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Learning about design while designing

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quillenink's picture
Joined: 05/20/2016

Hi Everyone,

My name's Neil, and I'm working on my first physical game (I've made one video game). So for me the process is more about learning for me than worrying too much about publishing, although it would be great to get to that point. One of the big questions that I'm looking for opinions on is how publishable my game, Clans of Arisiam, is.

So first question - if I'm looking for design feedback and opinions on publishable-ness of my game, what's the best forum for that? I'll put my pitch and the rules below in case anyone reading this wants to give it a look over:

Clans of Arisiam is a 2-player, competitive, deck-building card game where players pick one of four clans vying for dominance over the land of Arisiam. Field cards face-down, leaving your opponent guessing, and surprise them with a perfectly planned attack. Tribute cards to add powerful advanced cards to your deck. Master the grid-based battlefield using a combination of different damage types - melee, ranged, magic, and more - and reduce your opponent's health to zero to win the day.

polyobsessive's picture
Joined: 12/11/2015
Just had a very quick look through your doc

Hi Neil, welcome aboard, and congratulations on getting yourgame to this stage. From a very quick look, the game looks fairly complicated, but I've come across more complicated card games!

My first question is, have you actually made a physical prototype and tested it yet? I assume you have, but it is a question that needs asking. :)

The fatigue mechanism, allowing cards to be fatigued for multiple turns looks interesting.

Is there a reason why you have players drawing cards at the *start* of their turn? Drawing at the start of a turn typically slows a game down as each player has to absorb what is on their cards and make decisions based on the new information. If there are no reasons to do otherwise, you are generally best having the draw step at the end of the turn.

I'm a little concerned about the complexity of the set-up, where each player has to select their starting deck (this is actually quite cool, I think!) as well as what advanced cards will be available to them later. This is effectively CCG/LCG type preparation, which is probably best done before the gaming session starts, whereas I think a deckbuilder works better with a simpler setup for purchasable cards. I may be proven wrong on this, though!

I can't really speak to how publishable this game is, but you may have a hard time persuading existing publishers that another fantasy battle card game is what they want. Just a hunch. That said, though, keep going with this: tabletop game design is something that you can get better at with practice, and developing a game to a reasonable level, even if it doesn't get published, is a great way to learn how to make an even better one next time.

It looks like there is some originality here, though, so you never know, maybe it will fit the market!

Good luck.


quillenink's picture
Joined: 05/20/2016
thanks for the feedback

Hi Rob,

This response is so helpful - I really appreciate it.

Yes! I have playtested by myself and with the other designer quite a bit. I know enough to know how important that is ha :P

Your point about the draw phase is spot on! I think I just put it at the beginning thinking of Magic: The Gathering, but in MtG you're only drawing one card, not a new hand. That also enables abilities like the Militia in Dominion that make players discard - which would totally fit into this game, as it wouldn't be too punishing with the draw 5/play 3 scheme. So yes, I will probably make that change ha.

The idea behind this game is actually to have the feel of a CCG/LCG card game as a reasonably priced single bundle (I realize that's more or less what LCGs are minus the affordability). So I guess I'm ok with more preparation as long as the complexity of it is adding enough depth and variance to justify it. Is that a reasonable line of thought ha?

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