A Collectable Card Game with User Created Content, please?

Apprentice
Posts: 7
Joined: 2008.01
Post: #1
Due to various reasons outside my control, I am not progressing well in learning how to program games for the Mac or iPhone/iTouch, so I would like to toss out a game concept to everyone here.

A collectable card game where players can create their own cards, share those cards with others, and play other people over wifi or the net. Here's some more detailed information: http://www.palenoue.com/card_game_intro.html

The reason I'm asking the iPhone and Mac game developers here to consider this concept is that my friends and I, and many other gamers, want to play such a game, but with my current rate of learning how to program it may take several years before I can do it on my own.

So when you're thinking about what kind of games to make for the iPhone/Touch, please consider this.
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Moderator
Posts: 679
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #2
If people make their own cards, what's to stop them from making a thousand super-powerful cards? You'd have incredible point inflation.

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Member
Posts: 50
Joined: 2008.06
Post: #3
diordna Wrote:If people make their own cards, what's to stop them from making a thousand super-powerful cards? You'd have incredible point inflation.

You need to read the page he links to that lists how it works. Interesting idea. Similar to Oblivion, when you make your own spells.
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Apprentice
Posts: 7
Joined: 2008.01
Post: #4
diordna Wrote:If people make their own cards, what's to stop them from making a thousand super-powerful cards? You'd have incredible point inflation.

That's a good question, and I address the issue on my web site but didn't bring it up here because I wanted to keep the post short.

Basically there is a point system for everything that comes into effect when you bring a card into play. For instance, if I make a card that does 1 point of damage to any other card in play, that could cost 2 power points to activate. If I make a second card that deals 10 points of damage, it would cost 20 points to play. Thus is will be easy to deal 1 point of damage, but could take me a few turns to save up enough points to use the more powerful card. This can be further modified by the card-creation part of the game, so if I say that this can only be used on robot cards (or cards with a "robot" tag) then the price will be reduced. Since these games will be played on computers, the modifiers for the point cost can be adjusted from game to game. Say I'm playing you, and you only have one "robot" card in your entire deck, then my "10 points of damage to robots" card is pretty useless and the game automatically reduces the playing cost to 1. On the other hand, if your deck was 50% robots then my card would be more powerful, thus it will cost 15 points to bring into play.

I can further modify my damage-dealing card by choosing "fire" as it's main method of inflicting hurt, which will reduce the playing cost of the card but also hamper it's effectiveness if you've got a card out that says something like "Immune to Fire" or "Heavy Rain - All Fire Attacks at 50%." Again this can be changed from game to game, depending what's in your deck and mine.

This will not only let players create their own decks and individual cards but customize their playing decks from game to game so no two conflicts are the same but the games are always balanced. People who like Steampunk can come out with dozens of sub-decks that are on equal footing with another group's superhero deck, or a third groups cartoon critter deck, or a fourth group's pirate deck.

This is why so many gamers I've talked to want to play it so badly. Unfortunately I'm lousy at learning programming, it's taking forever just to get the basics down and something like this game is beyond me for the next couple years.
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Apprentice
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Joined: 2008.06
Post: #5
sadly if the game is so balanced like you say, people will not be entertained. The whole thing will play out on luck. Possibly put the point system on making the cards, or just don't completely equalize it.
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Post: #6
I looked around. I must have just missed it. The Javascript app is interesting.

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Apprentice
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Post: #7
OneShot Wrote:sadly if the game is so balanced like you say, people will not be entertained. The whole thing will play out on luck. Possibly put the point system on making the cards, or just don't completely equalize it.

While there is the luck of the draw that you get in any card game, the balancing of the cards actually leads to _more_ strategy, not less. I have played a large number of collectable card games with a wide range of gamers and have found that the most exciting games are the ones that are more balanced. By having the cards on the iPhone, payers can create numerous custom decks for different occasions. For instance, I could have a Pirate deck designed for when I play a certain friend because I know he always goes for defensive strategies. Or if I'm playing my Steampunk deck against someone with a Matrix-style science fiction deck, I'll have to figure out how to use my Victorian Nightmare Dirigibles to their best effect, which could be quite different from how I'd use them against an Ancient Greek Myths deck.

It's the games that aren't balanced that are not entertaining because you can't come up with your own strategies, you must follow what works regardless of enjoyment. By balancing the game in the manner I suggest, it allows different players the chance to play by different strategies. You could design your Toon-based deck to be more offensive, or defensive, or specialize in ranged attacks, or in running away, or use any combination you want. This will also prevent such things as "killer decks" where one deck design is very hard to beat, because opponents can easily come up with counter decks. This will lead to more strategic thinking and more enjoyable games because it can't devolve into a predictable pattern as happens with several other collectable card games.

As for the point system, it originates during the creation of the card but can be influenced during the game. As an example, let's say I make a card that represents a soldier of some kind. It has an attack of 2, defense of 2 and power of 1. The card-creation program takes this info and figures out the cost to put this card into play is 5 power points (you get power points from other cards that are in play). To tweak this card more, you decide that it will be a robot (add the tag "Robot" to the tags list) and that it only takes half damage from magic but double damage from water. In the card creation part of the game these two items compensate for each other, so all things being equal the cost of play is still 5 points. Now if you play this card in a game where your opponent is using mostly cards that have the tag "Magic" then that half-damage bonus is worth more, thus it costs you 10 points to bring that robot into play. However, if your opponent is playing from a deck called "Attack of the 50 Foot Surfer" (based on bad sci-fi teens-at-the-beach monster movies) then "water" is a popular tag in that deck and the robot's weakness is more pronounced, thus being able to play the robot could be only 2 points to reflect his low life expectancy.
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