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"Trading" cards as a mechanic

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questccg
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I know I briefly "touched" on this in another thread... But I wanted to have a discussion concerning "Trading" cards as a game's mechanic.

We know that most "TGCs" aren't really about "Trading". They are more about buying more random "booster" packs to get better cards. So why can these games call themselves "TGCs"? I'm not quite certain to be real honest.

In my Work-In-Progress (WIP) "Monster Keep", one of the battle aspects is that, as a mechanic, you can KEEP the losing "Monster" and add it to your deck at the end of the game. This POW can remain with the opposing player or you can "negotiate" some kind of "Trade Agreement" to recover your cards.

Sometimes a player will be like: "I don't want to trade..." And that is perfectly legitimate as being his choice. But other times, both players may be interested in "Trading" cards as a SET (collection) or on an case-by-case basis where the card count varies.

Now I know some of you (I believe @FrankM mentioned that this did NOT work in Magic...) might have diverging opinions and I'd like to hear your thoughts...

One IDEA that has struck my fancy was ... Tournaments. Rules could be no "Trading" or "Restocking", you play with the cards you have in hand. This means that "Monsters" that have been captured remain in the hands of the losing player too! So it's more about "adaptation", how well can you play with the cards you have in your "mutable" deck.

What are your thoughts regarding using "Trading" as a game's MECHANIC???

Please feel free to Comment / Give Feedback / Ask Questions / etc.

Cheers!

questccg
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Tournaments Styles

Additionally there could be OTHER "Tournament" rules which either allow "Trading" after a match or "Restocking" which basically means using additional "fixed" boosters to recover cards.

The thing is this: when YOU capture opposing "Monsters", your OPPONENT captures OTHER "Monsters" (yours). So it's kind of like a Trade-off where you get some of the other player's monsters and he gets some of yours. Your deck is in a state of flux.

In tournaments where "Trading" is allowed, players can try to make deals to recover their lost "Monsters". And in "Restocking" tournaments, you can have a FIXED amount of boosters to recover cards from.

An example: a "Restocking" tournament allows players to submit ten (10) "fixed" boosters and allows them to re-stock whenever they feel the need to dip into their "reserves".

Something along those lines...

let-off studios
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Optional

This layer of capturing, negotiating, and trading all seems like a more adult activity. I suggest you promote all of this as an optional rule set, even in the case of tournaments. Post the framework on your website for die-hard fans looking for more from the same game.

Even in something like golf or darts, which traditionally have "skins" games where there's money on the line, it's completely optional and beyond the scope of the original game. I'm sure there could be MtG games that follow this same format, but again it's completely optional.

If it were required for every public match, all I can imagine is a bunch of crying kids and angry parents. Totally not fun.

Aside from that, I think the POW mechanic is pretty weak. Competitive players would set only their weakest monsters as those that are captured. Once they run low, then they go out and purchase another pack or visit eBay for a cheap lot of weak monsters and continue.

questccg
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Optional: play without "trading" -- for the boring people

let-off studios wrote:
This layer of capturing, negotiating, and trading all seems like a more adult activity. I suggest you promote all of this as an optional rule set, even in the case of tournaments. Post the framework on your website for die-hard fans looking for more from the same game.

I used to remember from my "childhood" trading all kinds of STICKERS like Pac Man, Scooby Doo, Smurfs, etc. And we would actually TRADE for them... Like one big Scooby Doo in exchange from two (2) smaller Pac Mans... etc.

It's not only an adult activity -- kids can do it too, given their openness to get into the spirit of "trading"!

I used to have a photo-album just with all kinds of stickers I had traded for... Was a FUN activity buying, trading and collecting stickers...

let-off studios wrote:
If it were required for every public match, all I can imagine is a bunch of crying kids and angry parents. Totally not fun.

I definitely don't want kids crying... I could see the opposite being true: a rule that makes "trading" an OPTION. Normally when you play, captured "Monsters" become the property of their new owner. However it is possible to play without this rule... But it really KILLS the FUN out of outsmarting an opponent and capturing one of this good "Monsters"!

let-off studios wrote:
Aside from that, I think the POW mechanic is pretty weak. Competitive players would set only their weakest monsters as those that are captured. Once they run low, then they go out and purchase another pack or visit eBay for a cheap lot of weak monsters and continue.

You need to remember one thing: each battle WON counts towards a victory in the game (becoming the winner). If all you put on the table are weak "Monsters" ... it won't take long before your opponent BEATS YOU! And you get "left in his trail of dust"...

How it works is that each "Lord" has three (3) stats you must fulfill. They all vary from 1 to 9. A total of 15 points less 3 points (Lord bonus - varies from one Lord to another) ... which means the first player to score 12 points WINS.

Let me give you an example:

Lord Asinius:

7 Hunger, 5 Bloodlust, 3 Greed = 15 points.

But Asinius has a +3 Hunger bonus. So that means to WIN his stats are:

4 Hunger, 5 Bloodlust, 3 Greed = 12 points.

So in reality his "hunger" track can go up to 7. But 4 is the minimum.

That's how it goes. Each time you win one of those three (3) battle-types, you gain 1 Victory Point (VP). Once you hit the 12 VPs you win.

It's not too complicated ... but what it amounts to is proper managing your "Monsters" to be an effective Lord.

Once you complete the objective in 1 track ... that's it, you can't claim points or cards for that battle-type. So if you win 3 battles for Treasure, you can no longer do that type of battle (no VPs get earned). And furthermore you don't gain the bonus either (draw cards, win a monster, opponent discards cards)...

let-off studios
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No Big Deal

Then disregard my thoughts. You and I have different ideas of "fun."

Your explanation of the POW makes things clearer (I hadn't read most of the other threads about this design). I still disagree that it should be compulsory/required, regardless of the fun factor. But that's my personal preference, not some game/design theory.

questccg
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We used to collect all kinds of stuff!

let-off studios wrote:
I still disagree that it should be compulsory/required, regardless of the fun factor. But that's my personal preference, not some game/design theory.

I understand. As kids we collected all kinds of stuff: books, marbles, stickers, comic books, collectible cards (before Magic existed)... Like in the early 80s.

The fact remains that "existing" Trading Card Games (TCGs) are not at all focused on "Trading". They are focuses on buying more random "Boosters" to get more cards and hope for something of value and usable in duels.

My version of "mandatory trading" introduces an element of "risk". There are consequences to playing the game. And while your opponent may win a battle and steal a couple cards, you win the war and collect maybe four or five of his cards...

This even introduces different "styles of play" too.

Anyway I know your "gut" is usually pretty good... So I've got some thinking to do... Maybe someone else can share his/her opinion on "trading" as a game's mechanic...!

questccg
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A take on a very "classic" game...

I wanted to generate that FEELING you get when you play WAR! What feeling, you ask?! The feeling when you PLAY a "King" and your opponent plays an "Ace"!!!

In that moment you are like: "Nooooooo!!!"

That's kind of the experience I want to have with "Monster Keep"'s WAR-like combative "engine". With three (3) different ways to do battle and a score-card of objectives to win... This is really a *unique* game.

In "TradeWorlds" it was all about those "Ahaa!" moments. Like "I feel smart, I actually used the Captain role... Hahaa!" Capturing the full gamut on the roles which are not used with the same frequency. But when they are used, the player feels smarter knowing he capitalized on something ONLY FOR HIM/HER!

In "Monster Keep" I want there to be more "Nooooooo!!!" And "capturing POWs" is the exact precursor of those "No!" moments. It's not the end of the world so you lost a card... Big deal, you'll take one of your opponent's "Monsters" NEXT! (Always keeping the experience positive!)

Different game, different feel and what kind of User eXperience (UX) I want the gamers to feel while playing this game.

Cheers!

questccg
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Bump...

Anyone else have an opinion on the "Trading" mechanic??? Would like to hear some more opinions about what people think about using the capturing of your opponent's cards as being a sort of required (or recommended) way of playing the game...

polyobsessive
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Ante

Are you considering this in the context of a CCG-like game where each player brings along their own deck of cards to compete against each other, and cards permanently change hands as a result of play?

If so, that sounds problematic: players get attached to their property and being forced to lose part of their game is likely to be unpopular with many people.

It's worth noting that Magic: The Gathering had this as a rule originally. I'm not sure when they got rid of it, it would have been in the mid-90's, I believe. Basically when you start a duel, each player puts up a card from their deck as an ante, and the winner keeps both cards. Presumably you have in mind something more subtle than this, but the mechanism was open to abuse and left a bad taste in many people's mouths, so was eventually dropped.

questccg
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TCG not CCG

polyobsessive wrote:
Are you considering this in the context of a CCG-like game where each player brings along their own deck of cards to compete against each other, and cards permanently change hands as a result of play?

It's not a CCG. It's a TCG: "Trading" Card Game. And that's why I am including "Trading" as a mechanic in the game. Furthermore the "booster" I plan to sell will be "numbered" and offer FIXED content (not random). So if you lose a couple valuable cards, you can go to the website and order them again and in a week, you'll get your cards back.

polyobsessive wrote:
If so, that sounds problematic: players get attached to their property and being forced to lose part of their game is likely to be unpopular with many people.

That's why in most instances AFTER a game, players can try to NEGOTIATE to get back some of their cards. That depends how open the other players are to trading for their cards. Some will be like: "I'll keep and play with what I have..." and others will be "I'll give you back your cards if you give me back my cards..."

polyobsessive wrote:
Basically when you start a duel, each player puts up a card from their deck as an ante, and the winner keeps both cards.

No it's not an "ante" mechanic. It's just ONE (1) out of THREE "Battle-Modes" results in "capturing" an opponent's Monster. And you just can't capture whatever you want. You are limited by each player's "Lord". Lords determine how many of each type of battles you can engage in and are required for a Victory.

Example:

Lord Kane - Master Thief - Lord of the Orcs (Fire Clan).

Food = 3
Battle = 5
Treasure = 7 - 3 Bonus = 4

What this means is to WIN you need to do each of those battles. And OPTIONALLY using Lord Kane's Bonus ... You can Battle for Treasure +3 extra times (for a total of 7 battles for treasure). But to WIN you only need 4 Treasure Battles.

questccg
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More on stats

The idea is that each Lord has 15 VPs that need to be scored LESS 3 VPs which are optional - but can help a player in different ways. The problem at the moment is figuring out nine (9) unique abilities that can be available to each Lord - TBD.

The important part to remember is that in total each Lord has 12 VPs required to WIN the match. The stats may vary... but the total is 12 VPs!

More to come in the "Monster Keep" BLOG!

X3M
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imho no

Temporary is one thing.
Permanent is the other.
That is how I feel about this.

polyobsessive
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Hmm...

questccg wrote:
polyobsessive wrote:
Are you considering this in the context of a CCG-like game where each player brings along their own deck of cards to compete against each other, and cards permanently change hands as a result of play?

It's not a CCG. It's a TCG: "Trading" Card Game. And that's why I am including "Trading" as a mechanic in the game. Furthermore the "booster" I plan to sell will be "numbered" and offer FIXED content (not random). So if you lose a couple valuable cards, you can go to the website and order them again and in a week, you'll get your cards back.

I think you missed my point, which is not whether it is a trading card game, a collectable card game, an expandable card game, or whatever you want to call it, but that it is a game where each player owns their own pool of cards, constructs their own deck, and brings them to play with other people.

So players stand to lose part of their personal property as a result of playing a game. Some people are fine with that, but not everyone.

questccg wrote:
That's why in most instances AFTER a game, players can try to NEGOTIATE to get back some of their cards. That depends how open the other players are to trading for their cards. Some will be like: "I'll keep and play with what I have..." and others will be "I'll give you back your cards if you give me back my cards..."

I could give a fatuous response that this is also an option in poker: "We'll all give our winnings back." Some players would go for this, but there are always people who want to intimidate or bully others.

questccg wrote:
No it's not an "ante" mechanic. It's just ONE (1) out of THREE "Battle-Modes" results in "capturing" an opponent's Monster. And you just can't capture whatever you want. You are limited by each player's "Lord". Lords determine how many of each type of battles you can engage in and are required for a Victory.

Again, missing my point. I wasn't saying that you were proposing an ante. My point was that the biggest "build your deck and do battle" game used to have a mechanism where players had to exchange cards as a result of the outcome of play, and this led to abuse and bad feelings, and the rule was eventually removed.

It is entirely possible you can make a really great game with this as a feature, and I don't want to stop you trying, but I'm trying to point out that player psychology and social dynamics are likely to be a far bigger problem than mechanical issues. Good luck anyway, it's always worth thinking about possible developments and changes to the way things are done.

questccg
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Losing weak cards is not a real "loss"

polyobsessive wrote:
...It is entirely possible you can make a really great game with this as a feature, and I don't want to stop you trying, but I'm trying to point out that player psychology and social dynamics are likely to be a far bigger problem than mechanical issues. Good luck anyway, it's always worth thinking about possible developments and changes to the way things are done.

That's the thing about my game: you never LOSE your "Monsters". If you absolutely want to get back "Monster X" all you need to do is purchase a fixed "booster" with "Monster X" in it. And all that for about $4 USD.

But also it's a sort of "adapt-to-your-deck" kind of philosophy: I can picture tournaments where players just play with the cards they get each round. And really do YOU "care" about a "2 of Hearts" when you are playing WAR?! Not really, it's one of the weakest cards.

Same goes for your "weakest" Monsters... Anyhow it's still a game in development. So once I get to playtesting the prototype, we'll see how good the game really is!

Cheers and thank you for your input.

questccg
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Give-and-Take sort of game

Each turn you "Draw" one (1) card from your "Vault" (Deck) and "Play" one (1) card from your "Hand" into play. You are also allowed to "Knock" once and do Battle (or "Knock" twice and no battle).

"Knock"-ing is asking an opponent to REVEAL a card of your choosing.

So it's not some sort of great, multiple turn strategy to out-smart your opponent. No, it's sort of give-and-take where you give one card (defeated) but beat another one...

Believe me, I will be playtesting the bugs out of it in April 2018.

Whatever kinks I find, I will iron them out and hopefully end up with a very FUN game to play.

Cheers!

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