Forum-based TCG+dice game in need of feedback

For all those games that happen to not be BrikWars

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Postby stubby » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:28 am

knolli wrote:What do you have to do to win the game? Are there several modes with different objectives?

Right now my idea is to win the game with an uber-Structure - say, a single Structure with ten Structure cards. If that turns out to be too easy in playtest, I'll probably need to add a requirement for some super-weapon that can only be built on a size 10 Structure.

Tzan wrote:
knolli wrote:All players get their cards from the same deck. Is it still a TCG?

Looks like its not TCG. Also they go to the same corpse pile, you don't want all your cards mixed in.

That's right. I'd originally thought it'd be a TCG, but I wanted to make scavenging each other's parts a big part of the game, and that didn't work well with each player trying to keep track of their own decks. So now it's more Munchkinny.

Tzan wrote:Deck Themes
The basic deck could be all time periods. Then additional decks could be made for other times.

That's the plan. It might be too small/scribbly to see right now, but the medieval cards have a crown icon, the modern cards have a gear, and the future cards have a computer. The more of these in a single Structure, the more bonuses they give to associated minifigs and weapons attached to the Structure.

I'm also thinking a good expansion would be Creature parts, so that you could assemble dragons and chimeras and other wildly unlikely monsters.

Olothontor wrote:Man, this could become a really confusing game, since the cards are incredibly dependent on where they are on the table in relation to another card/group of cards. You'll need a TON of space to play this.

The cards will have to be small, so I'm putting some focus into making the individual cards simpler. But it's still a long way from playtest, so it'll be hard to say for sure until then.
Last edited by stubby on Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby knolli » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:30 am

Don't forget the themes Fantasy, Pirates, Cthulhu and Vampire & Werewolf. It already reminds me of Munchkin.

Edit: You posted while I was still writing this.
stubby wrote:That's right. I'd originally thought it'd be a TCG, but I wanted to make scavenging each other's parts a big part of the game, and that didn't work well with each player trying to keep track of their own decks. So now it's more Munchkinny.


In a two-player game the first player do call dibs on the loot is the one who previoiusly owned it, so the good cards will most likely stay with the same players most of the time.
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Postby stubby » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:42 pm

knolli wrote:In a two-player game the first player do call dibs on the loot is the one who previoiusly owned it, so the good cards will most likely stay with the same players most of the time.

In practice this is tough to pull off. It's all right when there's just a few cards passing back and forth to remember, but in this game there are potentially multiple scavenges every single turn. And the more players you add, the trickier it gets.

There's nothing preventing a multiple-deck version of the game where each player keeps a separate deck and a separate graveyard to scavenge from, but it means I'd have to put in a lot more work designing for deck balance, and you'd probably see a lot of single-theme decks instead of crazy contraptions.


Random other thoughts percolating:

I really wanted to be able to have minifigs inside a Structure have specific locations within that Structure, but I haven't figured out a way to do it. Putting the minifig cards on top of the Structure cards makes things too confusing, so I'll probably have to cut that out of the game unless I come up with some genius workaround.

I'm planning for four basic attack modes: Melee, Ranged, Crash (jousting, pushing, ramming, kamikazeing, etc.), and Drop (catapult fire, bomb drops, minifig drops, etc.). Melee and Crash attacks from minifigs on foot can only target the bottom-most cards on a Structure; larger units can target cards at their own height or lower. Drop attacks land on the top cards of a Structure, anywhere where there's a space wide enough for the card being dropped. Vertical cards can fit into tighter spaces than horizontal cards in a Drop attack. Minifigs that Drop onto an enemy Structure can do the usual kinds of crazy stuff like take over weapons and devices or attack whichever card they want.

Combat is limited to a simple attack vs. defense roll, no separate rolls to hit and to damage. All bonuses add to one or the other. A castle archer at the top of a tower, for instance, gets +1 to Attack for each card between himself and the ground, and +1 to Defense for each castle structure card in the Structure.

I want to be able to include forum-themed stuff. It'd be great to have cards for characters like Manly Santa (limited by Ego penalties) or sections of Sonks (subject to Assyrian set bonuses) that grant some exceptional abilities but are harder to work into sets due to rarity.

A big part of the strategy is going to depend on finding ways to control who can and can't be targeted for attacks. Tank treads can only run over minifigures, for instance, and zombies automatically RedShirt for their necromancers. That kind of thing. I'm trying to think of options for protecting Medix and Mechanix; they can stay hidden inside Structures, but they need to be out in the open to do their scavenging. I may just have to give them more devices (like the Robot Arms card) that let them perform their functions from inside a vehicle.

Including a lot of different themes makes for interesting hand-management decisions. Do you lay down a bunch of mishmash Structures to get all your cards out on the table fast, or do you save cards between turns (and draw fewer cards each turn as a result) to try and build up theme set bonuses? Alternately, do you commit minifig Actions to construction tasks, to add theme-matching cards to Structures already on the table, rather than building fresh and saving the minifigs for attacks?

It'd be fun to have modifier cards that act as bonuses or penalties on other cards, like "Made of Negablox" or "OT Powered" or something. It runs a little bit into the same problems of trying to put minifigs into specific Structure sections, but to a lesser degree since they won't be moving around as much. The ideal thing would be to make them Structure elements of their own somehow, and introduce a game mechanic for building your own cards onto an enemy Structure for sabotage. Cards like "Hidden Entrance" and "Vulnerable Exhaust Port" would cause all kinds of chaos.

Opposing themes would also be cool - a Good minifig might get bonuses from Good cards in his structure and penalties from Evil ones, while for an Evil minifig these would be reversed. The problem is that BrikWars doesn't have a lot of themes that are opposed in quite this way, and minifigs don't care about good and evil. The closest thing I can think of is penalties from having to fight alongside peach units or Jaw-Jaws or something. Dimmies can get an anti-set bonus in a Structure with non-matching parts, or a set-destroying bonus for attacking enemy Structures whose parts match.
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Postby Tzan » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:55 pm

Using a standard card size for now is probably good. Unless you see a huge reason to go smaller. The card world is built on standard card size, sleeves.

You really want as big a picture as possible so everyone can see what it is.

I suppose with a standard card you might only want 2 connectors on the sides.


Modifier card
Blood and Gutz
The picture is a bunch of trans red blood pieces and snakes.
After killing an enemy minifig, play this card on another enemy fig. He got sprayed with gutz.

He must spend his action next turn cleaning himself off.
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Postby stubby » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:43 pm

Tzan wrote:Using a standard card size for now is probably good. Unless you see a huge reason to go smaller. The card world is built on standard card size, sleeves.

Until one of the on-demand printing joints starts a service for playing cards, it's moot either way. (Does anyone know a printer that does playing cards?)

Anyway, the size is less of an issue than the proportions. For Structure-building to line up properly, the cards need a 2:1 aspect ratio.
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Postby Tzan » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:14 pm

I did a template page a while back in Photoshop that were standard size ( I think) People would just have to cut them out with scissors. You can print on cardstock, or just paper and maybe put the paper into sleeves.

Would need to ship the file in a simple format, not psd.

I just pulled out some cards and its not too bad for the structure building, not 2:1 but not bad.


This is unique and has potential.

You could just go to Carta Mundi for printing and sell card games.
Or sell the playtested concept to WOTC, or Lego.

Or just distribute the free set like with BrikWars.
It seems you have that in mind.
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Postby stubby » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:19 pm

Cartamundi looks like they can do just about anything, but it looks like you have to get quotes and work with people, which I hate. Right now I'm looking at http://superiorpod.onprintshop.com/ instead (thanks to http://www.thegpa.org/ ), which has the advantage of being cheap and automated.
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Postby Tzan » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:39 pm

Well that place looks interesting.
The last time I was looking for card makers was 2004.


I made these in PS for a game I did in 2004.
If you want the psd files just let me know.

Image
I shrunk this, psd is bigger.

Image
The psd has all the layers, so you delete the 30 you don't need.

psd files print to scale at 150 dpi on 8.5x11
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Postby stubby » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:30 pm

Tzan wrote:I just pulled out some cards and its not too bad for the structure building, not 2:1 but not bad.

I can't get it to do the things I need. There's no way to attach two horizontal device cards to the side of a vertical structure card without one of them dipping low and messing up my attack-the-bottommost-card rule to force players to attack structure foundations.

I'm going to have to play with it. I think the way the card proportions knock each other off of a useable connection grid makes building with them less interesting rather than more, but maybe I can jigger something to make the limitations interesting again. I might get some mileage out of extending the connectors over a range rather than requiring them to line up precisely; I have to see how it screws with the combat mechanics.
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Postby Tzan » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:55 pm

Yeah I wouldnt stress over exact line up.
If you can put two there, just put two somewhere there.

The way people place cards on a table, they will get shifted a bit anyway.

I get what you mean with connections for a card you assume is vertical being used on a the side of another card.


Some cards can be attached to, like structure.
Some cards can only attach to other cards, like structure weapons.
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Postby knolli » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:24 am

You could design the cards for items and mounts in a way that you can put them behind the minifig they belong to without hiding any important information.

A good example for that is the german cardgame Kleine Helden(Little Heroes). Weapons have all the icons on a bar at the right side, armor on the left side and pendants and spells have the bar at the bottom of the card. The game concept is quite similar, too, down to the dice. Difference: You only play "Kleine Helden" with three hero cards per player. Each hero has 10 HP and can either equipt items, attack or cast a spell each turn. The objective is to kill the opponents heroes. A normal game lasts 30 - 45 minutes.
You have all that and include strucures and scavanging mechanisms, too, but your minifigs die faster.

What I want to say is that you must not make the game too complex or it will take hours to finish.

You could use other markers to show that a minifig is inside a structure. A miniifig, for example. To prevent consusion you could put an identical marker on the respective minifig card.
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Postby stubby » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:24 pm

Thanks knolli! I took your idea in a slightly different direction, in order to solve the problem with making a grid out of non-grid-sized cards. Behold:

Image

It requires you to be careful how you stack cards onto other cards, but now they can overlap at the connection points. What's more, it means that some connection points can have bonuses that only apply until you cover them with another card. An example would be the Robot Claws card, on which each claw allows manipulation actions until you give it an object to hold.


Another big idea I had was to make Hero cards a lot more important: every Hero changes your victory conditions and game rules (like a Goal card in Fluxx). They'd be tricky to balance of course, and you'd have to keep them alive long enough to achieve the victory condition. I'm still brainstorming, but for example:

WARHEAD
Goal: Overwhelming Victory. Must reduce at least one enemy to zero cards by using a Superweapon.
Bonus: Immortal. Warhead can never be permanently killed. If Warhead dies, return him to the top of the draw deck instead of placing him in the Corpse Pile.
Limitation: No Other Heroes. If there are any Heroes on Warhead's team, he must attack them every turn until either he or they are eliminated.

PILTOGG
Goal: Artifact Monopoly. Piltogg must collect at least seven Artifacts, and no other teams may have any.
Bonus: Manliness. Piltogg may equip any number of Artifacts.
Limitation: Racism. Whenever there are any Peach or Dimmy units on the battlefield, Piltogg's forces may only target those minifigs or their Structures for attacks.

THE MAJISTIK
Goal: Yellow Castle Reborn. Must inhabit a structure built from at least eight Castle elements.
Bonus: Wizardry. Castle minifigs and creatures receive +1 to all rolls.
Limitation: Medieval. Each Modern or Space card imposes a cumulative -1 penalty to all attached cards.

THE NEGA-BLOKTRIX
Goal: Corruption. No minifig or Structure on the field may have more than one card from the same theme.
Bonus: Crap Tolerance. The Nega-Bloktrix's forces can work alongside Dimmy and Jaw-Jaw units without penalty. When building Structures, any connection point can connect to any other connection point, regardless of connection type or orientation, including connections between creature parts and regular Structures. These connections detach immediately if the Nega-Bloktrix is killed.
Limitation: Queen of Abomination. As long as the Nega-Bloktrix is in play, other players may only target attacks on her forces. This priority supercedes all other targeting limitations.

I'm open to suggestions for other Hero examples, of course. For instance Natalya, the Deadly Spaceman, Blitzen, J+B, some kind of Dimmy King (alfredjr?) or Jaw-Jaw Hive Mind.
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Postby Ross_Varn » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:35 pm

Obviously the Old Guard- Rayhawk, Natalya, Warhead, J+B, Benny, OneEye, Doc X, Aoffan, Moronstudios, Zahru, Brag, Aph77, Pesgores, BF, Tzan, Arkbrik, Magic Soap, Piltogg, Rody... and myself? Jesus, that's a lot of people. Maybe just the first five.

The Hill construction card has to be somewhere in there.
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Postby Tzan » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:54 pm

Ross_Varn wrote:The Hill construction card has to be somewhere in there.


... with a Bar card

Did the Bar ever get a name?


Maybe there is a King of the Hill victory condition, or game style.
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Postby Ross_Varn » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:59 pm

Nope. It's always just been the Bar. Occasionally Rody's Bar, maybe.
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