Carl Frodge
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I'm working on a lot of different game ideas right now, but I wanted to get your opinions on one of them.

The Inspiration:
The idea for this game came from a couple different places. I like the idea of deck-building games (I've only played Dominion). I like building a deck over the course of the game. I also really like the mechanic that games like Jaipur and Dragon's Hoard use, where you have a main deck, and then 4-5 or so cards laid out to form a marketplace or supply area. I wanted to combine these ideas.

The Idea:
I haven't completely figured out the theme yet, but I'm thinking something along the lines of computers/cyberpunk. The objective of the game is to complete blueprints by building machines (Machines give you advantageous effects as well as a victory point value, that will help you win the game). You do this by buying parts and programs from the central shop (cards laid in the middle, taken from the main deck). After a card is bought, it is replaced by another card from the main deck. Programs (which are the action cards of the game) let you affect aspects of the gameplay (like increased hand-size, stealing parts from opponents, gaining extra credits, etc.) You can also buy more Blueprints and Credits, which are separate from the central shop.
You can also scrap cards from your hand. Each card has a scrap value that ranges from 0 to 3. When you scrap a card, it's placed in the scrap pile (Essentially the discard pile for the main deck), and then you gain credits equal to its scrap value.


That's the basic idea for the game. I have more thoughts on how everything is done, but this is just meant to be an overview of the idea. I would like to get some opinions or suggestions, so if you have any please share.
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Benj Davis
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The "market" dynamic you're describing is possibly actually more common in deckbuilders than the kingdom set system that Dominion uses. Ascension uses it, DC Deck-Building uses it, Lord of the Rings uses it, Core Worlds, etc.

The "scrap" idea is potentially interesting, but you should be careful not to make it too easy and useful to scrap all your starting cards and craft a lightning fast deck. Deckthinning is generally a dynamite strategy in deckbuilders.
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Carl Frodge
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Jlerpy wrote:
The "market" dynamic you're describing is possibly actually more common in deckbuilders than the kingdom set system that Dominion uses. Ascension uses it, DC Deck-Building uses it, Lord of the Rings uses it, Core Worlds, etc.

I was not aware of this. In those games, are the cards in the market random?

Quote:
The "scrap" idea is potentially interesting, but you should be careful not to make it too easy and useful to scrap all your starting cards and craft a lightning fast deck. Deckthinning is generally a dynamite strategy in deckbuilders.

As I have it now, the starting 10 cards all have a Scrap Value of 0. You bring up a good point about deck-thinning. I think I might make it so that some cards cannot be scrapped, or that some cards require additional cards to be scrapped.

---------------

Something else I'm thinking about is an "Upgrade" mechanic, where cards would have an upgrade value that would require you to scrap a certain number of cards to gain an upgraded version of a card.

Right now, the types of cards in the game are as follows:

Credits: Used to buy cards from the store

Programs (Actions): Which affect some aspect or aspects of the game, and may also loan you credits to be used at the store only during the turn they're played. Ongoing Programs last a certain number of turns, and generally have continuous affects that alter aspects of the game (such as, instead of drawing until you have 5 cards at the beginning of your turn, draw until you have 7 cards.)

Subprograms:
-Resets: Which let you shuffle the cards in the store back into the main deck, and then lay out new cards.

-Holds: Which last until your next turn and allow you to put cards in the market on hold until the end of your next turn. Cards that are put on hold cannot be affected or bought by other players. If you have a card on hold, you have the choice of buying it on your next turn, and if you don't, the card is auctioned among the other players starting at 2 Credits. If no one buys it, it goes into the scrap pile.
(Holds are generally used when a player wants a card from the market, but can't afford it on their turn. The hope is that, by their next turn, they will have enough credits to buy it.)

Blueprints: Which need to be completed using parts, and give a player both a victory point value and an ongoing, permanent, ability once completed. (Blueprints are not kept in a players deck. If purchased, they go in front of a player, OR perhaps players do not purchase blueprints and, from, say, 4 available blueprints that all players can see, any player can complete a blueprint at any time.)

Parts: Which are used to build/complete blueprints.


Players start with 5 Credits, 3 Resets, and 2 Holds.
 
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Benj Davis
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agentkuo wrote:
Jlerpy wrote:
The "market" dynamic you're describing is possibly actually more common in deckbuilders than the kingdom set system that Dominion uses. Ascension uses it, DC Deck-Building uses it, Lord of the Rings uses it, Core Worlds, etc.

I was not aware of this. In those games, are the cards in the market random?


Yes. In each of those, there's a central deck, which refills the available cards when cards are bought or gained (albeit at different rates: Ascension refills slots instantly, DC/LOTR refills at the end of a player's turn, Core Worlds at the start of a new round).
Also of note: in most cases (I recall Core Worlds being an exception), there is, in addition to the central, random line-up, a sideboard of standard cards available for purchase, the equivalent of Dominion's Silver and Gold. DC/LOTR have Kicks/Valour. Ascension has Mystics and Heavy Infantry (as it has two different currencies: recruiting power and fighting power), plus Cultists, which don't get added to your deck, but are a basic thing upon which you can expend fighting power, in exchange for victory points.

Quote:
Quote:
The "scrap" idea is potentially interesting, but you should be careful not to make it too easy and useful to scrap all your starting cards and craft a lightning fast deck. Deckthinning is generally a dynamite strategy in deckbuilders.

As I have it now, the starting 10 cards all have a Scrap Value of 0. You bring up a good point about deck-thinning. I think I might make it so that some cards cannot be scrapped, or that some cards require additional cards to be scrapped.


Or you could only have a limited ability to scrap in a given turn. If you have a basic ability to scrap 1 card per turn, that's still a strong ability to clear your starting cards, but means you can't just pitch handfuls at a time (which could cost you the work of a turn, but means you'll have a rapidly thinned deck).
A Scrap Value of 0 for starting cards seems like a very good idea.

Quote:
Something else I'm thinking about is an "Upgrade" mechanic, where cards would have an upgrade value that would require you to scrap a certain number of cards to gain an upgraded version of a card.


Again, as long as you either manage to make that a legitimate cost, or account for it being a feature in their power.

Quote:
Right now, the types of cards in the game are as follows:

Credits: Used to buy cards from the store

Programs (Actions): Which affect some aspect or aspects of the game, and may also loan you credits to be used at the store only during the turn they're played.


Loan? How's that work?

Quote:
Ongoing Programs last a certain number of turns, and generally have continuous affects that alter aspects of the game (such as, instead of drawing until you have 5 cards at the beginning of your turn, draw until you have 7 cards.)


Sounds like a pain to keep track of. How would you do it?

Quote:
Subprograms:
-Resets: Which let you shuffle the cards in the store back into the main deck, and then lay out new cards.


Ascension has some similar effects, although they're destroyed rather than shuffled in.

Quote:
-Holds: Which last until your next turn and allow you to put cards in the market on hold until the end of your next turn. Cards that are put on hold cannot be affected or bought by other players. If you have a card on hold, you have the choice of buying it on your next turn, and if you don't, the card is auctioned among the other players starting at 2 Credits. If no one buys it, it goes into the scrap pile.
(Holds are generally used when a player wants a card from the market, but can't afford it on their turn. The hope is that, by their next turn, they will have enough credits to buy it.)


That sounds potentially interesting, but could jam up significant parts of the market unless it's very broad (which the 4-5 figure you mentioned earlier isn't) or such effects are very rare. If it's something that multiple people could be doing in a turn round the table, that could make half the market unavailable, which would suck.

Quote:
Blueprints: Which need to be completed using parts, and give a player both a victory point value and an ongoing, permanent, ability once completed. (Blueprints are not kept in a players deck. If purchased, they go in front of a player, OR perhaps players do not purchase blueprints and, from, say, 4 available blueprints that all players can see, any player can complete a blueprint at any time.)


Okay, so they go directly into your tableau. I can dig it.

Quote:
Parts: Which are used to build/complete blueprints.

Are they different kinds of parts, or just Parts?

[q]Players start with 5 Credits, 3 Resets, and 2 Holds.


Yeah, that's an awful lot of market manipulation which could be a big pain.
 
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I find it odd that you mention the 5 card draft that Jaipur uses. That is about the only thing that is not unique in Jaipur. Ticket to Ride, Marco Polo Expedition and many, many others use this card selection mechanism. It has a name I believe named after the designer: iirc Alex Randolph used it first, so it was the "Randolph draft". I remember Alan Moon on bgg said something about Ticket to Ride adding the 5-card Randolph draft, that he claimed no rights on designing it. I haven't seen Alan posts on here as of late...must be very busy...he was quite a regular.
 
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Carl Frodge
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Jlerpy wrote:
agentkuo wrote:
Jlerpy wrote:
The "market" dynamic you're describing is possibly actually more common in deckbuilders than the kingdom set system that Dominion uses. Ascension uses it, DC Deck-Building uses it, Lord of the Rings uses it, Core Worlds, etc.

I was not aware of this. In those games, are the cards in the market random?


Yes. In each of those, there's a central deck, which refills the available cards when cards are bought or gained (albeit at different rates: Ascension refills slots instantly, DC/LOTR refills at the end of a player's turn, Core Worlds at the start of a new round).
Also of note: in most cases (I recall Core Worlds being an exception), there is, in addition to the central, random line-up, a sideboard of standard cards available for purchase, the equivalent of Dominion's Silver and Gold. DC/LOTR have Kicks/Valour. Ascension has Mystics and Heavy Infantry (as it has two different currencies: recruiting power and fighting power), plus Cultists, which don't get added to your deck, but are a basic thing upon which you can expend fighting power, in exchange for victory points.

Aside from the main market, there would also be additional credits available for purchase (in varying values, 1, 2, 3, similar to dominion), as well as additional copies of the Resets and Hold cards.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
The "scrap" idea is potentially interesting, but you should be careful not to make it too easy and useful to scrap all your starting cards and craft a lightning fast deck. Deckthinning is generally a dynamite strategy in deckbuilders.

As I have it now, the starting 10 cards all have a Scrap Value of 0. You bring up a good point about deck-thinning. I think I might make it so that some cards cannot be scrapped, or that some cards require additional cards to be scrapped.


Or you could only have a limited ability to scrap in a given turn. If you have a basic ability to scrap 1 card per turn, that's still a strong ability to clear your starting cards, but means you can't just pitch handfuls at a time (which could cost you the work of a turn, but means you'll have a rapidly thinned deck).
A Scrap Value of 0 for starting cards seems like a very good idea.


Now I'm actually thinking, what if you can only scrap certain types of cards, like for instance, just the machine parts?

Quote:
Quote:
Something else I'm thinking about is an "Upgrade" mechanic, where cards would have an upgrade value that would require you to scrap a certain number of cards to gain an upgraded version of a card.


Again, as long as you either manage to make that a legitimate cost, or account for it being a feature in their power.

Quote:
Right now, the types of cards in the game are as follows:

Credits: Used to buy cards from the store

Programs (Actions): Which affect some aspect or aspects of the game, and may also loan you credits to be used at the store only during the turn they're played.


Loan? How's that work?

Just a fancy word. I just mean it works like the "+gold" from dominion, where you don't actually gain additional gold cards, but you have more to spend.

Quote:
Quote:
Ongoing Programs last a certain number of turns, and generally have continuous affects that alter aspects of the game (such as, instead of drawing until you have 5 cards at the beginning of your turn, draw until you have 7 cards.)


Sounds like a pain to keep track of. How would you do it?

I was thinking using tokens to keep track of how many turns have passed, or maybe just making 1 turn the max that any card would last for.

Quote:
Quote:
Subprograms:
-Resets: Which let you shuffle the cards in the store back into the main deck, and then lay out new cards.


Ascension has some similar effects, although they're destroyed rather than shuffled in.

Either way would work, but I think I like them being shuffled in better.

Quote:
Quote:
-Holds: Which last until your next turn and allow you to put cards in the market on hold until the end of your next turn. Cards that are put on hold cannot be affected or bought by other players. If you have a card on hold, you have the choice of buying it on your next turn, and if you don't, the card is auctioned among the other players starting at 2 Credits. If no one buys it, it goes into the scrap pile.
(Holds are generally used when a player wants a card from the market, but can't afford it on their turn. The hope is that, by their next turn, they will have enough credits to buy it.)


That sounds potentially interesting, but could jam up significant parts of the market unless it's very broad (which the 4-5 figure you mentioned earlier isn't) or such effects are very rare. If it's something that multiple people could be doing in a turn round the table, that could make half the market unavailable, which would suck.

I should have clarified, when a hold card is used, a player takes a card from the market and places it on the hold card, then the card is replaced with a new card from the main deck. So every player will still have the normal number of options each turn, but on the players next turn, they will have the additional option of the hold card.

Quote:
Quote:
Blueprints: Which need to be completed using parts, and give a player both a victory point value and an ongoing, permanent, ability once completed. (Blueprints are not kept in a players deck. If purchased, they go in front of a player, OR perhaps players do not purchase blueprints and, from, say, 4 available blueprints that all players can see, any player can complete a blueprint at any time.)


Okay, so they go directly into your tableau. I can dig it.

Quote:
Parts: Which are used to build/complete blueprints.


Are they different kinds of parts, or just Parts?


Different kinds of parts (Engine, Circuit Board, stuff like that. There wouldn't be a ton of variety, because they wouldn't come up often enough for it to be realistic to collect enough to complete blueprints, but enough that the blueprints could vary in what parts you need to complete them. Mostly it would be different numbers of each part, though, I think.

Quote:
Quote:
Players start with 5 Credits, 3 Resets, and 2 Holds.


Yeah, that's an awful lot of market manipulation which could be a big pain.

You think so? Hmm, maybe I'll change it to 1 Reset, 1 Hold, and 3 of something else. Maybe 1 of each machine part (assuming there would be 3).
 
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You could have one of the basic kinds of card be one that lets you scrap another card. That puts a strong limit on your ability to deckthin rapidly and adds some diversity to your starting deck. It's a houserule I've been hoping to try out with DC (which uses a 7/3 split like Dominion, but the Estate equivalents aren't even worth victory points, so they're nothing but a useless speed bump).
 
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Jlerpy wrote:
You could have one of the basic kinds of card be one that lets you scrap another card. That puts a strong limit on your ability to deckthin rapidly and adds some diversity to your starting deck. It's a houserule I've been hoping to try out with DC (which uses a 7/3 split like Dominion, but the Estate equivalents aren't even worth victory points, so they're nothing but a useless speed bump).

Yeah, I like this idea. Seems like it would work out quite well.

Maybe I'll do this: 7 Credits, 1 Reset, 1 Hold, 1 Scrap.

Actually, I just thought of something else. What if you don't gain actual credits cards, but you gain credit to use on that turn. So a Scrap value of 3 would give you 3 extra credits to use on that turn.

Thoughts?
 
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Since you haven't tried too many deck builders, I think it'd be absolutely helpful/fun for you to try out many existing ones before continuing. This will give you an idea what mechanics are out there, what works, what doesn't. I'm sure you'll still find rooms to tweak/add/remove things and make a game very unique to you, but it's important to do your homework beforehand to avoid going down an unsuccessful path of another game.

Among games to try, I'd suggest Thunderstone, Ascension, A few Acres of Snow, Warring Kingdom and Mage Knight. They are varying degrees of deckbuilders with different additions/strategies.

Hope this helps!
 
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harrytgao wrote:
Since you haven't tried too many deck builders, I think it'd be absolutely helpful/fun for you to try out many existing ones before continuing. This will give you an idea what mechanics are out there, what works, what doesn't. I'm sure you'll still find rooms to tweak/add/remove things and make a game very unique to you, but it's important to do your homework beforehand to avoid going down an unsuccessful path of another game.

Among games to try, I'd suggest Thunderstone, Ascension, A few Acres of Snow, Warring Kingdom and Mage Knight. They are varying degrees of deckbuilders with different additions/strategies.

Hope this helps!

Yeah, absolutely! I've been wanting to try out more, and I would definitely do so before attempting to go anywhere serious with this idea.
 
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I'll also suggest Eaten by Zombies!, as it's the only deckbuilder I've seen that's structured to make deckthinning not the killer strategy.
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agentkuo wrote:
Jlerpy wrote:
You could have one of the basic kinds of card be one that lets you scrap another card. That puts a strong limit on your ability to deckthin rapidly and adds some diversity to your starting deck. It's a houserule I've been hoping to try out with DC (which uses a 7/3 split like Dominion, but the Estate equivalents aren't even worth victory points, so they're nothing but a useless speed bump).

Yeah, I like this idea. Seems like it would work out quite well.

Maybe I'll do this: 7 Credits, 1 Reset, 1 Hold, 1 Scrap.

Actually, I just thought of something else. What if you don't gain actual credits cards, but you gain credit to use on that turn. So a Scrap value of 3 would give you 3 extra credits to use on that turn.

Thoughts?


I'd assumed that's how it would work. Then you could spend those credits to buy more credits if you want, but you could also spend them to get other things.
 
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