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Need Feedback for BG Concept

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Rickiticki
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I have an idea for a board/card game and need a little feedback. Sorry if I start to ramble, the idea is incredibly incomplete at this point, but need some opinions on some of the core mechanics.

NOTE: The quantities of cards are still in the works. Just looking for feedback to the core concepts at the moment.

The idea is for a deck building game, whose core mechanic revolves around "memory-matching". This concept is generally tailored to very young audiences, but my target audience for this game is young adults maybe 16+ and anyone whose a fan of fantasy RPG's.

The idea is to create gameplay much like games like "Magic: The Gathering" and "Pokemon" where you attempt to reduce your opponents points to 0. The focus however, revolves around drawing the right cards from a 4X4 or possibly 5X5 grid of face down "element" cards. Each player will have their own deck of cards that they draw from, but in order to play those cards they must draw element cards from the face down grid. Remembering where the elements you need are, is key to playing the right cards out of your hand.

The base game would include all the the element cards. (Most likely X10 fire, water, earth, and wind) These are the cards placed face down that players take turns drawing and are a shared "resource" not exclusive to each players deck. The game would also include at least 2 custom built decks tailored to a specific play style. (Fire Mage- that utilizes mostly fire element cards and perhaps a Druid- that utilizes earth cards) I'd like to start with 2 sets for the base game, and maybe add 1 or two more during play testing for variety. Also, custom expansion and/or booster sets could become available depending on the games popularity.

Also included in the base game would be player cards that come with each deck. If you are a fire mage or druid, you have a special player card that remains face up the entire game with unique abilities printed on it to suit its play style.

Thats just some of the general information I have thought up for this concept. The main question I have here is, do you guys think that a "memory matching" concept for a battle TCG would be something that would appeal to the 16+ age audience? The card art will have an impact on the audience as well. The designs I have in mind will be more mature than "Pokemon" or "Yugioh" but less so than "Magic: The Gathering", as those images tend to be too dark for some younger audiences. Id just like to know if this game concept would appeal to anyone other than myself. (I am 28, but a little biased towards my own idea.)

Any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

questccg
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Some clarifications

First of all, although you don't directly say it, are you intending the game to be a TCG? For it to be a TCG, it means players will want to TRADE cards. That's what the "T" stands for. It's not like "Magic" meaning it is probably not a CCG, where the "C" is collectible. So what IS IT???

My best guess is something like a "Starter Deck"... But then you have common "element" cards. So you might have yourself a component problem.

Maybe you can "package" it all into one box: for 2 players.

  • 2 Starter Decks with the appropriate cards
  • 1 Deck of common "element"cards

And therefore this could be a GAME not a CCG/TCG. You're dreaming if you are talking about "boosters". I know as a FAN of the model, it is much too difficult and cost prohibitive. You need a minimum of 300 cards in order to create booster with sufficient variance. Maybe even more - if you want your cards to "interesting".

The problem is - is there room for another CCG/TCG. The answer is probably NO. I know because I too am designing a "limited" CCG where the game will be probably available to KS Fans only (or something like that).

Existing CCG/TCG fans will not "put away" or "stop playing" their favorite game just because you have a new one. And stores absolutely HATE the booster model because often they lose money on boxes...

From what I understand about your game - there might be TOO MANY cards. As such the artwork alone could kill the game. And seeing as most (if not all) real artists want to be paid upfront - you're going to have to pony up the funds for said artwork.

Now all that has been "neutral" observational comments.


From a personal game standpoint, using a "memory"-type board to handle the resource management doesn't seem to make the game MORE appealing. IMHO I see this as 1. Game idea you got that just doesn't work and you should now focus on 2. Your next game idea.


Last comments. Focus on creating a GAME first (not a CCG/TCG). Those games are popular but impossible to market and SELL. Using the memory board to make match for resources... In my opinion "uninteresting". I'm in my 40s and I don't think anyone in their 20s would play such a game. And part of it is this: Magic players won't just "transition" to another game... Magic players are in a world of their own.

I learnt this the hard way. I thought I'd make it and people would SELL it and PLAY it. WRONG!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to dissuade you - I'm trying to show you what your obstacles are (as per your "current" plans)...


Maybe your IDEA #2... IDK. Why not use a Grid 5x5 to create a solo variant of a Fantasy/Adventure game. And use a Push-Your-Luck mechanic. Basically you have 20 Good cards + 5 Bad cards. You select not knowing what you get (a drafting mechanic) and it's for solitary game play.

The point is to beat the Grid. And if you choose one of those 5 Bad cards, you can use a card from your hand to offset it and continue playing.

This could be expandable to more players too.

Just an idea: using your 5x5 grid for PYL.

stevebarkeruk
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My immediate thought is that

My immediate thought is that playing a specialised character (such as the fire mage) would be considerably easier than playing a mixed type. If you need all (or mostly) fire, you only really have to remember "fire" and "not fire". The more elements your character needs, the harder the game becomes. How would you intend to compensate for that?

Rickiticki
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Thanks for the honest

Thanks for the honest feedback Questccg.

The game itself was planned to be a standalone game, with 2-4 Starter decks included in the box and the common element cards separate from the decks themselves. I would like it to become a TCG, with expansions and such, but I wanted the initial game to be self sufficient. All-in-one. And based on player feedback and extensive testing with prototypes before launch, figure out whether or not to make it as expansive as I imagined.

I made comparisons to "Magic and "Pokemon" but I don't intend to clone those games and try to draw in those players away from those games. I myself being a huge fan of the genre understand that fans won't abandon their favorite card games. Because I am one of those fans. I wanted to reference those games in terms of the play style, in which you try and defeat your opponents by building your deck a certain way.

I am aware of the growing market of TCGs and CCGs out there both physical and virtual, and that won't dissuade me from trying to come up with an original idea for my own. Most markets have a ton of slightly-different-clones of the same thing but that doesn't stop people from making more of the same. Albeit mine is not "groundbreaking" I think it has some potential, otherwise I wouldn't be here.

Im still doing market research as to whether the memory match model will be used in this particular game. I think its engaging, as you have to use your mind a bit to make the combinations you need work to push your strategy. Not just draw cards and play them in the right order. I've also never played a card-battle game that uses a mechanic like this so theres an element of originality as well. There may be ways to make this model more interesting thats for sure, and would be happy to hear any suggestions.

As far as art goes, I'm an artist. Freelance artist anyway. I know the time and cost of art and realize what is required in a game of 300+ base cards. Ive been in contact with a few artists to collaborate on this game already.

Rickiticki
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Multi-element Characters

stevebarkeruk wrote:
My immediate thought is that playing a specialised character (such as the fire mage) would be considerably easier than playing a mixed type. If you need all (or mostly) fire, you only really have to remember "fire" and "not fire". The more elements your character needs, the harder the game becomes. How would you intend to compensate for that?

Thanks for pointing that out. I came across that exact thought earlier today. I used those two classes as examples for starters. But perhaps each character class with utilize 2 of the 4 elements for their strategies? Fire and Earth. Water and Wind. Etc etc.

questccg
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Legacy TCG and Zodiak Legends TCG

Rickiticki wrote:
I would like it to become a TCG, with expansions and such, but I wanted the initial game to be self sufficient...

If you want it to become a TCG... That means you expect players to TRADE cards. Pokemon is like that: it's a TCG first. Many kids just collect the cards and trade them with their friends. That's why Pokemon is a TCG. So is Yu-Gi-Oh! Both games are geared to a younger audience of players where trading is encouraged...

Magic: the Gathering is a CCG... Where the first "C" stands for Collectible. In this case players "collect" cards to their ever growing collection of cards. To my knowledge, I rarely see people "trading" Magic cards. Most of what I have seen is buying "singles" as the aftermarket of un-opened boosters.

Now since I can plug XTG3 ... two (2) of the games I am working on are "eXpandable Tabletop Games". The games have been designed for expandability. What it means is that when you buy the game, there are sure ways that the game you originally bought will have expansions for the "core" game. Or a game can come out with the SETS (grouping) of cards to be added to the original set of cards... This might be closer to what you were thinking.

Rickiticki wrote:
As far as art goes, I'm an artist. Freelance artist anyway.

Well given that fact, well that can help in terms of producing artwork.

Since you wanted feedback - my advice is to "stay away" from TCG/CCG models. I can find you other designers that shelved their projects. Look at "Legacy TCG" it's dead, the designer is no longer investing time into the project. Or @Daniel's "Zodiak TCG" (you can search for it on BGDF...) The links to the project have been deleted (so my guess another failure).

I'm just showing you that others have "explored" the space - without success. And again I'm not trying to discourage you... But to help realize the challenges in putting out a TCG...

Cheers.

ElKobold
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I would change the concept as

I would change the concept as follows:

Have a common pool of spells drawn from a common deck. 3-4 of them are revealed and replaced with a new one, when a spell is cast.

On his turn player tries to reveal 2+ of the same type of mana cards. If he succeeds, he may cast a spell which requires that many mana if there is one available. (Have some spells which shuffle the mana "board".)

Don't try to make it "MTG-like". Make it much _much_ simpler than that. Think King of Tokio level of complexity.

Don't focus on 1v1. Make it a 2-4 player free-for-all.

~100 cards (25 mana, ~60 spells, + maybe some hero cards with unique powers).
Small box, $20.

That might work, given decent artwork.

questccg
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Or go in the opposite direction

Imagine YOUR "contribution" to the game is creating a deck of 50 "Mana" cards.

Player's use their OWN "Magic" cards to play... But include NO "Land" cards in their decks. Since the amount of lands is 40% of 60 cards, that means that decks should be built with 35+ cards.

Each "Mana" card has a "suit" (Red, Green, Blue, Black or White) in the middle of the card and four (4) "anycolor" values around the card. The highest possible value is 10 for each suit. The other values vary per statistics of the "anycolor" values. I believe 1 "anycolor" is the MOST popular.

For each mana symbol (or anycolor value) that appears on your card, that's the amount of cards you may draw PLUS one ("Mana symbols +1").

So if it's a FOUR (anycolor), a Green and a Red. What you must do to accomplish this is:

  • Pick out a Mana card with a FOUR (or higher) around the card.
  • Pick out a Green card (center)
  • Pick out a Red card (center)

You must do it in the number of "colors" + 1. So if it is a 16 "anycolor" cost, you must do it in 2 cards. In our example, you must do it in 4 cards.

Cards can be designed to 2.5" x 2.5" is size (SQUARE) and be more familiar to the likes of a "memory"-based games and allow "rotation" of the card to the desired anycolor value.

Here's a sample of one "Mana" card (in this case Red/Fire):


Didn't want to "de-rail" this thread... But I've reconsidered the VALUE of the "Memory Grid" IF it would be possible to play Magic (Yeah - the real game) using some form of "variant"...

My sincerest apologies for posting these thoughts... I just wanted to offer another "general direction" that could be explored for your main mechanic.

Cheers!

questccg
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Stones of Fate

If you want to look at another game that is similar in that they use a Grid (I believe 3 x 3), check out "Stones of Fate" (Dice Tower Review with Zee Garcia for Stones of Fate)

They use a Grid for the Tarot cards... So while the concept is similar, your original idea was different.

Rickiticki
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Expandable Tabletop Game

questccg wrote:
Now since I can plug XTG3 ... two (2) of the games I am working on are "eXpandable Tabletop Games". The games have been designed for expandability. What it means is that when you buy the game, there are sure ways that the game you originally bought will have expansions for the "core" game. Or a game can come out with the SETS (grouping) of cards to be added to the original set of cards... This might be closer to what you were thinking.

That does seem to be the most accurate depiction of what I would like this game to become. And expandable tabletop game. And to clarify, I want there to be an element of CCG in it as well, allowing players to buy expansions and create an ever growing set of cards to vary their strategies with. An expandable tabletop game with CCG elements.

ElKobold wrote:
Don't try to make it "MTG-like". Make it much _much_ simpler than that. Think King of Tokio level of complexity.

Don't focus on 1v1. Make it a 2-4 player free-for-all.

And I don't know if I said it in my initial post, but I am not fashioning this game after MTG or Yugioh or Pokemon. Those were just examples of the play style so people could understand the game flow better. I intend for it to be pretty simple. Simple, but not lacking depth and strategy. I would like the game as well to incorporate more than 2 players as well. FFA or teams could be interesting.

questccg
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Five Stones

The other concept that is sort of inspired by "Stones of Fate" is to have FIVE (5) colored stones: Red, Green, Blue, White and Black. One of each.

Setup a 4x4 area with cards face down. Randomly place the stones and flip the cards on which they are assigned to.

  • Now it would be a question of laterally moving the stones: either rows or columns. But stopping whenever there is another stone.

  • Rotating a face up card to match a certain value for one or more stones.

  • Looking at one of the hidden cards (without any stones).

  • Drawing a card from your "Library" into your hand.

This is sort of Japanese "inspired" type of play. You could have 3 Action Points (APs) per turn. And you can perform one or many of the actions above.

Stormyknight1976
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LCG

LCG = Living Card Game system. Fantasy Flight Games has created this system for their games where the core deck is 80 cards. But the mechanic for their system is = four cards of same to use one card ability? Huh?

Its been awhile since of what I read on their website. Say like 2009.

Back in 2004, when I started creating Dymino Monsters, I was considering to use the tcg or ccg format due to the fact that the market was saturated with the same format. I thought about this for quite sometime. I had 28 different monsters for two players to play test. The game was not random enough to play through. I did have a mechanic to play with the cards but it didn't work.

Fast foward to the present.
80 to 102 cards per chapter deck for the maximum playing deck. Minimum playing chapter deck can be 40 to 60. It all depends on how the player sees fit to customize their chapter decks. The smallest chapter deck has 8. This small deck can be added to any number size of your choosing during game play. I borrowed the LCG format but I took out the idea of having 4 of the same cards to do one thing in the game like Fantasy Flight Games has done for their game system.

I do have a core deck, 80 cards. All other decks varies from chapter to chapter and there is no reason to have multiple cards to do one thing. Its all upto the player on how they want to play.

Now you could go with the RPS = rock paper scissor game mechanic with the ccg / tcg format similar to what the Power Rangers Card game is. I have not played this format but I did buy one booster pack just for the brand and to see what this rps format was all about. It was different to me to say the least. A format that I didn't even consider for a card game.

Look at all of your gaming format options. Consider what you want your audience is willing to collect and or trade during your game play. Monsters, books, rocks, cars, planes, ships from the 1800's to the present, motorcycles, pedal bikes, pens, marbles, enchantment books, gladiators male and female, political people or business people for your business game or sports players from baseball, soccer, hockey, football, or racing games,

Find the stuff your into and mix and match those ideas.

Stormy

McTeddy
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I have some major concerns

I have some major concerns that pops into my head when I read the post. Maybe you have solution to it, maybe you don't.

If it works like a memory game where you discard the cards after use... what would a player do when the mana they need is gone? For example, a fire mage primarily uses Fire mana which works great for early game... but he's spent all 10 cards can't cast anything else.

If you don't discard the cards it leads to an equally concerning issue. What's to stop the player from spamming the same few mana since they know where it is. This basically means the minimum mana you'll be able to spend will go up each time it's revealed.

And if you start refreshing or moving around to offset these issues you run the risk of killing the memory-game aspect and it's just a bloated way of generating random resources.

I'm not saying it won't or can't work just that you'll probably want to get some tests onto the table to see that it functions the way you intended.

Rickiticki
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Good Point McTeddy

Thanks for pointing that out McTeddy. I haven't addressed some of the finer game mechanics as I was just throwing a brief summary out there, but you are correct, that is a legitimate issue I have run into.

My solution is to make the "mana pool" refreshable. (Thats what Im calling the memory match board at this point.) The intent is that when players use element cards to play summons or spells, they discard them into the mana discard pile. When the mana pool empties completely, the used ones will be shuffled and then dealt back into the mana pool. You will not keep said element cards in your hand after using them so no chance at spamming.

I am going to have some spell cards and abilities that interact with the way players draw mana from the mana pool to add some strategy and surprise to the game, to try and keep this mechanic fresh and more than just "remember where these 2 cards are, and then draw them". Players will be able to interfere with this process and even steal/destroy mana that other players are trying to obtain.

I am going to try and put together a working proto-type within the next week or two to test all these mechanics out and see if they work as well as they do on paper. But thanks so far everyone for expressing some interesting my project. :) It is appreciated.

questccg
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Some other details

Rickiticki wrote:
...My solution is to make the "mana pool" refreshable...

Why not when you make a match, you remove those 2 cards from the pool??? And then replace them with two (2) new ones, face down (secret).

What I've tried to show with my other "design idea" is that cards have MANA VALUES. It's not just one (1) "Red" that is sufficient. Are you telling me that each and every spell will cost 1 MANA???

I had thought of this as I wonder about using a similar Mechanic for STANDARD Magic gaming.

If you "Match" two (2) cards, you'll need VALUES on them to say cast a FIRE SPELL costing 3 FIRE MANA (for example).

In your game you might be able to get away with specific matches... But what if a spell requires one (1) Red (FIRE) and one (1) Green (EARTH)??? Does that mean you need to match two sets (so 4 cards)???

Traditional Magic is more complex because it can go up to 15 "anycolor" Mana. Meaning all you need it 15 Mana and it can be any type. If in your game you don't have this, well then you just need to worry about the mixing and matching of colors.

Just some other issues I figured I'd point out - since I have thought about the Mechanic a little further and ... I see some points that are unresolved.

Best of luck(?!) with your game!

Rickiticki
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Hope This Answers Some Questions

questccg wrote:
Why not when you make a match, you remove those 2 cards from the pool??? And then replace them with two (2) new ones, face down (secret).

That is something I considered. Play testing will be a good way to find out what works better. I didn't know if it would feel tedious replacing cards every time you draw from the pile.

questccg wrote:
What I've tried to show with my other "design idea" is that cards have MANA VALUES. It's not just one (1) "Red" that is sufficient. Are you telling me that each and every spell will cost 1 MANA???

I am not telling you that. Yes, each element card will represent 1 mana of that type. But spells and summons will have varying costs. Some may cost 1 FIRE mana, some may cost 5 WATER mana. There may even be room for combo spells of 1 WIND and 1 EARTH mana. Also, there will be ANY COLOR mana costs as well. (I.e. Spell will cost 2 FIRE and 2 of any other type to cast.) I am going to try and keep the mana costs a bit lower, trying not to exceed more than 8 or so. But the quantities of everything are going to need tweaking during the play testing for sure, something I'll be more concerned about during the prototyping.

questccg wrote:
In your game you might be able to get away with specific matches... But what if a spell requires one (1) Red (FIRE) and one (1) Green (EARTH)??? Does that mean you need to match two sets (so 4 cards)???

Yes, cards requiring multiple elements will require multiple matches. However, I'm going to include other ways of retrieving mana as well to maybe offset this. A spell card to "steal" mana from a players hand. A passive ability that allows a player to retrieve a specific type of mana from the mana discard pile. Etc etc.

questccg wrote:
Just some other issues I figured I'd point out - since I have thought about the Mechanic a little further and ... I see some points that are unresolved.

It's true, there are still a lot of unresolved issues. It's still super early in the development phase so Im still writing and rewriting rules. :)

questccg
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Good idea!

Rickiticki wrote:
...It's true, there are still a lot of unresolved issues. It's still super early in the development phase so Im still writing and rewriting rules. :)

Well it looks like you have spent some time thinking about the Mechanic. And it shows that you have a good grasp about the various issues that need to be examined more closely.

Cheers!

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