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Eric Pietrocupo
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I am designing a hacking game that has some similarities with Star Realms. Now one of the main difference is that instead of each card having a special ability triggered when matched with another card of the same color, my game specifies a "Plus-in" color on each card, required to gain the ability which would allow making chains of combo.

Like for example:

Play card of suit A

Play card of suit C, that activate an ability when played after A

Play card of suit B, that activate an ability when played after C


Now the problem, is that if can eventually become very confusing, especially for deck building decisions, to know not only which suits are in my deck, but also which suits are mostly required by cards in my deck.

Which in the end might just be too complex to analyze. But still, since this is a solitaire game, this extra analysis could be desired.

Else I was thinking of simplifying it a bit like for example, maybe A cards can only chained with B cards, so that if you have a lot of B cards in your deck, you know need to buy A cards to trigger them.

Else I could simply use the star realm mechanism of matching card, but I found the chaining option more neat and fit with the theme.


 
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Derek H
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Not sure how much of this will help you; I guess these might be more related to some of my ideas for deck builders?

I do like the idea of card chains...

I am going to assume there is some kind of energy/mana (EA) pool from which a player pays for cards. Given this, I would have three grades of cards as follows:

Grade A: reasonable (but basic) action; high EA cost; regain little EA if trashed

Grade B: advanced action; medium EA cost to buy; regain some EA if trashed; requires an A card to activate (maybe of matching color or type? but some less powerful ones don't need that match)

Grade C: very advanced action; low EA cost to play; regain bonus EA if trashed; requires an A and a B card to activate (maybe of matching colors or types? but some less powerful ones don't need that match)

I was also thinking that you could reuse the San Juan approach whereby cards in your hand have to be discarded to pay for a card to be played; so that even a slightly clogged hand could be useful ... e.g. discard some useless A's to help pay for a B. And if some C-type cards were permanents that increased your normal hand-size, you could trigger some interesting choices and effects.

I know you say "this is a solitaire game" but no reason it could not be competitive, perhaps? A central target (network/computer sauron) that all player's are trying to gain access to, but at the same time warding off or blocking their opponents' attempts.
 
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Martin Larouche
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I'd say to take a look at other games that do this.

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game does this (as well as the Predator version).
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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There is no cost to play cards, only cost to buy cards and put it into your deck. Once it's there, it is playable without restrictions.

I played the original legendary game once, I did not like it much, but I think there was a similar plugin mechanism from what I remember. Maybe I should take back a look at it.
 
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Rob Foley
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I think it wouldn't be too bad if you just had a large colored icon like a large circle somewhere on the left side of the card to indicate what color card it needed to be chained after. You could even have it just before the action description and make it so you could have multiple abilities in the text box of the card tied to different colored chains.
 
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Scott O'Brien
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Check out Oh My Goods!, I think that system of chaining is faily nice...

 
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Deckbuilders like Star Realms are short and random enough that allied abilities are not a problem. Either because it's too random to really plan, and is just a nice added bonus, or because there aren't enough factions for this to become a problem.

Now, suppose you have ten suits in your game and it lasts for 90 minutes. You might want to simplify it.

Your idea sounds interesting and I wouldn't give up on it except if there was a valid reason behind it, such as lenghth of too many suits.

Complexity and deeper strategy is not featured in Star Realms because it's supposed to be a light and fast game that can be learned and picked on the go. If you're aiming for something heavier, then it seems fine to me.

Did you try Nightfall? The chaining system sounds a bit like what you described.
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Quote:
I think it wouldn't be too bad if you just had a large colored icon like a large circle somewhere on the left side of the card to indicate what color card it needed to be chained after.


I was thinking similar, like maybe the frame of the cards has 2 colors, the card's color and the chained color. Still, Big icons is also interesting for color blind people like me.

That reminds me that hecatomb had something similar. Some card abilities triggred when player over cards of a specific color.

Reducing the number of suites is also the key to make it convenient to play. I was thinking something between 3 and 5.
 
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Raf Cordero
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Are your color suits tied to a certain type of card? To use netrunner terms: programs and hardware.

After buying a bunch of cards it might be hard to remember what you need to buy to trigger chains, but if (for example) all Red cards are programs, and all programs trigger off Hardware (regardless of color) then you know that if you've bought a lot of Red cards you need to buy lots of Hardware (of any color). Even if all Red cards are not Programs, but all Programs chain to Hardware you still have an idea.

It's almost like having 2 suits to a card (color and type) but it may make it easier to remember how to build a chain without reverting to "All blues chain red"
 
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John Breckenridge
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larienna wrote:
I am designing a hacking game that has some similarities with Star Realms. Now one of the main difference is that instead of each card having a special ability triggered when matched with another card of the same color, my game specifies a "Plus-in" color on each card, required to gain the ability which would allow making chains of combo.

Like for example:

Play card of suit A

Play card of suit C, that activate an ability when played after A

Play card of suit B, that activate an ability when played after C


Now the problem, is that if can eventually become very confusing, especially for deck building decisions, to know not only which suits are in my deck, but also which suits are mostly required by cards in my deck.


You could do it so that on the A card there's some iconography on the top indicating that it produces resource A, and on the C card in its action text there's a section with the A icon that shows that if you have resource A to spend you can do that special ability. So it's the same game logic about following suits but it's in a language that the player might be more able to grasp. And it opens you up for creating more complex chains, like a card that does one thing if you can spend A but something else if you can spend B, or a power that only gets triggered if you have both A and B.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Look at the weird transparent card method of Hecatomb.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Quote:

It's almost like having 2 suits to a card (color and type) but it may make it easier to remember how to build a chain without reverting to "All blues chain red"


Color type and suites are the same.

That was similar to one of my suggestion in the OP. Use a card design rules where A can only chain B cards which can only chain C which chains D which chains A.

So if you buy a lot of C cards, you know you need B cards to trigger them. This way it's much more easier to remember, but it gives less cards design permutations.

 
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Nathaniel Grisham

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Complex combos are really cool, but in most settings, players avoid building a deck around a combo that requires too many cards. It's just too difficult to get all of the needed pieces. It can work in some CCG's if the entire deck can be build towards making the combo work, but most of the time it is easy to disrupt. I don't see complex combos working very well in a deck builder.

It sounds like your game isn't quite like that, though, and maybe I'm misunderstanding a bit. In your game, the timing of the actions is more important than the combo itself from the sound of it. I also like the idea that you can't just shove your deck full of the best cards. You have to make sure you have something to activate them with. The better designed card games tend to have some kind of mechanic that gives a similar effect (usually a limit on mana that is required). Yours sounds more unique, though.
 
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Raf Cordero
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larienna wrote:

Color type and suites are the same.

That was similar to one of my suggestion in the OP. Use a card design rules where A can only chain B cards which can only chain C which chains D which chains A.


Ah gotcha, I misunderstood the OP. I thought you were saying "All Reds always chain Greens". I was going more for "All Programs Chain Hardware" and "Some Reds chain Greens" but not all programs are red type thing.
 
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