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[WIP]BattleCards - auto card battler

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[WIP] Battlecards - auto card battler

 
Hi,
Its about time to introduce this little pet-project I am working on. This is n-th try to
create a online game all alone. This time, the project is much simpler than my previous
ideas and therefore much more developed already. I would be interested in your feedback,
if someone would take the time to read (and admire the screens).
 
First things first: This is a classic, browser based game. This means there are limits to
both graphics and gameplay. Also, this game is not to be confused with Hearthstone or any
other online trading card game. Battlecards is a traditional browser game with automated
combat and a oldschool feel to it. To spice things up, the project makes use of artworks
and design components acquired commercially at low-budget (mostly from deviantart artists).
 
PREMISE
First and foremost, this is project is meant to be developed and maintained by a single
person (my humble self). Of course I could imagine others to join and help, but the core
of the game engine is written all by one person. If - after reading this article - you
get the vision of a very simple game concept, always bear in mind its a one-man-show. I
also don't hesitate to stick the "Casual Game" label to this project as well. BTW, this
game will be absolutely free, forever.
 
TECH
Its a simple, completely homebrewn little browser game engine using HTML5, PHP, mySQLi,
CSS and JS. Im using a framework and a few plug-ins but nothing fancy. The design is
completely responsive, but I have to work on it a bit more. As the game is played
directly in your browser, there are no downloads or updates.
 
THE GAME
Battlecards is an asynchronous card game. Asynch means that only the active player has
control over his/her actions. When fighting, the other player is controlled by the AI.
Furthermore, combat in this game is automatic, as in most oldschool browser games - this
reduces gameplay to acquring cards, creating decks, managing decks and attacking/defending
with your decks. There is no real need for a story, each player is a Mage of sorts fighting
to become the most powerful one. The meat of the game are the cards and the decks that
players built from their collection.
 
A player can create several Attack-Decks and use them to attack other Players or computer
controlled enemies. PvP is called duel, while PvE is referred to as Quests. The game uses
a classic Energy system, so you can only fight x-times before energy is depleted. You then
have to wait some time in order to regain energy. All in all the game is quite fast-paced,
the downtime is very short. Example: You login in the morning and with full energy you are
able to do 5 Duels and 5 Quests in addition to some card buys and management. After that
you have to wait until lunch-time for your energy to recover, so no 2 weeks waiting for
something to get finished (like in Clash of Clans or other click-and-wait games). This
concept underlines the "Casual" aspect of Battlecards.
 
Decks are tiny, limited to 8 cards each. Each deck can be described as a Army or Stack.
There is also no real card drawing, card hands or card playing - this game uses cards
for visual representation, but plays completely different. If you fight against another
player or a computer controlled opponent, the actual combat is calculated automatically
with no intervention from the players.
 
This might sound boring, but the quintessence of Battlecards is different from most
trading card games. Its all about creating the right deck and absolving lots (and I mean
lots) of micro-battles finetuning the deck and trying different strategies against the
various opponents and quests.
 
COMBAT
The attacker uses one of his/her Attack-Decks while the defender uses his/her Defend-Deck.
The attacking player is able to view the cards in the Defense deck and can therefore modify
the attack deck to optimize performance. The defeder on the other hand gains a little
advantage during combat, but defense in general is much more difficult than attack.
 
Combat itself is computed automatically according to a huge and complex formula, but the
cards have simple stats and skills each with only one "Power" value and up to three Skills.
The cards also feature an element and a class and according to these, you gain an advantage
or disadvantage over your opponents cards in a RPG like fashion. Example:
 
* Archers beat Infantry (the defender is advised to add some archers to the deck in order
to repel infantry).
 
* Cavalry beats Archers (the attacker on the other hand should add a bit of Cavalry to
beat the enemy Archers).
 
* Pikes beat Cavalry (the defender can protect himself against Cavalry by adding Pikes
to the deck as well).
 
Note that there are several RPS "cycles" and it is hard to protect yourself against all
of them. On the other hand, when attacking you cannot shine in all fields, you have to
focus on a specific strategy or finetune your deck to specifically beat the opponent
you are challenging. This is especially tricky with just 8 cards.
 
Finally, combat is summarized, showing all cards and explaining whats going on in a
log. This makes it easier to understand why you have won/lost and why not. Players
gain resources by winning attacks and defenses. These resources (currently Gold and Crystals)
can be spend in order to gain new Cards and Booster packs.
 
Note: Im currently working on the combat representation and the first 50 cards, thats why
it's not covered in the screens yet.
 
STRATEGY
One more word on deck bulding and strategy, the heart of the game:
 
Each player is required to build a Defense deck. The defense deck role is to be as tough
and unbeatable as possible. This is easier said than done, because there will be at least
one Attack-Strategy for each Defense-Strategy. You can defend against Archers or Cavalry
or Pikes - but can you defend against all three of them?
 
The role of the attacker is a bit easier, as you just have to overcome the deck you wish
to attack. At the beginning of the game you might just toss all of your powerful cards into
the deck, but later on you will be able to build tailored strategies that can beat all the
meta-decks out there.
 
In the end, it depends on the card pool a player acquires by playing the game. With a
growing card pool you can set up a better defense and overcome the other players defense
decks more easily. I imagine the game as a big, ranked, card-race.
 
CLOSING WORDS
I plan to release the game with just 50 different cards and one card type (creatures) while
adding a new expansion every x-month. These expansions will add another 25-50 cards to the
game and expand it by adding one new feature. Several features are already planned and some
of them implemented like new card types (lands, heroes, spells and items). Later on there
might be a card-crafting system and a guild system as well (with a new guild war system to
accompany the guilds).
 
Thanks for reading - I am well aware that this is a rather specialized/niche aproach to
a game. I can also imagine that not many people will like this kind of game, to me it
plays more like a puzzle/code-breaker game than a card game. But, its my pet project after
all and so I stick with it!
 
If you have feedback or ideas, I would love to hear them!
 
cheers
-Fhizban

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Good point, time to create a journal!

 

PS: New version screenshot attached

 

bugfixes

increased session security

revamped the side-menu a bit

first version of the chat is there (channels, scrollable content etc.)

 

 

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I'll definitely add this to my regular reading if you journal it. Just a heads up though, I think battlecards is a SJG trademark. I still have some in packs buried somewhere.

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Thanks for your interest in the project.

 

Im currently choke-full with work, but plan to start a journal later on. Currently the whole project is migrated to a framework (Framework7), that allows me builds for iOS as well as Android and Browser Support. This is an enormous task and will take a while.

 

When I'm ahead of my schedule (instead of behind) I will start a journal here documentating the project progress.

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(Sorry for the double-post)

 

Being the final post in this thread (before starting my development diary journal), this is both a welcome and a farewell.

 

The post you are reading now is required to tie up the ends between how the project startet and how it became today.

 

Be prepared for a shipload of changes, as I have decided to steer into a different direction while it is still possible.

 

...

 

Both the theme of the game (alongside all graphics) and execution will change completely. The core mechanic and all

code written so far stays as it is (the game is an online multiplayer "auto grinder" at it's heart).

 

The new setting is a cartoonish medieval fantasy world without any visuals related to cards. All of the art is from stock

art resources with mild to heavy modifications.

 

The execution changes away from cards and decks towards party management, hero levelling and equipment crafting.

 

...

 

The reasons are simply put:

 

1. I changed my mind.

 

2. I don't have enough art available to support a whole CCG card range (plus expansions) and I don't have the budget

to create matching art all up from nothing again.

 

3. The engine did not really represent a card game. This WILL confuse players in the future. When you see cards, you

expect mechanics like card play. This is an "auto grinder" without any card play (no deck, card draws, discards etc.).

 

Therefore it was a wise decision to change the game so much.

 

...

 

And even more changes:

 

Using Framwork7 in combination with PhoneGap there might be the possibility of having a Android App as well as

an iOS app for both iPhone and iPad. This comes in addition to cross platform browser compatibility.

 

And finally the game's name changed as well, from BattleCards (copyrighted as far as known) to...

 

GRINDQUEST

 

Flashback: We remember a free game on Kongregate with exactly the same name. A simple RPG grinder that gained

quite some reputation and fellowship. Sadly the game used only ripped art from WoW and was taken down after a while,

until it re-appeared in a censored form. It was a nice little hype during its days, sadly it is not developed any further.

 

Another good reason for me, to take over that name and put it on proper feet.

 

....version221016.jpg

 

A final screenshot of the new version attached to wet your taste buds.

 

And now: Let's get ready to rock ... grind!

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