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Affinity - A new take on deckbuilding, looking for playtesters!

8 replies [Last post]
Joined: 11/19/2010

What is Affinity?

Affinity is a deck-building game for two to four players about magic-wielding characters who are battling it out for power among five different factions. Each player controls two characters, called Awakened, who are affiliated with a single faction. These Awakened cast spells, manifest Elemental Constructs and use complex items to defeat other Awakened. Defeat all of the Awakened that oppose you, and you win!

Aw man, another deckbuilder?

Before you continue, you should know that in Affinity there are:

  • No Victory Points - Unless you consider crushing your opponent as a Victory Point.
  • No weak starting decks - Each time you start the game you will draft a new and unique deck to start the game with.
  • No random pile setups - All of the cards are available for use in Affinity every game.

Affinity is not a Collectable Card Game (CCG), but the play of the game is similar to drafting and playing a CCG much more than other deckbuilders. At it's core, Affinity is a head-to-head competitive game.

Sounds cool, what can I do to help?

Over 200 hours have been put into closed playtesting this game, now it's time to get that number closer to 1000. The time has come for some good old-fashioned blind playtesting to be done on Affinity!

I'm looking for the game to be playtested primarily with the 2 player version of the game, as that is what the game has been primarily designed and balanced around, but some playtesting in 3 and 4 player would be good as well.

In addition, I've got the rules typed up, but I know that they are far from perfect. Please, please, please point out anything that doesn't make sense, could use clarification, or if (and likely when) you come across something that is not clearly explained in the rules.

If you're curious about some of the changes and thoughts that have gone into the game until this point, feel free to browse the development blog here.

Any person, or group of people who helps with this project will at a minimum have my gratitude. Past that, and depending on their level of involvement, you can recieve credit in the rulebook and a free copy (or copies) of the game! (Subject to opinion, but I'm a fairly generous person.)


Game Details
2 to 4 players (2 players recommended)
10 minutes to learn, 30-60 minutes to play (Faster play the more familiar you are)

Game Components
-15 Awakened Cards
-15 Item Cards
-12 Aether Surge Cards
-60 Construct Cards
-30 Spell Cards

Affinity Rules v1.0

Affinity Cards v12.0

Affinity Cards with color titles v12.0

Additional Notes:
When printing the game, it would be extremely beneficial to print each different element's cards on different color paper. The time that this saves in visual recognition when playing the game is immensely important.

*I have also provided a copy of the cards with colored titles, but I would advise against printing the game in full color unless absolutely necessary in an effort to save people's ink cartridges.

I have not provided backs for the cards, as the way that I normally playtest card games is to put standard pieces of paper into card sleeves with old CCG cards for backing.

The images on the cards are playtest images only, and are not the final art for the game.

If there is anyone out there who would like to assist me in creating a Vassal module for the game to assist with the playtesting process, please PM me!

Joined: 12/12/2011
Gotta say, I love

Gotta say, I love Magi-Nation. Superb rules.

What caused you to deviate from many of their core elegant mechanics, such as having a specific attack phase so keeping track of 'summoning sickness' wasn't an issue, and not having instant cards so the game didn't get bogged down by 'stacked' plays.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have made those changes, or that you should have, I'm just curious as to what happened in testing that caused you to do so.
I've been wanting to make a 're-make' of magi-nation and take it to the next level, and I think you are doing that to a certain degree.

I'm certainly interested in where you're headed,

Joined: 11/19/2010
Thanks! I loved the game

Thanks! I loved the game too, which is how this entire project got started, as you can read about in my design blog. I played Magi-Nation from the day it was released, until the day it died. I won the 2nd World Championship, and 3 major storyline tournaments in the game, along with a number of side tournaments that I lost count of. I'm only saying this because I'd like to think I knew the ins and outs of the game fairly well.

When attempting to adapt the game to a deckbuilder, I had initially kept the phases the same, and not having instants or reactions. Phases were the first of these two things that I changed, and it was in watching people who had never played the game before continuously do things out of phase order and I had to keep correcting them. Not just once or twice, I had to correct them almost every turn, with something slightly different. There was also the issue in people not remembering if they had used a power on a card or not, and they ended up 'tapping' the cards to indicated that they had used them anyway. So it dawned on me that the phases weren't as natural as I once thought they were, and that opening up the game to a single main phase allowed for some more strategy in what you do. This is easily seen by being able to play a construct and use it's power before you attack with another construct that you have in play. It adds utility to freshly played constructs that you used to have to do with cards like Warrior's Boots and Hyren's Call in Magi-Nation

The ability to do things on your opponent's turn, or in reaction to things is one of the more recent changes brought on by the fact that playtesters would often lament on the inability to impact anything that their opponent was doing to them. It was a common complaint along the lines of "So I just have to play out my cards and see what my opponent does, and if he doesn't kill everything, then I can kill his stuff?" So I decided to try and shake that up, allow you to do things on your opponent's turn. This of course brought in instants, and 'tapping' and timing issues. I tried to simplify the timing issues as much as possible, but once you understand them it does is add a deeper layer of tactics to the game that wasn't there before. After playing it this way, I couldn't go back.

So basically I ended up coming to the understanding, when showing others the base of a game that I really loved, what flaws there were in the design of the game that were there that were ignored or covered up with other rules. It's a lot like watching a TV show that you loved when you were a kid, and seeing all of the flaws that it had when you're an adult.

Joined: 12/12/2011
That all makes sense, and I'd

That all makes sense, and I'd have to agree with the changes based on that.
I've wanted to try magi-nation's system with different turn structure and with instants, but haven't the play testers to do so.

Also, can you post a link to your blog?

Joined: 11/19/2010
I'm surprised that I didn't

I'm surprised that I didn't have the link in there.

Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009
this projects gets +1 by me i

this projects gets +1 by me

i have not checked out all the rules changes and just some of the cards, but i loved magi-nation too back in the days. it was a wonderful game that sadly went the way of the dodo - glad to see someone building on top of it!

keep it up

Joined: 12/12/2011
Have you tried designing the

Have you tried designing the game to play without the use of 'awakened/magi' cards?

Again, not saying this should be one way or the other. Just curious.

Joined: 11/19/2010
I would suggest that you read

I would suggest that you read the post from my blog The Player Character. It should explain the thought process I went through in regards to Awakened or the lack thereof.

Joined: 12/19/2012
Very Nice!

I have to say that after looking at the rules and cards, I like what I see. I will most definitely be testing this game out.

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