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Subject: The "Where to Look" principle rss

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Mikael Fehlberg
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Utah
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We have been using something we call the "where to look" principle in the card game we have been making. My design companion wrote a bit about it yesterday on our website. www.Heirsofvent.com

You can go read about it more in depth there, but for the sake of those that may not want to read a blog, let me summarize. While designing our game there is a great desire to have cards that effect other cards through global or status effects, the temptation there is to create a scenario where before you can progress you have to check every card on the table to make sure nothing is forgotten. Our solution is to create an order of operations that you can check through and be assured that there is no retroactive card that pointed to a card behind it in priority.

Is there another term to describe this same concept? Is there anyone that knows of something else written on this subject?
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Philip Becker
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Magic the Gathering has a "layer system" for applying effects to cards. It's a lot of complexity for the game, but they design cards so you'll have to know the nuts and bolts of it as infrequently as possible.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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I'm looking forward to seeing your solution.

The best example I can think of that has this "too many effects" problem is Sim City: The Card Game. Each card you play can affect the way every other card played in subsequent turns... and so each turn is spent counting and re-checking to see if there are any more bonus points that can be added.
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JT Call
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Sentinels of the Multiverse has this problem.
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Mikael Fehlberg
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I'm wondering if I should have been a bit more long winded in my summary of the blog.

Stormtower wrote:
I'm looking forward to seeing your solution.


The problem is: Too global rule changing cards bog the game down.

The Solution (we have been implementing): Our "Where to Look" principle, or having a strong order of operations and making sure that cards don't point behind them in in priority.

For example, rather than a card that reads: +1 damage to all enemy attacks. It would read: At the beginning of the enemy phase place a +1 damage token on each enemy. Providing in the rules that you have a rule concerning Damage tokens, and that they are consumed upon dealing damage.


talusproteus wrote:
Sentinels of the Multiverse has this problem.


Funny you should mention this, it talks about SOTM specifically in the blog.
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Mikael Fehlberg
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Erluti wrote:
Magic the Gathering has a "layer system" for applying effects to cards. It's a lot of complexity for the game, but they design cards so you'll have to know the nuts and bolts of it as infrequently as possible.


Yes, MTG is great. They use key-wording and provide rules for those out side of the game so that each game people know exactly what is happening. They also make great use of "MAY" effects so that when a status effect is broken it isn't breaking the game. This is fine for positive effects, (or a competitive game) but it's harder in a CO-OP game.

But key-wording, and setting up a solid framework of rules is very useful.
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