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Designing interupt cards for CCG

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/28/2011

I am trying to design an interupt card mechanic in my CCG. (like Instant cards in MTG)
I am trying to decide whether to keep them on the player's hand (like MTG) or put them face down in play (like trap cards in Yugioh)
Which one is actually better? What are the pros and cons for them?

I would also like opinions on whether to include the "on the stack" mechanic (like chain effect in Yugioh) or make them be a effect resolve once the card come into play.

Please advice. Thanks

Joined: 05/02/2011
The face down mechanic in

The face down mechanic in Yugioh is pretty cool, but is not as big of a gameplay change from the decision of having a 'stack' or immediate resolve. The stack makes a game more interesting, but also more complicated. There are a lot of timing issues involved with having a stack, though if you make the cards well, and have clear timings for things, it should not be too bad.

bonsaigames's picture
Joined: 12/20/2010

In our Infinite Power Expandable Card Game, we use NOW! Cards that play basically like interrupts in MtG. We considered using them like YGO traps, but decided that for the theme of our game (a superhuman slugfest) the traps didn't work as well. We do have some NOW! Cards that can only be played during certain Steps of the game and some that are reactive to the other players' actions.
For our money there were no real thematic advantages to trap style over interrupt. If you had a hand size limit though, that would change the mechanics enough to use traps as a way to keep your Interrupts without having to play them.
We also went with the "Stack" or "chain" resolution method because it is familiar to many CG players and allows you to counter an Interrupt with an Interrupt, also a thematic element in superheroic fiction.
Hope that helps,

Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Seconding the magic style

Seconding the magic style interrupts: nice and simple and do what they are meant to.
BUT do remmeber that interrupts are actually quite annoying at times. The players will work hard to try and build up their turn to accomplish something big and awesome only to have all of their fun revoked by a simple interrupt that nullifies anything.

A really good example is the boardgame: "Zombies!!!" it has a Item system in it that allows you to work [really] hard to get a sexy item card. Then once you have spent around 10 game turns hunting for it, entirely changing your game plan: another player can simply play one of about 10 interrupt cards that simply say "another player discards his item" so you CAN use them, but do use it with care and dont let it destroy the other mechanics you have built up.

Think of if you played a magic game with JUST monsters - it would be a big barrell of fun for everyone. If you played a magic game with JUST interrupts - it would be boring and frustrating.

bonsaigames's picture
Joined: 12/20/2010
Cogentesque wrote:... Think

Cogentesque wrote:
Think of if you played a magic game with JUST monsters - it would be a big barrell of fun for everyone. If you played a magic game with JUST interrupts - it would be boring and frustrating.

Agreed. Keep the Interrupts reactionary and specific to keep them from unbalancing the game.

InvisibleJon's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
Figure out what they "mean" in the game world...

The method to use depends on what they represent in your game world. Heck, perhaps you could use both systems?

If you're playing interrupts face-down, waiting to be triggered, they represent something that:
* Your opponent has advance warning for...
* Your opponent could (theoretically) do recon on and learn what it is.
* Has some kind of independent existence.
* Waits until its trigger sets it off.

If you're playing interrupts from your hand, M:tG-style, they represent actions that you initiate when needed and they take place immediately. They're more like direct action that you're taking in the world of the game (or the direct action of some entity that you trigger (like calling in a favor).

Writing this, I see that there's the potential to let cards be played either way, with each having its own advantages and disadvantages.

So take a look at what the interrupts really *are* in the world of your game; what they're doing in your game's world and what they represent. When you know that, the right way to play them should naturally suggest itself.

(One last thought: If you want the "forewarning" of the trap-style play, but you want the instant effect of the M:tG-style, consider making backs for interrupts different from other backs.)

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