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Class advancements in a card game

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inkBot's picture
Joined: 03/09/2011
Class Advancement Example

Hello, new guy here and I'm jumping right in with a question.

I'm working on a card game where players can advance card from its current class to other classes. This would be pretty simple if all advancements were completely linear, however this is not the case. Depending on the current class (and the players cards at hand, of course) the player can advance to two or more classes from there (one class has three advancement options atm for example).

What I'm wondering is, how do I convey this on a card where there is a lot of other content?
Ideally a player should not need anything other than the cards at hand to know which classes are viable.
A bigger advancement table would be included in the manual, but it shouldn't be necessary to have the manual while playing.

I've included a picture of a part of my advancement table (although obfuscated a bit). As seen, the player can advance the class to one of two branches which would remain mostly separate. Meaning you can't go from 1-A to 1-B. You also can't advance backwards. However, you can see that you can go from 1-Bc to either 1-Abc or 1-C, even though 1-Ab can only advance into 1-Abc.

How can I show this form of complexity in a simple way? Ideally through some simple standard of icons, but I'm not sure how I would lay that up so that it would be simple to understand without cluttering the card. I'm of course actively working to answer this myself but would appreicate any help I can get. If I explained something badly or more information is needed, just say so and I'll try to add it.

Joined: 12/01/2010
3 ways I can think of

3 ways I can think of implementing this - if there's more specific data I can be more specific in how to make this work

1- color: Use color "mixes" to show compatibility, and purity to show incompatibility

For example - a Basic Warrior might be a light red color, a Basic Mage might be a light Blue color. A Basic Warrior advances into a soldier, which would be a medium red color, the Basic Mage advances to a Wizard which is a medium blue color, but either can advance to a Spell-sword which is a light purple color. A simple circle in the template of the advanced classes could show "pre-reqs" and just be the color(s) of the cards it can advance from.

downsides of this are the complexities of the design - once you start getting into tints and shades of browns due to dependencies of more complex classes - this system breaks down. It's also not color-blind friendly.

2- icons: Make a symbol (add color too for greater effect) for each class - preferably based on each class of classes. And make advanced classes have a section that details the icons of the classes that card can replace. For example, a basic warrior might be depicted with a sword, a soldier might be a spiked sword (and shows that its pre-req is a basic sword), a mage might be a flame, a wizard is a flame with a lightning bolt running through it. A spell-sword might be a flaming sword, and a Magic-Knight might be a spiked sword with a lightning bolt on it - showing what levels they are coming from.

downsides of this are that it is less instantly identifiable to the players when compared to colors - and limits you in someways due to the ability to have many many icons (good design can mitigate this)

3- text: Simply put on the advanced cards what classes they can replace in plain text. This shouldn't require much explanation.

downsides of this are that it takes up a larger amount of card real estate and can add a TLDR feel to cards that might already be otherwise wordy. However no issues with art, or colors, or confusion with this method.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
First you will probably need

First you will probably need 1 card for each class.

Second, you can write at the bottom of the card the previous and the next class. For example you could have:

Class Fighter

Prevous: Squire
Next: Knight OR Paladin

You could use a diagram to represent this also:

...................---> Knight
Squire ---> Fighter
...................---> Paladin

(Ignore the dots, I could not for spaces).

inkBot's picture
Joined: 03/09/2011
Thanks for the quick replies!

Thanks for the quick replies! =)

After some thought I think simply having it as text would be most efficient. Using lariennas example with squire, knight and paladin. Let's say squire is the base class. Therefore he has no previous class mentioned on his card. The knight and paladin would each have a "From: Squire" (or similar) statement on their cards. This would provide both what the previous class is and what the next class is. A "To:" or "Next:" part would then be unnecessary. Doing this also gives me freedom to add new class cards which can be advanced into from already established cards (say I make an expansion or start doing booster packs). Only problem would be if a class would have more than one class they can advance from. But I think if I limit that to two (and keep the class names fairly short) it'll be alright.

I think some visual element would help though, so I would include an icon for each tier. In the image I included in my original post each tier is shown by color (green, blue, red). I do have space allotted on my card layout for such icons, so that would work out nicely.

Thanks for the help guys! If you have further thoughts or ideas go ahead and post it.

Joined: 05/25/2010
Look at pokemon ccg and the

Look at pokemon ccg and the "evolves from" section..

It is exactly what your doing

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
True, if you want more

True, if you want more flexibility, you could only write one side of the relation.

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