my first post, my CCG, and pictures!

Started by williamhessian, February 20, 2008, 08:24:07 PM

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Nev the Deranged


  I actually am starting to see the many possibilities for this idea. You could advertise it as an easy way to break into CCGs without having to invest all the money most CCGs require. It sounds pretty simple and easy to get into which is exactly what makes lots of things greta. Of course, now the concern turns to, "Is it too simple?" If you read Scrye magazine you'll find reviews of many CCGs that are failures because they don't have much substance. They have a simple mechanic which becomes more monotonous as you keep playing. Do you really have lots of ideas for the different features of each card? Something more than the generic "beats anything" feature or "is not affected by cards attacking from the left"? One idea would be that if the card gets captured it can immediately be substituted for a drawn card or something like that. Just effects that change things up a bit. Although I was addicted to Triple Triad(and the version I played actually almost plays like your game because different cards have different elements and when you land on spaces with the card's element the card gets a boost, or certain cards cannot be captured from a certain side, etc.) it did not make me feel like it was innovative which could be partly because it was a throw-away add on to a game.

  So basically, how do you intend to change things up a bit? Will there be different ways to play(King of the Hill mode where players struggle to stay in the middle of the grid for a certain number of turns) or a diverse array of effects for each card?

  Also, to answer your craigslist question, I would call each person up and ask them about their CCG experience and make sure that they understand they are playtesting a game and that you require them to give you feedback. I would even tell them that after the test they need to return the cards to you when it is all over and will recieve a free booster pack at the end of playtesting.Then when you are done just tell them they can keep the cards that way they will really work to help you out because they think they will get something(which is atually true because they get to keep the cards whic hare probably more rare than a booster pack because they are Beta cards). Alternatively you can offer them a small sum of money like a $5 gift card or something.

  Where can I find your post on craigslist? I am very interested in playtesting your game.


Haro, awesome post. Lots of good things for me to respond to here!

I do agree my game could be a way to lead people who have never played or tried CCGs to be introduced to them.

I really respect your concerns about my game being too simple. Here are a few of the things that make my game a little more diverse within its very simple rules.

current special powers:
1. hidden cards: cards may be played face down to hide their identity (this is actually not a special power but an aspect of normal gameplay)
2. eyeball stats: (which equal zero for the catergory) but have the effect of revealing all hidden cards while in play
3. brickwall cards: i have brickwall cards which have a brickwall on one side and does not allow any card to be played next to the brickwall on the grid, thus effecting the layout of the entire game.
4. power transfers: you mentioned that this was a basic effect, but it does change the strategy of the game
5. mirror: this allows the card to reflect the same power/speed as the opponents power/speed

Special powers I plan to add or play test: (these are ideas i am trying to decide if they will be useful or fun to add into the game, if anyone has feedback about these cards please leave me feedback)
1. Piggyback: A few other ideas that I havnt tried yet but want to try, includes piggyback characters that can actual be stacked on top of an existing character (to protect a card, change stats, delay the destruction of a character)
2. key cards: Key symbols which would unlock a one time ability to search the deck for a specific card instead of drawing at random.
3. Tiny Tim/David and Goliath: A card that has little to no value but can defeat insanely powerful monsters.
4. Spider Webbing  : An ability to stick opponents cards to a certain grid spot (this needs developing- since it would only be beneficial at the end of the game- overtime)

However Haro, I love your feedback, if you have any other ideas for neat card effects or special abilities, because I will create those cards and playtest them right away to test effectiveness and balance. So if you, or anyone else has an idea of special cards that would add some diversity to my game I am all ears! I would love to try out as many possibilites as possible. 

Your idea of the king of the hill mode.....awesome idea. I may play around with that concept.

The power to be replaced immediately be card once captured is also a very interesting idea, which I will also playtest.

I'm looking forward to more of your wisdom Naro.

Nev the Deranged

Something to consider, is going the MCG/ECG route rather than the TCG/CCG route. M and E being Modular and Expandable, respectively. Reiner Knizia's "Blue Moon" game comes complete, with enough to play right out of one box. If you like, you can buy themed expansions, but you don't have to.

Frankly, I think people are becoming burnt out on collectable things, card games in particular. I know I am. Sure, there are still lots of people playing them, but every time I go to the store I see five new CCGs based on every property you can think of. Do you really want to compete with all that?

Also, I think CCG players are a more limited market than family/board gamers. I know plenty of people who enjoy games like Blue Moon or Testimony of Jacob Hollow, or even Carcasonne or Settlers of Cataan, which aren't card games but still use the modular approach, who wouldn't even look at a collectable card game.

Plus, as far as I'm concerned, collectableness sucks. But that's just me.

Nev the Deranged

Also, other grid/adjacency-based games you might want to look at include Castle, Girl Genius: The Works, Maelstrom (which is now defunct), and Hecatomb. I'm sure there are others. A few of my own game designs use similar concepts, but I think there are still a lot of interesting possibilities that have yet to be tapped.


Wow, i havnt heard or played of any of those grid games. Which scares me a bit. I wonder if im overlapping concepts that have already been done.

As far as your collectableness idea, I actually have the opposite attitude. But i come at it from a much different point of view. I grew up collecting baseball cards, i never played magic but i always wanted the cards, more for the art than the game and am an artist more than a card game creator. My love of games, playing them and creating them was recently reinspired when I started drawing these tiny bunnies:

I've sold about 40-50 of them and have been also hiding them around in parks. I also do miniature artwork hunts. In the process of doing all of that, and seeing these bunnies I thought it would be really neat to have people realize later on that these prints were actually part of a game. So I have people that collect my goofy little drawings without any game or purpose attached to them. I'd love to do the same thing with these and hide some framed cards in goofy locations and trade some in artist trading card (ATC) markets and market them as artwork on one hand and also market them to game players and later the game players can realize that they are also art prints.

I am not trying to market the game nationally or sell the game to a publisher, and the reason for that, is that I dont want my idea mass produced. I would much rather be a grassroots things that grows from within, and build a neat base and mixture of artists and game enthusiasts. Whether or not they are succesful as a game or as an artwork is what I need to work on. I have a good group of artists that might want to submit artwork and help distribute their own cards to collectors. Granted I will be paying for a lot of the printing, and doing all the leg work, but in the end hopefully people become interested in the concept and want to be apart of it.

I might be trying to merge two worlds that dont fit together, but im stubborn and enthusiastic about it, and therefore i am going to give it my best shot. If i get some printing done by June, I plan to use my Miniature Artwork Hunt Art Tour in June 2008 as a way to begin hiding cards in the Midwest and Westcoast cities and parks across the country. If nothing comes of the game, i still get to hide art prints in parks, and I love doing that. Heres more art tour info if you are interested:

Probably more than you ever wanted to know.

But I'd like to hear your thoughts.


Nev the Deranged

Nothing to be scared of. Certainly it's a good idea to check out games with similar concepts or mechanics, both to make sure you aren't being too derivative, and also to get ideas for your own designs. No game is 100% new, and for the most part, the game design community is unconcerned with borrowing and reworking mechanics and such. There's room on the shelf for many variations on similar themes and concepts.

You have some unique and interesting ideas about distribution. I've actually given thought to some similar concepts, as the idea of games one might sort of stumble into appeal to me greatly... I'm not sure how practical it is to actually pull off, though. The attempts I've made along those lines generally led to a lot of wasted effort, in that you cannot force a finder of your item to care about it, or guarantee in any way that it will be found by someone who would. The idea remains intriguing, though.

Are you familiar with GeoCaching? (


I am familiar with geocaching, although ive never done it, i know lots of really cool people that do. I'm a big fan of that type of stuff.

My current idea, tell me if you think it has any possibility of working (which it might not) is offering one free card  (maybe two or three actually) to anyone in the world with a SASE. included in their free card, would be an offer challenging the person to hide one of their cards, take a picture of where it was hidden, send it to me and I will in turn send them 2 cards. If they hid all 3 cards, they would get six cards (up to a maximum of 10 cards-enough for a deck).

***warning....i begin to ramble on at your own risk***

This process would allow for hiding of cards to take place all over the place at one time, meanwhile getting people involved into the game on a more active level. Not to mention then seeing their hidden card on the website. Now as you mentioned, with anything hidden, you are going to get 90% of the time, not the response you are looking for. So a lot of cards will be sacrificed in the name of hidden treausres never to be seen nor heard from again. But a small percentage of people will be hooked by this card and want to know more.

I am running into the same conflict i always do with this type of project. I would love to do the hidden thing and spent time and money making the game something special, however to be three years down the road wondering why i spent all this time on something that hasnt really gone anywhere would be a shame. I like my gameplay enough that maybe its not a good idea to make the cards so painfully hard to come by. Then again, ive never been a fan of mass production and prefer one of a kind attention to all works, even print runs of a card game.

I also find myself wondering if my monster designs make the game less artistic. While i like my creatures, I dont want the game to simply appeal to kids, nor turn anyone away. I want to classify my game a bit. Then I wondering if I trying to create two games at once here.

I'm going to try to write my rulebook 3.0 and see if I can determine what I really want to do with this game.



Nothing too new here:

I just copied some of my description earlier in the thread to a blog and posted a picture of my first 45 cards laid out. I still need to color them, and start building them on photoshop. But for now, I have 45 playable cards.

So if you want to see two pictures of my first 45 cards. Click the link over to my blog.

Any questions, I'd love to answer.


Nev the Deranged

I really dig the artwork. I'd say that's a major point of interest, rather than a detracting influence. The creatures are quirky and unique, which appeals to quirky and unique people of all ages, not just kids.

I have tried setting up "findy" things similar to what you describe, both via geocaching (which is a community of individuals dedicated to finding things of this sort), and through various other mediums, and had pretty much zero luck. I don't mean to be discouraging, I'm just saying it needs a lot more thought about how to go about it in a manner that might be more satisfying. If you can make something work, my applause will be among the loudest.

For now, though, I'd focus more on playtesting the hell out of the game and making sure you have something worth sharing before you launch too far into how you plan to share it. Putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. I think it has promise, but then, I'm basing that on some card art and little else, so that's not saying much.

I'm debating myself which, and how many, of my projects I might bring to FMW, if any at all. It'll depend a lot on what I'm jazzed about closer to the event itself, which may be just playing other people's stuff..


Nev, thanks about the artwork. I have a few card designs completed i would like your opinion on, i will be uploading them soon.

I do agree that hunts in general are very hard to pull off. I have had success doing my miniature artwork hunts in communities. I've done three very successful ones so far (see: ). On the other hand this is something very different.

I wonder if it would be possible to convince (or pull off without prior knowledge) of hiding large numbers of these cards at comicons, game conventions, etc. where you know the target market is already there, and that the hidden cards would actually be something they might enjoy.

anyways, cart before the horse, as you mentioned. Which is a good point. Playtesting has been a blast for me at this point, I really want to get a few prints made, even if very crude, simply to get people outside of my circle of friends to play it. And as was mentioned earlier in this thread is the daunting task of creating a simple easy to follow rulebook. That is one of my main goals in the upcoming month.

Nev, ideally i'd love to throw at you one copy of all 45 cards made at Forge Midwest and let you play or pass it on as you see fit. I would also be very interested in seeing your games you have created. I would especially like to play them.

my own record in the game is 14-3. and ive watched 8 other games. each game consists of a best of three series. i plan to play with all of my friends one on one and then hold a tournament for the game here at my gallery, and see how it all plays out. should be a fun way to playtest and distribute the game.


Just an update to my cards. I currently am playtesting a few new additions to my game. I have just finished the third draft of my rules. I've been working on a playtest response form, for those who playtest my game to give me constructive feedback.


Card design

Please check out the link to see the pictures of some sample card designs I am playing with. I would love some feedback on the look of my cards. Any response would be appreciate on my end.


Interesting design. My only question is about the "hidden" cards. Since adjacency is important, how do you handle flipping these cards over? After all, flipping them over right to left gives a different set of adjacencies than flipping them lengthwise. Do you simply get to choose the orientation you want after revealing it, or do you have to choose one way or the other and live with the result (which might be illegal if it ends with a brickwall adjacent to another card).

Greg Porter


BTC, great questions.

cards are always facing you, and opponents cards are always facing them. Therefore there is only one up, down, left and right for each card. Therefore playing a card face down (hidden) on any spot would already determine its orientation.

and brick wall cards cant be hidden. they always must display which side will be blocked from play, and no card hidden or not can exist on the blocked grid spot.