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RMJDMarks

assuming that this is the right place to ask this....

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What tips can you offer towards making a card-based game? Not a video game, but an actual CARD game, like Magic the Gathering.. my game is not a simple card fights card game, but what tips or things can you say that could give me guidance to getting on the right track? btw, pls dont flame me for this post. If you don''t like it, ignore me. I won''t post again.

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Don''t be afraid of people flaming you. As mlambert has stated... he is cracking down on people that do that unconstructively. This is a game development forum, and you did say you wanted to make a Card Game. Anyway. take care. also, i have no idea... best I can say is get a damn good character artist.

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Your question is pretty general, I´m not sure what exactly you are looking for.

First, you´ll need to work out the basic rules, it will certainly help to have a look at lots of other card games. What types of cards are there, what values does a card have, how do cards interact with each other, can you combine cards ....

Then, as digitaldirt has already said, you´ll need at least one pretty good graphics artist. This isn´t a must, but if you want your card game to look good the effort for graphics will be pretty huge. A game like you´re thinking of will take 150 different cards minimum, in a big one like magic there are a lot more than that, so you´ll have to structure your ideas good so you don´t have any repetitions or redundant cards.

If you have the basic concept ready, print out a deck (without graphics or anything) or just write them by hand, there are blank cards available from various print shops. Then you can testplay, you´ll probably have to do a lot of that until the game is fair, fun to play and not too difficult. You´ll probably end up with piles of notes from you test play sessions, also ask every player to take notes about the game, maybe also about what they did so you can trace the gameflow later.

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I agree with everything digitaldirt and Hase said. Write it all down on paper check the mechanics on paper as well. I started my own projet like this that I work on when I get an idea to add to it.

Heres what I do, not saying this is how its supposed to be done, its just the way I like it. On paper, I write down the card attributes(Aim, Power, Armor, etc), types(Ground, Air, Water), card classes(Item, Minion, Action, etc), costs whether they be to play or any actions with the card(money, Data, Energy). I also begin writing down cards as I think of them and everything I want on them(stats, text, description of the gfx). Heres an example:

Combat Engineer - Aim=1 Influence=2 Concentration=2 Power=1 Armor=1 Will=1 Cost to play Money=2 Data=2 Energy=1

Normal Action: Repair 1 Mech point.

Seccondary Action: Pay 2 Energy to gain another Action.

Text: While this unit is in play, all units brought into play with Mech health cost 2 Money less.



It should be noted that I drew icons representing all the attributes, types, and costs to reduce writing. And as you can see I havent written anything about the graphic for this card, but you get the idea. Hope this helps.

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Remeber the KISS principal...Keep It Simple, Stupid...

Don''t JSUT study card games like Magic the Gathering...look at other games as well (from UNO to any of the various Poker games)

Don''t develop a ''ultimate'' power card...but rather develop cards that can be very useful in certain situations.

I''d start with a basic game play structure...who goes first...what players are allowed to do in thier game turns...how many cards do players hold, etc...you can develop most of the worthwhile ''special'' cards for your game just by provideing little "twists" to these rules (like how the ''reverse'' card changes the order of the game in UNO...or how some cards in Magic change the way the game is played)

Keep a tight grip on the game playability...for example it should be possable for any given ''starter deck'' to beat a custom built one...players should feel that they can win through skill rather then ''luck of the draw''

Get the gameplay down before you bring a artist in (don''t want them to draw a badass powerfull looking character for card ''X'' then through playtesting card ''X'' gets toned way down...then end up haveing the artist redraw the card as the creature depicted is now just as powerfull as all the other weakling cards)

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Check this out.



It''s an article by Steve Jackson on designing the Illuminati card game (which rocks btw, if you haven''t played it, find a set somewhere and play it now).



Definitely keep it simple, cards should have a few basic types, and pretty much be variations on a theme, although situations where they are most useful or least useful can be quite complex. Try to keep the number of different cards down to a reasonable level. Magic: The Gathering was great when it was at the level of one basic set and 2 or 3 expansions, but now how many are there? When people started carrying around multiple suitcases for their cards, that was just plain ridiculous.



And definitely playtest, before looking for a graphic designer. I would recommend using hand written index cards (possibly cut in half), they work well when shuffling, and can survive more than a game or two.

They''re coming for you!

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