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WorldQuest Card Game (long)

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Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009

One of the various game concepts I created during the past years is called "WorldQuest Online". And of course its not an online game - its a really weird fantasy card-game for 2 to 8 (or even more) players. The initial idea was inspired by a guy on the internet who created an "MMORPG Simulator" playable offline for Mac and Windows computers. I found the idea so thrilling that I gave it a try on my own - as a beer and pretzel style card game variation that allows real multiplayer frenzy (8 people or up).

The background of this card-game is very geek/nerd focused - so it may not be everyones taste (due to the MMORPG background story). But the faszinating aspect of "simulating a simulated world" is just too tempting not to use it in a cardgame. So, if you like - please read my summary of "WorldQuest Online" and grant me some feedback - as I am still stuck in early design stages:

WorldQuest Online - Introduction
"Congratulations! You are the new CEO of a small software company trying to become the industry leader by developing the most hyped MMORPG available. With a full staff of programmers, designers and artists to obey your will, its your turn to lead the company through the development process into a bright future!"

The Goal
The game is played for a fixed number of 20 turns wich represent the development stages of your online computer game from Development to the Final Release. After the last turn is over - the player who's MMORPG has the highest Hype Rating - wins the game.

Game Turns
The game lasts exactly 20 turns - divided into four phases of five turns each: Development, Alpha, Beta and Release. During each of the phases you are able to play cards up to a specific level. For example during Development you can only play cards up to level 2, and while in Beta you can play cards up to level 6.

The Hype Rating
Each player gathers a certain amount of hype at the end of his turn. This depends on the number of satisfied players playing the game. The amount of hype you gain depends on the number of players - at the end of the 20th turn all the hype ratings are counted and compared and the player with the highest hype rating wins the game.

The Decks
Just like in a TCG/CCG each player maintains a deck of his own, this deck contains everything necessary to build a successful MMORPG: Player Character Classes, Zones, Challenges, Rewards, Locations, Monsters and so on. Each player prepares a deck before the game starts - drafting the decks can be kept really simple or the players can go into detail like in every other TCG - just as preffered.

The Cards
The Cards are the installments a player can program into his MMORPG. This includes almost every aspect of a MMORPG game like WOW, Guildwars, Warhammer and the like. Card Types include Zones (wich represent the lands your monsters and players roam), Classes (wich represents the basic player types available in your game), NPCS (a mixture of monsters, questgivers, bosses and merchants), Locations (buildings you place ontop of zones to make them more challenging and enable stronger monsters to be placed there) as well as many others. Each card has a level, a cost and of course a text-box with lots of special rules.

The Buzz
Inspired by the LOTR TCG - the resource system in my game is very different from what you find in MTG or other CCG's: The Buzz is a fictive rating for each player that represents who much squabble
there is regarding his game. Almost every card a player can play from his hand either increases the buzz or reduces it. There is no limit on how high the buzz of a player can become - but there is a limit to cards that cost buzz in order to bring them into play. this means you can play an infinite amount of cards wich
increase your buzz - but you can only play cards that decrease buzz when there is enough buzz available.

Lots of cards are reffered to as events - and together with "the buzz" bringing those cards into play is very similar to the twilight system of the LOTR CCG. Events are for example trying to sabotage your opponents game by hacking it or searching for exploits - to play those event cards you have to deplete the buzz pool of your opponent, wich limits the amount of hazard you can cast.

The whole game idea is right now more or less shredded - I try to post a few partial insights to give you a clue how this is supposed to be working (as I cannot provide a full description at this point):

One of the card types are Zones wich represent all kinds of magical forests, swamps, rivers, islands, Mt. Doom, Rabite Forest, Astoria Lake, the Airship, the Abyss and the Fairyland itself. Zone cards are placed vertical in your playing area and only you can access them. Each player controls his own set of zones and every zone has one or more (up to four) connector arrows at the card border. Those connectors allows the attachment of other zones to it - wich enables a player to create a world by connecting them. During each of your turns you can only bring one new zone into play - and every zone increases your buzz by its cost.

Cards - Player Classes
There are many character classes in the game wich can be brought into play in your playing area. only you can access them and they represent everything from warriors to wizards, rangers and thiefs. when you bring a class card into play it does not represent a single character - instead it just represents a class your players can choose when playing your game. when bringing a class into play - you place a certain amount of tokens on it - those tokens represent the pool of players who are willing to play the class. later on you can move the tokens from your class card into your starting zone. all tokens wich are placed on a zone are considered to be subscribing players of your game.

Cards - Challenges/Quests/Locations
Cards placed on top of locations - those cards represent the things your players can do. the cards are all targeted at one or more specific classes. they represent everything like towns, temples, magical ponds, dungeons, wizard towers, castles, battle sites, dragon hoards, abyssal caves or planar gates. the more tokens of a specific class you have local to a Challenge/Quest/Location card - the easier it is for your players to beat them - and the more satisfying. Beating those challenges grants you the ability to play reward cards - and more important: it hypes your game.

Cards - Rewards
Those cards are placed underneath your class cards. They are specific to the different classes and represent everything from magical weapons, to armor, or spells, artifacts, relics, power potions, helmets, wands and so on. As there is no real battle system in this game - those cards have a completely different purpose: besides their special rules (wich lets your players beat some challenges easier) they serve the main purpose to SATISFY YOUR PLAYERS!

Turn Phase - Playtime
During this phase of the turn all your player tokens move, or attend local challenges - whatever suits their behaivor (warrior classes battle everything local to them or move towards the nearest enemy to battle him next turn - mages try to attend non-combat challenges or move towards towns or adjacent non-combat challenges and the like - there will be at least 5 basic behaviors for the main player archetypes in the game).

Turn Phase - Subscribers
Each killed player token drains your buzz. At the end of the turn the remaining buzz is used to calculate if there are new subsribers to your game or if people quit the game. when they quit, you choose player tokens already in play to be destroyed - and when gaining new subscribers you place additional tokens on your class cards , ready to enter play next turn.

Turn Phase- Hype
At the end of all players turns, every player counts the number of players he has in play right now. the player with the highest number of players (subscribers) wins this round and gains +1 hype rating. after the 20th game turn - the player with the highest hype rating wins the game.

phew - thats it for now. I know its all very badly explained and still very blurry. But maybe some of you are able to catch the main thought of this game of indirect competition. Basically every player tries to expand his world by adding as many zones and character classes as possible. Then you place locations on top of your zones and send your player-tokens questing in order to gain rewards. in the meantime you harass your opponents with as many sabotage-like event cards as possible to prevent them from gaining too many subscribers. on your way towards turn 20 your have learned that in order to win you need: as many zones as possible, with as many beatable challenges as you can afford, while providing enough classes and witfully placing rewards so that your player tokens stand a chance against them. you create a microscopic card-based MMORPG world for your tokens to beat and shield it from your opponents attacks while striving for as much hype as possible to be crowned the game industry leader.

*takes a deep breath*

any feedback? everything is welcome. I need help especially how the player tokens come into play and how many of them, how they move and how challenges are made. Later on Realm VS. Realm War would also be an option (my players attacking your MMORPG world and so on).

Crazy? Too Crazy?

Joined: 08/01/2008
You could use this basic idea,

and especially this bit:

Fhizban wrote:
During this phase of the turn all your player tokens move, or attend local challenges - whatever suits their behaivor (warrior classes battle everything local to them or move towards the nearest enemy to battle him next turn - mages try to attend non-combat challenges or move towards towns or adjacent non-combat challenges and the like - there will be at least 5 basic behaviors for the main player archetypes in the game).

and have a 'simulator' of being the ruler of a fantasy world - trying to attract enough warriors to beat back the dragons, but not so many that they turn to banditry or try to take over, and so on.

It could be kind of like managing the ecology of a national park, but with fantasy character types instead of animal species.

Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009
Okay, after thinking about

after thinking about the idea a bit more - I decided to remove the MMORPG aspect for now. It seems to be too abstract and may scare players away. Not that the idea is abandoned forever, but at the moment i rather turn the game into a "fantasy world simulator". thats already enough.

so each player tries to build and maintain a microscopic fantasy world by laying cards and populating the world with heroes and monsters. the goal is to gather victory points (or whatever) and this is done by maintaining some sort of "natural balance" between challenges and rewards.

the world you create must not be too challenging, but on the other hand it may not be too rewarding in order to gain the most victory points.

still very, very blurry. i think i brainstorm some cards and see where it goes from there...

dtrik's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
personally, I think the game

personally, I think the game would be much more interesting and original if you stuck to the MMORPG theme. the managing micro-fantasy worlds doesn't sound as compelling. This may or may not be of any use to you, since I am familiar with the genre, then again most people are these days. Just something to consider, the buzz and hype elements are very original (I like how buzz is a fluctuating rating that will influence whether or not you gain hype, the victory points). I'd say stick with the MMO theme.

Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009
So i added a blog entry, and

So i added a blog entry, and more important - an image that shows the layout of the playmat for one player. You can see it here (rather large, and original size is recommended to be readable):

This was made with the MMORPG aspect still in mind. I just have to agree dtrik, the MMORPG aspect is really cool and original. Maybe I can gather a few thoughts about the theme?

Jpwoo's picture
Joined: 03/26/2009
I like the MMO Theme as well.

I like the MMO Theme as well. The theme is ripe for some parody and it is interesting.

One thing that comes to mind is mmos all try to be unique. So maybe buzz goes down for every duplicate card in play. "sigh all these games have rangers, I wanna play a cyborg ninja! no game has that yet!" This could go for zones, characters, monsters whatever.

Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009
Funny idea, that with the

Funny idea, that with the duplicates!

One more thing:

Although this will be a MMORPG simulator game - i want to keep the focus on the game itself. It shall feel like you are the admin of a game world and can decide where the new dungeon is placed, what items to allow and wich classes to add. The focus will be completely on the gameworld itself - okay, there will be things like "real-life events", sabotage, bugs and the like. But i dont want to create a game where you distribute your funds, pay the press and buy hardware (how boring). In short: you are managing the MMORPG - not the company creating it.

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