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Subject: Dragon Punch - quick 2-player play-anywhere card fighting rss

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Koen Hendrix
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Hey all,

Dragon Punch is my attempt to make a super-portable game: tiny in size (21 cards) and playable anywhere (no table or other surface required). It's for 2 players and takes about 15 minutes to play. Both its gameplay and theme are inspired by fighting video games like Street Fighter.

Dragon Punch was originally designed for the 18 Card MicroGame Contest here on BGG. It did pretty well in the contest even though it completely lacked art, so I've kept developing it. Because it's made to be really small, it's not ideal for traditional publishing and game store shelves, and so I will try to self-publish the game. The (inevitable) Kickstarter project is planned to launch on April 28th 2015.

Free PnP files:

Download the PnP (Letter size, 5.3MB PDF)

Download the PnP (A4 size, 5.3MB PDF)

PnP files last updated: 15 Mar 2015.

Get the old 18-card contest PNP (3.4MB PDF)


---------------------------------------------------
Original (and visually outdated) first post below.
---------------------------------------------------

DRAGON PUNCH

Inspiration
Dragon Punch was inspired by fighting video games such as the Street Fighter series, which I used to play a fair bit.

Gamers may recognize the defend-attack-throw guessing game (Defend beats Attack beats Throw beats Defend), the risk-reward tradeoff of quick weak attacks vs. slow heavy attacks, and having the initiative (or ‘frame advantage’).

At the same time, tons of simplifications and alterations have been made to fit a digital fighting system onto 18 pieces of cardstock.


Progress
After a few initial exploratory iterations, today's playtest with the latest prototype was the first one that did not result in immediate "this needs changing". Quite pleased with that!

I hope to have a PnP done by the Friday the 28th -- hopefully that'll allow some of you to print & play it and offer feedback before the the December 3rd deadline of the 18 card PnP contest!


Rules
Check out the PnP for the full rules. A few core concepts:

Each player holds 7 'move' cards in hand, i.e. Block, Throw, Fireball. Moves have a WHITE and a RED half, and all start white-half-up.

Each turn both players select one move to play. Moves attack and/or defend and/or Evade in two different locations: Low and High. If both players do an undefended move, only the fastest one goes through. Some cards allow players to gain the Initiative, which basically makes their next attack faster than any opposing one no matter what.

Moves may deal damage if undefended. Damage is represented by rotating a card 180 so the RED half is on top instead of the WHITE half. The move on the RED half is usually slightly stronger than the WHITE one.

Using a card moves that card to the back of your hand, and flips it so it faces your opponent. A 'taunt' move allows you to un-flip and regain use of all your flipped cards, but it's a vulnerable move.

First player to run out of health (white-up cards) loses!

There also some customization and specific card effects I could talk about, but really, just check out the PNP

Stay tuned (i.e. subscribe) for updates. Comments very welcome as always! meeple
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Jake Staines
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players
I have a project sketch for something fairly similar to this (I'm also a lapsed Street Fighter / Guilty Gear / etc. player) - it has the same approach of each player selecting a card from their hand of moves then simultaneously revealing, with different heights of block and speeds of attack resolving into potential damage.

The main differences I see between the two designs are that mine relies on discarding move cards when taking damage and it has players in one of four positions (crouching, in the air, stance 1 and stance 2). I'm kind of inspired to pursue it - although it would never fit into 18 cards. Maybe 18 cards per fighter! ;-)



I do like the rotate-on-damage-to-unlock-more-furious-moves part, though! Are you planning to have a separate set of cards for each fighter, or have both players share the same pool of moves?
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players
Sounds cool Jake! My design ignores things like player distance and air time, basically. Two leading card games in this space are Yomi and BattleCON, you may want to check them out.

The rotate-on-damage-to-unlock-more-furious-moves part
My initial design didn't have the 'upgrading' move cards. With each player only having 7 cards and no other components, I was looking for a way to track health. First I had the damage-taking player discarding cards (like you), but I found this created runaway leaders and had the wrong tension curve (first hit of the match was most exciting, rather than rising excitement). I thought of making the damage-dealer discard cards, but that just felt at odds with the theme.

So then I thought of flipping cards to track health. Shortly after I realized that the flipping allowed me to change the moveset when taking damage, which gives adds drop of decision-making and variation to every play, as well as assisting the loser a tiny bit. Doesn't fit 100% with the source material (although fighting games do have fill-up-a-bar moves and low-health-only moves) but it solves cardboard-specific problems

The card set
Currently both players have the same 6 basic cards. In addition there are 3 cards with 'special' moves. They don't upgrade/rotate so there are 6 special moves to choose from. Each player picks 1. If I had more cards available, I would likely add more of those special cards and make each player choose 2 or something.
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Steven Tu
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players
I'm sure I'm not the last person who had the same idea with a fighting game with health tracked as cards Kudos though for the flipping cards for damage mechanic - I had something like playing the discarded cards as supers instead of normal attacks in my version Yours is pretty elegant, though I think revealing of some info is also a good thing

Looking forward to it
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Jake Staines
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players
khendrix wrote:

First I had the damage-taking player discarding cards (like you), but I found this created runaway leaders and had the wrong tension curve (first hit of the match was most exciting, rather than rising excitement).


My attempt to address this is to model the 'power bar' that a lot of fighting games have that [sometimes] increases as you take damage; the special-move cards in a player's mini-deck would have various requirements before they could be used: commonly that X cards had been discarded as damage, and subsequently those cards would be removed from the game completely. But this remains a design sketch, that's not been tested yet, so maybe it has its own problems.

I'll certainly look forward to seeing this one!
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players
How am I ever going to fit all these rules onto 3 cards?? I'm not giving up my 'card anatomy' image darnit
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players
Here's a prototype card design sample.

(normal, normal, special)

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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players
Disaster strikes!

Everything's basically ready for the PnP, but I did some playtesting with a buddy of mine today and we had to conclude that having 3 types of attacks (Low/High/Ranged) was too much for just 7 cards. The Ranged type was only used by 1.5 card, and there's no sense of distance between fighters or anything like that, so it just felt a bit pointless. I'm going to remove Ranged completely.

That'll take some design time, and the PnP will be delayed for at least a few days. It's unfortunate, but there's no point in having other people test stuff that I'm no happy with.

Stay tuned.
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players
It's been a long night, but the (first) PNP is now available!

[PnP link removed -- get the latest version from the top post]

Thanks for sticking around meeple Enjoy! And comments are super-welcome as always.
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todd sanders
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - PnP now available!
on my print list for tomorrow
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - PnP now available!
OK, the PnP has been updated to the final contest version now! All download links now point to this new version.

I've polished the graphics, added card backs, and fixed various bugs in both the play cards and the rules cards.





It's taken a lot of work but I'm actually really proud of it now. I think it's achieved all the major goals:

C Super-portable and playable anywhere. Just 18 cards and no playing surface required: play it in the back of the car, while standing in a queue, or even over Skype/FaceTime/Hangouts.
S Use moves like in fighting games. Attacking, blocking, throwing, highs/lows, quick weaks, slow heavies, and frame advantage all work as in the source material.
T Guessing game with constantly-changing information. Card flipping and player-driven un-flipping makes both your own options and your knowledge about your opponent's options different every turn.
X Different available moves every game. One unique move per player allows for different match-ups, and card rotation (upgrading) adds customization options as you take damage.


Grab the PnP from any of the download links above. Thanks for playing!
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
I hacked together a little how-to-play video for Dragon Punch today.
It's 1 minute of overview/pitch, and 10 minutes of rules explanation and examples.



It might save you some time learning the rules

Additionally, I discovered that my "Fireball" card has a typo on it: It should attack High rather than Low.
It's a really annoying detail to me, but it won't break the game. The contest's closed so I'm not going to update the PnP right now.
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Sergey Pritula
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
Hello again!
I read the rules, you have little typo on the fourth card - "Look for Attack icons in any of the 3 locations on either card." But now you have only 2 locations.
Looks like this is fun little game. I'm gonna print it today. I hope, I'll give some feedback soon.
And again sorry for bad English.
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
Any chance of a corrected pdf?
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
Yes! Thanks for reminding me.

I refrained from updating the game while the contest was running, but I have done some more playtesting and have a small list of minor corrections and fixes to put in. I'll post an updated PDF later this week.
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
New PnPs! Suitable for both Letter (US) and A4 (Euro) sized paper!

January 2015 PnP (Letter size, 2MB PDF)

January 2015 PnP (A4 size, 2MB PDF)

Fixed bugs/typos:
* Divekick was execution time 3, is now the correct 2
* Fireball attacked Low rather than High
* Consistent "Initiative" capitalization
* "3 locations" typo mentioned by Sergey
* Some more minor typos

Game changes:
* Low Poke no longer gives you Initiative on hit
* Focus now also gives you Initiative on block
* Instead of its 2-damage attack + occasional extra damage, Combo Kick now does a 1-damage attack in BOTH locations
* Fireball and Crouching Fireball now also cancel out one of the Triple Fireball's attacks
* Divekick now attacks Low if its High attack is evaded

Rules text changes:
* "Rotating" renamed to "Upgrading"

Enjoy!

I have also sent my pitch video to a few publishers because I think this little game is good enough to be published. No luck so far... keep your fingers crossed meeple
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
Just a quick shout to let you know I'm still developing this game!
I've added a four 'special' card which I'm testing now. And some more minor tweaks to balance everything out.

Unfortunately I've not found a receptive publisher (yet). The combination of '2-player only' and the Street Fighter theme makes it too niche, apparently.

So now I'm considering running a Kickstarter campaign for it myself. It would require an investment for some art though. So the important question is...

If this game was 20 cards, had some cool character art on the 4 'special' cards, and came in a (simple) plastic wallet, would it be worth $12 (including shipping)?

All replies/comments welcome!
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Marc S
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
khendrix wrote:
If this game was 20 cards, had some cool character art on the 4 'special' cards, and came in a (simple) plastic wallet, would it be worth $12 (including shipping)?

All replies/comments welcome!

Haven't played it yet, so at $12 it would probably depend on the art for me. Printing and playing it will likely push me over the fence one way or the other. Regardless, I'd instantly be in at $1 just for a bit of support until I decided to fully back or stay at $1.
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Gregg Jewell
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
Just discovered this thread. I really like the simple elegant health tracking, kudos.

If I had someone to play with here, I would try it but I don't right now. I think if you can add great art and theme, people will pay $12 for 20 cards.

I mean look at Shift, $15 for 11 cards.
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!

$12 would be a little high for me, but I think I am at the low/poor/cheapskate end of the spectrum. I'm sure you could find an audience at $12.

It looks like a clever little game and I'm excited to play it. I have the cards printed but my wife (primary game partner) hates to learn new games and we haven't had time to sit down with it yet. I'll post here once we do.
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
Good news; I've discovered that with 20 cards plus a wallet I can stay exactly under the Roayl Mail's "Letter" size and weight requirements. Which makes international shipping cheaper!

Now planning to offer that game at $10.50 (£7) rather than $12 (£8) including shipping.

marble rabbit wrote:
It looks like a clever little game and I'm excited to play it. I have the cards printed but my wife (primary game partner) hates to learn new games and we haven't had time to sit down with it yet. I'll post here once we do.

Glad you like the look of it! I am in the blind feedback phase (I hope to send it to a few independent playtesters soon), so I would love to hear what you think of it.

jwreschnig wrote:
I know this will probably sound strange, but I'd rather pay that for the visual style the game has now (or a similar, equally abstracted one). A more representational treatment would probably lower the amount I'll pay.

Uhm, I must admit that does indeed sound strange to me.

Can you explain the reason why you prefer an abstract version? Do you maybe like the guessing-game gameplay but not the fighting game source material?

For what it's worth, I'm planning to add character art to the 'special' cards only, effectively turning them into character cards. The base cards will stay the same except for some graphic design updates.
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Koen Hendrix
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
Ah yes, I know what you mean. Seems to be a problem with the fighting game genre in general... Whether you're playing Mortal Kombat or Tekken or Dead Or Alive or Darkstalkers, a lot of the ladies seem to just be there as bikini-clad fan service, and most of the men have shoulders that are three times as wide as their rock-hard abs. I get that they're well-trained, but a lot of it just seems... unnecessary.

Well I can only hope that my character designs will surprise you (positively). I'm aiming for a decent gender and racial balance, and I'll be telling my artist to skip the unnecessary fan service. No bikinis in this game!
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Steven Tu
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
That means it's a good opportunity to create balanced representations! We talk about it a ton in our game dev group, and I'm a big fan of how Netrunner does it with their universe. It's really well represented and diverse.

Looking forward to where this is going!
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Marc S
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
khendrix wrote:
Good news; I've discovered that with 20 cards plus a wallet I can stay exactly under the Roayl Mail's "Letter" size and weight requirements. Which makes international shipping cheaper!

Now planning to offer that game at $10.50 (£7) rather than $12 (£8) including shipping.
Great news!
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Jon Gill
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Re: Dragon Punch - quick play-anywhere card fighting for 2 players - final PnP available!
khendrix wrote:
Ah yes, I know what you mean. Seems to be a problem with the fighting game genre in general... Whether you're playing Mortal Kombat or Tekken or Dead Or Alive or Darkstalkers, a lot of the ladies seem to just be there as bikini-clad fan service, and most of the men have shoulders that are three times as wide as their rock-hard abs. I get that they're well-trained, but a lot of it just seems... unnecessary.

Well I can only hope that my character designs will surprise you (positively). I'm aiming for a decent gender and racial balance, and I'll be telling my artist to skip the unnecessary fan service. No bikinis in this game!


Hear, hear! I love the concept, although I haven't had a chance to play it yet. Looks like a great fit for a microgame, though, and I'm always a big fan of diverse character casts!

Out of interest, have you played Yomi at all? From what I've heard of it, it has some similarities in the rock-paper-scissors system of different attacks, although it's always looked a bit too much of an investment for me to get into.
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