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Living Card Game (LCG)

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questccg
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Hi all,

For those familiar with Card games such a CCGs or TCGs, I wanted to bring up the concept of Fantasy Flight's LCG (or Living Card Game).

Specifically I am interested in coining a NEW term for a game that has similar traits but is also different from the Copyright term defined by FFG. So here are the difference:

  1. FFG claims that for an LCG, expansions are to be release on a Monthly schedule. For my purposes, my game may release expansions on a Yearly basis (so maybe an expansion in one year).
  2. FFG states that an LCG pool of cards expands with expansions adding more strategy and depth to the game. In my case, expansions will yield new ways of re-using the core base set with expansion cards.
  3. FFG mentions that in the LCG model, there is no chasing of Rare or Promo cards. My game, as a deck-builder, also does not have the need for card rarity.
  4. FFG says that an LCG game is more affordable than your traditional CCG or TCG. In my game, that is also true because the will be sold in one (1) player game sets. Two (2) players can dual or Four (4) players can play versus each other.
  5. Lastly FFG adds that their LCG game allow for organized play. This encompasses year-round leagues to premiere tournaments. In the case of my game, I am hoping that the game generates a following but it is a Deck-Builder and more of a card game than a game to be played in tournaments.

So knowing this information, I would like to know how I should call my Deck-Building Game (DBG). Something other than LCG because that is Copyright...

Maybe ECG: Expandable Card Game?

What do you guys think? Suggestions welcome, comments also.

Ekobor
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That's what I call my games

That's what I call my games of the same ilk. Expanding or Expandable Card Games.

Modular Card Game might also work, as each module can stand alone or join up.
Some words similar to expanding that might work:
Growing, Developing, Spreading, Unfolding, Amplifying, Broadening.

Good luck deciding!

tuism
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Whatever you decide to call

Whatever you decide to call it, I think it would be nice if people could share this term instead of it being owned by someone and then someone else has to then come up with yet another term to describe the exact same thing :)

OPEN SOURCE IT! IT'S A FEW WORDS! :P

Samarkand
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Hi, questcg,By the way ,

Hi, questcg,

By the way , even though I only lurk here I am impressed by what you do, so keep doing it! :)

Now to the question. Keep in mind that LCG is a marketing variation of TCG. There is no difference between the two. A TCG can be expanded as often as its publisher decides it's good business; many TCGs' expansions (particularly Mtg's) add strategy and depth; tournaments and leagues can be organized in pretty much any activity you want.

I leave the Rare chase and the cost for last because these are functions of the consumer's behavior that is used by the business, rather than the other way around. In fact, the whole thing about monthly expansions sounds like LCG is using the drive of people to collect and complete to make the expansions the item chased rather than individual cards. By throwing a product after a product, the side effect is that they are leaving you no time to completely understand the old expansion and, possibly, producing a sub-par product that might be rushed and lacking players' feedback.

Why is all this important? Because you are talking marketing strategy and business model rather than content. That's completely fine IF that's what you are going for.

questccg
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Another idea

questccg wrote:
Maybe ECG: Expandable Card Game?

I thought this up last night while trying to fall asleep:

XTG: eXpandable Tabletop Game

As Tuism suggested, the term could be more *broad* than just for a card game (like in my case).

  1. In terms of expandability, it would have to be a game that has been designed with "expandability" in mind. So the original game would be enhanced with new expansions.
  2. The definition of "expansions" is meant to be something you would add to the "original game" in order to change the way the game plays or is played.
  3. There is no card chasing, however we could state that the original game and future expansions could be designed with a collectable aspect such as original artwork. Although most games would fall in this category, I would say that the game would have a bigger production budget in terms of artwork.
  4. When it comes to affordability, I think we should talk about "Game Value". This occurs with expandability and means that the original game has more value because expansions add to the initial game. Remember it's NOT two (2) games: original + expansion. It's a NEW game (where both original and expansion are used).
  5. We use the term "Tabletop Game" which is meant to include board games (party, abstract, etc) in addition to card games. This would therefore encompass all types of social games that have an expandable concept.

I'm omitting any mention of tournament or league play simply because as stated, it would probably be possible to setup a game tournament using a round-robin approach or something similar.

Note: I think I am trying to achieve a different and OPEN terminology that can be used as opposed to coining an acronym only one company can use. As it was pointed out, having a term for something similar but that is more closely tied to a broader range of games, is more in the direction I was headed with this...

Groove
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Yearly

If you're only planning to release expansions on a yearly basis then wouldn't it just be a card game or a deck building game, no special acronym needed?

I say that since a great number of successful games will see an expansion every year for a few years after release, it isn't an unusual thing. CCGs typcially have booster packs to collect constantly and offer new releases every 6-12 months. LCGs offer fixed packs every month or so.

It seems that if your game would do a single large release every 12 months then it's just a regular card game, with regular expansions, and it wouldn't be overly defined by it's expansion model. Alternatively, if that large release is in the form of collectable, randomly aquired cards released every 12 months then it would just be a fairly standard CCG.

Zodiak Team
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I personally use ECG and SCCG

I personally use ECG and SCCG (Semi-collectible Card Game). I have also heard the terms DCG (Designer Card Game) and GCG (Growing Card Game).

gameogami
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Groove wrote:If you're only

Groove wrote:
If you're only planning to release expansions on a yearly basis then wouldn't it just be a card game or a deck building game, no special acronym needed?
...
It seems that if your game would do a single large release every 12 months then it's just a regular card game, with regular expansions, and it wouldn't be overly defined by it's expansion model.
...

What Groove said. Call it a "card game". It's clean, simple, and won't scare some people off the way that labels like CCG, TCG, Semi-Expandable, Modular, Transformer, Flux-Capacitor, etc. will.

Fhizban
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I can only second what Groove

I can only second what Groove and gameogami said: Remove all labels and just call it card game. BTW: I am doing the same with my main project, those "three letter words" just SCARE people away (no matter if you use TCG, CCG or a new creation like LCG, GCG, ECG or whatever).

Just card game, and then after 1/2 or a year or so - create one or two expansions for it. This gives your regular players new stuff to explore and keeps the game alive. All without the 3 letter hype...

Fhizban
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(sorry double post)@Tuism:

(sorry double post)

@Tuism: If adapted to a game itself, this open source idea is somewhat interesting. I wonder what would happen if I take my game, provide core-rules and the background story plus all artworks .... and turn the rest.... open source!

questccg
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Wrong assumptions!

Fhizban wrote:
I can only second what Groove and gameogami said: Remove all labels and just call it card game...

Well I think you need to take a better look at the definition of an XTG.

In particular, MOST card games are NOT Expandable. Things like Uno, Go-Fish, Old Maid, etc. Those are ALL "Card Games" also.

The other thing is board games like Settlers of Catan are NOT Graphically Intensive games. Most board games in truth are NOT Graphically Intensive games. Sure the board or tile, but this doesn't compare to a game that has over 100 pieces of individual artwork!

So if you take these cases and re-examine the various aspects I have proposed you can definitely site games that DO FIT into the category. An example is Munchkin especially with all their themes, makes for an Expandable Tabletop Game... Another would be of course Dominion.

Therefore I believe it is *wrong* to call it a "Card Game". It's more than a game made with cards, it's an Expandable game with a plethora of artwork! :P

I still think it needs a name...

Godzirra
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Leaning your way

I'm leaning towards "XTG". I too have a project going that I can't figure out what to call it. It has tiles, minis, cards and is expandable, collectable, modular, etc...

I was thinking EMG. "Expandable Modular Game", but I like XTG as much. I may use XTG too, if you keep it open.

ETA: You could copyright "XTG" and give me permission. ;)

larienna
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Is the expression "Living

Is the expression "Living Card Game" protected by fantasy flight?

Unless I am wrong, I think I have seen many companies use that expression?

questccg
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I think the (R) says so!

larienna wrote:
Is the expression "Living Card Game" protected by fantasy flight?

Unless I am wrong, I think I have seen many companies use that expression?

Here the link from BGG, tell me what YOU think?

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/5337/living-card-game

Especially the part: "LIVING CARD GAMES, LCG, and the LCG logos are all registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved."

Note: I suggest the term eXpandable Tabletop Game (XTG) and it will remain an OPEN term not subject to any copyright laws...

I'm going to work on a logo... I'll post it up when I'm done!

Godzirra
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Hows the logo coming along?

Hows the logo coming along?

larienna
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It does seem registred. Not a

It does seem registred. Not a bad thing since I did not liked the expression.

"Expandable Card Game" is much more self explanatory.

Quick note, me and thobias decided as a design solution to keep the nb of unique cards low and include more copies of each card (5-6 cards) than what LCG does (3 cards) since we do not have the resources and man power to create many unique cards.

That should make creation of new cards easier and less demanding. Of course, your design must take in acount the possibility to use multiple copies of the same card.

I personally also promote in my design distributing games as a self contained game. So expansion and base set are the same. So if you come in later to the game, you can simply buy a new released set and be able to play without having to bother buying a base set because all expansion packs are base sets.

questccg
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A very good point

You bring up a good point larienna. So your point is that expansions and the base set are the SAME. Meaning you could play the game with EITHER the expansion OR the base set.

In my particular case, such is NOT the case. An expansion is an add-on which changes how the original game is played. Good or bad, what this does is add value to the original (or base) set. That's what I am trying to achieve with my expansions: make the base set more valuable because newer ways of playing the game will exist at a later time.

So in your case base and expansion are DISTINCT games. Both can be played independently of each other. In my case, the goal being to add value to the base set, the expansion alters how the base set will be used (during play).

That means in your case base set and expansion are TWO (2) different games (fundamentally). In my case the base set and any expansion are still ONE (1) game with different styles of play.

So I think the point you bring up is a very good point. I think what matters is what you are trying to achieve in the end. Let's say the base set sells 5,000 copies, when a NEW expansion set comes out it may sell like 3,000 copies. However the base set may also sell MORE and add another 2,000 copies of the original game. I think that is part of the sales pitch: "Buy this today so that in a not too distant future you can play a different way..."

This has a MAJOR impact on the perceived VALUE of the base (or original) game. So when an expansion is sold, side-by-side with the original game, there are two (2) things that can happen:

  1. A NEW player buys both the original game and the expansion.
  2. An existing player buys only the expansion.

So each time there is an expansion, the possibility of selling more base (or original) game sets increases... Spreading the game further in terms of popularity. I think this is part marketing and sales strategy. Obviously the goal is to bring forth anew the original (or base) game... And sell more copies of it to new players!

questccg
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In the conceptual stage

Godzirra wrote:
Hows the logo coming along?

I'm still trying to figure out what the logo should look like. And finding a good font to match is also tricky. But I'm still thinking about it and what could appear to be good.

There are some constraints to the logo:

  • It needs to be visual even at a small size (1 inch).
  • It also needs to illustrate modularity.
  • It must be designed for tabletop games not just cards games.

I had the idea of using puzzle pieces to illustrate modularity - but I'm not sure it's a good idea. I think it could lead to confusion?! Something like a white piece with "XT" and a black piece with "G" and both pieces are connected (like puzzle pieces)...

questccg
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Simple design

Well here is what I made the logo look like.

I think the design is clean and illustrates modularity by the contrasting letters. I had both pieces as puzzle pieces - but it was too much. Just the separation in colour between the two made for a more clear logo.

Feedback/Comments welcome!

questccg
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A clear distinction

I think point #4 of the definition makes for a clear distinction in what we would define as being "expandable". So just creating a NEW edition of a game with new components (including cards) is not what I was trying to get at when I talked about the terms definition.

Instead what I was leaning towards was that it's an expandable module that expands over an originating game.

Not that I am an expert, but I believe all "The Settlers of Catan" games follow this rule of requiring the *original* game.

So if you have the base game, you can only play 2 to 4 players. Then you can buy a 5 to 6 player expansion and then add another expansion such as "Cities & Knights" (designed for the 5 to 6 player expansion).

Samarkand
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What about this (or similar)

What about this (or similar) version of a logo?

It's clean, simple, scalable, and communicates modularity.

Godzirra
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I like

Hey Quest... That's a good crisp clean logo. I think it will show up well on any game box. Let me know when/if it's final (for the sake of game creators uniformity) so I can steal it for my game.

When I get the game logo finalized,, I will show my game box here, with the xtg logo, for your comments and critiques..

Thanks

schattentanz
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Did I get this right?

questccg wrote:
Well here is what I made the logo look like.

I think the design is clean and illustrates modularity by the contrasting letters. I had both pieces as puzzle pieces - but it was too much. Just the separation in colour between the two made for a more clear logo.

Feedback/Comments welcome!

Sorry, but this doesn't make any sense at all:
"Expandable Tabletop" is a unit and "Game" is a different unit in this logo. Or did I misunderstood the term and XTGs are games requiring you to have an expandable tabletop?

I'd rather have the black Background behind the X than the G ...

Kind regards,
Kai

Ecarots
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Hmmmm

The XTG concept seems quite viable.
On reading this all again what came to mind is "Open Source"
Expansions building on each others with the original licensed so that no one can claim it without permission of the originator. This would allow far more creativity from many designers.

just my 2 cents

questccg
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Revised logo

schattentanz wrote:
Sorry, but this doesn't make any sense at all:
"Expandable Tabletop" is a unit and "Game" is a different unit in this logo...

You bring up very good points. So now I have changed the logo to "Expandable" and "Tabletop Game". Those units make more sense and overall it improves/conveys the logic behind the logo.

questccg
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Two revised versions

Okay here are the two (2) version side-by-side (so to speak):

Again Feedback/Comments welcome!

Note: Now that I am thinking about the logo and the application of the "XTG" concept. I think it would be a license granted to develop expansions based on the original game. So the Top logo is for the "Base" game (Original) and the Bottom logo is for EACH "Expansion" game (to distinguish between the two).

So the original game is saying: "I'm a game that can be expanded upon." And an expansion would say: "I'm an expansion for an original game."

questccg
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More OPEN than others

Ecarots wrote:
...On reading this all again what came to mind is "Open Source" Expansions building on each others with the original licensed so that no one can claim it without permission of the originator. This would allow far more creativity from many designers.

So what you are saying is that "expansions" are OPEN to be developed by other designers but that the original game remains a separate licensed entity?

I'm all for other people being able to design other ways of "expanding" the game. That's part of the reason why I think it's interesting. It also adds more VALUE to the original game (because expansions rely on the original game). It would also boost the sales of the original game whenever somebody comes up with an intelligent expansion! :D

This is the opposite to what LCG, Living Card Game and FFG stand for. Their purpose is to have a registered trademark that may only be used by permission of FFG. So they want a "fancy" way of branding their products only.

larienna
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Quest: My game is still 1

Quest: My game is still 1 game since cards from one release could be mixed with previous release.

The advantage of my (projected) distribution method, is that I won't need to continue printing base set or even fixing and reprinting the base set like MTG does with each new edition.

Players will also not need to search for a base set. They will only need to buy what is available without affecting the playability of the game.

It's also cheaper for them because I intend to make 5 decks per set containing 40 unique cards per set. If you want to play, you only need 1 of the 5 decks which would cost 8-12$ each (According to my last calculations on The Game Crafters).

So either you buy a complete set of 5 deck, or buy one deck in a release and a deck from another. You can take a break and skip some release to get back later and all the cards will still be compatible with each other without any force purchase to stay "compatible" with other players. Or you could print cards or design your own.

So much more flexibility.

Quote:
On reading this all again what came to mind is "Open Source"
Expansions building on each others with the original licensed so that no one can claim it without permission of the originator. This would allow far more creativity from many designers.

This is why I am making a DCG (Designable Card game). Players can either buy cards, or design their own, or print cards designed by others. There will be an ability catalog that designer could browse with a way to calculate card cost.

questccg
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New market

Ecarots wrote:
The XTG concept seems quite viable.

I think another aspect of such a game would be to "attract" potential game designers! In a nutshell, designers who see the original "XTG" logo will recognize that this game was designed for expandability!

Why this is cool is because other designers who want to publish a game title might want to create a new way of playing the base game. And so it gives the product more attention (in general) than if it was a "Card Game" that had "Expansions".

The Original "XTG" logo is a direct license to design new expansions based on the game. Each expansion should be branded using the "expandable" logo (to let people know that the game was designed for another game)!

I think I need to think more about how to manage the "expandable" portion of things. There need to be some standard that can be used as reference as well as some requirements. For example, the "expandable" XTG logo must be place on the back cover or cover of the game's box. Things like that...

questccg
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Fundamental differences

Okay so like I said the XTG concept is extended to ALL tabletop games not just card games. This is an important distinction because in card games, it's easy to create new cards. But changing how the game plays, is something completely different.

"XTG"s are games that are "designed for change".

And if you would like to know of such a game (that does not have the label), well then I would suggest looking a "Cities & Knights", "The Settlers of Catan" expansion.

It changes how the game is played!

Note: Magic: the Gathering also could be considered an "XTG" because the cards that are created sometimes alter the way the game is played (with new rules, etc.) But Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) only allow new editions of their game to be designed by their design teams only...

So I guess a typical card game COULD be an "XTG" but it would have to allow the game to be played differently based on each individual expansion set.

larienna
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So you want to create a game

So you want to create a game where anybody is allowed to expand the game.

To make a game easily expandable, there is a list of guidelines that should be followed. I don't have a list right now but I know that modularity is indeed important.

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