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Online TCG/CCG publishing interest?

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 05/11/2010


I'm considering developing a service that would allow designers to publish their CCG/TCG online. The essence is a generic Magic Online (ability to play several different formats with rules enforced and ability to buy cards/subscription) paired with an editor to create the game with*.

The business model would be a revenue share where the infrastructure and payment processing would be provided and the design, implementation within the editor and marketing specific to a game would be the game designer's responsibility.

I'm still at the stage of testing the waters to see if there is any interest at all in a service like this, so feel free to point out the fatal flaws (please please do so!) or if you're interested in something like this by posting a reply.


*Specifically I'm thinking of Flash for playing the game so that it's easy to embed in a website and there is no downloading of a separate client to play the game.

Joined: 03/26/2010

Personally I´m very interested in something like this.

I'm working with two engines that can make this (one name scape me cuz only have few days with it, testing process) The other is OCGTN and love it

Joined: 08/17/2008
I too am interested in this

I too am interested in this idea. I'm new to the TCG industry and am working with another colleague to design one.

I was due a meeting today to discuss with a web development company to design an online game for this. But due to the mechanics being incomplete I have to cancel this. I would love to learn how others are publishing their TCGs online.

eyerouge's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008
OCTGN does not enforce any

OCTGN does not enforce any rules, thus it's not on par with what the original poster suggests. On the contrary, the whole idea with OCTGN and Lackey is to allow people to emulate a real table, so the programs act as virtual tables, and are not meant to do anything else beyond that.

Something which does indeed incorporate rules is Wagic, which is an open source project that has an AI playing MTG against the player. This would perhaps be a good starting point for anyone that wants to code something similar.

Personally, while I do think the idea is really cool and would maybe have it's own followers, I don't see any reason at all for why it would ever become a huge success worth the efforts involved in making it real:

The card scene is very small on the internet and programs such as OCTGN, which are open source and already allow the players to play any game for free (legally or not, nobody cares anyways - but please don't read this as if it would be my own stance), are already around and well known by those interested in card games. Kind of the situation with VASSAL for any sane board game player that wants to take it all online for free.

With that said, I still would love to see the service being offered and I'm sure it would benefit some games/players and companies.

Joined: 05/11/2010
I think a rules enforced game

I think a rules enforced game engine, with a large collection of new games that work with it, could possibly appeal to potential TCG players who haven't actually played them in real life; or who played them but never spent enough money to really be good at anything. If aimed at video game players, maybe in an rts fashion, with really good graphics etc, I can almost see a world in which this works. Knowing the programming involved, the downside is the high level of custom programming that would have to be done - not only for each game, but for nearly every card in the game! Most TCGs are basically a core CPU with many different "programs" run on that CPU. (CPU is core rules, each card is it's own unique program). With many games, you would need unique functions to be written for each card. A game with 1000 cards would need nearly 1000 unique functions, and to be tested, and having good ai (which would really be needed to market it well) is next to impossible. I just think the effort would be too high and the results too unpredictable.

On the other hand, if it's designed for new TCG's, which are made with the system in mind, designers could work within whatever limitations there are to keep the complexity from spiraling out of control. If it was successful, I could see many budding TCG designers taking this route instead of the hassle of finding a publisher for their game. I don't really see it being successful though, not without major capital - a top notch programming team and brilliant artists.

Joined: 05/11/2010
Thanks for feedback

I'd like that thank everyone for the comments and feedback so far. I certainly understand the skepticism on the difficulty in getting a system described above, especially with limited resources.

My hope with a system like this would be to allow the game designers to focus on the game design and look of the game by providing a tool specifically suited for developing card games. I'm having a tough time coming up with a good analogy, but I suppose something like what WordPress is to blogging a system I'm envisioning would be to creating card games (ooooh, that brings back bad SAT memories). WordPress abstracts away a lot of the underlying database and web development specific things and lets you focus on the content creation side of things. The plan would be similar, just in a very different domain.

I really do appreciate the posts and skepticism and hole poking in the idea is encouraged!

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