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How many TCG cards should I create before planning to publish my game?

6 replies [Last post]
Zweiterversuch's picture
Joined: 04/18/2017


Even though my team and I aren't done with some aspects of our game, we are already thinking about how the game should be brought to the public.

As tcg players we are aware of the importance of looks and variety so we think that about 300 cards would be a great start. But as a small team of 2 people we are aware of our limitations.

So we would like to know your opinion as consumers, would it be better to have 300 cards to choose from, or the first 2 starter decks made of 30 cards each for a grand total of 60?

ElKobold's picture
Joined: 04/10/2015
Number of cards is irrelevant.

What is relevant is why would someone want to invest into your TCG and not some existing TCG that has teams of skilled professionals working on them and releasing new content non-stop, supported by huge (marketing) budgets?

From your blog post:
"and also make it a game adequate for WORLD WIDE competitive play. (Just like MTG or YGO)"
I`ll be straight. This is simply not a realistic expectation.
The best chance you got is to have certain print run from KS. And even that will be rather hard to achieve.

What I would recommend is to market your game as conventional board game with cards. And stay as far away from TCG references as possible.

Zweiterversuch's picture
Joined: 04/18/2017
The reply I feared...


Right in my dreaming heart!

I guess you're right. To rival already existing TCGs like Magic or Yugioh is an almost stupid goal, but a man can dream, can't he? Still, I totally understand what you mean.

Mmm...what would be our game's forte? I'm guessing it'd be its tactical combat? I know it isn't something too original, but I haven't seen many games implementing it the same way we're planning to do it. Still...what really intrigues me about your reply is the idea of making our game a convetional board game. It could work. Just last night I was reading on LCGs (Living card games) and I loved the distribution method of that model: Make a core set of cards (which would reduce our work), finish the game, get a small group of fans, get feedback from the players, make the expansion fixing and correcting mistakes and adding more depth and complexity to the game, release that and (again) improve based on feedback. I'd love that gamer-creator interaction.

I'm not so sure if I would like to change it to a conventional board game since I'd like to keep working on making it better with each "installement" and conventional BG are rather stationary products.

Thank you man! dreaming heart +2!
Now, I'll just have to know how many cards would it be appropiate for a core set of cards...

polyobsessive's picture
Joined: 12/11/2015
Playable decks?

So here's a thought...

How about you create ready-to-play decks and make them as fun to play as you can. If this is a 2-player game, then those first two decks is what you need for your initial set. Maybe add a few extra cards to allow players to swap some options around. Every time you introduce a new deck to the mix you add more customisation options for your players.

This means that you don't really need to go crazy on creating hundreds of cards initially, though you will probably need more than you will release as you playtest and tune your core set.

Things like this have been done before. Lords of War provided starter packs with two army decks, then you could mix and match with other starter packs, or customise with the smaller expansions and promos that were also released. Romance of the Nine Empires is a "fictional" CCG, and was published (for real) as a boxed set containing what were supposedly top ranking decks from a recent (fictional) world tournament, along with some more cards to allow customisation when you are ready.

Personally I think this model is great. It allows me to get a good play experience in one box, and I can choose if I want to go for expansions, or try to "keep up".

Good luck.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Don't LCG, do XTG3!

In the event that you are searching for a license or game format for "customizable" games ... such as "core" sets with "expansions", take a look at XTG3:

It's a licensing model similar to Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) "Living Card Game" (LCG) with better support for ALL TableTop games (not only card games) and offers some protection to the owner of the IP too.

Currently my second game (TradeWorlds) is being used as the pilot project for XTG3.

In case you did not know, LCG (is a Trademark of "Fantasy Flight Games") and cannot be used. They also tack on some terms concerning tournament play which in the case of most non-FFG games is irrelevant.

Have a look at XTG3 and pm me if you have any questions!


lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009
LCG-style is certainly the

LCG-style is certainly the way to go. CCG/LCG is nuts (and requires a couple million $$$ to have any chance at all).

I thought "LCG" trademark was owned by Fantasy Flight, not WotC.

You might want to listen to my discussions of card games of this type:

Zweiterversuch's picture
Joined: 04/18/2017

Thank you for the information.

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