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TCG Publication - Can it be done?

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Anonymous

I've have been working on and off on a fantasy TCG based on a world we had written with four original races, each with their own culture, history, heros and special technologies. I'm exited by the recent improvements, and it's starting to look like areal game. we're quite a bit of distance from being done yet, but I would like to know everything before we "jump in".

I was wondering; is there anyone out there who's published a TCG in the last five years?
It seems the market is rather saturated with TCGs, and I was wondering if it is possible to actually make it if you have a fresh enough idea. Are TCGs "dying down" in popularity because of the saturation?
If now is not a good time, will there be a time soon? How hard would it be to find a publisher to put my game in print?Any help on this would be apreciated.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

When I was at the GAMA Trade Show a few months ago, I attended as a retailer. With every publisher that had any kind of game that involved cards of any kind, the conversation went like this:

Me: Tell me about the game.

Publisher: It's a card game -- NOT COLLECTIBLE! -- that involves...

Retailers have become very anti-CCG in the last few years, with the obvious exceptions of stuff that's wildly successful. That is, of course, a double-edged sword because nothing new can become successful if no one sells it, but the retailers are understandably gun shy as they had to unload tons of CCG cards at below cost.

Based on all that I've read I think it's quite unlikely that you'll get anyone to publish your game right now. I have no idea what it will take to strengthen the market, unfortunately.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

No real market knowledge about CCGs, but a general impression is that self contained, but "expandable" games are the new big thing. You might look into "Scarab Lords" by Knizia, which isn't (I don't think) expandable, but which uses CCG concepts. Also, check out Duel of Ages, which is a self contained game, but which also has expansions, which are all the same. The new fantasy Stratego does that as well.

As an occasional game buyer, I would say, for whatever it's worth, don't bother with the CCG; I won't even look at it. I don't want to make you rich while I buy tons and tons of packs hoping to get the "good" cards. I think it's a far better idea to build a self-contained game, and if necessary, build expansions to that. If you've got a good game it will do well, but for "serious" game players, the meta-game of trying to find good cards is a turn off. So, I think that if you have a good game that you can make semi-self contained, you're arriving at a good time in the market. But it sounds, from FL, that strictly CCG games are pretty saturated right now. That said, if you can think of a way to make a CCG that is totally different in some essential way (and not just theme) from the other games out there, there will probably be a place for you at the table.

Good luck!

-Jeff

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

I second everything jwarrend said herefore.

You might want to look at the Catan cardgame for another good idea of a self-contained, but expandable game. The game is playable out of the box, but if both players buy another copy of the game (and perhaps an expansion), they can make their own decks also.

Personally, I would be interested in a cardgame that is playable with 2 and more players (say 2 to 4) and comes with a number of decks ready to play, but that is also customizable up to a certain extent (ie. if everybody owns a copy of the game they can make their own decks). I usually don't care for expansions, but other people do and I can see how this is interesting from a publisher's point of view.

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Customizable, but not collectible

Cheapass Games' Fight City is sort of like that. They have a couple different decks, but if you want you could construct your own out of what they give you.

It'd be nice if they released more Fight City cards, because it's a fun game. However, games like that almost HAVE to be like Magic, because with a set deck people get bored.

- Seth

Anonymous
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

I am most certainly in the minority when I say this, but I LOVE CCG's. The sheer mass of different things that you can do makes it a very exciting mode of play for me. Fortunately or unfortunately, metagaming (working out deck ideas and play ideas outside of an actual game itself) is half of the CCG gaming experience. If you are not willing to put in the time, effort, and possibly money, then CCG's just aren't for you.

As for publishing CCG's, I have been working on one recently, based on the Dragonlance fantasy world. Whether it becomes published or not isn't really a worry for me, as I will still love playing it with my friends. But, if one did want to get a CCG published, I think it would be EXTREMELY hard to self-publish, maybe even impossible. And from the sounds of things, publishers are shying away from CCG's. Therefore, I wouldn't get my hopes up about publishing a CCG anytime soon. Maybe, if you can come up with something truly original, and playtest it until the game is PERFECT, you might have a shot at interesting a publisher.

If you want any help, feel free to contact me via e-mail: bdraper@ucla.edu

Anonymous
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

I had a bit of a talk with a clerk at a Wizards store about new TCGS and other kinds of non collectible type games and compasions of sales and if new games of these types were seling. He basicly said "Everythikng's great" and told me yugi-oh and Magic were their best sellers. Though I know he's just a clerk and not corpite so I didn't really take him extremly serously.
I don't think you're a minority, Bennyd. I love TCGS and CCGs too, and I think most people like them too, but are a bit burnt out from them (Not to mention their wallets).

I've already made plans to make my game non-collectible. Instead there will be a couple starter decks and later I'll release expansions you can shuffle in to your deck to play the special expansion version of the game.
>But is this a good plan of action? Is there a better way of doing this?

Thanks for your feedback so far.
-Foolster41

Anonymous
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

I think that as long as you keep it customizable, and the players don't just throw the entire expansion set into their decks, I think it could work great. It could start a trend as a good antidote for the CCG's out there :P

Anonymous
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

I'm afriad I don't understand, benny. The gernal idea was you could playa "regular" game with a 60 card deck, or add the say 20 cards expansion to play with 80 cards against another expanded deck. This would be a bad thing? How?

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

I think he's referring to the "deck construction" aspect of CCGs. So if the starter set comes with 60 cards, but to play the game you have to choose 30 that you'll play with. An expansion could add 20 more, giving you 80 to choose from, but in the end, you still can only have 30 cards in your game deck. I think that's what he meant. I definitely think CCG-style games where every box/booster pack/etc is the same (or at least, where its contents are known before buying) will be the next big thing in CCG land. But I do have friends who will buy CCGs just because of the collectibility aspect. I suppose limitless variety does have its attractions...

Anonymous
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

jwarrend wrote:
I think he's referring to the "deck construction" aspect of CCGs. So if the starter set comes with 60 cards, but to play the game you have to choose 30 that you'll play with. An expansion could add 20 more, giving you 80 to choose from, but in the end, you still can only have 30 cards in your game deck. I think that's what he meant. I definitely think CCG-style games where every box/booster pack/etc is the same (or at least, where its contents are known before buying) will be the next big thing in CCG land. But I do have friends who will buy CCGs just because of the collectibility aspect. I suppose limitless variety does have its attractions...

Yes, that was what I was referring to. More so than the collectability, what I think is the most fun aspect of TCG's is the ability to create my own deck. Essentially, I am deciding what game I am going to play, and with what components i am going ot play it with.

If you just lump 20 more set cards into your deck without getting to pick and choose which ones you want to add, it's not very customizable.

Anonymous
TCG Publication - Can it be done?

You're right. Now our idea is simply that you get to pick and choose what cards you want to add. Each different "squad" (booster) you buy are all the same, and you can clearly see what's in them (At the very least the names of the names of the cards).

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