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Cards: Collectible vs. Customizeable vs. Fixed

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/15/2012

So I just had an idea for a martial-arts themed card game based on the simultaneous, fast, but also strategic nature of martial-arts bouts. The game would almost definitely have to be card based, to facilitate blind simultaneous use of abilities or ploys within the match.
As each match is very fast, it is most likely that players will fight a string of matches to determine who wins overall, rather than relying on the outcome of a single pair of fighters. Thus, it is less a match between individuals, than a match between schools/dojos.
The game could have varying levels of depth, each of which lends itself to a different approach to how cards are delivered to the players:

Collectible (but not trade) -
Under this method, players would be able to collect different decks to represent different styles. They might also be able to collect different personae to fight their duels. You could have "Bruce Lee" as a member of your team for example, and then collect a set of strategy cards specifically pertaining to the 'Jeet Kun Do' style of martial arts. Perhaps different weapons are paired in, if the game took the route of a Samurai-theme, with some players approaching with a Naginata rather than a Katana.
Under this method, players might assemble a deck of characters and a "style" deck containing all of their different strikes and techniques.

Customizeable -
In this method, players would be given a multitude of characters and styles in a single box. Before play begins, they would each assemble a deck of fighters/weapons, perhaps through a bidding or deckbuilding method.
The game would lose a little bit of depth, as both players would probably have identical or at least very similar 'style' decks of strikes and techniques. This would be almost necessary to keep the pre-duel aspect from becoming too complicated, and taking any more time away from the main draw of the game (the duels) than it already does. The increased time away from the action is probably an even bigger drawback than the loss of detail.

Fixed -
This would probably be the least detailed method and probably wouldn't feature any characters or styles at all, and instead just focus giving each player the same exact deck of strikes and techniques, and leaving it to them to fight each duel in their own way, with no outside influences as to what cards to play.
This method has the benefit of being fast, cheaper to produce/publish (fewer cards required) and more approachable, but at the cost of the detail and the depth of the theme.

My questing does not pertain strictly to my martial-arts themed example, but to all games. When you begin development of a game, why do you choose one method over another? My RPG game features a collectible component, allowing players to have a wider array of classes and supplements to choose from. However, games like 'The Red Dragon Inn' feature a fixed assortment of cards for every player. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Traz's picture
Joined: 04/06/2009
don't go there...

Avoid the collectible option like the plague. The inevitable comparisons will be made to MTG and it will die before it even gets looked at. Nobody is going to want to compete against THE MONOLITH.

I think you need to work both FIXED *and* CUSTOMIZEABLE. Think MUNCHKIN - which is a viable publishing model.

It sounds like you could go through the various cards and decide which ones are common to all decks - and make them into a common deck [which both players could draw from] and then have 'X' individual decks built around characters or styles.

You may want to have the basic set feature styles, then the followup game feature characters + an extra style. Or vice versa or a mix of your choice. Put together your prototype, of at least half a dozen of each, take them to a local Convention and watch the reactions of the players - they'll tell you which direction to go.

Sounds like a solid concept if you can pull it off. Go for it!

Joined: 12/12/2011
Double Blind Systems

I've been working on a fighting game for a while now that sounds similar to your blind simultaneous actions descriptions.

There are a few games out there that already use a double blind system to simulate 1v1 fighting.

After you further flesh out your own uninfluenced ideas for how the system will work, I'd suggest you check out Yomi, Flash Duel, and Battle: CON to see what similarities you naturally came up with, and what they are doing differently.

Joined: 04/13/2012

I have been working on a street fighter like card game, and I was going to used a fixed deck. Sure it cuts down on the uniqueness of each card, but it also makes the game "harder" to beat because there are no "Exodia's" (can i actually say that on this site?)

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