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How to distribute resource cards?

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jedite1000
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There are 2 scenarios i want to try when testing my card game

I have resource cards that are named food, they are needed to deploy/play/summon creatures to the field, so example you need 4 food cards to play a creature card. Now here is the dilemma

The food cards are drawn from the same deck as the creature cards so 1 scenario is, i have used 4 food cards to deploy a creature, i now have to remove my used food cards from the game (send them to the graveyard with my killed creatures)

the 2nd scenario is, when i use my food cards they remain on the field but are tapped (like mana from magic) On my next turn my food i used previous turn are now usable again, so now i can use them again and more if i have more food cards in my hand

So what would be the better outcome?

What are the pros and cons of both scenarios

ruy343
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Try them both out!

The second method that you mention is like MtG, while the first is similar to (though not identical to) Pokemon - i.e. each creature requires its own cards.

The MtG method works well if you wish to restrict the game to 1 draw per turn, and if you want a clear progression over time, as "lands" can only be acquired so fast, and thus limit the power of something that can be played early.

The alternate method does allow the possibility of expending one's resources in a single burst, playing down a large monster on turn one if they drew enough "food" for the initial play. However, this system overall is slower, because their "food" isn't re-usable. Overall, I feel that this style would be less predictable.

However...

I don't like either option...

Have you considered adding in some other mechanics to drive the game? Here are some ideas that you might consider (some of which will work better with what you've already proposed in the other thread).

1. A system where the more soldiers you have in play, the less money (or food... whatever) you have to play with each turn (because it takes money to keep your troops on the front). Games like Eclipse and Power Grid do this well. There could be alternate methods of acquiring money (such as controlling map locations) which could allow for a larger empire to hold out against smaller opponents, but overall it's a means to ensure that no one player gets a runaway victory (a la Risk, where winners get more powerful until it's a no-fun landslide).

2. Each card could be worth one money, and a player has to choose what they can afford from their hand based on their hand size. Perhaps hand sizes grow or shrink based on external factors.

3. Use a currency card system like Dominion, making you decide whether to deploy monsters or buy new currency cards to improve your economic output (this also allows for monsters that you've bought to re-appear in play regularly, and a "redraw your hand" mechanic could allow for the game to never get stale (with players just waiting for the right draw).

----Overall, take a moment to sketch out how you want the game to look on a whiteboard or similar, and think about what you want your players to feel as they play the game. Perhaps take a step back from your theme and ask yourself which mechanics you want to be core to your design. Don't just stick to what you're seen in CCGs, because honestly, they don't have the best mechanics in terms of keeping the game moving along (unless you spend hundreds of dollars on cards... but I won't go into that). Again, play more modern games, and constantly look for new mechanics being used there.

jedite1000
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You gave me lots to think

You gave me lots to think about

jvallerand
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Hearthstone also simplified

Hearthstone also simplified this a lot by taking the resource off of cards, and simply saying that every turn, you have mana equal to the round number (1 in the first round, 2 in the second, etc..., max. of 10). Doing so takes out the luck of the draw.

Using cards as resources (i.e. to play this card, you need to discard X other cards, regardless of what they are) is interesting, but not in a game where you build your deck a la MtG. If you spend lots of time building your deck and trash 3/4 of the cards, the building is much less interesting. However, if you draw from a common deck, it has the added benefit of mitigating bad draws, as you'll use most cards for currency anyway, so even bad cards are pretty good.

And once again, the question comes down to "why do you need costs to those cards?" If it's just "because Magic does it", try it without it. If it's to balance out inequity between cards, try balancing them. Give some of them conditions before they can be played. Maybe cost could be a delay before they come in, or in Action points, or in Life points. Each brings a different feel to the game, which can make your game stand out.

jedite1000
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I wasn't really thinking of

I wasn't really thinking of magic when it coming up with the resource cards, it was only after i compared the 2 and thought of 2 scenarios

All i was thinking about is troops and war, troopers need food to survive, so i decided on having food cards as a source of resource, so having a resource system to summon monsters made sense to me.

I probably only will have a maximum of 4 food required to play a monster, maybe 1-2 high level monsters with 5 to lets say 100 food requirements to play

radioactivemouse
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Other ways

Look at other games...MtG had a variant where all the resource cards were in a separate deck...the player then chose whether or not they want to pull from the resource deck or the creature deck. Force of Will is a card game that took that mechanic and built a whole game out of it.

Thunderstone uses resources in a completely different way. Each card has a money value and each player, on their turn, must choose to go to the village (utilizing the money) or explore the dungeon (where the money is not used). Check out a review for it on YouTube.

Imperial Settlers on the other hand, uses wooden pieces to indicate resources. It's a great game, you should check it out.

Hope this helps.

jedite1000
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There must be something that

There must be something that prevents mana screw. Ive been play testing for awhile and i keep not getting enough food cards drawn

I dont really want 2 effects on a creature card as it will take up too much space on a card, but i can use my creatures to sell for food, instead of it being food aswell i could sacrifice a creature card to the graveyard and then pick up whatever number of food i buy from a separate food deck

Lets say my ogre requires 4 food to play but i can choose to sell that card (in my game it will be killed and grinded up instead of selling) to the bank (my case the graveyard) and i receive 4 food cards from the food deck. but i should only do that once per turn. However i dont want to just rely on creature cards to sell, i want to acquire food cards as well by just drawing them from the food deck

And i probably dont need a symbol for sacrificing a creature for food, the cost to play the creature could act as price to sell too. Or do you think i need an extra symbol on the card so people can know how much the creature can sell for?

radioactivemouse
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How I "solved" it.

jedite1000 wrote:
There must be something that prevents mana screw. Ive been play testing for awhile and i keep not getting enough food cards drawn

I dont really want 2 effects on a creature card as it will take up too much space on a card, but i can use my creatures to sell for food, instead of it being food aswell i could sacrifice a creature card to the graveyard and then pick up whatever number of food i buy from a separate food deck

Lets say my ogre requires 4 food to play but i can choose to sell that card (in my game it will be killed and grinded up instead of selling) to the bank (my case the graveyard) and i receive 4 food cards from the food deck. but i should only do that once per turn. However i dont want to just rely on creature cards to sell, i want to acquire food cards as well by just drawing them from the food deck

And i probably dont need a symbol for sacrificing a creature for food, the cost to play the creature could act as price to sell too. Or do you think i need an extra symbol on the card so people can know how much the creature can sell for?

Mana screw/flood is just going to be an issue if you have resources that you have to draw from the main deck. Like I said before, you could put it as a separate deck, but from the lack of response to my post, I get that it's not an idea you're planning to pursue.

Still, I tackled this issue when creating my game.

I just gave the maximum resources to the player on their turn. Let me explain.

My game is a sci-fi combat game where two motherships battle it out against each other. Instead of "accumulating" resources during the game (which just seems weird), I operated on the concept that every mothership has a core...and the core recharges every turn to its maximum.

What does this mean? In practical terms, if you have a max energy of 6, you can essentially bring out your biggest unit onto the battlefield on turn 1. But that also means you can bring out 2, 3-cost units or 6 1-cost units.

But is that bad? I say no it isn't.

For one, it gives the choice back to the player. Instead of preventing a player from playing a card due to resource deficiency, you give them the choice that they CAN and it gives FAR more choice for a player that can essentially use every card in their hand instead of limiting cards they can play until a certain turn.

Two, it actually forces you to design smarter. Instead of creating expansions that power-creep over time (a very bad side-effect of using accumulating resources), the designer is forced to work within a box; they must be able to balance the power of a 1 6-cost card and 6 1-cost cards...or 3 2-cost cards or a combination thereof.

Three, it's thematic. Who goes into battle weak and hopes to get stronger WHILE in battle? It doesn't make sense. You come in ready to rumble.

So instead of having a starting hand of cards where some to all of your hand can potentially NOT be played on turn 1, you can have it so a player can use ANY card on turn 1. Now the game is more about strategy and not luck-of-the-draw or top-decking or hoping the opponent gets mana starved/flooded. A victory due to those conditions is just weak and not satisfying.

Here's a link to a game review of my game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mc2GeUXdco

Many games try to fix mana screw/flood but don't realize that, in order to do that, you have to break the system and provide something completely different. That's my opinion and it worked out in my game.

Most likely, this won't be something you will implement in your game because it would require you to start back at square one.

Squinshee
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radioactivemouse wrote:Most

radioactivemouse wrote:
Most likely, this won't be something you will implement in your game because it would require you to start back at square one.

Starting back at square one can be a beautiful thing and should always be a viable design route.

Squinshee
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jedite1000 wrote:All i was

jedite1000 wrote:
All i was thinking about is troops and war, troopers need food to survive, so i decided on having food cards as a source of resource, so having a resource system to summon monsters made sense to me.

What if food is a finite source and keeping your monsters depletes your food supply? Maybe you can kill your own monsters to add to the food supply.

FrankM
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Make players get resourceful about resources

If building your force from nothing is an important thematic element, you can still mitigate mana-screw by simply endowing each player with three Food cards at the start.

Personally, I like the hunt-what-we-don't-recruit mechanic and Squinshee's maintenance idea. But hunting should be a one-shot infusion of Food whereas a dedicated Food card should provide one per turn. In addition to its casting cost, each creature in play consumes a certain amount of Food per turn. This would be a balancing characteristic like attack, defense and special abilities: some units (undead?) might not need any Food while ravaging beasts require two or three (with a special ability of not needing food on any turn where they killed an enemy unit).

Maybe a creature card already in play could be cannibalized for half its cost. Don't get wounded... our "allies" look hungry!

These Food cards represent actual food sources controlled by the faction, and the opponent could opt to Raid or Pillage those rather than attacking the player. If the attacker gets past the defense to a Food source, a Raid gives a one-time infusion of Food to the attacker while a Pillage "wounds" the resource and makes it unavailable to anyone for a while.

The attacker would need to specify which armies were attacking which locations, then the other player allocates defenders.

By the way, one faction or another might be prohibited from hunting/cannibalizing in exchange for super-productive Food sources. Another faction might be purpose-built to survive on hunts and Raids, with special abilities geared toward those activities and scarce stable Food sources. (I can just see a Diabolical Chef creature with wimpy combat stats but the ability to eke out every last morsel from a cannibalized army...)

radioactivemouse
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Well...

Squinshee wrote:

Starting back at square one can be a beautiful thing and should always be a viable design route.

I absolutely believe in this, however, in my interactions with game designers (specifically newly-declared ones), they are so married to their design that the suggestion of starting over is almost offensive.

jedite1000
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Im willing to start from

Im willing to start from scratch to a certain point,
my creature cards and their attacking system, probably not going to change much

food system i am willing to, i had a few play tests by myself and i have realised that drawing food from the main deck is not the best option, i did however decided to use a separate deck for the food source. I tried many scenarios like drawing 3 monster cards then 3 food cards to start with, then decide on my actually draw should i draw from my food or monster deck
however that also seems to be the problem as when it comes to drawing a card per turn, i am usually stuck with high level monsters or too many food cards in my hand. I figured out a solution that it might possibly be the best way to hand the food resource

On my turn after drawing 5-6 cards from my monster deck, i then place 5 food cards onto the field from my food deck, that way i can use the food cards on my field to deploy creatures, and ever turn ill fill up the field with more food cards, i haven't tested it yet but not sure if it will be too easy to deploy monsters every turn, though having a cap at lets say 5 per turn, makes you decide if you want to summon a strong creature or 2-3 weaker ones that turn.

With this system i do not need to kill my monsters to produce food

What do you think? like to add to it?

I also do listen to every response though sometimes its a lot to take in all at once and usually dont respond to everyone

Ok i done a little bit of testing with this system and after changing it a little bit, might have found a perfect resource disbution

My first play through with this system was always having 5 food cards on the field at once, the problem with that was my food deck ran out of cards in like 5 or so turns, so that is not ideal

My second play through, start with 5 food cards as normal but, each turn instead of drawing food until you have 5 food cards on the field every turn, you draw 1 food card each turn, just like drawing 1 card from the main deck, this adds a strategic game play, do i use all food cards in one turn so ill have hard time deploying more creatures next turn, or do i save some so i already have enough food for my next turn

radioactivemouse
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Actually...

jedite1000 wrote:
Im willing to start from scratch to a certain point,
my creature cards and their attacking system, probably not going to change much

To be fair, I wasn't referring to you when I talked about starting over. I've had a lot of interaction with people on this forum and people in my game design classes and many of them think that starting over is like the ultimate insult. It's not.

I only offer suggestions that may help solve people's issues. Ultimately, it's up to the designer to implement or not implement the idea.

jedite1000
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radioactivemouse

radioactivemouse wrote:
jedite1000 wrote:
Im willing to start from scratch to a certain point,
my creature cards and their attacking system, probably not going to change much

To be fair, I wasn't referring to you when I talked about starting over. I've had a lot of interaction with people on this forum and people in my game design classes and many of them think that starting over is like the ultimate insult. It's not.

I only offer suggestions that may help solve people's issues. Ultimately, it's up to the designer to implement or not implement the idea.

Its fine, i was able to change the resource system a lot, its a much better system then it once was

hunterjonson
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interesting idea, good luck

interesting idea, good luck with Your game Essay Typer

Tbone
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Mana Climb

It depends I guess on whether your game needs mana climb (a constant increase of resources) So with your current revision of two separate decks there is no mana climb correct? Meaning when you lose resources they are gone and cannot be reused?

I personally find this hard to deal with unless the monsters you have allow you to gain more food. Without mana climb you are severely limited on the pricing of your units. So you start with 5 and play a 5 cost creature right out of the gate. You have to wait 5 turns to get back to 5 resources? So you can really only have creatures that costs 1 to maybe 6 resources. Maybe there are other factors to help with balancing, but it will restrict the cost of units.

What also logically follows is the restriction of how many units you have out at a time. If you pay for a big guy at 5 food, you won't get to play another one until about two or three turns. You have one guy just sitting without any interaction for two turns. That can be boring :/.

If you have other mechanisms messing around it might work, but from experience with deck builders and TCG's, there should be some sort of bell curve of how much you can do and play as the game progresses, unless it is purely tactical like chess. But even then, you are constantly developing your positions and GAINING ground on the board.

I'm not sure if I'm making sense but I am merely sharing what I've learned.

let-off studios
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Finite Resources + Choices

Squinshee wrote:
What if food is a finite source and keeping your monsters depletes your food supply? Maybe you can kill your own monsters to add to the food supply.
This idea is interesting. The player would need to pick and choose from their current hand to generate summoning/conscription/construction energy.

You could streamline this further and require players to discard X cards from their hand - of any type - to generate a given unit. The cost to bring that unit in play would be listed on the card. Playtesting and balancing would help determine the relative costs, similar to radioactivemouse's energy cost system.

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