, but not too the point that you can literally have turn after turn after turn of not be able to do anything.
[/quote]
The most natural kind of CCG pacing comes from spending cards in hand, without the accounting burden of other "points".
For example, suppose all cards are creatures that are marked with resource costs (to play them) and resource values (to pay other cards): a Necromancer might cost 1 manpower, 2 gold and 2 souls [i]or [/i]give 1 gold and 3 souls.
If a card can be played as a resource, played as a creature by discarding enough resource cards from play, or discarded to set aside two or three cards to be drawn next turn, there's no need to count "points": players will find a balance between emptying their hand to play threats, investing in resources to play bigger threats, or delaying development to get cards and accelerate later turns, replace useless cards and assemble combos.

[quote]
The cards are split up amongst the resources (kind of like magic's colors). I was brainstorming some cards like engineers or mechanicals where they create "gear" resources. These gears are used to upgrade and create creatures (much like an engineer creates things). Another might be 'dark like', where they create "soul" resources and use those to destroy creatures/armies, but don't have much an army themselves...
[/quote]
These two "resource types" seem hard to relate with each other: they seem more like strategical archetypes (bigger and better creatures in a straightforward fight or average creatures that have an easy job because dark magic weakens and slaughters enemies).
It might make sense, if both creatures and magic are important, to have a set of resources for magic (e.g. dark magic with souls, rough and powerful elemental channeling, mental and illusion effects), a set of resources for creatures (e.g. links to elements of planes of existence for summoned creatures or manpower, training, innate talent and motivation for more mundane recruitment) and maybe a set of resources for equipment (wood, stone, steel, maybe several magical substances)

The main principle of resource design in M:tG is that doing everything well with only one type of resource is impossible and getting enough of all resources to play the best of the best cards is equally impossible: single-colour decks have serious weak spots and are usually all-in on a specific strategy, two colour decks are the norm and are unable to play all the best card for their rather more well-rounded strategy, multicolor decks play what they really want but need to weaken their strategy by investing cards to make resources reliable.
Secondarily, there are specific instances of unusually colour-intensive costs that are intended to avoid decks that play specific strong cards A and B together too easily

[quote]
I was mainly thinking on how to change the the beginning 5 turns of the game, where if in magic you had no lands in hand or first couple turns, your basically done for. If you had generic points to play your cards, then a couple more turns to create your resources to use those abilites...
[/quote]
[i]
Five [/i]turns is an empty number. Compare, in M:tG, constructed games that can be over on the first turn with some luck or on the second or third turn reliably, with draft games in which, on turn 5, maybe someone suffered the first few points of damage.

The system of "sacrificing" threat cards for use as resources, which I suggested above but is in no way novel, should smooth out most good and bad luck in starting hands: most bad hands are going to be able to afford their least bad threat, while good hands will have to lose valuable cards to play the most useful ones.

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[quote name='Zethariel' timestamp='1318920501' post='4873782']Best way to find out, create a mock-up version of the game in real-life.[/quote]

This is excellent advice. You should be able to find 'blank record cards' in your local stationary shop, they are excellent for prototyping card games without spending a lot of type cutting and measuring bits of card or paper. For the types of problems we're discussing here, I don't think you'll even need to find an opponent to get a feel for how things will work.

-

Another thing, be aware that the real issue here isn't land, but cards in general that do nothing without other specific types of cards. For example if you made a game that had creatures and equipment, and the creatures are really lame but the equipment makes them awesome, you will have the same problem. You'll be forced to play lots of equipment and get 'creature screw' and 'equipment screw' where you can't do very much some games because you only have one or the other type of card. Some of the resource schemes we've been talking about might be falling into this same trap, with a different name.

-

Shameless plug - check out the computer based real-time CCG I'm developing - http://www.digitalchestnut.com/trouble/ :)

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I've been working on a design for an ios-based (iphone/ipad) real-time CCG - like you, I wanted to do away with the more annoying aspects of other CCGs, specifically things like mana-screw.
The solution is as you say - to guarantee mana/resource for players. In my game players get a small amount of resource every 20 seconds (this would be each turn for a turn-based CCG) - also eliminating the need to waste deck space on resource/land cards.

If you have, say, five different types of resource, and allow players to select two of them to recieve mana for each turn, they are still limited in what cards they can include; unless of course they use up some deck space on additional resource cards or filters.

In response to Lorenzo's argument against this method:
[quote]Obvious lesson from M:tG, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Star Wars and other successful CCGs: counting sucks. Resources are represented by cards or card attributes because it is explicit and it makes mistakes difficult. Don't you expect discussions along the lines of "I spend 3 points..." "No, you have two!" "No, I had two last turn!" and unrecoverable play errors when both players count wrong?[/quote]

If the CCG is digital the counting is done by the computer/program and the players can't forget. If the CCG is card based, just because the resources are guaranteed doesn't mean they can't still be physical - rather than give a player guaranteed mana, give them a draw from a separate land card stack every turn or two (perhaps in place of a normal draw from their deck of 'casting' cards)

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Ugh! Replies, no emails, sorry guys...

Anyways, I was thinking digital, but Nico, semi-good idea here. Maybe I can just do 1 point thing a turn, and they can pool. Meaning you can keep getting them if you like, but once you use one, you use one... This would also make an easy back/forth situation if I wanted to do a physical aspect as well... Then again, I still don't know for sure. Maybe I'll scrap the point system and do a modified version of the 'pick a resource, get so many a turn' that you mentioned you are doing.

Hmm, what about not restricting it too much, and just have the person choose each turn, 1 resource to get. But they can only have 5 turns of doing this, after that, you rely on the cards to get more if you need them...

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To pool or not to pool, that is the question... for my design the mana/resources will have to pool as it's real-time not turn-based. Pooling can be a bad thing in turn based games where the resources ramp up turn-by-turn though, as high-cost cards can be playable too early in games by pooling all mana.

What if the amount of resource a player gets each turn depends on how much they already have in their pool? If their pool is empty they get 3 resource, if they have 1-2 in pool they get 2 resource, and if 3 or more in pool they get one resource?

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