Forum-based TCG/board game in need of feedback

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Forum-based TCG/board game in need of feedback

Postby Olothontor » Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:30 pm

Yeah, college classes have just started for me, so of course I needed to simultaneously start a new project, because that's just how I roll.

This time around I'm taking a crack at setting up a turn-based TCG with elements of tower defense. Here's my basic gameplay pitch that I typed up at 3am a few days ago:

Olly's 3am Brain wrote:So, here are my thoughts. Instead of it being a Player vs. Player game, it'll be Party vs. Party, via forums. Each team will have three people, each of those three playing one of the classes (Wizard, Warrior, Rogue) without doubling up on any of them. Each player will have a deck corresponding with their class (blue for Wizards, Red for Warriors, Green for Rogues). On the field, each player will be represented by a Unique Character (haven't quite decided how to handle them yet. Might do simple PC generation rules to make people feel special).

The battlefield will be a dungeon-y type setting, where each team has a Haven or Fortress of some sort, and within that area are all three of the player's Decks. When a Character walks onto a Deck, that Deck discards a number of cards equal to the Character's Strength (second box down on the left of the card). When a Deck reaches 0 cards, that deck is OUT, and the corresponding Unique Character is removed from play. When all three Decks in a Haven are reduced to 0, that team loses the game.

Players can play one card per turn from a hand of (3-5?) cards, and can choose whether or not to draw one card at the end of their turn. A Character card spawns a new Character with the given Stats in a space adjacent to the Player's Unique Character, or by the Player's Deck. The other cards are played through Characters (both Unique and non) on the battlefield, based on their Range stat (which is listed at the bottom righthand corner of the Character card picture).

Characters can move a number of tiles up to their Movement stat (listed on the bottom lefthand corner of the Character card picture) per turn, and have a number of hit points equal to their Health stat (top lefthand box, with the heart).


And, a mockup of the cards themselves (I'm going to do a mock game board as well sometime over the next week or so; and yes, I am using the PDO tiles, or at least what I could salvage of them).

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Obviously there a bunch of holes left to fill in, but that's why I need you guys to help me out! Point out flaws, details I may have missed, and ask questions about things if you feel they need some clarification. I want this to be as smooth as possible (and I also wanted to bring this to your attention early on, so that any major wrinkles can be adjusted before I get too deep into development).

Any card concepts or ideas that you have, go ahead and post those too! I'm going to need a bunch more.

Thanks for reading,
Olly


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UPDATE 8/23/2011
-=- Added equipment cards, and an example of how they are placed on Character cards.
-=- Added card backings.
Last edited by Olothontor on Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Zupponn » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:23 pm

Do you plan on making the decks premade or customizable?
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Postby Olothontor » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:29 pm

Zupponn wrote:Do you plan on making the decks premade or customizable?


Everyone who signs up will get one premade deck for each of the classes (three total), but after that (if I can work out a reasonable, priceless system for acquiring and distributing randomized booster packs) everything will be customizable. Also, I'll try to make it so that when you get your decks, you'll get a set of boosters with which to adjust and tweak as you desire.

Speaking of which, suggestions on distribution are very welcome.
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Postby knolli » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:59 pm

Where is the trading aspect of the game? The most prominet point of trading card games is that you can/must collect hundreds of cards and put together your own deck. So a majority of the work to do is to create these cards and balance them.

You use deck size instead of hit points for the player. That's an interesting concept. And that way whether you draw a new card at the beginning of your turn becomes an important tactical decison. Nice. But beeing limited to playing only one card per turn in too strict. That way all cards have to be of equal power, which will be quite difficult to realize. Another way would be to scale the power of a card with some kind of costs. But then we would have to add mana sources or gold income.

I guess the three decks have different strenghts like in Magic the Gathering?
    Wizard (blue): Many enchantements, direct damage or prevention of such, means of healing and spells that affect spells. Spells that effect several targets at once. The ability to draw cards or put them back to your library. The creatures are physically weak but with unique abilities.
    Fighter (red): Physically strong and durable but rather slow creatures. Equipment and abilities that increase this strengh even further. Maybe several creatures can form teams and get bonuses that way
    Rogue (green): Fragile but fast creatures with high damage output and special abilities. (Stealth?). Enchantements that manipulate the mobility and damage of creatures, yours or your enemy's. The ability to force the enemy to discard from his hand or the library directly.
You also plan to have some kind of battlefield where the avatars and summoned creatures move around, so it also gets some aspects of a board game? This adds a whole new dimension to the concept and will prolong each turn. You should be really carefull when you set the size of this arena.
Last edited by knolli on Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Olothontor » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:08 pm

knolli wrote:Where is the trading aspect of the game? The most prominet point of trading card games is that you can/must collect hundreds of cards and put together your own deck. So a majority of the work to do is to create these cards and balance them.


I'm going to try and make a sizable collection of cards to release, which means that a random booster should be enough to keep you coming back for more (the other concept being that you gain boosters through gameplay, rather than "paying" for them somehow) and actually trading with other players. This would all be much easier if this were to be a programmed game, but I don't have that sort of capacity.

knolli wrote:You use deck size instead of hit points. That's an interesting concept. And that way whether you draw a new card at the beginning of your turn becomes an important tactical decision. Nice. But being limited to playing only one card per turn in too strict. That way all cards have to be of equal power, which will be quite difficult to realize. Another way would be to scale the power of a card with some kind of costs. But then we would have to add mana sources or gold income.


I think gold mines could act as an interesting secondary objective, especially since that way the maps won't be quite as linear (i.e. a straight line from one team's Haven to the other team's Haven). So, yes, if you could afford it, you could play more than one card in a turn, although that would need to be strictly regulated and balanced, since attacks are done via cards and not the characters themselves.

knolli wrote:I guess the three decks have different strengths like in Magic the Gathering?
    Wizard (blue): Many enchantements, direct damage or prevention of such, means of healing and spells that affect spells. Spells that effect several targets at once. The ability to draw cards or put them back to your library. The creatures are physically weak but with unique abilities.
    Fighter (red): Physically strong and durable but rather slow creatures. Equipment and abilities that increase this strengh even further. Maybe several creatures can form teams and get bonuses that way
    Rogue (green): Fragile but fast creatures with high damage output and special abilities. (Stealth?). Enchantements that manipulate the mobility and damage of creatures, yours or your enemy's. The ability to force the enemy to discard from his hand or the library directly.
You also plan to have some kind of battlefield where the avatars and summoned creatures move around, so it also gets some aspects of a board game? This adds a whole new dimension to the concept and will prolong each turn. You should be really carefull when you set the size of this arena.


Part of my goal is to try to make this as tactical as possible. Each of the three classes will have their own unique contribution to the party. The Warrior will have a decent amount of Health, and dish out nice damage, but be relatively slow and have a short range. The Wizard will have a decent range, but be fairly squishy in terms of Health and will mostly act as buffer support (healing, temporary stat boosts, and ranged damage). The Rogue will have overall mediocre stats, and will focus on battlefield control; that is, dazzling, distracting, or otherwise incapacitation an enemy or a group of enemies.

As for the map, yes. You're right, that'll need to be carefully watched that it doesn't get too big too fast and make gameplay impossibly long and dull.
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Postby knolli » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:13 pm

How will a turn proceed? Like this?
Draw card. Play (one) card(s). Move creatures. Attack enemy creatures/avatars/decks. End turn.
In what order will the players take turn?
Fighter 1 - Fighter 2 - Rogue 1 - Rogue 2 - Wizard 1 - Wizard 2
or
Fighter 1 - Rogue 1 - Wizard 1 - Fighter 2 - Rogue 2 - Wizard 2
or will there be a mechanism to shuffle this?
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Postby Olothontor » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:25 pm

knolli wrote:How will a turn proceed? Like this?
Draw card. Play (one) card(s). Move creatures. Attack enemy creatures/avatars/decks. End turn.
In what order will the players take turn?
Fighter 1 - Fighter 2 - Rogue 1 - Rogue 2 - Wizard 1 - Wizard 2
or
Fighter 1 - Rogue 1 - Wizard 1 - Fighter 2 - Rogue 2 - Wizard 2
or will there be a mechanism to shuffle this?


Draw card, if Player so chooses. Move your Unique Character and, by extension, the other Characters under your control. Play card(s) (which could be attacks, buffs, counters, etc). Move to next Player.

As for the turn order, I'm not sure how to handle it. Everything I think of comes out imbalanced or impractical. Sometimes both, to my chagrin.

EDIT: updated the OP.
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Postby Zupponn » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:16 pm

Will there be cards that you can play on an opponent's turn, like instants in Magic: The Gathering?
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Postby Olothontor » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:52 pm

Zupponn wrote:Will there be cards that you can play on an opponent's turn, like instants in Magic: The Gathering?


How would that work in terms of forum-based play? We'd have to go back and redo people's turns in order to have instants actually have an affect on the gameplay. That's no fun.

If I can somehow get this digitized, then it's entirely possible that "Counter ______" cards will become playable on anyone's turn. So there's that, at least. I doubt it, though, so don't get your hopes up.
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Postby Zupponn » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:31 pm

Olothontor wrote:
Zupponn wrote:Will there be cards that you can play on an opponent's turn, like instants in Magic: The Gathering?


How would that work in terms of forum-based play? We'd have to go back and redo people's turns in order to have instants actually have an affect on the gameplay. That's no fun.

If I can somehow get this digitized, then it's entirely possible that "Counter ______" cards will become playable on anyone's turn. So there's that, at least. I doubt it, though, so don't get your hopes up.

Oh, sorry, wasn't thinking in forum terms. You could have cards that get played face down and get triggered by certain events, such as getting attacked or being attacked. That might be the forum equivalent.
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Postby Olothontor » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:05 am

Zupponn wrote:You could have cards that get played face down and get triggered by certain events, such as getting attacked or being attacked. That might be the forum equivalent.


Oh, man. I hadn't thought of that.

See, this is why I post stuff here. You guys are awesome! Thanks, Zupponn.
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Postby knolli » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:54 am

If this is meant to be a forum game, so it will take place in thready and each turn will be posted for everyone to read, just like Role to Dodge and all the others, right?
Then how do you ceep your hand secret from your opponent?
Using hidden trap cards like in Yu-Gi-Oh should work fine.

What different categories of cards are there? So far we have "summon creature/character", "equipment/creature enchantements", "events/sorceries" and "traps".
Most of the diversity of MTG comes from artefacts and global enchantements with lasting affects. You should implement them, too. The advantage is that there are only few restrictions to what they can do. They can even overwrite other rules. This can go as far as: Under condition X you win the game.

The kind of the enchantement should fit the Color theme.
I.e.: Brain storm. Blue. Enchantement. "At the beginning of your upkeep look a the top three cards of your library. Put one of them to your hand and the other two underneth your library. Skip your draw phase."
Loot the corpse Green. Enchantement. "Whenever a thief/green creature you control kills an enemy creature, and the killed creature was wearing equipment, you may choose to equipt your thief with that euipment."
Flicker Blue. Sorcery. "Put target creature on top of its owner's library."
Thaumaturgic turbulence Blue. Enchantement. "Reduces the range of all mage's/blue creature's attacks by one. This cannot reduce the range below 1 (meelee)."
For Blood and Honor! Red. Enchantement. "All fighters/red creatures you control get +1/+0"

There is a nearly infinite amount of possible combinations of conditions, effects, kind and number of targets, type of cards. The most interesting effecs are those that are not of the standard kind.
The challange is to balance them all.
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Postby 501stCadians » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:06 pm

Are you going to put in my wild card idea?
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Postby knolli » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:28 pm

Name them. Noone forces him to use them if he doesn't like them. Just keep in mind that they don't get overpowered.

I've played MTG several years and I think I can estimate the the potential strength of a card quite well. Or rate them using their system. The examples I stated should cost about 3 to 5 mana and be uncommon or rares, mostly.
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Postby Zupponn » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:45 pm

Olothontor wrote:Thanks, Zupponn.

You're welcome! :D

Like knolli, I've been playing Magic for several years now and can help with potential card strength if you need it.
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