CARDS Star Wars "Collectable Card" Style Game

Discussion in 'Games' started by Matt_201, Feb 13, 2013.

Moderators: MarcusP2, The2ndQuest
  1. Matt_201 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2009
    I'm currently working on a card game that involves players collecting cards and building up decks to find the best combinations to crush their enemies.

    The game is set after the events of 'Return of the Jedi', and as such many (if not all) of the characters within the Star Wars movies will be absent from the game, and it's actually technologies and species within the Star Wars universe that I'm interested in.

    Obviously to make the game successful, you need an abundance of different cards to try and ensure each players deck isn't exactly the same. The way the game works is that each player belongs to a certain faction (the galactic republic, formed from the rebel alliance, the imperial remnant, and the Corellian Federation, an organisation I have created specifically for this game).

    It should be noted that players need influence, resources and in some cases access to force power to spawn cards onto the battlefield. These act as the "mana" of the game, so to speak. In particular, the force gives greater customisation to a deck, as well as making several cards incompatible. Imagine each player has a "force meter" that keeps track of how much force power they have access to. It starts neutral (no force), but players use cards to shift their own individual force meter either closer to the dark side or closer to the light side. The further along either way, the more powerful the cards you can play are. On the flipside, a player can only shift the force meter slightly either way to have access to both light and dark force cards (albeit they won't be as strong as a deck dedicated to one side of the force).

    Some examples:
    Owning coruscant increases players influence, but also consumes their resources. You can spawn a "Witch of Dathomir" card, but that would cost the player 2 dark force points and 1 resource point, for example. Doing so allows the character to use the witch to attack another player and cause damage.

    Anyway, more to the point. I need ideas for different cards and the abilities they grant the player. You can imagine I already have quite a few, but will need a lot more to get the customisation needed for such a game.

    Cards I need are:
    • Creature cards: those of different species. They make up the majority of a players fighting force. Examples include Wookie Warriors, Imperial Stormtroopers, Jedi Knights and Kindalo
    • Planet cards: owning different planets grants players different forms of increasing resources, influence and force power (as well as draining it). Also if a player owns a planet and want to spawn a creature native to it, they don't need to pay the "mana cost". (eg. owning Dathomir allows a player to spawn a rancor without paying anything). Examples include Corellia, Bespin and Muunilinst
    • "Mana" Cards: These form the backbone of any deck, and a player needs many if they wish to spawn anything. They can range from being pretty simple to being complicated. Examples include Republic credits (+resources), Politicians (+influence) and sith holocrons (+dark side force).
    • Technology cards: they act the same as creature cards, but are made rather than spawned. Examples include AT-ATs and X-Wing fighters
    • Weapon Cards: cards that can either be played to enhance/update the effect of a card already in play (eg. a lightsaber) or to stop a card being played (eg. the dagger of Mortis).
    • Any other cards you can think of!
    Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated, and if I can get this thing going, you will receive credit on the card(s) you suggest.
    Cards need a name, what type of card they are (eg. creature, technology, influence, etc.), a "cost" to spawn them, and whether the "native planet" advantage applies to it, an attack and defence number (to give a sense of power until I can work out a better combat mechanic) and a quote relating to it (if possible). At this stage I'm ruling out specific character cards, but I'm willing to change that if you can think of any that would work well in the game. I also don't care where the card comes from (eg. from within the movies or the clone wars tv show, or the expanded universe or whatever) the more the better!

    Thanks guys!
  2. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 5
    Moved from the Saga forum.
  3. KudosDas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2005
    star 2
    Hi Matt,

    A while back now a few of us, when the Clone Wars movie first came out, started throwing around ideas for cards that would fit into the old Decipher game. Might be fun jumping into a similar project again. ;)

    Do you have any text or layout from sample cards you could post to give us an idea of what, specifically, you have in mind for the cards? Along those lines, to give us an idea where your thought progress is coming from, what other CCGs or TCGs do you have experience with?
  4. Matt_201 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2009
    I haven't really given much thought into the layout of the cards as of yet, as I've concentrated more on the backbone (i.e. how it works as opposed to what it looks like). Also, Magic is the only CCG I'm very familiar with.

    Perhaps understanding this, and the "story" of the game will help though.

    Basically after the destruction of the second Death Star and the death of the Emperor, the Empire fell into chaos, and although the war continued, eventually the Rebel Alliance took government and formed the new Galactic Republic. At the same time, Corellia formed an independent military alliance known as the "Corellian Federation", whose members swore to prevent another Empire from ever forming. For a while both the republic and the federation pushed the dwindling Imperial army further and further away from the core.
    However, an issue arouse in which Kothlis aggressively sought independance from Bothawui (one of the most important systems in the Republic). The Bothans relied quite heavily on the income from the manufacturing revenue made by factories based on Kothlis, and approached the senate asking for assistance in the matter. The republic, not wanting to lose their close ties with the Bothans, sent an armed force to Kothlis. The Federation, seeing this as an act towards Imperialism, sent a force of their own and in doing so declared war on the Republic...

    Basically the game is optimised for a three player game, although it could also work with 2 people, or perhaps even more. As mentioned, there are three types of "assets", or building sources. There are resources, which act as the backbone of the players mana pool, and it is what most cards rely on to be spawned. There is also force power, which can sway either towards the light side or the dark side. A "standard" Imperial deck relies heavily on having a lot of "dark force power" while a standard Republic deck relies on a lot of "light force power". A Federation deck usually remains neutral, taking advantage of both light and dark force cards, but does not have access to the more powerful cards of either. The final type is influence, and this is the most important one. A faction can only continue a war effort while they still have influence in the galaxy. As soon as they no longer hold any influence, they no longer partake in the game, so "influence" is the closest thing to "life" in this game. Some cards also cost influence to spawn.

    Cards (when in play) are laid out in 4 rows, depending on what the card is, in the following order (from closest to player- "back cards" to furthest away "front cards"): assets, planets, creatures and technology. Generally speaking, a card cannot "attack" a layer if there are active cards in the one above (i.e. a player cannot attack an opposing players planet if there is a creature defending it). The exception to this rule is that creatures can bypass technology cards.

    I'm not sure how planet cards will work yet, (either played out at the start of the game, or slowly played as the game progresses). A player loses influence when via losing planets, losing some creatures/technology (will be specified on cards), by spawning cards and by the effects of some cards. Some cards also adds to a players influence.

    Resource and force cards, once played, remain on the board until they are destroyed, and can be used at the start of each turn a player has to repeat its effect. Influence cards, however, are destroyed after their effect has taken place. Planets, once played, cannot be destroyed (except by <so far> one card known as "technological terror"), and when a player successfully attacks one, it gets moved over to their deck. Creature and technology cards (along with any weapon cards, etc. attached to them) once defeated, are destroyed and removed from play.

    I'm still working on the actual combat mechanic at the moment, so any advice in that area would be appreciated too!
  5. KudosDas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2005
    star 2
    Though I sensed a M:TG background there. ;)

    A few questions. These aren't points of criticism, just attempts to understand what you're looking for here.

    First, is there a reason you're trying to create a new Star Wars card game beyond it simply being a fun project? I ask this because there have been several Star Wars card games released in the past two decades. Decipher had Star Wars CCG (as well as Young Jedi and Jedi Knights), WotC had Star Wars TCG, Fantasy Flight currently has Star Wars LCG, and even Star Wars Galaxies had an online TCG while it was running. Myself, I haven't played any Star Wars themed card game since Decipher's game ended, but I have been reading up on Fantasy Flight's current version of the game and have some knowledge of WotC's game that followed Deciphers.

    Secondly, while I agree that a theme is a great way to focus set building, is there a reason you're delving into your own cannon as opposed to already established cannon? I realize that the certainty of cannon, between the Clone Wars TV series and the announcement of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, is far more hazier than it once was, especially in regards to the New Republic and later ears. Just looking at the New Republic era the attempt to size Coruscant by the New Republic, the Bacta Wars, the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn etc., might all make great themes/sets to pursue. I only bring this up because as an experience role player/GM I tend to be a bit of a continuity whore and try to stick as closely as I can to existing cannon with my campaigns. Not to knock your story idea by any means, just wanted to give you an idea of where my biases are.

    Along those lines, why the Corellian Federation? Why not something already established, such as the Hutt Cartels, or the Corporate Sector?

    I have a few other questions, but I'll have to post them later.

    Again, any samples, even text, you might be able to post of cards you've already created? I've definitely got some ideas, just need some more to go on.

    (Just a sample from my last CCG project ;))
    Last edited by KudosDas, Feb 18, 2013
  6. Matt_201 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2009
    To begin with it is a "just for fun" hobby, but I'm willing to put a lot of time and effort into it, and if it turns out to be semi decent I'm willing to explore the possibility of some form of commercial release...

    About the cannon thing. I'm not really familiar with a lot of the Star Wars EU, in particular I don't actually have a clue about what happens after episode 6 (I have, of course, heard of Thrawn and the Yuuzhan Vong, etc.) Having my own unique story also allows for the greatest amount of customisation as I'm not tied down to any events, etc. Corellia was just a planet I like, I suppose it could be changed to any organisation, and it wouldn't really change the game that much- perhaps something to investigate further.

    As for example cards. These are by no means final designs or anything, just something I quickly made
    Creature card:
    (note that a "simple" card, such as a <generic> Imperial stormtrooper would have 1/1 as stats*)
    Creature card with ability:

    *the way stats work is still not finalised.
  7. KudosDas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2005
    star 2
    Thanks for posting those links, Matt, they give me a much better idea of what you have in mind.

    Starting at the top, while making any amount of money from you do out of a labor of love is the dream, given that Fantasy Flight currently has the sole license to produce Star Wars theme card games I doubt our little endeavor here will grow much beyond being a fun and creative project. That said, I have been known to be wrong before...

    As for the cannon, and the angle of the first "set" we decide to focus on, at this point I think we should focus on the mechanics of the game itself. Exploring the mechanics will give us a better idea of the feel we're trying to create, such as the complexity of play, the speed, the objective of the game, etc.. Once we have a better understanding of the basic system we can start looking at an in-universe theme more closely. Just a suggestion.

    Just to summarize what I'm seeing in the cards, it looks like "units" (characters, creatures, vehicles, and star ships) are going to have an attack value, a defense value, a cost to play, abilities, and a home planet/starting location. Planets add or subtract a players total of the three resources you've already mentioned; Influence, Strategic Resources, and (potentially) the Force itself, either light side or dark side. I'm a little confused about the Politician card. Is it representing a kind of support card (permanent), or something more along the lines of a one use deal (instant)?

    The first thing I think we should hammer out is what the main objective of the game is going to be. Is it going to be something along the lines of capture and hold a certain number of planets or locations? Earn a certain number of resources? Accomplish a pre-determined amount of objectives? Destroy your enemies forces?

    Just to give you some examples, Decipher's game was to run your opponent out of cards, or life force, with each card in your 60 card deck representing 1 force. WotC's game revolved around controlling (eliminating all opposing cards) in two of the three arenas (ground, air, and space). Fantasy Flight's game revolves around a count down. If the Rebels are unable to accomplish their objectives by the time the counter reaches 0, then the rebel base is blown up by the Death Star. The Imperials thus play the role of hampering the Rebels while speeding up the countdown, the Rebels slowing down the countdown and overcoming the Imperial interference to accomplish their goals. I haven't played any game asides from Decipher's as I mentioned, but from skimming Wookieepedia and other sources of the net (as well as what I remember from what friends have told me) that's about what I've gleaned. It might be worthwhile looking into what Young Jedi and Jedi Knights had as their objectives/mechanics, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow.

    Alright, balls back in your court Matt!
  8. Matt_201 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2009
    I've long ago accepted the fact that the chances of me getting money out of this are realistically 0, however if I keep a "commercial" mindset about the whole thing, I think I'll get a better overall product (in my mind anyway).

    You read the cards correctly, which is always a good sign :p. I should have specified on the card, but the politicians one is an "instant" card. All cards that deal with influence like that are a one time thing, whereas cards that give force power or resources are more permanent.

    The actual objective of the game is to remove the other factions influence from the galaxy (making their influence track negate to 0).
  9. KudosDas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2005
    star 2
    So then influence would act similar to how life does in M:TG. Some cards are going to boost it on a temporary or permanent basis while other cards are going to drop it. For example, your Coruscant card generates 5 Resources but drops your Influence by 3 while it is in play, representing that Coruscant has a fair amount of manufacturing potential but it takes a bunch of your time and energy simply to run the place.

    How much influence are you thinking about here? Something along the lines of 20, such as with M:TG?

    Also, how complicated are you wanting this game to be?
  10. Matt_201 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Yeah, I suppose "influence" would be the closest thing to life in this game, only it would move up and down a lot more frequently then life in a game of M:tG for example. Not too sure how much you'd start off with at this point to be honest...

    And I don't want it overly complicated. Some cards can be pretty detailed, but I'd like a game that's easy to pick up in one or two sittings. Ideally a game that's easy to learn, but hard to master, as they say.
  11. KudosDas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2005
    star 2
    That would create some interesting decisions (and hopefully strategies) in-game if not only do you need to have enough influence to expend to play certain cards, activate certain abilities, or maintain upkeep on deployed units, but you also have to worry about your opponent decreasing your influence level potentially costing you the game. I believe you said that your current idea is that the game is lost if a player's influence drops below zero?
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