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Heroes & Treasure: Arena

Nothing playtested yet, but I've started working on a future M:tG-style game for kids 6+. I have a simple, ugly deck of about 100 cards in NANDeck.

Only one color of mana, which comes from Crystal cards. You start with one of these automatically, and can play more down. At the start of your turn, each of these generates a crystal (but doesn't store them, so you effectively lose unused crystals at turn start). Similar to "tapping" from a mechanic standpoint, but much more visual. Game will ship with a bag of crystals.

The other cards are all themed after my Heroes & Treasure game, which will save me from having to commission a ton of art :). But that also means that kids may be familiar with the monsters ahead of time, making it easier to pick up the game.

Monsters and Adventurers are both like monsters in MtG.. you play them down and can attack and defend with them. The only real special property is "invisible", which is unblockable (except by things that see invisible). Cards can be stunned in a few ways, which means they can't attack or block, becoming unstunned at the end of your turn.

Adventurers have the special ability that they can attack immediate when played.

An unblocked monster does 1 damage to the player, who has 10 health to start.

There are spells as well, which are cards that do stuff analogous to spells from H&T, plus a few others that aren't (like counterspell). The total number of concepts is kept pretty small, so you can do +1 attack and stuff like that, but not too many weird things.

Not a deck-building game.. you draw from a common pool of cards. However, you start with 10 cards and choose 7, which gives a taste of deck-building strategy to people without being overwhelming (and not the end of the world if a 6-year-old just chooses at random, unlike with a real deck-builder). This also means I can ship a deck of 108 cards to be the whole game.

Anyway, there's a little more to it because the monsters and adventurers have specials (so you need to be able to read), but I think this will work. If I can build up a decent customer list this year for the main game line, this might do okay. Not sure I can make it for under $6 with a bag of crystals, but haven't tried to price anything yet, really.

Comments

That sounds really good. In

That sounds really good. In particular I like the fact that it's deck adjustment rather than full deck building. And the fact that the deck-adjustment element is non-crucial also appeals to me.

Basically, I've been playing Elder Scrolls: Legends recently - for my own education really - and I've discovered that as much as I enjoy the gameplay, I cannot EVER see myself being motivated to sit down and create a deck along any other lines as 'ok. I'm going to make an army using the slimiest things I've got and see how that goes.'

And since the result of my apathy is that I will NEVER beat the fans who DO put analytical effort into their decks, even that gameplay enjoyment is wearing thin now. Probably not much fun for my opponents either.

So - Yes. I like this idea very much.

Hmm...

@Jason: I think you should PLAY "Hearthstone"...

You premise of "one mana crystal" and "losing the unused crystals each round" ... is IDENTICAL to how people play "Hearthstone".

Really you should check it out... Or maybe watch a "video" of people PLAYING "Hearthstone". Because honestly A> You want to create something original B> You don't want to be sued by Blizzard C> You don't want people to ridicule you.

I'm dead *serious* that's EXACTLY how you play "Hearthstone"!!!

It's FREE, download it from STEAM and give it a FREE WHIRL and tell me your idea is nothing like it. Please do check it out...

More about "Hearthstone"

Each ROUND you and your opponent increase the number of crystals by +1.

The idea is that each round you play the amount of crystals goes up by +1 and by the 8th Round you can have 8 Mana to play basically any SUPER powerful card or multiple weaker cards. Or you can use your Hero's Ability.

You can make some cards to be "must defeat first" before attacking other cards (Can't remember the name they use for this...) Some kind of "Blocker"

In any case ... Please take a look at "Hearthstone" because some of your ideas sound real similar.

Cheers!

I do have an IDEA for you

Since "Hearthstone" has one type of "Crystal Mana"... My IDEA for you would be to have TWO (2) MANAS:

  • Light Mana: Used by Heroes and all "positive" Spells.

  • Dark Mana: Used by Monsters and all "negative" Spells.

At the beginning of the game, players have NO Mana. On their turn, they CHOOSE which Mana they want to earn. So let's say I would want to play a "Male Fighter" which requires 1 Light Mana, I would choose +1 Light Mana and play my fighter. Some characters can have "First Strike" and can attack on the same turn as they are deployed.

If instead I wanted to play a "Slime", I would choose +1 Dark Mana and play my slime down (which can MULTIPLY each turn to the maximum sum of 3 slimes — you can use winks to represent copies of a card).

This might work for you. And it's FUN and original too!

The KEY for your "Arena" game would be to allow from 2 to 4 players to play against each other. That's IMHO where "Arena" SHINES and gives some character to the game. So you would need to work on multiplayer game situations not only 2 player duels.

Just some ideas that are more SPECIFIC to "Heroes & Treasure"...

Mana caps

If you include a "Mana cap" of 8 Mana per player, that could mean a balanced deck with medium powered cards (4/4) or something more specialized for Light/Dark with a (8/0 or 0/8). And then you have all kinds of blends in-between which allow you to select Mana based on the cards you have selected (from 10 cards out of 15).

Each player starts with 3 cards and subsequently draws 1 card from his 10 card "deck". This means that the game will last exactly 8 rounds.

(Maybe) Stop the game at 10 or 12 rounds... Victory by points: each token in play is worth 1 point + your Hero's Health (out of 10 points).

These are just ideas for you to think/ponder about. Take what you like and playtest it ... ignore what you don't like. Feel free to also improve upon these ideas... They're just some of my thoughts based on some Micro-Deck designing that I have been working on.

Cheers!

Note #1: What I mean by Token is that each card is represented by "Tokens". Maybe something like 1 to 5 tokens each. Bringing back the H&T idea about "Health" to a more general flavor of "Power". Like I said slimes after 3 turns, have 3 tokens.

Just trying to keep things simple. When you do DAMAGE, you remove one (1) token. If a card has zero (0) tokens it is "disabled" and virtually useless (can't use it). But you may use a "positive" spell of "Minor Healing" which heals ONE (1) token or "Greater Healing" which heals all tokens for one "disabled" card or "Miracle" which heals ALL "disabled" cards in your field of play.

So each token represents a card's "Power".

Note #2: Player could have the ability to "defeat" a "disabled" card. So a Hero/Monster can be defeated. When this occurs you remove the card from your area of play and place it in the player's "Tomb".

This sets up a bunch of possibility, like "Resurrection": restore the topmost card of your Tomb and place it in your hand.

Or "Godly Intervention": search through your Tomb and restore any card of your choice by placing it in your hand.

Or "Burnt Offering": Give one card +2 Power by placing one card of your choice into your Tomb.

Again just ideas... Just sharing some of my thoughts.

From your OP too

Generally speaking most "Heroes/Monsters" do damage to OTHER "Heroes/Monsters" in play. When a player has no cards (or only "disabled" ones), player takes damage.

Some cards can have the "Break Thru" ability which allows them to do direct damage to the player instead.

Other cards can have the "Wound" ability which allows then to damage a "Hero/Monster" and does additional damage to the player.

I've been "Studying" the Micro-Deck CCG concept for a while. That's why I have so much input... There's a ton of stuff that I've tried and there is some things that I can share (I don't really care if you do use these ideas or not). I'm just giving you some things to think about!

Note: You could have simple rules like "A Hero will not attack another Hero" but "Monsters can attack BOTH Heroes and other Monsters"... For example.

questccg wrote:@Jason: I

questccg wrote:
@Jason: I think you should PLAY "Hearthstone"...

You premise of "one mana crystal" and "losing the unused crystals each round" ... is IDENTICAL to how people play "Hearthstone".

Really you should check it out... Or maybe watch a "video" of people PLAYING "Hearthstone". Because honestly A> You want to create something original B> You don't want to be sued by Blizzard C> You don't want people to ridicule you.

I'm dead *serious* that's EXACTLY how you play "Hearthstone"!!!

It's FREE, download it from STEAM and give it a FREE WHIRL and tell me your idea is nothing like it. Please do check it out...


I used to play Hearthstone.. They don't have cards to play to increase your mana, but yeah, they had a lot of good ideas there. They also heavily took advantage of being a computer game, to do things like have health on monsters continue between rounds, which would be a pain to track in a card game.

I'm pretty confident this looks nothing like Hearthstone, aside from the obvious, and what on earth could they sue me for?

Thanks for all the ideas..

Thanks for all the ideas.. maybe good for another game in the future :)

Difference in the approach

Jay103 wrote:
...I'm pretty confident this looks nothing like Hearthstone, aside from the obvious, and what on earth could they sue me for?

As long as you feel confident that the "similarities" are not identical well then you can safely assume that there would be reason to be concerned.

When you said "1 Mana Crystal", I immediately thought "Hearthstone". Anything with "1 Mana Crystal" is going to trigger that. Playing cards as Mana triggers something more along the lines of "Magic: the Gathering". So it sounds like a "cross" between BOTH of those. It may be different to YOU, but I'm not sure what WotC or Blizzard are going to think about it. You are basically "copying" mechanics from two (2) games.

Now while we know mechanics are NOT protected by patents or copyrights, etc. You may still be in "muddy waters" when it comes to those two card games.

If I was you (personally), I would consider having two (2) forms of Mana (not a Hearthstone rip), require No Mana cards (not a Magic rip) and save yourself a lot of similarities. I'm just saying the option is there on the table: you have a choice. Either you can make a Card game similar to both of the other popular card games or make it your own.

Best of luck with this Arena Card Battle Game. I hope you see and understand the difference in approach.

Cheers!

This cog

This ccg developer...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4JQ_QMQpjc

...refers to the +1/ turn mana system as "The Hearthstone System" but with the caveat that there are, in his words, "too many games that use the system to mention."

Isn't it the case that it's already become a card game staple and that no-one would blink an eye at it (including Blizzard)?

Check this video about WotC and the BS they are pulling

Tolarian College: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23mmWc0WNuI

It's a long video ... but you'll understand things like how Magic can cost 10% of your monthly earnings for one single box with only 24 packs. Plus a lot of controversial stuff such as the Box Topper which is not included at Walmart or Target but only at FLGS and the price of one (1) card is over $50... For some cards worth only $1.00 in the normal card aftermarket.

Note: Least we forget that Magic is a "business" not just a CCG. That's the kind of thing that people don't get (it's not for your average consumer). Like he says it's only printed cardboard.

+1 Mana system and two (2) Mana types

For one thing adding +1 to either types of Mana is simple. And most kids aged 6+ can count to 8. But that's why I think two (2) types of Mana would be very beneficial from giving this game a "smart" Mana system.

If you get a deck filled with Heroes, most likely you accumulate Mana in the 8/0 or 6/2 range. However if you get a deck filled with Monsters, well then it's probably 0/8 or 2/6 range. If you get a mix of both ... suffice to say you might opt for 4/4, 5/3, 3/5 ranges... Considering that the cards go from 1 to 5 "Power" ... the more balanced Mana counts at 5/3 or 3/5 will still allow you to use some of your more "powerful" cards all the while having a mix of cards in your deck.

To me this is "different" approach and mirrors the "Game" well (Heroes & Treasure). Having two (2) types of Mana (Light and Dark) really sets the tone for some interesting battles.

I think it's original ... In that I have not seen a game with TWO (2) types of Mana ONLY. It's simplified but can be taught to children (Good or Bad is easily understood) ... Your Mana accumulation varies according to the cards you get in your deck too!

Comments/Questions???

Also a bit more meat on the bone

The other thing is that you should consider is ... Audience.

6+ years may be a little young of a age for something that can also interest older players such as 9 to 13 years of age. Maybe older might be more of a challenge.

Nevertheless I think you might want to make the game for a bit "older" audience ... And have younger players "captivated" by games their older siblings are playing and waiting to become "old enough" to play too.

That's why having a bit more "content" and complexity could yield a game that is "Father Geek Approved" where kids like the game, parents enjoy playing too and veteran gamers can "appreciate" the thought and design that is put into the game. It doesn't have to be FOR veteran gamers, but it just need to have that "smart" appeal with clever mechanics, interesting systems which are unique and overall a general appeal in interest even if it's not an all-time veteran gamer game.

Just a few additional ideas for you to consider.

questccg wrote: Now while we

questccg wrote:

Now while we know mechanics are NOT protected by patents or copyrights, etc. You may still be in "muddy waters" when it comes to those two card games.

No, those things are not protected. :) I can't imagine anyone looking at this and thinking "Hearthstone". M:tG? Sure, because it's card combat with summoning and stuff, but even then it's based on my own established property and isn't violating anything at all.

questccg wrote:The other

questccg wrote:
The other thing is that you should consider is ... Audience.

6+ years may be a little young of a age for something that can also interest older players such as 9 to 13 years of age. Maybe older might be more of a challenge.


This IS a concern for me. At the moment, my cards are probably around age 8.. I need to think about whether I want to simplify out some powers so that they can be worded more cleanly. Just.. some rules about when card powers can be used.. there's "any time", "just on your turn", "not during combat", and a few combinations. More complex than I intended, but it kind of emerged from the card powers (mainly that you can't stun/freeze someone once combat starts, but maybe I can remove that restriction)

Jay103 wrote:I can't imagine

Jay103 wrote:
I can't imagine anyone looking at this and thinking "Hearthstone".

Well you say there is only going to be one type of Mana (Crystals). One type of Mana is an idea launched by "Hearthstone". Before "Hearthstone" nobody ever *thought* they could play a game with only one type of Mana ... because nobody had done it before "Hearthstone": they are the originators of 1 Mana for all cards.

Jay103 wrote:
M:tG? Sure, because it's card combat with summoning and stuff, but even then it's based on my own established property and isn't violating anything at all.

Using other cards for "Taping" into Mana ... is very M:tG.

It's not your property that worries me. It's the fact that there are clear and specific similarities to other Collectible Card Games.

I guess you see it differently. Because you feel as if you are using your artwork/characters/elements that makes it sufficiently distinguishable.

Perhaps...

If instead of having "Crystal Cards" you play as Mana, each card can be played either as a "Hero/Monster/Spell" OR REVERSED (Back of card) as +1 Mana...

Now that could be *novel*... Because I just don't see players having ENOUGH cards to be able to PLAY the game.

I might be WRONG but having 7 out of 10 cards and only 1 Mana card in your hand... Doesn't seem like it's going to WORK!

Something seems a bit off... I don't know maybe it's how you've explained things, I'm still not understanding HOW this game is supposed to be playable.

Sorry...

The way I look at it...

I draw 10 cards randomly and choose 7 to play with. Of these 7, I have 1 Mana Card and maybe others in the 7 other cards. But what if I DON'T have ANY Mana cards in the other cards??? Am I stuck with only 1 Mana?? Isn't this a smaller version of getting Mana screwed in Magic?

I would keep your "Crystals" but instead of Mana CARDS, each card adds +1 Mana when played on its "backside". Instead of 7/10 make it 8/10 and that means you can have at most 3 or 4 Mana per player. Make the Mana cards PERMANENT... Otherwise if you lose them... You'll never get any mana to play any cards.

Mana required should be mostly 1 Mana and perhaps as high as 3 Mana (for some very strong cards) seeing as you only get 3 or 4 Mana per player.

Personally I would go with 15 cards and choose 10. A little flexible and 15 cards to 1 booster is reasonable. Two (2) boosters and two (2) players can play a game (reasonable too). 10 cards can allow Mana levels to reach 4 or 5 Mana per player...

Just some additional thoughts...

Note: Also forget I even mentioned TWO (2) types of Mana. With this limited amount of cards... ONE (1) Mana is enough. And the "backside" seems like the EASIEST way to ensure that you DON'T get Mana Screwed when playing the Arena game. And the "backside" thing is *novel* too ... So nobody will think the game is similar to "Hearthstone" and you don't have Land cards (or Crystal cards) which means the game is different from Magic too...

The odds of getting 0 mana

The odds of getting 0 mana cards in 10 are quite low. You start with 1 automatically so you can easily have 2 crystals worth down on turn 1

It’s about 8% right now. I could tweak it a bit as needed.. 8% might be too likely.

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