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too much versus too little

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mindwarper10
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Joined: 06/13/2010

So I came up with this game idea (actually what game me the idea was final fantasy, but whats funny is, it was final fantasy 10, one that doesn't have a card game (last I checked, unless theres one you unlock later in the game or something, which I doubt...)
Anyways the original idea was a battle on three different fronts, you had the main battle field, where your troops would be, you had the heroes, and the card slots that would affect the other two fields, and then you had a sort of economic front. You had to overpower the opponent on all three fronts, and eventually kill the player himself/herself, as you won on each front you would have an easier time focusing on another, because you had one hand, and two decks, each deck had to have certain types of cards. for example the economic cards and the "spell" cards were together, and the event cards and the troop cards were together.
Now I got rid of the economic front, and made just the battle field.
Each player can have up to 3 heroes, starting with just one.
the battle field starts with these one heroes on the player side.
There are 4 slots for equipment cards, 2 slots for artifact cards (essentially booster cards that benifit troops, such as increasing attack range, damage or movement and such.) and players can summon up to 2 more heroes. no two heroes can share the same name (so no bob the ranger, bob the barbarian, and shining bob, but you could have billy the ranger, bob the ranger, and shining joe the ranger archer dude who is still shining)
if at any time a player has no heroes he is defeated.
there are 7 ability/spell slots, spells and abilities can either be permanantly given to a hero, or cast strait from a troop.
there is also one "free" slot, but only one card can occupy it per turn, if you have an ability there and you want to replace it with an artifact, you must remove the ability that turn, then place the artifact the next turn.

I have special "grids" or growth paths for heroes, essentially leveling, there are ten levels. as long as you have chosen a slot on the grid then you can choose any slot connected to any previously chosen slot.
Each grid is different (and if I ever start selling them, there will be special grid packs) there are three different types of grids.
Linear paths have very little choice, while there are still more than 10 choices, you will be stuck to a set path. These are good if you have a set path for the hero in mind, and need no deviations.
Random paths have a multitude of choices, and a plethora of connected slots, but there is no easily defined path. a +2mp slot may be connected to a +1move slot and a +1 attack slot, and then both might suddenly stop at a +1hp slot.
These are good for heroes who need "evened out"
Unlimited are easier than random but have less connections. there are multiple defined paths, of course you still could choose however you want, but each path may be best for certain hero types (for example a hero with high attack low movement and no range might want a path of speed and range, or maybe wants to be able to use more powerful spells, so needs to follow a mp path. these may be best for players who have certain agendas for their heroes.
Each hero must have his own growth path, each path will have a different look to it (different shapes and paths.)
Since heroes have two cards ( a large card, the main card with all the heroes stats (ie, the heroes hand size, attack, movement, etc., and a small card that if the hero doesnt start in play, is used to bring them into battle (multiple summoning cards allowed, but once in play, the hero can never be summoned again for that player, at least not in that combat hahaha)
(heroes will randomly be in the growth packs, so if I sell this game, and you bought a growth pack, youll get a certain amount of paths and maybe a few heroes with their cards.)

I also wish to have summons (probably the second thing Im copying from final fantasy) each summon comes in differently than troops, instead of appearing on the players side, they temporarilly replace the hero.

Oh I forgot to mention the "skill" system. each troop and hero has certain "skills" these may be labeled fire 1/3 magic 2/4 sword 2/2 or racially such as dragon 1/5.
The first number is the characters skill level, certain cards may raise these levels, but never above the second number.
Spells and abilities require certain skills or just a skill to be used (meaning a giant who is fire 1/3 could use a fire spell that is level 1, even if it has low mp and is built primarilly for melee combat)
certain spells/abilities require different skills, some skills can be interchanged if the card says so (fire1/3, magic 2/3) or some must be together (fire1/3/magic2/3) and some cards may allow interchanging multiple requirements (fire1/3/magic2/3, magic1/3/dragon1/3)

I mentioned earlier that I had two decks, I still have that as a plan, the idea is since a players hand is determined by their heroes, they must choose which pile to draw from, Items/events/heroes are in one deck, and artifacts/troops/spells are in another. You only draw one card per turn per hero, (unless one of the paths increase draw rate) so its a choice that must be made.

I think Ive mentioned all I have so far. ( I have not made any cards yet)
Im not sure how to determain what troops may be brought in.
I am not wanting to use mp, even though spells and abilities can only be used one at a time once in a round in place of attacks, Im currently thinking of basing it off of character level, and only allowing maybe one or two troops called at a time.

I kind of want to add a city/economic aspect to the game, but not sure if that would be a good idea.

aside from those two issues, what do you think?
any help or info? ideas?

SlyBlu7
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Joined: 03/15/2012
It's a pretty heavy game.

It's a pretty heavy game. Right now you have a top-down mechanic, where keeping your heroes alive benefits your troops. Can the troops conversely affect the heroes - can they attack the hero if there are no other troops on the board? If so, how do Troop attacks vary from Hero attacks - so that the Hero can effectively fight off the enemy.
As it stands, the win condition is to kill the hero. The troops seem incredibly secondary to me - yay, my hero gives all my soldiers +3 to killing your soldiers, but that doesn't help me kill your hero... and your hero is currently bending me over a table.

Also, how do characters earn experience, how quickly do they earn it, and how much do they need before they level up? There's no need to have 10 levels if the game will end before you actually reach the final level. In my card-based RPG, my characters are very similar to your heroes - they level up from 1 to 10, and earn skills and gain equipment along the way. However, it's a cooperative game that doesn't end until at least one of the characters reaches lvl10 and unlocks the final boss for the players to defeat. Leveling could take forever, so I made it so that most of the time, you will gain a level after every fight, so that the game doesn't bog down and can be played in one sitting.

You have a very complex leveling system right now. I imagine that all of the skill benefits for each path are laid out right on the path diagram, which to me is about the size of a 2'x3' poster to keep track of it all. Can you imagine a player sifting through 3 or 4 of these posters, plus managing his deck, tracking combat, bringing in Summons, and running an economy? The table alone would be so crowded with diagrams and rules that it would dwarf the actual Card vs. Card game area.

I would start by either dropping the card mechanics of the game and turning it into a book-and-miniature based game like Warhammer or Warmachine, or drastically slimming down the leveling mechanic. Perhaps each player must choose each character's path *before* the game, choosing which skill to gain at each level and organizing them into an unshuffled deck of cards for each character. First level up, draw the first cards from the top of the deck, next level up, draw the next card. This makes out-of-the-game planning a very large undertaking, but at least it keeps the game simple. It's still a little cluttered, since the player will be sitting on 2/3 decks for their characters, but at least it's better than having to manage several massive charts.

If the troops do nothing, I would get rid of them and focus more heavily on the Summons and the way that they bump characters out of the action for a moment. This of course could bog down the game, unless you reverted to a sort of Yu-Gi-Oh mechanic where damage not stopped by the Defense of the target monster over-flowed onto the character who summoned it (which is adding a lot more math to the game, making it faster to play but more 'dense' in terms of rules and concentration).

My girlfriend and her uncle are both huge fans of Final Fantasy, having played it all the way up from 1 to 13-2. I've always seen the way that it is card-based, and I think that the mechanic really fits the console games. However, they are games where a single player can have access to literally *thousands* of cards over the course of the game. This number drops drastically during a battle, but you don't feel the full effects of a level-up *during* a battle. If you translated FF directly over to cards, you would firstly have HUGE stacks of physical cards (I don't know if you've seen what 500 cards looks like -it's kind of like asking people if they've seen a million dollars laid out in bills) per player, and secondly, you would have a LOT of mathematics that are usually worked out by computer programming (I'm an Elder Scrolls fan, and I used to have 2 and 3 page equations for the likelihood that I would successfully enchant an item in Morrowind - no lie).

You are forced to trade off detail for playability. The more accurate your portrayal of FF10, the harder it is to actually play your game. The easier it is to play the game, the less true it is to the original. So the question inevitably becomes - if your game offers less accuracy and/or less playabiltiy, why not just play the console game?
My card-rpg started as a direct clone of D&D4e. Eventually I realized that I wanted a game that could actually be finished in less time than it took to play a D&D campaign, so I cut a LOT of stuff out of the design. 66% of the levels in fact, almost 90% of the powers, over 50% of the weapons and equipment, and completely reworked the D20-based combat system to work on a colors-and-symbols D6 system. The game was drastically simpler, but people love it, until you tell that it is meant to replace 4e. Then they all start ranting that 4e is superior because it has more options and more customization and more strategic combat etc etc etc... but they just had more fun playing my game in 90 minutes than they've ever had playing a D&D campaign for 90 days. Don't bind yourself to FF10 as the pinnacle of what you hope to achieve. Instead, try to convey the same feeling of white-knuckled combat, but in a faster, more accessible manner.

mindwarper10
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Joined: 06/13/2010
will work on slimming it down (do weight shakes count?)

Well troops can attack heroes, and thats the idea of the troops, to kill each other and the heroes.
I was also thinking a chess like directional attack system, but I discarded that idea.

Heroes will have greater health, and have a decent attack

For the leveling system, I was thinking each level of creature contributes to the level, and a hero needs x amount of levels killed to gain a level

and the gained skills are marked by small tokens placed upon the chosen stat

and im not trying to copy ff10, mostly the level idea came from it
(I have made it a personal life goal to play every final fantasy game, within reason of course, like not 12 and 14 unless I actually get the chance...so far I have made it to 10

I also thrive on complicated things, I cant do simple, I have tried...even as a child in school, simple projects were always either complicated or boring.
(example is in the game...I wanted to make a card game....it started simple enough..t.hen it evolved...and evolved...)

kos
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Joined: 01/17/2011
Start simple

Your ideas in the first paragraph look good, but then I think it starts to get bogged down in too much detail. As SlyBlu said, a board/card game must be vastly simpler than an equivalent computer game in order to be playable. With the number of ideas going on, it looks like your game would take many, many hours to play.

That said, if you start again from your original premise and keep it as simple as possible, I think it has a lot of potential. Having 3 different "fronts" to fight on gives room for players to try different tactics -- I could focus on powerful heroes while you build up a poweful army. In order to be playable, such a game would need to have a vastly simplified skill/levelling system, if at all.

On the other hand, if the hero levelling and skill system is important to you, then you may need to downplay or remove the army and economic elements.

Regards,
kos

mindwarper10
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Joined: 06/13/2010
The hero leveling system

The hero leveling system isn't really important to me, at least not in this game, and definantly not to get rid of other factors of the game. I might go back with my original idea, jsut based on what you two have said.

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