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Quest Adventure Cards(tm) — The Adventure Starts Anew!

Well it has been quite a while since I have worked on (or blogged) with regards to "Quest Adventure Cards(tm)", the Second (2nd) Edition. Of course the design was "in-the-pipe"... but not really going anywhere. But I got the "funniest" of inspiration by playing "Bejeweled"...

Not so much the game itself, but more how the "Resources" could be gathered in amounts like "match 3 Blue gems = +3 Blue resource".

This then led me to three (3) simplified "core" resources: Red, Yellow and Blue

And prior to this I had six (6) resources and divided them up into "core" and "advanced" resources. Three (3) of each. So the "advanced" resources would be: Orange, Green and Purple.

Conversion between "core" and "advanced" would be Pie Color Chart conversions... As in natural life. So now I needed a WAY to accumulate "core" resources since conversion to "advanced" ones was natural... (1 Red + 1 Yellow = 1 Orange, 1 Yellow + 1 Blue = 1 Green, or 1 Red + 1 Blue = 1 Purple)

This led me the idea of SIX (6) Character "Development" Decks. Basically a "standard" (but custom) deck of twelve (12) cards. During the game, you simply DRAW the next card from your "Development" Deck and it tells you what can be DONE on your turn (Action/Role Selection mechanic).

Then there is the POOL of "Quest" element cards which is about 100 cards which players can use to try to WIN the game. Using your "Resources" you play cards from your hand into your Play Area.

And then it's a race to "X" amount of points to WIN the game...

As simple as that... But I'm pretty sure there are some BUGs in the idea that I will notice as I play with the prototype (once it has been created)! I may work on this later in the week...


Bridging version 6.0 of the design

What I did was to "go back" and take a look at some earlier progress that I had made with "Quest Adventure Cards(tm)" (Quest AC). The version which I remember rather clearly was version 6.0. What was important about this design is that it was almost IDENTICAL to Quest AC v1.0 with some added victory points (VPs). TBH I'm not 100% sure how I had implemented the existing ones... but I had an idea which drew me back to Quest AC v2.0 (version 6.0) now that I had some more information about how to further the design and use those extra VPs and transform them into something NEW!

To explain, those bonus VPs will become "resource" requirements. So if you want to play the "Wooden Pickax" (an item and Purple), you need "+2 Red" and "+1 Blue" and the card scores 2 VPs.

Sounds brilliant and very simple. The game is fundamentally as SIMPLE as before, with some extra "record keeping" that can be explained rather easily and also a Character Development Decks which are used for Action and/or Role Selection mechanic.

A tad bit more complexe ... but still something that a TEN (10) year old and up can understand. But this version has more "strategy" and couple additional mechanics too which make it for a more "challenging" game for older players like brothers, sisters and/or parents.

I really feel like there is a LOT of "tweaking" to perfect the prototype. But at the same time, I am encouraged because the game seems so promising also! We'll see as we move forwards with this design.

I need your opinion

Well with "America's Got Talent" and "The Voice Kids", superstars in the singing industry ... make me wonder how YOUNG or how OLD a game is to appeal to a specific demographic.

And well the game is on

This is the First Edition. But what would you consider the most appropriate AGE for this game?

Is it 8+ years, 9+ years or 12+ years? What age would you put it at??

And considering to the "basic" Set Collection mechanic, IF I "added" Action and/or Role Selection mechanic to drive "resource collection" how do you think this would affect the most appropriate age for the "youngest" of players???

It's not 8. I haven't read in

It's not 8.

I haven't read in full detail, but I think there are too many different things to balance in your head for a younger kid.

Okay ... I understand

So maybe 10+ years of age is more "appropriate". I know in schools, nine (9) year olds learn "strategy" during that scholastic year. I read this in a document or portal which was talking about children development in relation to games. And how different games were appropriate for different ages.

But my concern is that I WANT to target kids... Quest AC was all about a simple "set collection" and some reading skills. It's very simple and probably the reason I got a 3/10 from Purple Pawn.

However if it is stimulating for the kids, then my job is done. The only problem is one of "visibility" and by adding some newer mechanics, may make the game more interesting for adult players (or teenagers, etc.)

So maybe 12+ years of age is a better "guestimate"?

questccg wrote:So maybe 10+

questccg wrote:
So maybe 10+ years of age is more "appropriate". I know in schools, nine (9) year olds learn "strategy" during that scholastic year. I read this in a document or portal which was talking about children development in relation to games. And how different games were appropriate for different ages.

But my concern is that I WANT to target kids... Quest AC was all about a simple "set collection" and some reading skills. It's very simple and probably the reason I got a 3/10 from Purple Pawn.

However if it is stimulating for the kids, then my job is done. The only problem is one of "visibility" and by adding some newer mechanics, may make the game more interesting for adult players (or teenagers, etc.)

So maybe 12+ years of age is a better "guestimate"?

you might just need to find some local 10-year-olds :)

I started playing D&D when I was 10, so.. I'd think 10 would be okay. Not ALL 10-year-olds, but ones that would likely want this game in the first place :)

I know of a place to go (day and time)

Jay103 wrote:
You might just need to find some local 10-year-olds :)

I actually know of a place in the city where kids can play games. I think there is a fee per person and then you can sit down with other players and enjoy a game. I don't know the crowd, I have been there on an evening where most of the partisans are adult millennials.

Jay103 wrote:
I started playing D&D when I was 10, so.. I'd think 10 would be okay. Not ALL 10-year-olds, but ones that would likely want this game in the first place :)

Yeah since this is very "Quest-ish" and driven by "story-telling" (because of all the fragments)... 10+ year olds might enjoy the game. My worry is to target too young kids who don't have the patience to sit through a game.

BUT as you have demonstrated, with a "Game" even the youngest of players would love to play... It's just a matter of ensuring the right aged players get introduced to the game. From there, a game here or there might interest them and encourage parents to buy a copy of the game.

I'm worried that some of the ideas are "too simple". But then again simple is good for kids (kid-friendly). BUT the double-edge of this is the games are not sufficiently popular for Adults. So I'm trying to balance this in the 2nd Edition.

We'll see how the game goes once I have a prototype!

Here's my "combined" Scoresheet

On the left-hand side will be one of many Heroes you may choose to play. Each booster you buy will have ONE (1) of the six Classes you can play.

So in the first case (Hero) which card you get is Random from each booster pack.

Lastly the Middle section is common for any and ALL characters.

This is the PLAN for "Quest Adventure Cards(tm) — Second Edition". I just wanted to make sure it all fit and on the right prototype components too.

Please let me know what you think???

Some additional "thoughts"

I may just use the "Race" card as a "Character" card which includes a Race and a "persona" of one of the characters in each class. That's what I have found during some researching: a class may contain various types of specializations. And each "specialization" could define a specific character also (as part of the game).

It's still very "experimental" at this point. Just a bunch of IDEAs that I may want to implement. We'll see where they lead.

Maybe the "Race" specifies which "Classes" can be used by which "HERO"! Something more to think about. If I remove "Heroes" from the Fragment Deck and instead use the "Race" cards as the characters... That might prove to be interesting... (Maybe!)

Like I said ... some early thoughts after having designed this "Player Board Layout"!

Specializations and multiple classes available

questccg wrote:
Maybe the "Race" specifies which "Classes" can be used by which "HERO"!

Like for example a "Dragonkin" (Dragon-Like Race) could have "Fighter: Dragoon" and "Paladin: Skyrider" classes.

Those sub-classes are "specializations" that could vary from one character to another. And the stats would be affected (obviously).

Something like that...

Smartphone "Characters"

Here is an IDEA that has surfaced "thinking" about lowering the cost to buy packs of "Development" Decks just for the "custom" Characters:

You buy one (1) pack per CLASS only. Each class pack is 100% identical. But here is the "catch". You can "purchase" HEROES on your Smartphone.

This would be AWESOME that the card you place on the "Left-Hand-Side" is YOUR PHONE!

I think this would be EPIC ... In that it would REQUIRE a "Smartphone" to PLAY ... but "characters" could be in-app purchases which allow you to buy as MANY or ONLY ONE (1) to PLAY the game.

The Cellular APP would have to have some AI built in to ensure that:

  1. A game is timed for let's say 60 minutes. If you CANCEL and restart, your "Experience" does NOT grow.

  2. Experience allows you to TAILOR YOUR "Character(s)". And it is obtained by PLAYING a "match" (which should last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes).

  3. During a match the APP must be running and ONLY once the timer reaches 60 minutes can you terminate the game for "Experience"!

THIS WOULD ALLOW SO MUCH FREAKEN CUSTOMIZABILITY!!! Because the electronic nature would allow you to have FULL control over upgrading your character stats and abilities, etc.

I think this "customization" idea would be real COOL! Definitely going to want to make me to LEARN how to program a "Cellular App"!

Thoughts/Feedback/Questions/Comments all welcome.

Note #1: Don't get me wrong... I'm sure that it's not the easiest thing to design. Things like playing against a "weaker" opponent are of course a concern... There are need to be ways to "control" the App to ensure players don't grind their characters to high levels and not offer ways to BALANCE this...

But I still really think the IDEA has great POTENTIAL!

Note #2: If the main driver is the amount of HOURS spent using the App... Well it's pretty simple to keep a HISTORY on your phone of the various characters that you have.

And when you play a "weaker" opponent, all you do is specify the NUMBER of HOURS ("Experience") and the resulting HERO will be finely BALANCED!!!

Obviously this "could" be a "website" too

While coding an APP would be real COOL... It's much simpler (for me anyways) to code a "custom" website which could do the same thing (I think). I will have to look into the matter further this week... Just to see if there are some ways to track time (on the Server-Side). Things like that.

But it would greatly lower the time to design if I was just a website... Even then it would probably take some time to design too...

Fees for using the website

My thoughts on this is to keep it LOW and offer a FREE Trial. But fees would be something like $1.99 per month or $19.99 for one year. This would mean that in Year 1, if you choose to pay annually, you get two (2) free months of gameplay.

And basically what that would guarantee is that your character information is kept on the server (database) and you can play using any one of your characters.

There could be a $4.99 fee for choosing ANOTHER "class" of character. So if you have been playing as a "Fighter" and now you want to TRY playing a "Paladin", well you would need to pay the fee to be able to select ANOTHER character... and then the $1.99 per month (or $19.99 yearly) would cover all your subscription fees for playing the game.

I'm really not trying to "overcharge" just some basic fees to cover the expense of the web service (Hosting, Domain, Bug Fixes, etc.) and also to keep the service up-to-date as well.

What do you guys think about this???

My other side of this idea is to OFFER the "Fighter" class for FREE (no subscription fees) ... but IF you want to play another character, that's when the subscription and the one-time $4.99 fee become present. So anyone could PLAY the game "Free of charge" (Freemium) but if you want other classes, then you will need to pay the associated fees.

In this case, the "Fighter" class would allow everyone to "experience" the game BUT if you want OTHER classes, you would need to pay for the web service...

Is this a bit more enticing???

Obviously I don't want to come to a point where NOBODY wants to PLAY because it costs money to do so. So that's why I would offer ONE (1) FREE class so that everyone could EXPERIENCE the game. AND THEN after you have tried it, you will be able to CHOOSE if you want to TRY different classes and experience their game play (which obviously will vary).

Sounds, perhaps more reasonable, no?!

What are your thoughts/comments/feedback/questions???

Digital "Development" Deck...

I have been also thinking about the "Development" Deck for each CLASS... Instead of forcing people to BUY "physical" packs which (initially) were to be 100% identical, I've been also thinking to DIGITIZE the "Development" Deck (and therefore the $4.99 fee) and ADD another DECK to your inventory and make those cards "up-gradable" too.

That DIGITAL "Download" (or maybe "Configuration") could handle the drawing cards mechanic from the Smartphone.

This would REDUCE the cost of "making the game"... The Quest "Fragments" would be the only cards you buy and you get five (5) (or more) "resource" tracking cards plus the wooden cubes that go along with them.

Obviously this would COMPLICATE the "development" of the game dramatically. But it would be pretty "original" and offer fresh "digital" features that only a "Computer" can offer (or a Smartphone in this case)!

To me this sounds PRETTY KEWL! What do you guys think???

More possibilities...

I was also MAYBE thinking that by PAYING $4.99 per Character/Class you could create a PARTY of "Characters"! This means that you wouldn't be FORCED to only play and upgrade ONE (1) Character... As you play your could grow the experience levels of your "Adventuring" party.

So you would not be restricted to ONE (1) "Character" on the Smartphone.

Yes it's more to MANAGE and more complexe than only ONE (1) Character ... but the up-side is that it adds tremendous value to BUYING more Characters.

And then when you "grind" it becomes about LEVELING a PARTY not just a solo character... Could be interesting too!

Please feel free to share your thoughts/comments/feedback/questions!

Note #1: The idea of the "Party" is cool because you could have a MOST four (4) characters (less the "Fighter" which is free). And you could play another player with less of a Party. Again the GRIND if you worry about leveling up would be "complexe" and you could probably just sit there and "stare" at your Smartphone and LEVEL UP (grinding).

But it would be as-if you were PLAYING the game. So no real "speed-up" other than trying to imagine what is happening.

Note #2: Having a party "sounds cool" but it's too complicated especially with the "physical resource board"... I therefore think it would be best to have ONE (1) Character per player. And you can choose from your available characters (one of four).

More about the "Grind"

The KEY point to using a "Smartphone" would be to ALLOW the "Character" to evolve during gameplay. And I referred to this as "Grind". What I am suggesting is "growing by levels" and the "use of cards". So if you get +5 points per card used, and a card requires 200 eXperience Points (XPs) that means you would need to use that card 40 times to go up a level.

During a single game, you have 11 cards in your Deck and let's say a Victory requires 50 Victory Points (VPs). If on average the VPs per card is 5... that means 10 cards to win. If we dig deeper and say that for every card required to win, it takes 4 turns. Than means 40 turns and given a Deck of 10 cards that means 4 times per card during one match.

What this means if you require 40 times to go up a level and 4 times per game... That means 10 games to go up ONE (1) level.

That to ME sounds a bit "grind-ish" to me.

And that's sort of the direction I am leaning towards. Obviously more playing with the numbers to ensure a more natural and balanced feel to the game... I don't want it to be purely and "exercise" to go UP LEVELS. And what I mean is to "play" even when you are NOT playing the game.

Perhaps 10 hours is too much to go up ONE (1) level... It was just an example. More thought on this matter to come.

Note: This is purely an EXAMPLE. It could be the requirement from going from Level 4 to Level 5... (And not Level 1 to 2). And maybe 10 games may seem like a lot... As you progress, it will be harder to go up levels. So this is a possibility but maybe at the last level (IDK).

I don't want to give the impression that you need to be continually playing the game... No on the contrary. I want games to be QUICK and EASY... WITH the possibility of "advancement".

The NEXT step...

Well after some thought... I would like to CODE this website or web service for the game. BUT I feel like a manual prototype would be sufficient for the time being. HOWEVER...

I have been thinking about what everyone has been saying about collecting e-mails and I figured that the BEST thing to work on NEXT is a "Registration/Login" for Monster Keep (MK) web services (Scoresheet and Calculator). Everything will remain FREE (all services) the only thing that will be different is that you will NEED to register for an ACCOUNT to use the web services.

So FREE with a sign-up and account.

Why am I doing this? Well every sort of website which you accept to use has a way of "tracking" its users. I'm not talking about monitoring, I'm just talking about having a list of e-mails who ACTIVELY use the web services.

The whole: First/Last Name, E-mail, Username, Password and then an e-mail to confirm your identity. And then logins/logouts to monitor the use of the services.

Seems simple enough... But trust me the DESIGN of this type of "simple" solution is going to at least take one (1) month to develop. Because I need to model the database, code all the pages, implement the checking with the existing web tools, etc.

If you've coded, you know NOTHING is as simple as you think it is. There are always issues and it takes time to put your thoughts in to code.

These set of "login services" will be re-usable for my "Quest AC v2.0" Smartphone website too. So it makes sense to start with a smaller piece, code it and then move on to something else.


Great to see you are making progress

Funny where inspiration sometimes comes from. I recently got inspiration from a super casual board game called "Verflixt nochmal (German)" I played with my parents in law.

Great to see you are making progress!


Thanks! Oh and BTW...

Before working on the "Account Management" (I may wait a little bit)... Because I am more "focused" on "Quest Adventure Cards(tm) — 2nd Edition" (Quest_v2), there are some interesting "concepts" that I am playing with.

One example: I am working with "localized" resources. What are they? Well they are "resources" that act as "Positive Bonuses" to that "Quest Line". At the same time those "Quest Fragments" may "Require Resources" to play...

So the idea is that on EACH TURN... A Quest "produces" "X,Y,Z,A,B,C" resources. Those resources are BONUSES in addition to the resources in your "Stockpile". So if a card has a "+2 Yellow", it means that for this Quest you EARN "+2 Yellow". Now using those resources and the ones that you "Stockpile", you can play ADDITIONAL "Quest Fragments" which can act as above (Rinse & Repeat).

"Localized" resources are a bit like "Dominion" cards from your hand. In Dominion, at the END of your TURN ... You discard all the cards left in your hand. The "Localized" resources are similar in that they are only for ONE (1) Quest and that you CAN'T "Stockpile" them... They don't get ADDED... They just HELP out when working on completing a Quest (given Quest Fragments).

I'm still working on the "design ideas" to see what sticks and what needs to be re-thought.

Preventing "resource" screwed issues

Well I immediately made an IMPORTANT change to each of the "Development" Decks. I will prototype these manually ... but the issue I was facing was a "resource" screwed issue. Sort of like in Magic, when a player is Mana screwed... I had something similar because the "Development" Decks had three (3) "Earn a resource" cards. Which sounded okay ...BUT... they were all different from each other.

So I changed it to have three (3) IDENTICAL cards and the player CHOOSES the resource he/she want to earn. This means that 30% of the time you will ADD "resources" to your pool of "Stockpiled" resources.

And now that a player decides what to ADD ... Less likely to be "resource" screwed because you simply need to figure out how to balance your acquisition of resources during play.

Of course all of this will be playtested "manually" FIRST... Before I even CONSIDER coding a website compatible for Smartphones.

Oh and in case you missed it before, WHY(?) a website and not an phone-app. Well first I am more versed in coding web-based applications and have some training that can help in closing the gap when it comes to that form of application. However I need a database, account management, subscriptions and billing and all of that is more "complicated to do" in a phone-app versus a web-app. At least for me...

In a phone-app, I'm not even sure what language to use and how phone compatibility, android versioning, play store management, updates, etc. are all handled. A whole boatload of things that I don't have to worry about with the web-app. If there is a BUG, I fix it and upload the corrections and everyone INSTANTLY gets the FIX...

So there are pros and cons (mostly cons for a phone-app) and definitely more pros for the web-app.

Continued reflection regarding the web-app

I have realized that the "experience" and/or "leveling-up" mechanic may not be well suited for the "style" of game play. Specifically since there are no RPG elements that are required to play the game, the mechanics to "track" and "grind" are rather "unnecessary".

Why would you need to go up levels if the "game play" portion of the game remains the same (or identical from the first to hundredth playthru).

Having multiple classes could be valuable (adds replayability) and having a "Development" deck could also be relevant (to vary the play style and add some asymmetry)... But there is no reason to ALTER the game play as players play the game (various playthrus)!

For now... it seems like I require some more thinking.

I'll leave it at that. Since I need to re-evaluate the design further.

As of this moment...

I am "re-considering" the web-app's "relevance". I also need to ponder more about the game ... because I'm not seeing the "depth" of strategy that it could have. To me it now sounds to be a more "complexe" "set collection" game with resources, classes, spells and abilities.

BUT fundamentally it is what it IS.

And a this point in time. Well I will need to think about it further.

I think I had a "flash-in-the-pan" idea... However as the design stands, it doesn't merit further investigation. At least not with the current design.

May in the future I may re-visit the idea for some other design. Cheers!

Note #1: The issue I am having is that the game is NOT more RPG-ish... It's much closer to the First Edition with some extras. And I'm not really happy with that ATM. TBH I need some time away from this design to get a new and fresh perspective.

Note #2: Although the game is more complexe than a game of gin-rummy (with sets and sequences) ... It is lacking in real FLAVOR for lack of a better term!

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