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UNTITLED - A Designer and a Desire

A Designer and a Desire

Rather than simply jumping in and discussing this game idea of mine, I’d like to give those of you reading a chance to get to know me and my experiences in both gaming and game design. For those that don’t like long and detailed origins stories, I will try my best to leave a streamlined TL’DR at the end of the entry. Finally, before we begin, I want to thank you all who are reading this and I hope you find it entertaining and insightful.

A Childhood, like many I’m sure, raised on Mario and classic board games like Clue and Risk from a very young age (younger than I can even remember now.) Even with all that typical exposure to games that a child would have I don’t consider that period of my life worth noting more than I already have. It wasn’t until I was almost a teenager that I became a gamer...

When I was 11 or 12 I was exposed to a juggarnaught of hobby game that still lingers in my mind and my reality. A game that hit the younger audiences of America with such force that it corrupted even those that didn’t like games. I’m talking about Yu-Gi-Oh! I know Magic: The Gathering was around for much longer but I was never exposed to that game in the way I was YGO. Magic didn’t have a television show, kid friendly artwork or basic simplicity that a child could easily follow. I fell into that game like a Trap Hole…. It consumed my teen years and allowance dollars. I was so involved with YGO that I still remember a “mini” game my friends would play – they would pick a card at random from a booster pack and quizzed me on the effects or stats; most of the time I was right. I studied the game and knew a lot about it, I was like an encyclopedia. Until I started playing competitively, I didn’t know anything! Everything changed for me, my outlook on the game changed from needing to know every card’s effect and stats to needing know every combo and game breaking tactic. I learned and became better and better until I was one of the best in my local area – I couldn’t compete at larger arena’s…. I didn’t have the money and I still don’t. I was never the top player though. Something about the game and the way you can construct a deck that is an extension of yourself and the way you like to play always prevented me from netdecking the top strategies and cards. That very quality, I think, is what first lead me to wanting to design my very own TCG; which later turned my creative focus not just to TCG’s but to other types of games as well.

As I got older and started applying for colleges that taught game design courses, my desire to continue YGO dwindled. I didn’t like spending a lot of money on cards and tournaments just to get second place. I got tired of the rotating ban lists and meta decks. So I quit just before graduating high school. For the entire summer I taught myself Magic: The Gathering, the closest TCG to YGO. It took me a while to adjust from the clear-summon-win mentality to draw-land-go of Magic but eventually I went to a tournament and learned all I could for players much more involved in the game than I was. I enjoyed Magic! But not entirely playing Magic – to this day I will not play white or red (unless red is paired with green) and I will rarely play without blue. I learned around this time the psychologies of Magic, psychologies that can be translated to any customizable card game. Johnny, Spike and Timmy. I learned that Spikes play to win regardless of how they do it, and I learned that I hate him. I learned that Timmy plays to have fun, even if he loses, and I didn’t like him either – play to win and have fun. I learned that Johnny likes to build cool rogue decks that are fun to play and can win. That is exactly what I did in YGO, and what I do in Magic.

I seemed have a great desire to create these custom decks in both of these TCG’s. This passion to create is what drives me to make games, to write fiction and dream the great dream. That passion lead me through game design school and into “development” of several hobby games and even a “published” novel. Carnage by Nicholas Markgraf if you interested...

Only recently I discovered the realm of designer board games. It all started with Quoridor. I had so much fun with my friends playing this game that we stayed up for hours in a house based tournament. Later, with only really Quoridor in my collection I discovered infinite City and it all snowballed from there. My creative inspiration from playing and building in YGO and Magic had my mind in a twitter about nearly every new game I played, creating variants and even full concepts…. Always in my mind though. I read rules documents and watch reviews of games I can’t afford just so I can keep an idea of those games in my head for inspiration and future impulse purchases. Since that time most of my creative juices have been focused on board and card games, but I always seem to float back to the TCGs.

I’ve read up on all the latest TCG-like games from Epic to Hex and Cardfight, learning them to feed my interest - I’ve even looked at older games forgotten like Jyhad. It seems my mind always returns to my younger years and the great memories of YGO and Mario.

But you probably want to know if I’ve created something like a TCG. No. Not entirely. I can remember, and still have notes, ideas I’ve had for several TCG-like games that I’ve put together over the years. Many I’ve hated entirely, others the dislike grew over time and manifestation, others just never sat right with me but nonetheless ideas always come. It seems my very soul of a designer wants to make a great TCG, and I’d hate to disappoint. This, as well as a murder mystery game, has always been something my mind reverts to when I’m tired of thinking about whatever task is at hand, it seems to be what I want… need to do – and I finally have an idea of concept that could work that I don’t absolutely hate.

TL’DR
I’ve been playing games for a long time, only recently the designer board games many enjoy. My youngest passion was YuGiOh and with all the fond moments and memories of that game (and Magic in later years) has always pushed my creative ideas to that type of game. I never entirely liked any concept that came to me until now...

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gamejournal | by Dr. Radut