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Monster Keep vs. Crystal Heroes

Okay so a new debate has surface concerning the game that I am working on. In a way, it's not really a complicated matter ... but there are reasons for making a decision either which way. Let me explain.

So in essence the change is pretty SIMPLE: Changing the name to "Crystal Heroes" instead of "Monster Keep".

Why this new name change? Well it's got to do with REASONING:

1> I don't feel like the game is about MONSTERS. It's more about HEROES even if there are Villainous ones.

2> The game has changed to collecting GEMS. As such I am trying to get made CUSTOM plastic gems to be used with the game.

3> The focus of gameplay is not to be the "Lord of the Keep", more just be the victorious Lord... And that means designing several different Lords for each Race. Instead of only ONE (1) Lord per Race, I would design FOUR (4) of them.

4> Previously the "resources" were Food, Gold and Equipment. Now they are only "Red, Yellow and Blue" gems. Thematically I am removing depth to ensure that the game is more cohesive in the setting of a new theme.

5> Monster Keep had a concept to itself: you get to KEEP the Monsters. As such I would like to reserve the name for another GAME... That would be more in-line with the theme and setting.

6> The Monster Keep Logo is much more impressive than the "Crystal C" but there would be a marketing reason for the "C": better branding. I've change my Avatar to represent the "Crystal C"... Feedback would be appreciated.

7> As far as BRANDING is concerned, "Monster Keep" or "Crystal Heroes" BOTH have a strong presence. Both titles are COOL IMHO. It's a question of what is more APPROPRIATE. A nicer logo or a more fitting name that suits the theme of the game better...!

So that's a bit of what I am faced with... The question I am asking you all is simply to share your thoughts on the matter. If you have the least bit of an opinion, feel free to let me know what you think!

Many thanks to all... Cheers!

Comments

Name Change

I'm not staying I don't be like Crystal Hero's but I have a couple ideas.

Lord's of the Keep.
Lord's of plunder.

Aren't they battling monsters and poundering their booty or resources (Crystal or Gems)?

You new Logo

Quest, that Crystal Hero's Logo is EPIC!! Great work on that. It POP's for sure.

Thanks @Evans

It's not 100%. This is just a mock-up that I designed. I'm going to let my artist have a look and tell me what she thinks. If she can come up with a better "look" for the logo, I'll pay he to re-work the logo...

Right now ... It's a bit SIMPLE.

I didn't ignore you about the names... Sometimes it comes down to what I FEEL is the better choice. I had two (2) strong URLs and the "Crystal Heroes" works better as the game is NOT about Monsters!

I already spoke with my source in China and he's on New Years break... But will get back to me with a quote when they resume working. Which is great!

It's also because from a Marketing perspective... I felt like people are going to ask: "How is this Monster Keep ... When you have all these characters which seem like Heroes or Villains???" Granted the characters are COOL. They're just NOT Monsters...

And I felt like I could KEEP the "Monster Keep" Game Title for ANOTHER game... Maybe.

So the plan will be to start from ZERO (0) again and get the word out about "Crystal Heroes". We'll see how the Logo may be improved! Cheers.

The focus of the Logo is...

I wanted the "C" to have a Stained Glass look and I used the colors in the game itself: Red, Yellow, Blue (Primary) and Orange, Green, Purple (Secondary).

Each of these colors represents a GEM (or Crystal) used in the game...

Primary colors are for pure "Victory Points" (VPs) and Secondary colors have each a "special" ability which vary per color.

Orange: (Ex-P Gems) +1 Experience.

I am planning to re-vamp the cards and make "experience" more IMPORTANT. At first certain cards would allow for more experience but I found that a bit boring. Now when you earn an Ex-P Gem, you must use it right away to grant a boost to any card in play (Yours or an opponent too).

Green: (Select-A Gems) Choose your VP.

This is basically like a Wildcard Gem. When you get one, you must immediately choose which Primary Gem it becomes. And then increment your own "VPs" by the extra Gem.

Purple: (Chaos Gems) Alternate Victory.

When any player collects two (2) of these gems he/she wins the game. The amount of VPs accumulated are irrelevant and it's a way of causing an upset victory.

And I will be getting this GEMS (or Crystals) made custom in China along with the Custom Dice too! We'll see how much the quote comes back for the mold and unit price of each gem. I think it's much cooler than requiring the use of Wooden Cubes or Acrylic Cubes...

I agree that the name should

I agree that the name should change. The game's evolved away from Monster Keep.

I googled Crystal Heroes and it already exists as a webcomic, but perhaps that's not an obstacle.

Hmm... They even have a FAILED Kickstarter!

Hello @Tim ... If you google more, you'll notice there is even a FAILED Kickstarter with a Match 3 type of game. Here's the URL/Link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cliffholdgames/crystal-heroes

But it was way back in 2015 ... And I OWN the domain (Just parked for now):

http://www.crystalheroes.com

I fully agree with your "assessment" that the game HAS "evolved" away from Monsters and is more "Hero-oriented" (even with Villainous Races and/or Characters).

However with players COLLECTING "crystals or gems" I feel the name is much more appropriate and brings back the wonder of the game.

Thank you for your vote of confidence, it helps knowing that the game merits a newer name more reflective of it's theme and gameplay.

Cheers!

Are you actually getting

Are you actually getting CUSTOM gems of some sort? Because small gems aren't really all that expensive. I'm paying about $0.02 (USD) apiece in the updated quote I just got, for 18mm-ish acrylic gems along the lines of http://www.cnlijia.com.cn/Manager/Upload/Pic/201237203250probigpic.jpg

Yes custom MOLD

I want each piece to be IDENTICAL except in colors (I have six colors). So what's probably going to happen, they will "design" a crystal shape and charge me for the mold and subsequently make the necessary crystals used by the game.

The reason for this is that it is a Blind Draw from each Player's Pouch. So I don't want players to feel-around for the gems they need... Just pick any "?" gems and put them on the conquered Hero's card.

I am hoping $0.04 or below... (Plus the mold's fee).

Note #1: BTW my custom crystals are 12mm. Just a bit bigger than 10mm Acylic cubes.

Alternative to CUSTOM... Fully RANDOM

Hmm... You've got me thinking that instead of having ONE (1) Mold, I could ask for crystals in difference shapes and colors. In this situation you could get different SHAPES with different COLORS. This is another way of making it HARD to cheat. Since the "crystals" are all random shapes ... It would be NEARLY impossible to predict from the shape the color also!

I will wait until NEXT week ... To discuss the option. Like IF they make a bunch of "crystals" from like a "Sheet Mold" that might be easier to allow identical pieces to have DIFFERENT colors.

That's another valid option... I need to discuss further with my contact.

But thanks for bringing this to my attention. This could be an even LESS expensive option than the $0.04 + custom mold.

Note #1: I will need to confirm HOW they make these crystals to figure out the BEST possible way to create them. Like I'm pretty CERTAIN they don't create ONE (1) crystal at-a-time! (LOL) They must use some kind of "sheet" with several molds into which the plastic gets infused inside... (I think, I'm not 100% sure).

If that's the case, well then how many units a "SHEET" can take is the factor to how many different "shapes" can exist. Then you do one (1) color at a time or batches of one color to have sufficient inventory, etc.

The thing that I need to AVOID is ONE (1) shape PER color!

That's like The Game Crafter and it's exactly what I DON'T WANT!!! It's either ONE (1) SHAPE for ALL or random shapes for ALL (semi-random you get what I was talking about the "sheet" of crystals)...

More news about the NAME CHANGE!

Just wanted to inform you all that my "Artist" is having a TON of ideas concerning the Logo for "Crystal Heroes". Which is GREAT because my current Logo is one of my OWN "design" and I hope that my artist can "Bring it up a notch"! Madison is in Vancouver for the next week but says she'll find some time to jot down ideas and sketch a few Logos.

I was really concerned with the NAME CHANGE... But it seems like the BEST direction to choose in order to make the name more representative of the game.

This of course will require to update the KS page too... Will work on this in between my TradeWorlds duties of editing the cards for the final production... We'll see... Lots of work to do... And I'm on my own for most part of it.

What about "Crystal Keep"?

Just looking at this conversation, I didn't see anyone combine the two most unique things in the two titles -- Crystal and Keep (if there was, then I missed it). I like alliteration when it comes to titles, so Crystal Keep falls into that category. Does that capture the essence of the game? I did a quick search and didn't notice any board games by that name. Nothing on BGG with that name.

About "Crystal Keep"

MarkD1733 wrote:
...I didn't see anyone combine the two most unique things in the two titles -- Crystal and Keep (if there was, then I missed it)...

The reason I don't want to use this game is because I FEEL like later on, I might still want to DESIGN a game called "Monster Keep". But it's more of a game not "customizable". The gist of the matter is that it would be sort of like Yu-Gi-Oh! where you would need to "capture" (and therefore KEEP) Monsters to unlock stronger abilities.

A simpler DUAL game with "combination" to "power-up" all kinds of MONSTERS is what I am going for. And it would be a GAME ... so exchanging cards among players would be a NATURAL occurrence (and would not pose any problems to ownership issues such as "collectible" games where each player has his/her own deck...)

Note #1: I have ideas concerning this game (Monster Keep) and as I said you place "cards" under each other when you defeat an opposing more making YOUR "Monsters" (or at least one of them) STRONGER.

Sort of an inverse Push-Your-Luck mechanic...

A note about the future of "Monster Keep"

Well I've been thinking about what KIND of game "Monster Keep" would be. Obviously it would be a SIMPLE kids game that has challenging decision making and strategy to go along with all the "wacky" Monsters!

I have designed (preliminary) a simple combat system which should resolve itself within 30 minutes. The game is a DUEL and YES, players get to KEEP their opponent's Monsters (if you conquer them).

Though I have a "ROUGH" idea about the game. The details are not yet confirmed because I don't have a working prototype to playtest and see how FUN the game could/would be! But I do know that I do WANT to design a separate game for "Monster Keep".

Keep you all informed on the future of this concept!

Wait, it was called Monster

Wait, it was called Monster Keep because you're keeping monsters, not because there was a small castle involved?

Or was it the latter, with the former stuck in as a sort of pun? (You seem to imply that in the top post, I guess)

Indeed you are correct

The game was supposed to be a "small arena" game in which players would duel to become "Lord of the Keep". This duel was supposed to be Monsters facing off against each other... And there was SUPPOSED to be a Mechanic which allowed the opponent to KEEP "conquered" Monsters.

It was as you say a PUN... But in TRUTH that was how the game was supposed to be played. Now I've got a good idea for (Future) "Monster Keep" in simplifying the Mechanics and gameplay just a bit.

I need to create a "Prototype" and give the game a TRY. Because HONESTLY I feel that this game ALSO has "potential". Maybe as another LCG (or XTG3) game... But constructed TOGETHER as opposed to apart (in Magic, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, etc.)

IDK Yet. Still in the conceptual stage!

While taking breaks from EDITING

I had some time to ponder about (Future) "Monster Keep" (MK). It turns out that I had some FRESH ideas for MK and am only concerned about the "Monsters" aspect of the game... What I mean is the "Creative" part of naming and designing "Monsters" to be used in the game.

I've already set the deck-size as 52 Cards (26 for each player). The game should last about 30 minutes and is a 2 Player duel for kids aged 9+.

The thing that is OBVIOUS is that there needs to be multiples of each Monster. You can't have 52 UNIQUE "Monsters"... That's too much art and too difficult to design. So there are some considerations that are worth looking into which are "design-related" issues.

So I've got some thinking to do... About how to make this a game. Especially with the art constraints and Monsters.

My early thoughts are why not follow a standard deck and have four (4) of each Monster card. 52 / 4 = 13 unique and distinct Monsters to design. I like that... Much more reasonable! We'll see... More thinking to do...

I've also thought about a DOUBLE RPS-3

So something SIMPLE in mind like:

Melee -> Ranged -> Flying -> Melee = Bonus +1,500 ATK.

And:

Terra -> Aqua -> Flama -> Terra = Bonus +1,500 DFS.

I'm using HIGHER numbers (hundreds and thousands) because I want some serious number crunching too (LOL)! This will help younger players solve simple math problems too (and become better at it).

Something not too overly "complex" ... Something more "basic" that matches this kind of game...

I'm trying to channel the Johnny's out-there

Really the goal is not to make a "competitive" game ... Rather instead I am focusing on "Johnny-Moments" which create "Blow-out" Combinations to defeat the opposing Monster. Playing BIG "Enhancements" will bring this game to a real "exciting" level of play... The goal is to use Monster cards to build the Strongest Possible Monster each and every turn.

Your goal is to survive the Graveyard and be the last player standing with cards in his/her Deck.

Picture playing a (Water) Monster with 9,000 ATK. In addition, that Player adds a "2x Attack when attacking Fire Monsters" meaning 18,000 ATK!!! Woohoo! Plus a +1,500 DFS (Water vs. Fire)... You get the idea, I am sure!!!

These kind of THRILLING plays of "Monsters" will really BUILD this as a real FUN and exciting game to play...!

You might consider having 52

You might consider having 52 different monsters, but compromise on the quality of the art to keep it within your budget. Naive art can have its own appeal - for example the Retro Fantasy Top Trumps deck. The art on those cards was definitely not high-end (it was actually quite child-like), but each card was unique.

I don't know if it's important for your game, but consider the difference between:

"Great, I've got THE {xyzzy}"

rather than

"Great, I've got AN {xyzzy}"

Just a thought anyway.

questccg wrote:I had some

questccg wrote:
I had some time to ponder about (Future) "Monster Keep" (MK). It turns out that I had some FRESH ideas for MK and am only concerned about the "Monsters" aspect of the game... What I mean is the "Creative" part of naming and designing "Monsters" to be used in the game.

I've already set the deck-size as 52 Cards (26 for each player). The game should last about 30 minutes and is a 2 Player duel for kids aged 9+.

The thing that is OBVIOUS is that there needs to be multiples of each Monster. You can't have 52 UNIQUE "Monsters"... That's too much art and too difficult to design. So there are some considerations that are worth looking into which are "design-related" issues.

So I've got some thinking to do... About how to make this a game. Especially with the art constraints and Monsters.

My early thoughts are why not follow a standard deck and have four (4) of each Monster card. 52 / 4 = 13 unique and distinct Monsters to design. I like that... Much more reasonable! We'll see... More thinking to do...


Or 4 of each of ten monsters, and then you can have, say, 2 of each of four more, and then four uniques. Something like that. If it makes sense for your game, of course.

Friend of mine has a mostly-design of a card game with like 60 unique cards, Magic-style so a painting for each. Lot of art needed.

Right now I've got an EVEN deck

So the Deck would be 54 cards divided into three (3) Groups = 18 UNIQUE Cards to design with Artwork. I checked and "The Game Crafter" box count is 54 cards (for a Tuck Box).

Three (3) duplicates of each card seems reasonable and it means an ODD kind of balance...

But three (3) of each card sounds good and would simplify the creation of the Monsters and their art in addition to the Monster Stats and Abilities.

Congrats to your friend on the effort of 60 cards + art! That's a lot of artwork. I think Quest AC was nearly about the same in terms of quantity of pieces of art too (close to that).

But I'm following the "KS 2.0" philosophy which basically states that any KS venture needs to be profitable for both the Designer and his Company. Not sure what the margins look like (as of today)... Because I haven't done extensive projections and pricing estimates to determine if the cost to reward ratio is profitable!

We'll see more things to consider!

His art isn't complete yet..

His art isn't complete yet.. bit by bit :).

https://www.arcanegladiator.com/

Wow ... looks very nice

Jay103 wrote:
His art isn't complete yet.. bit by bit :)...

Indeed looks like an Interesting Venture!

His art reminds me of Epic Card Game by White Wizard Games. Check them out (to compare):

https://www.epiccardgame.com/card-gallery/

I own a copy of that game... Because I thought that the artwork was GREAT!

Your friends' game looks interesting and he's managed to design a template DIFFERENT than Magic: the Gathering (Magic). This is always a challenge.

With Crystal Heroes ... the art is a little less "serious" (not like Magic) and with Monster Keep I will be wanting to use CARTOON-Y art for the kids and all the Monsters. Would like something like "Monsters-Inc." from Disney... I may have an artist in mind already... But we'll have to wait and see!

Getting back to Arcane Gladiator... looks VERY good TBH! I really think it looks cool...!

Not impressed with the Top Trumps art TBH

Tim Edwards wrote:
...but each card was unique.

I don't know if it's important for your game, but consider the difference between:

"Great, I've got THE {xyzzy}"

rather than

"Great, I've got AN {xyzzy}"

Just a thought anyway.

Well TBH I don't want a too large budget when it comes to Game Design and the games that I do design. WHY? Because "TradeWorlds" is HUGE when it comes to the COST of making the art. We spend about $7,500 USD (almost $10,000 CAD!!!) on art alone... So around 100 UNIQUE pieces of art in a 524 (or 384 for the "core" with Bonus Material). It was a MASSIVE undertaking and I'm still owed $3,000 USD for some of the up-front costs that I paid for art in The Game Crafter 1 Player box (The Game Crafter Release 1).

Right about now, I'm interested in projects where the Artwork budget doesn't go much higher than $2,250 USD or $3,000 CAD. WHY? Because I have experienced HIGHER budget games and the time to do the art and finance it all... It's like 3x what I am looking to do with SMALLER and leaner budgets.

And it's producing MORE "output" it's taken me 2 years for "Crystal Heroes" (CH)... Working on art as I refine the game and bring it to a near-perfect prototype. Still have some work to do on it... But we'll see...!

"TradeWorlds" took 5 years and is currently in EDITING to align and bleed the cards so that the game may be manufactured with the RIGHT cards (CMYK, Bleeds, Fully-Justified Flavor and Storyline Text, etc.)

Excitement and Glee is a TELL!

I'm not saying this game will be like Poker... BUT... If a player has TELLS and if there is table talk surrounding the RPS-3s ... I'm sure that could lead to VERY "Strategic" gameplay.

Reactions like: "OMG I got a great cards this turn..." Keeping it INSIDE and not "reacting" might be HARD!!! It's like Bluffing in Poker!

So it's not really about getting THE CARD... It's more about having the RIGHT cards when you need them. Which is partly LUCK because you DRAW cards from your own Deck. But it's pure STRATEGY the way you combine them together...

@Tim: That's how I see the game. Real Johnny-moments.

(For example): You draw a 2x combo card that DOUBLES your ATK. You are like "YESSS!!!" Your opponent says: "Alright show me what you got!!!" And once you do, he's like: "Take-That I can do BETTER!!!" BAM!

Moments like that... Where Victory is almost certain ... but then things happen and VOILA ... The tables turn!

And just because you have an ALL Super Powerful ATK does NOT mean that you don't also have a WEAK DFS! So this could be a situation where ALL cards go to the Graveyard on account of a DOUBLE LOSS...

Sounds great. I think I just

Sounds great. I think I just have a deep-rooted inclination to see monsters as individuals. :)

I wonder if you can make these combos thematic? Dress the monsters in hoplite armour so their power becomes exponentially greater as they form phalanxes with similar species. That kind of thing.

Further explanation...

Tim Edwards wrote:
Sounds great. I think I just have a deep-rooted inclination to see monsters as individuals. :)

Well in truth most card games "require" duplicates to play correctly. Think about ANY card game out-there and there is usually more than one of each card present in the deck. Even with games like Pokemon and Magic.

Tim Edwards wrote:
I wonder if you can make these combos thematic? Dress the monsters in hoplite armour so their power becomes exponentially greater as they form phalanxes with similar species. That kind of thing.

I'm not sure about ALL the "combos" presently. I'm leaning towards THEMATIC Abilities linked to the Monster in question though. But we'll have to see.

Obviously excluding every

Obviously excluding every card game that uses a standard 52 card deck. :)

Anyway, I'm sure your idea is better developed than I assumed, so my bringing up these thoughts probably isn't helpful.

I look forward to reading about your progress. Cheers!

Okay ... here you go with one sample

The Leviathan (Aqua Melee)

ATK = 5,000
DFS = 7,500

Ability #1: Crashing Waves = 2x Aqua ATK
Ability #2: Calming Seas = -2,000 ATK


This is the MOST POWERFUL "Monster" in the Deck. We all know how the Ocean (and therefore the Leviathan) can be merciless... It has the strongest ATK shared only by the Red Dragon and is the strongest Monster at 7,500 DFS.

The primary Ability (#1) is an Offensive Ability to be used in tandem with ANOTHER "Aqua" card. So to benefit from the "2x" Multiplier, you need to pair it with a matching card.

The secondary Ability (#2) is a Defensive Ability and it flushes the other player's ATK by -2,000 points!


Something INTERESTING like this... Not overly complex and not too simple either. Funny ... I was thinking: "What if you DRAW '3' Leviathans!!!" Haha. That would be SUPER EPIC!

You would probably do "2x Aqua ATK" = 2 x 5,000 = 10,000 ATK and incapacitate your opponent with a "Calming Seas" = -2,000 ATK.

And depending on the round (how many cards are drawn), you might be able to ADD a THIRD "Enhancement" probably on the Defensive side of things... Because 10,000 ATK is going to be HARD to stop... And 7,500 DFS to start things off is very HIGH too. But a small boost to the DFS could solidify a TOTAL Victory!

Haha. SUPER EPIC indeed!

Combos (Enhancements)

The Abilities go from 1 to 3 in addition to your Monster. Which means that the minimum you play 2 cards (The Monster + 1 Enhancement) to a maximum of 4 cards (The Monster + 3 Enhancements)...

That's why the 3 Leviathans mean (1 Monster + 2 Enhancements) leaving the possibility of an additional enhancement (#3) depending on the Round and the number of cards used in play.

Forgot to mention

The Round is managed by a single "Custom" d6 die. One player each Round rolls this custom die to determine the number of "Enhancements" to be in play. The die has values 1 to 3 only (2x each).

This is in no way a LUCK related roll since BOTH players MUST Draw and Play the corresponding number of "Enhancements".

(I don't think I left anything else out... TBH!)

Another card example (This time the WEAKEST card)

The Gremlin (Terra Melee)

ATK = 2,000
DFS = 2,000

Ability #1: Midnight Snack = +2,000 DFS
Ability #2: Confusion = -1,000 ATK


This is the WEAKEST Monster in the game...

Just giving you some frame of reference in terms of the Monsters. It may seem simple ... and believe me it's supposed to be. The idea behind the Johnny-Moments is real. If you draw this Monster, most probably you are NOT going to play it as such... Instead favor one of his Abilities and use that as an "Enhancement".

(Another concrete example...)

P.S.: I've only designed like five (5) Monsters. Just to give me some ideas of what could work and be cool too... This design was NEW as of only a couple days ago. Although I had "cemented" the method of play since then... Just had no Monsters (designed those Yesterday night)...

My only advice here is:

My only advice here is:

Don't call the weakest monster a HELLhound. That still sounds quite badass. Call it a gremlin or imp, etc

Leviathan is great for the most powerful monster!

Think about knocking zeros off the numbers. I am old enough to have played pinball. It doesn't take long before you realise that 100 is actually just 1. :)

Made some corrections based on your advice

Tim Edwards wrote:
My only advice here is:

Don't call the weakest monster a HELLhound. That still sounds quite badass. Call it a gremlin or imp, etc.

Okay I agree... Changed the stats a bit and added the Gremlin... LOL!

Tim Edwards wrote:
Think about knocking zeros off the numbers. I am old enough to have played pinball. It doesn't take long before you realize that 100 is actually just 1. :)

Well actually it's because 1,500 is easier to compute than 1.5... I like the BIG numbers like 5,000 or 2,500. Could have easily been 50 and 25... But that's a bit puny ... In terms of Monsters (of course)!!!

Remember you want the badass 10,000 ATK... Just because it's so awesome. And it really FEELS (Thematically) to suit the LARGER numbers.

What do you think???

Note #1: What looks MORE "Powerful"???

100 ATK or 10,000 ATK...!!! It also allows me to play with 500 and 250 increments (if I feel the need to do so). Of course there is more of a math issue with 250 but with simple multipliers like "2x" ... That's 250 x2 = 500 points. And if the total points is 2,250... "2x" ... That 4,500 EASILY computed. 2x 2,000 = 4,000 + 2x 250 = 500 = 4,500 points.

I think this kind of MATH is good for the kids to practice and strengthen their ability to do this kind of SIMPLE math.

Again please share with me your thoughts!?

18 "Monsters" fully designed!

I'm going to have to work on a PROTOTYPE some time soon. But I've got other duties to perform tomorrow, namely working on "TradeWorlds" in order to advance the Editing Process. Ideally since Sunday will be shopping day and Superbowl Sunday (Can't miss that...!), I'd like to wrap up one of the two (2) BONUS "Scenarios" that will be added to the "core" game (only for the KS backers, Retail version will probably vary).

But my spreadsheet is complete ... And I must admit at first glance it looks pretty decent. Once I get a prototype done, I will conduct some home playtests FIRST to see if the game is coherent and then visit my FLGS and see if I can find some people who WANT to give the game a try.

One step at a time... Cheers!

Another card example (This time one of the WEAKER cards)

The Hellhound (Flama Melee)

ATK = 2,500
DFS = 2,500

Ability #1: Burning Bite = +1,000 ATK or +2,000 Flama ATK
Ability #2: Hellish Bark = -500 ATK x Die roll value.


This is one of the WEAKER Monsters in the game...

Again this Monster relies of some random CHANCE with the die roll. Generally speaking both Abilities can be good for any other Monster and using this Monster as an "Enhacement" is highly likely... Again it's a matter of seeing the cards you have in your hand and figuring out what is the BEST possible combination of those cards!

Some additional ideas

I've read several times that if you are playing with a "complete" Deck for the amount of players, it can be good to REMOVE "cards" from the Deck to allow for a more unique experience.

In this case, players get 27 cards each (27 x 2 = 54 cards) and will discard three (3) cards EACH into the Graveyard. This populates the Graveyard with some cards for certain abilities (namely 6 cards) and adds a bit of variation to the game.

This ultimately means that players have 24 cards each by which to combat their opponent...

I like it! It means that each play or re-play is going to be different. And ultimately this is what adds VALUE to the game.

questccg wrote:Tim Edwards

questccg wrote:
Tim Edwards wrote:
My only advice here is:

Don't call the weakest monster a HELLhound. That still sounds quite badass. Call it a gremlin or imp, etc.

Okay I agree... Changed the stats a bit and added the Gremlin... LOL!

Tim Edwards wrote:
Think about knocking zeros off the numbers. I am old enough to have played pinball. It doesn't take long before you realize that 100 is actually just 1. :)

Well actually it's because 1,500 is easier to compute than 1.5... I like the BIG numbers like 5,000 or 2,500. Could have easily been 50 and 25... But that's a bit puny ... In terms of Monsters (of course)!!!

Remember you want the badass 10,000 ATK... Just because it's so awesome. And it really FEELS (Thematically) to suit the LARGER numbers.

What do you think???

Note #1: What looks MORE "Powerful"???

100 ATK or 10,000 ATK...!!! It also allows me to play with 500 and 250 increments (if I feel the need to do so). Of course there is more of a math issue with 250 but with simple multipliers like "2x" ... That's 250 x2 = 500 points. And if the total points is 2,250... "2x" ... That 4,500 EASILY computed. 2x 2,000 = 4,000 + 2x 250 = 500 = 4,500 points.

I think this kind of MATH is good for the kids to practice and strengthen their ability to do this kind of SIMPLE math.

Again please share with me your thoughts!?

I agree re 1.5

I wasn't suggesting going that far :)

I don't know whether 10,000 looks like an exciting number. It might to some people, but I think for many it would depend on the range we're dealing with.

Thanks for your input!

@Tim: It's nice to see someone who was willing to share their own opinion. I like the "Gremlin" as a Monster. I picture him eating a piece of pizza!

The thing is that with 5,000 ATK as the HIGHEST possible attack, the rest of the Monsters are LESS than that. And the Leviathan has 7,500 DFS as the HIGHEST possible defense.

But then you need to ADD the "Enhancements" which go UP or DOWN. And then apply last the RPS-3 rules for both Element and Attack!

The AVERAGE ATK = 3,306 and AVERAGE DFS = 3,278. Gives you an idea!

Worked on a NEW template ... but

I'm not really HAPPY with the results of it. It's only a Black & White Template ... But still it sets the tone for how to use the cards in addition the presentation of the the cards (the look) is ... well ... important.

Anyways I'll try again tomorrow... After I get more of the TradeWorlds cards Edited... Still working on that too!

Cheers...

Haha... Always need to take my time...

I worked on this baby today... Took a break from Editing ... But will be back at it tomorrow. Here's the sample of the "Laviathan"!!!

I really like the style and layout. Criticism is welcome... It's still not 100% IMHO. It's a work-in-progress... Please share with me your thoughts and feedback.

It's not too bad... Spend a day working on it. Just to give a feel for the cards and they type of ART will be found on the Monsters! And yes... This time around, it's REAL MONSTERS!!! Cheers.

Note #1: Yeah I know the Stats on the Left-Hand-Side are OK-ish... I did them real fast knowing that they need work... Just a work-in-progress... So if you have a problem with those numbers ... So do I...

Note #2: I fixed the stats... (LHS) Now they look a bit better than the GREY-ish ones from before!

Note #3: Remember this is not a "Collectible" or "Trading" card game. It's just a "Card Game" PERIOD. But who wants to play Pokemon once you've experience "Monster Keep"!!! Haha. Can't wait to demo this to the kids... They're going to LOVE IT.

See what happens when I spend a day designing???

I OBVIOUSLY really like that one (1) card (the Leviathan). But working on that card was a real JOY! Now I'm supposed to resume my Editing Duties for TradeWorlds ... and it's hard to get back into EDITING MODE when I really enjoy "designing".

But I guess it needs to be done... So I'm switching gears AS OF NOW!

Back to the Editing Grind. Cheers! (LOL)

It's a nice looking figure. I

It's a nice looking figure.

I would suggest it needs to look more aggressive and scary. I'd expect to see teeth, power and rage. It looks a little serene. :)

Also maybe something to show scale. Rearing out of the water tipping a ship over...that kind of thing.

I understand what you mean...

Tim Edwards wrote:
It's a nice looking figure.

I would suggest it needs to look more aggressive and scary. I'd expect to see teeth, power and rage. It looks a little serene. :)...

Well I'm targeting kids who play Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! I don't want any "violence" or anything of a "graphic nature". Already if you compare this to Pokemon ... You'll be like... Hmm. That looks like a real BAD @SS!

Tim Edwards wrote:
Also maybe something to show scale. Rearing out of the water tipping a ship over...that kind of thing.

Good point. It's already bigger than the size of the card (tail is clipped off on the LHS). I'm more leaning towards "Concept Artwork" instead of full Illustrations. It's very expensive and this particular artist, she is in the USA. So me paying her in Canadian dollars will limit the amount of time she spends per drawing.

Notice "no background" just a simple color mock-up for concept art. My budget is maxed out with "Crystal Heroes" in full art development with all kinds of Heroes/Villains and card assets required by that game.

Like I said, I wanted a "Pokemon"-like feel ... Something not too graphic because the primary audience for "Monster Keep" is 9 year olds. I also really want it to be "about the game": playing combos, knocking your opponent and keeping his/her cards, etc. The art is very much secondary.

But I get where you are coming from and I value and respect your input.

Yes, I take the point about

Yes, I take the point about budgets, but maybe a bit more of a dynamic pose is still possible even if background is out?

Perhaps scary was the wrong word to use. I should have said fearsome. :)

It's a good-looking graphic though. It has an heraldic feel, which might be something to go with.

I understood ... I have a different vision for the game...

Tim Edwards wrote:
...Perhaps scary was the wrong word to use. I should have said fearsome. :)...

Yes I understood. You want something more like:

But I'm trying to steer clear of too "realistic" of illustrations and go for images and illustrations CLOSER to "Pokemon". From a budget standpoint of view, it's like 3 hours of time to invest into one "illustration" that comes out to $25/hr because I am in Canada and my dollar is $0.75:1. So $75 USD is my budget per illustration...

There is only so much that that amount can get you... And we'll have to see if she is interested in the freelance work or not. Basically it's like a paid holiday for two. Not much more in the tank ... for now.

Yup, I completely

Yup, I completely understand.

I've just been casting an eye over Pokemon cards. One thing that you might be able to capture without incurring extra cost is a sense of 'readiness for combat', which most of the Pokemon characters have. That would be more about the posture of the monster than background or realism.

Don't know how to post a pic here, but something like Charizard here:

https://www.ranker.com/list/most-expensive-pokmon-cards/mariel-loveland

Don't get me wrong, I think you're close!

Which version do you PREFER???

Here is a question that I am ASKING myself: "Which version do you prefer? The one with the SAME orientation or the REVERSED one???"

Please let me know by replying to this comment. Many thanks!

Note #1: It helps seeing both cards on a SmartPhone. This way you can flip the phone and read the inverted side rather easily. Anyhow I don't want to influence the results (of which is better)...

Note #2: In case you might be wondering WHY the "inverted" version... Well the top Ability (Enhancement) is DEFENSIVE in nature. As such it is always some form of "Action" AGAINST your opponent.

So I am wondering if it's better normal or inverted. Because your opponent needs to know what is happening AGAINST him/her. Of course you could READ the card's penalty to the opponent... but it's less obvious than being INVERTED such that the opponent can READ the penalty themselves.

IDK ... I'd like feedback on this specific issue (orientation).

Note #3: It does however make it confusing to the owner of the card who may need to INVERT the card to understand the penalty...

Like I said ... I'm not sure about the "inversion". That's what I would like from you fellow designers to know which is better. Cheers!

questccg wrote:Here is a

questccg wrote:
Here is a question that I am ASKING myself: "Which version do you prefer? The one with the SAME orientation or the REVERSED one???"

Please let me know by replying to this comment. Many thanks!

Note #1: It helps seeing both cards on a SmartPhone. This way you can flip the phone and read the inverted side rather easily. Anyhow I don't want to influence the results (of which is better)...

Note #2: In case you might be wondering WHY the "inverted" version... Well the top Ability (Enhancement) is DEFENSIVE in nature. As such it is always some form of "Action" AGAINST your opponent.

So I am wondering if it's better normal or inverted. Because your opponent needs to know what is happening AGAINST him/her. Of course you could READ the card's penalty to the opponent... but it's less obvious than being INVERTED such that the opponent can READ the penalty themselves.

IDK ... I'd like feedback on this specific issue (orientation).

Note #3: It does however make it confusing to the owner of the card who may need to INVERT the card to understand the penalty...

Like I said ... I'm not sure about the "inversion". That's what I would like from you fellow designers to know which is better. Cheers!

100% the one on the left

Well it seems clear that the preferred choice is...

The NORMAL card on the left (not inverted). Some of the reasons:

  • Well if the card is in your hand, it's much easier to read.

  • It might be too small to read across the table anyhow.

  • Would force a player to rotate the card revealing his intentions.

  • Easier to figure out what the player is going to play (strategy-wise).

That covers the comments that I've received and the private feedbacl regarding this specific issue. I tend to agree, personally, that the NORMAL card looks much more "like-able" and "user-friendly". The main deterrent is the fact that you MUST invert the card in your hand to know what it does... And that to me is a DEAL BREAKER!

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