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Problems with matching suits abilities like in Star Realms

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larienna
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I am designing a hacking game that has some similarities with Star Realms. Now one of the main difference is that instead of each card having a special ability triggered when matched with another card of the same color, my game specifies a "Plus-in" color on each card, required to gain the ability which would allow making chains of combo.

Like for example:

Play card of suit A

Play card of suit C, that activate an ability when played after A

Play card of suit B, that activate an ability when played after C

Now the problem, is that if can eventually become very confusing, especially for deck building decisions, to know not only which suits are in my deck, but also which suits are mostly required by cards in my deck.

Which in the end might just be too complex to analyze. But still, since this is a solitaire game, this extra analysis could be desired.

Else I was thinking of simplifying it a bit like for example, maybe A cards can only chained with B cards, so that if you have a lot of B cards in your deck, you know need to buy A cards to trigger them.

Else I could simply use the star realm mechanism of matching card, but I found the chaining option more neat and fit with the theme.

mcobb83
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I sort of like the idea of

I sort of like the idea of having random combos. It sort of reminds me of my youth, dabbling in MTG, with all sorts of effects linking together. I know your game is much more specific than that (it seems as I read your post that you would have specific cards that trigger off of other specific cards while still retaining an independent ability if used outside the combo).

I like the idea. If you're making a hacking game and you've got 3 suits which each represent an aspect of hacking, but they all interact to make combos, it encourages players to have to draw from multiple decks of suits to build their deck (not certain of the mechanics here but I'm envisioning something akin to Dominion since I have no experience with Star Realm).

Anyway, my thought is to keep the suit interaction. It makes for a broader, more challenging game. Particularly as it adds an element of complexity to both game play and strategy. I would only drop the suit interactions if the game becomes too cumbersome or confusing with them in force.

let-off studios
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Limitations & Upgrades

You may be able to remedy the "too complex" anxiety by limiting a player to lining up only a single potential combo. That way, it focuses their attention on a particular tactic, and focuses any opponent on preparing for a specific potential linked effect.

If this causes too much predictability, you can try:
- hiding a card or some other information until the effect is triggered
- having multiple effects listed as a linked effect, and when triggered the player chooses the effect they want
- Allow a savvy player to "upgrade," and only then allow for multiple combos to be planned for

It seems like an interesting problem to have. :)

questccg
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Why not "simplify" it a little bit?!

This is your "example":

Play card of suit A

Play card of suit C, that activate an ability when played after A

Play card of suit B, that activate an ability when played after C

Instead (my version):

Play card of suit A

Play card of suit C, that activates Ability #1 on card A.

Play card of suit B, that activates Ability #2 on card A.

See the difference? The combos are used to "unlock" abilities on the ORIGINAL card A. Each card can have TWO (2) Abilities that get unlocked by playing a card from another suit.

But the combinations can be unique - and you would have to check which cards you want to use as "A" versus which cards you want to use to "unlock" abilities like suit C or B.

Just an idea for you.

Cheers.

Update: You can sometimes have some more powerful cards that require TWO (2) suits, like Play card B and card D, to activate Ability #2 on card C...

Update #2: You can have even more rules. Like Play card D, to activate Ability #1 play suit A with Power "X or higher"... The possibilities are virtually limitless.

Update #3: You can use "Factions" to identify the PRIMARY "color" for your deck. Like in your OP. And then based on those cards, you know that the cards in your deck that are fodder and which ones you intend to play.

You could also have "build rules", like a deck must be 20 Primary cards and 30 Fodder cards (for unlocking combinations).

questccg
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Magic does this pretty well

Using the "card type" like "Elves" and things like "+1/+1 for each elf you control"...

In addition to things like "+1/+1 for any green card you control"...

So you build an "Elves" Deck which is mostly "Green" cards, etc.

larienna
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Maybe I should have talked

Maybe I should have talked about start realm first. The mechanic is simple, every card has at least a basic ability and a faction ability (card color). If 2 or more cards of the same color get played, all cards of that color activate their faction ability.

Quote:
it seems as I read your post that you would have specific cards that trigger off of other specific cards

It will trigger off a specific suit (color) not a specific card.

Quote:
See the difference? The combos are used to "unlock" abilities on the ORIGINAL card A.

Well not really as the results are the same. Instead of resolving triggering from left to right, you trigger them from right to left. It could be slightly more convenient to see the card play when they are in your hands, I'll have to take a look at that. Another thing I though is put the pluginable color on the edge of the card, so that you can easily easy the color matching.

In star realms, if you buy a lot of blue and green card, you know you must focus on green and yellow. But with my system, since the requirements are different, if you buy a lot of green and yellow, you have no clue which color you should focus on.

Of yourse since you start with cards of all colors, you could consider the combo to be random. Or you could focus on a single color to buy cards of that color or cards with matching plugin. It should be doiable, it's just the thinking that is different.

let-off studios
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Thematic Clues

larienna wrote:
In star realms, if you buy a lot of blue and green card, you know you must focus on green and yellow. But with my system, since the requirements are different, if you buy a lot of green and yellow, you have no clue which color you should focus on.
Can you have some clarity via theme to help the player determine a course of action? The cards can all have different colour classes, but have different effects.

For example: Playing a card from suit B activates a defensive or support effect, while playing a card from suit C activates an offensive maneuver.

I also forgot to mention another game you may want to investigate: Nightfall. It's a deck-building-style card game that focuses on a "chaining" effect between cards of similar colours. Even when it's not your turn you can activate a card from your hand based on a card played by someone else - as long as the colour matches. Someone else adds to the chain when a card in their hand matches the supplement colour from your card, and so on.

This is different from the mechanic you describe, but like in your game there are interesting combinations of offense, defense, and support that are enabled with this colour-chaining mechanic.

larienna
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I also remembered "Legendary"

I also remembered "Legendary" where some cards activates additional abilities in a card of the matching color is in play. Very similar to my idea, still I did not like much Legendary.

So I think the mechanics is feasable if I keep the number of suites low (3 to 5) and make the card design easy to analyse (ex: Spliting the color on the frame of the card, to use the plugin color on one side and the card color on the other side can be an idea)

let-off studios
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Card Design

larienna wrote:
So I think the mechanics is feasable if I keep the number of suites low (3 to 5) and make the card design easy to analyse (ex: Spliting the color on the frame of the card, to use the plugin color on one side and the card color on the other side can be an idea)
Exactly. In Nightfall the card "suit" was displayed in the upper corners while the chaining colour was displayed in the lower corner(s). This way it was easy to determine its root colour and what could be linked to it, at a glance. Positioning/layout can be helpful in this regard.

Keep at it! You'll work it out. :)

larienna
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In night fall, there is 3

In night fall, there is 3 colors in the corners, are those the possible colors that link to the card's color?

This means that there would be a structure of color matching like : A->B->C->D->A

Masacroso
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If the structure of the game

If the structure of the game is too complex you can try to avoid deck building because it is impossible to decide if you are building something useful or not.

Similar problems of decisions happen with too complex games as Arimaa: in Arimaa is far to be clear how setup the pieces to start to play.

An idea about a "relaxed" deck building: divide the deck in some subdecks,and then choose randomly from each subdeck a number of cards to build the deck for play.

This avoid a very explicit decision making, you just are taking decisions over the number of some subsets of cards.

let-off studios
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Color Linking

larienna wrote:
In night fall, there is 3 colors in the corners, are those the possible colors that link to the card's color?
Ah, I remembered incorrectly. Let me explain, now that I've had a look at a card.

For example, look at the "Ivan Radinsky" card.
http://cf.geekdo-images.com/images/pic892540.jpg

The cards's main colour is WHITE.
Its two chaining colours are BLUE and VIOLET/PURPLE.
Its "kicker" card colour is GREEN.

When you play Ivan Radinsky and end your turn, the next player may play a BLUE or VIOLET card and realize its effect. Then, then next player may play a card that "chains" onto the chain colours of their card, and so on. Eventually it becomes the next player's turn when no one else has a card to play in the chain. You can end up cycling through your hand rather quickly in the game, but the consequence is that you begin your turn with fewer cards in your hand.

The kicker is a special card effect. If you play Ivan Radinsky and have a card in your hand whose main colour is GREEN, you can play that as well to engage the kicker effect listed on Ivan Radinsky (NOT the effect listed on the GREEN card).

///

Not sure what you mean with your A>B>C>D>A thing, but it sounds like a RPS mechanic. That's not the case in Nightfall if I recall correctly (since attacks were based on card stats, not the colours), but there's no reason to leave it out of your own game.

larienna
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OH, so each card has their

OH, so each card has their own base chaining option, but the kicker ability is something seperate.

Not all white cards will chain with blue and purple.

One thing I could do is put the base and chaining color in the corner, in my case, once chained the ability triggers.

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