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Blue Moon Inspired CCG_ An Attempt to move away from the MTG path

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 12/12/2011

I've been trying to develop a unique card game for quite some time. My primary goal has been to avoid making just another Magic the Gathering knock off like so many of those games out there.

The idea came from the simplicity and elegance of Blue Moon, a non-collectible card game design by Reiner Knizia.
If you've played Blue Moon before, then where I'm going with this will seem similar.

I have no idea how the resource system for playing cards will work yet, and I'm not sure it matters.

The main concept I'm working with is that at some point during your turn, if there is not a battle being fought, you may start one by having one or more of your creatures enter combat. Each creature adds to your total power threshold for combat. During each player's turn, they must try to match or beat that power threshold.

Potential Mechanics...

- Every turn a battle wages, it's conflict level increases. The higher a conflict level, the more casualties will be inflicted per side and the more total damage is dealt to the losing player afterwards.

- Tapped/Exhausted creatures might not contribute power. So creature-less decks are possible by having ways of reducing your opponent's power threshold.

- Winning a battle with a certain power threshold could grant a player some type of 'victory point' which when so many are obtained the player wins the game (rather than only being able to win through damage).

- If you lose a battle, all of your creatures in combat are injured.

- Retreating creatures from combat might have some ill-effect for you.

This is in its very early stages, and I'm primarily trying to brainstorm how to mold the elegance of blue moon into a normal CCG. I'm wanting to stray from Blue Moon in that I don't want every card to be 'free to play'.

I'll add more and try to get a more defined list of rules for what I'm going for. Until then, all thoughts are greatly appreciated.


The Loneliest Banana
Joined: 09/06/2011
You say that you want

You say that you want something completely different from Magic, yet you mention creatures, tapping, attacking, and damage. You're still working in Magic's framework. Look,

Here's what makes a game customizable:
• I have some choice in which components to use before the game begins, producing different play based on which components I choose.

Here's what makes a game collectible:
• It is difficult to acquire some of the components.

Here is what is NOT necessary for a game to be collectible or customizable:
• Decks
• Hands
• Discard piles
• "Colors" or "factions"
• Card names.
• Card types.
.• "Creature" or "monster" cards.
• Card effects.
• Numbers on cards.
• Booster packs.
• Preconstructed decks.
• Expansions.
• An "in play" zone.
• Activated abilities.
• Phases.
• Keywords.
• Icons.
• Card illustrations.
• Component rarity.
• Component rarity corresponding to power level.
• Attacking
• Attacking to discard a card from play.
• Attacking to reduce a player's score.
• Blocking an attack.
• Discarding, whether from hand or play or deck.
• Elimination-based win condition (i.e last player standing wins)
• Number-based win condition (i.e. You win/lose when your life total/score/influence/whatever reaches a particular number)
• Constantly releasing hundreds of new cards each year, distributed across a few expansions.
• Publisher-sponsored tournaments.
• Event-archetype cards (Play once for an effect, discard.)
• Permanent-archetype cards (Play for a continuous effect until discarded by game rule/card effect)
• Attachment archetype cards (Attach to a card in play, affects that card while in play.)

• Tapping (turning cards sideways)
• Tapping in order to indicate use of a "once per round" ability, including attacking.
• Untapping once per round.
• Untapping at the beginning of a turn.
• Tapping only to 90° (not 180°, 45°, etc.)
• Resource systems
• Resource systems where each card has a cost which is paid by tapping that many resource cards.
• Resource systems where there is a "resource card" card type.
• Resource systems which let you play any card from hand face-down as a "resource card".
• Playing entirely with cards and counters (Note collectible miniatures games for an example of collectible and customizable games that use neither.)
• One card back for all cards.
• Not including game information specific to a card on its back.
• Each player using a separate deck.
• Card ownership remaining constant throughout the game (ownership as in who walks away with what components when the game is over).
• Components not being permanently physically altered (included bent, folded, or torn cards)
• Hidden information, including that of hands.
• Inability for players to enter the game as it progresses.
• Lack of trivia knowledge as a game mechanic.
• Lack of body-based mechanics such as grabbing objects, making gestures, sitting on hands, blindfolding, etc.
• Lack of timers and time limits.
• Only releasing cards in booster packs or preconstructed decks, not, for example, as prizes in tournaments, as available freely at events, in single cards, etc.
• A theme.

If you don't want to make the next Magic variant, don't think of how to make your collectible card game different from Magic. That will result in a game that's just like Magic except for the differences you thought of. Think of how you can make a game that involves cards, is collectible, and it customizable, but is otherwise totally different than Magic. That will lead to innovation.

Joined: 12/12/2011
Thank you for that

Thank you for that insight.
Though simple and sort of a 'duh' moment for me, I have been looking at how to make it different rather than how to just make the game. In part this is due to having played magic for the last 17+ years.

I think what I need is a good brainstorming session. I'll have to sit down and draw up some ideas.

Thank you

Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Banana, that is a great reply

Banana, that is a great reply (did you type all that up btw? Damn....)

And echos my previous comments to CCGer about his game, I have the exact same attitude regardint MtG and am going to repost the entire post here just for ease.

I have been going to do (it was planned for today actually) a big article and post it here and in bgg entitled something like "An inquriy into the negative effects of MtG in making a CCG" or something tounge in cheek like that - would you mind if I copied your points here as I think you have a very very strong list on things that you DONT need ?


In order to respond to the original question, I would (unhelpfully) ask that you reconcider the questions: "Does Magic have the best combat in the world?" well, I could ask "Does Catan have th ebest use of dice in the world" or "does Mansions of Madness have the best components in the world" - it is very subject and moreover it is a debating question.

If you are after "Is there a better combat system that I could use for my nations CCG than MtG" then I would have answered you over when you posted this originally on BGG :P

n.b. you should totally cal it "Nations" thats cool.

I would say that whenever you make a game "in the image" of another game, then all you are doing is making that game. This is NEARLY impossible to avoid. I think that the best way you can make a novel and fun CCG is by starting with your own Awesome things from your own mind and not taking inspiration from, or copying, or trying to imrpove anything else.

eg: No one else but magci is magic. know one else can be magic. you want to make a ccg? You are limited by only 1 thing: the game must have be "card based" and have lots of cards. Thats it.

I think as soon as you decide that you send out minions who can fight enemies minions or the enemy player (who is essentially a bigger minion) you have already dug yourself into a hole.

I mean, the possibilities are endless: you could even take what I just said literally: the enemy player is a minion. So kill the big bad enemy minion to win the game. You could then change "big bad enemey minion" to "lots of little minioons" so the goal then would be "kill the starting 5 minions that the enemy employs to win" and you could change kill to "bribe". Bang you have a ccg about money grabbing waring nations, seedy underhanded bribes going every way, (from the limited knowledge I have a bout ccgs), the first CCG to contain money (each game would need money chits!) to "pay off" gangs and officials, and mafia bosses, and un resolutions POW.

But as soon as you go "ok the enemy player has 20 helath, how can I add 1 flavored resource from something OTHer than tapping a land card ... hmm..." you have already "lost" the game :*( I DONT WANT YOU TO LOSE MAN!

I want you to WIN, so I would answer "Does it have the best combat system? Based on how many players it enjoys: it has the best combat, the best resource, evolution, devolution, progression, entertainment, player piece, and the best emergant gameplay of any CCG ever in the world ever"
Based on my personal idea of a "combat system within a boardgame" probably not no.

break free from Magic shackles! lol

Best of luck mate :)



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