[Wednesday Ramblings] Designing A Deckbuilding Game

Check out all my RamblingsFor the last couple months I’ve been trying to think of a way to make a card game based on League of Legends. To be honest, it hasn’t gone well. The game’s format doesn’t lend itself to Magic‘s style so that bulk of my design space was useless. Really the only thing I had ever played that would lend itself well to League was Legends of the Five Rings. That however, is a very expensive game to play because of the twin decks required to play and further required loads of setup and in the end wasn’t very beginner friendly. It might be why I don’t see it around any more. I was toying with a modified version of the Marvel VS when I finally gave up.

Then, two weeks ago at Escapist Expo I played something that blew. My. Mind. Penny Arcade: The Game, Gamers versus Evil.

See, I’d never played a deckbuilding game before, but after having seen one in action I knew it was the answer. It solved the problem of people needing to buy inordinate numbers of cards to play, and it would give the feel of building up a character to be ready for fights. Now its just a question of how to do it without it feeling like a re-skin of PA:TG.

Foremost, I think I’ll part ways with using League as the flavor. The basic concept of the game will probably be the same, sieging a fortress is a pretty open archetype after all, but I want the design to stand up on its own and not rely on too many shortcuts.  That isn’t to say that the game won’t end up being a League thing, but for design I want to worry about basic things that makes sense on a  archetypal level. Like, is there combat between cards? What do you do to earn resources? Does playing a card cost a resource or do you only use them to buy cards for the deck? What’s the win condition, is there more than one? That sort of stuff.

I’m not quite ready to talk about those answers, so watch this space in the coming weeks! I’ll be working them out one at a time.

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About Trevor Gulley

Trevor Gulley is a writer, cartoonist, and gamer. He works full time in the IT industry and judges Magic most weekends.

Posted on 09/26/2012, in Gaming, Wednesday Ramblings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I haven’t played that kind of card game either. Not sure if I want to get into it, especially because I am so broke right now. 😄

    • Its a single box you buy that has all of the cards you need to play in it. At the start of a game, you start with a “hero” which gives you a starting set of resources and you use them to buy cards from the randomly generated pool. Each turn you draw five cards and use them to buy more cards or attack other players. Once four of the eight stacks are bought, the game ends and the highest points wins. Its pretty elegant in its simiplicity

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