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TCG Brainstorming idea Challenge

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/03/2017

As someone who was interested in trading cards and Board games I have pondered an idea for a bit and thought it would make for a unique challenge to Card Game designers. I've recently been trying to create a couple of card games myself so after finding this site I felt I'd like to share and see what everyone thinks and would like to take up the challenge.

Here is the challenge, do you think it is possible to create a game that makes use of, or only uses non-TCG Cards as playable cards?

If we break down trading cards into their basic elements we should be able to assign things like attack power, weapon type, and a whole slough of other abilities to their elements. Those elements include, Card numbers, stats (like baseball cards) rarity like foil cards, character type from the pictures/illustrations, weapons also from illustrations or even stand alone item cards from other trading cards like the zelda series. Card colors, hierarchy of letter sizes etc. and special things like pieces of jerseys or bats can give special abilities. I feel that with a little thought and some creativity, this would be possible without too much difficulty given a lot of people to think on it.

Probably the more difficult aspect to figure out is the game type? should it be a fighting type game like Yomi, or more like MtG, does the difficulty in figuring out the card elements require it to be more simple like an RPS type game? heck there's no reason why several types of game would work either!

I would like to know initially what you think about the concept? if you know of anything like it, or think it's possible? What's a some of the challenges, and where is a good place to start? You can try and figure out any aspect of this it is a discussion after with the hopes something could be figured out. One thing I thought would be worth keeping in mind is having to use fresh packs of cards when you play a game so that there is a total unknown factor of what you're getting. And if you want to gamble a little to the victor goes the spoils.

I'll edit and try to direct the discussion as it progresses, but mostly i hope you all find it a fun exercise!


Thinking about the type of info on Trading Cards, it would make sense for sport cards to used for a Magic the Gathering type Game. Complex but should be doable.


Tbone's picture
Joined: 02/18/2013
Some ideas...

So you're saying that any card set that is not used for TCG games could essentially be filtered through a TCG formula to make a game out of them? I see you are somewhat focused on baseball cards as an option to this theory. What are the other options even excluding cards?

Baseball cards (hits, runs, average swing speed, number etc. = stats; Team, bat type, hat color, position, etc. = special abilities)

Books (Number of pages, number of chapters, reviews, etc. = stats; Theme, characters, etc. = special abilities)

Coupons (Percentage off, number of items, amount saved, expiration date etc. = stats; Store needed, color, font, reward program, etc. = special abilities)

Nutrition Labels (Calories, protein, sugar, fat etc. = stats; Ingredients, vitamins, etc. = special abilities)

Pharmaceutical Labels (when you take it, how much in the bottle, how many mg in each capsule, etc. = stats; Side affects, doctor prescribed, pharmacy bought from, etc. = special abilities)

Elements Descriptions (number of protons/neutrons/electrons, etc. = stats; Type of element, interactions with other elements, etc. = special abilities)

Joined: 08/03/2017
re: some ideas

Yes filtering the card info through a formula is the essential idea, though the formula wouldn't have to be TCG specific and could be simpler if possible. For example instead of being complicated like MtG it could be more basic like a variant of WAR or RPS but with a few different abilities. This is a big part of the challenge.

I like the thought of including other sources. But for sake of not getting too crazy with items I figure keeping it with Trading Cards is more than enough. Trading Cards are one or two steps away from TCG Cards so why not keep it simple and just try to develop a game formate for them. I only picked Baseball (or other sport) cards just because of how prolific they are. You can find many other types of trading cards, like video game and comics etc. I've been collecting some zelda one recently that would work just as well (no stats but i don't see that being a problem depending on the game type). I just figured there is already a huge source of different trading cards that you can make use of, something you may already have or can buy at any grocery/supermarket. TCs have all the same production of TCGs so why bring too much confusion with coupons, labels etc.

Books however I like, might be worth looking into a variant, i like the ability of the player to source things to help their "character" but that could prove difficult. The benefit of sticking to Trading Cards is all the stats, info production is the same, already taken care of and it's more a matter of deck building, or blind fighting or any other type of play that can be worked out.

I don't want the focus on Sports Cards Only, but there may be types of games that would best use sports cards since they tend to have the most info.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Maybe it's just me...

But I'm not seeing where any of this will lead to a "Game". First of all, we all know the "Golden Rule": never design a TCG or CCG, you are going to lose all your time and effort to produce something which is a "fraction" of a TCG or CCG. You need a TON of money to get a TCG or CCG to work.

Secondly, do NOT make the assumption that IF players play other TCGs like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh! or even a CCG like Magic, they will transition to ANOTHER game. Wrong. Those players play those games for a reason. They are not going to abandon their collections of cards they've spent money and time (and maybe some luck) in collecting just to play your game.

And who exactly is going to play something using "sport cards" as if it was a TCG or CCG. You would probably be better off DESIGNING a way to play "Baseball" or "Hockey" given trading cards. Of course both sports are radically different and would require each a given rule set too.

Perhaps something like "League Draft" where you try to collect the best players in your team to WIN a "Stanley Cup" or the "World Series". That's something that is possible... But @Gabe Barrett (Board Game Design Lab) has ALREADY created a Football game about being the Manager of a Football team. I'm sure he can create another form of game from it to suit another sport too. Like Baseball or Hockey.

I'm not trying to tell you to "abandon" your idea. I just don't see it working unless you stick to something more realistic...

Here is the game link to Gabe's game:

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
And why I link to Gabe's game

Is because I TOO had the idea a couple years ago about using Hockey Cards... But when I SAW @Gabe's game not too long ago, I was like "There you have it..."

It simulates everything that goes on from Free-Agents, to Draft, to simulating a few games per season...

Everything you would want in a "MANAGER"-style game for any given sport.

I've since dropped the idea about developing a Hockey game - since I pretty much think @Gabe can ADAPT his game to multiple sports with some level of challenge, given that his current game is American Football.

You've got to admit - @Gabe's game looks pretty cool and FUN to play.

Again not trying to discourage you, just pointing out some thing that have already been designed... and are pretty impressive.

Joined: 05/11/2010
I like the idea. You save on

I like the idea. You save on the production aspect, as you just piggy back on something a certain segment are ALREADY collecting. You give people something fun to do with something they already like. Cool potential for a print+play type thing.

You're right that sports would be simplest, as they already have a kind of stats on them.

Books would be interesting. Here's my first idea. Each player has their stack of 5 books they bring. You draw cards (or use an app or web page or something) which say a type of phrase to find. Both players choose a single book to search, and the first player to find a matching phrase in their book gets a reward. Then the book you searched goes to the discarded books pile, which you can't search until all of your books are exhausted. Maybe instead of the deck of cards/app, you go back and forth. You find a phrase in your book and "attack" and the other player has to find a matching phrase. It's a start. Hopefully both players know their books pretty well :)

I remember there was a game sort of like pokemon that generated monsters based on cds you would put in the playstation. Um... monster rancher I believe? You could take the name, base color, and type (character, object, vehicle) and plug them into some formula that generates random stats for that type. So a red coppercino would give you a vehicle with a certain speed and cargo size, a green links bow would give you a weapon with a random range and power. If you have a third party, you could even have the stats be generated in a guided fashion. The "judge" would look at the cards and listen to players make their case for what stats they should be, maybe using a chart as a general guide, and then rule which card is the winner.

Having the "judge" opens up some possibilities. If you use app assistance, you could build it so you take a picture of the cards, and save their stats for later games. The chosen stats could even be uploaded to the internet for other players! If you take a picture of a card the app knows about, it just tells you the stats!

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