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Totem monsters battle TCG (Unofficial name)

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jedite1000's picture
Joined: 02/18/2017

I think i have enough to go on to start revamping the mechanics of my TCG game

So this is my pixel art style card game and here is what i have so far

The gem system, i am changing them to totems, it just makes for a better design aspect

So the mechanics are still basically the same, You have 5 totems in your field, you don't need to draw for them you get to choose 5 totems and build a deck around them. The totems also act as your life points, once all totems are destroyed the game is over.

Each totem has a special effect which is used on the monsters associated with that totem. So let's say i have a fire totem with burn effect, all monsters that have the burn symbol are affected by that totem. If that totem is destroyed, the monsters with that symbol can still be played they just don't have an effect and acts like a normal monster

I was going to have a hero system with hero characters that are unaffiliated with the totem cards so you can use any hero for any deck however, i am having trouble drawing pixel style humans so i don't know if ill still include them or not, I'm better at drawing monsters but i don't want them to look the same as the monsters i want them to feel different when played.

The idea with the hero system is, those heroes can be upgraded when any monster kills an enemy you gain 500 XP when you have enough XP you get to upgrade your hero card to a more powerful hero. I was planning on having 2 upgrades per hero, but if i cant get the design aspect of the human characters i might have to scrap that idea, its a shame cause i really like that mechanic

The next cards are the monsters, they each belong to an element, such as fire, ice, air, earth etc, and each monster comes with a symbol which a totem has the same symbol, that means that monster is affected by the totems ability. Another good thing is the monsters of the same elements are not restricted to only one totem. so there could be 5 different fire totems with different effects

What makes the monsters different from each other is their stat power

There are 3 different types of attacks, a physical melee, physical range and magic. There is also different defence type also

Shield, barrier and heart

If you have a physical melee monster and you attack a monster with a shield icon, then you must attack each turn until that monster has no shield left, once it is gone then your monster can start attacking the hearts

However, if you use a magic attacking monster then your attack bypasses the shield and can attack the hearts


Shield is blocked by melee and range physical attacks
and barrier is blocked by magic attack

Here are some samples, i cant seem to attack images for some reason so im using img website

dnddmdb's picture
Joined: 01/06/2009
Runaway Leader?

It sounds like you have an outline to lay down some mechanics on, which is good. The theme seems like it has been used a lot, but I think the pixel art is a neat difference, and with a few other unique touches I think you can have something that stands out.

The hero idea sounds a little fiddly, but it could add a unique spin to your game, which as I said would be helpful to differentiate it from other card games out there. Maybe instead of including the XP idea, which would use large numbers and get sort of hard to keep track of, maybe you could use where if they kill a monster they keep it as a sort of trophy, and when they kill X hearts worth of monsters they level up or whatever. As for the art, I guess you could always practice drawing humans, or you could make the heroes just larger, more humanoid monsters.

I like the totem idea, but one problem I can foresee is if a player gets a good start and destroys some of their enemy's totems early, all of the losing player's monsters are now weaker, making them more easily defeated. Maybe you could introduce some mechanic to avoid this, like maybe you get extra cards or actions or something when your totems are destroyed.

Anyway, sounds like you have the ball rolling, so keep it rolling! Good luck!

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011

I have a quick question for you: what kind of experience do you want the player to have? Is this a quick battle, a sprawling adventure, a stylish duel, etc. Do you have an idea in your head about this yet?

I ask this because I think it can help supply the answer to you in regards to the presence of the heroes and the effectiveness/reasoning behind the totems.

I just listened to a podcast from the Board Game Design Lab with Richard Launius, and he describes how he has a particular vision in mind when he starts putting a game together, and how he uses that to inform his design choices. For him, if it doesn't recreate the Lovecraftian world and the Cthulhu Mythos, then it doesn't help the game's vision and is therefore tossed out.

I suggest you think about the player experience, and then let that guide your design choices. Mechanics can be approximated later, based on the vision you have about what you want to create.

Good luck to you. :)

jedite1000's picture
Joined: 02/18/2017
eh i cant be stuffed

eh i cant be stuffed continuing on with this game

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011

If you follow it through, you're bound to learn a lot from the process. It's worth it to keep with a single project from start to finish. The process itself is valuable, particularly at the beginning, when it seems the toughest.

Do you have any local contacts you can meet with, face-to-face? That might be your next best step. For me personally, meeting with other people in the same room, and receiving immediate feedback and critique, helped me move forward leaps and bounds.

If you grow some grit and stick with it, you will be rewarded. That's all I can say. It's actually been said before, and much more beautifully:

Calvin Coolidge wrote:
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

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