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Subject: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Contest Ready rss

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Aleksandar Saranac
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Designed for the 2018 Solitaire Print and Play Contest, as SECOND EDITION entry.

Power Surge - superhero living card game was a game entered into 2013 solo print and play contest.
While based on the same mechanics, after five years in development, Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game is a new, highly streamlined and improved game, with around 60% of the new content.

In PS:CSA you play a cadet of the Cyber Security Academy, learning to fight criminal minds lurking on the web. For this, you will play Power cards, that can be used in multiple ways, either for their attack value or for their individual special powers.
Game offer two modes - solo mode with 28 cards in draw deck (including card selection mini game) or 2 player cooperative mode with all 56 cards, which can also be played solo two handed.

Components:



56 different Power cards (used by players to act).
4 Nemesis mats.
7 Security tiles.
16 Avatar cards (AI automa).
2 Avatar health bars.
2 reference cards.
Rulebook.
Around 50 counters and tokens (They are not essential but help game-play. Some can be replaced wit D20 dice, euro cubes or health tokens salvaged from other games).

And yes, there is a lower (but not completely low) ink version.

One nemesis can be confronted in around 30 minutes.

Game uses icons from The Noun Project and stock art from Pixabay.

Categories:

Most Innovative Mechanic
Best Advanced PNP Build
Volunteer Prize
Most Thematic Game

Volunteers welcome.

COMPONENTS AVAILABLE:
Player's deck dark background
Nemesis mats, Avatar Deck, Security tiles and counters, dark background
Card Backs

Files with some ink saving:
Player's deck ink saving
Nemesis mats, Avatar Deck, Security tiles and counters, ink saving

LIVING RULEBOOK 5.2.

ONE LINK TO RULE THEM ALL!
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Idea / internal testing phase.
Project status:

All the components are ready, available and internally playtested.

Still to be done:
1. Rulebook is now in the phase of a draft, so it is Word document marked as Living Rulebook. I hope that it is clear enough for some playtesting. All comments and sugestions are welcome.

2. I will try to make How To Play video next weekend.

3. 2 Player mode needs more playtesting, not just me two handed but real 2 player cooperative experience.

4. Add a story. I want to connect Nemesis into story driven campaign. So far there are only 3 of them - one easy, one medium and one hard, so first I have to add more of them in each tire. So far there is a vague sense of campaign if you play all 3 nemesis in order. I want more but this will have to wait until after the contest.
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Idea / internal testing phase.
Ah, writing. Often the most difficult part of game design--providing players with written rules, because you're not there to just explain everything for them!
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Idea / internal testing phase.
Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy the Card Game is now components available!
 
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Drew Bowling
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
I wasn't able to edit your file directly, so I essentially made a copy into Google Docs and wrote a crap ton of suggestions

This also threw all of your careful formatting out the window, which is unfortunate. Hopefully that won't be too difficult to recover after editing the rules! (Remember, what I made is a copy. Your formatting is still safe and sound on your original document )

Here's the link, for you and for anyone else who wants to edit/add suggestions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1brehlv7T7yZYAkDO2x0NOWFH...

It sounds like an interesting game!
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Thanks! I really appropriate the time you invested!
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
The new rulebook, edited by Drew Bowling, is available in files.
 
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Victor Gonzalez
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
saranac wrote:
The new rulebook, edited by Drew Bowling, is available in files.


Hi Aleksandar! was checking your rulebook and just have a couple of questions/sugestions:

I found several instances where you refer to cards, decks, areas and actions without using articles (the, a, etc) English is my second language so I don't know if this is a style choice but found the following instance where you are refering to "the avatar" and "avatar" in the same paragraph.


also in the google docs, it seems that there are a couple "SUGGESTIONS" someone left and seem more of a comment than final text, check those out before printing. I did not feel confident enough to change the rulebook myself but could try it (and maybe highlight the changes for your review?)



hope this helps!
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Drew Bowling
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
I feel like I'm somewhat responsible for the things you've mentioned.

I'm doing a second edit, and I'll try to make it so that no Suggestions accidentally get added to the rules

Again, here's the working link if anyone else wants to edit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AP6Is7ABydDQz3ny8usfoN-P...

It's quite likely that I'll still make some mistakes. If anyone else wants to take a look, feel free

Edit: And done! However, this time it didn't preserve any of your images and formatting when I made the copy into Google Docs.

Also,

Quote:
I did not feel confident enough to change the rulebook myself but could try it (and maybe highlight the changes for your review?)


If you follow the link I posted, you can go to the upper right corner, where it says "Editing." If you press the drop down arrow, you can switch over to "Suggesting." This way, all edits will need to be finalized before they take effect.
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Thank you both.
Living rulebook 5.1 is in the files.

Not finished but what I could do tonight.

I would appreciate your feedback considering how understandable it is? Do you think you could learn how to play the game form it?

Thanks
 
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Drew Bowling
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
saranac wrote:


I would appreciate your feedback considering how understandable it is? Do you think you could learn how to play the game form it?

Thanks


I was not only able to understand what you were saying, but I was able to internalize it and restate it in my own words to offer suggestions. While style, grammar, and structure could be improved, it seems that all the information necessary is there.
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G. Uitz
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Hello Aleksandar,

I crafted the low-ink version of your game and played two games against different nemeses.

It took me over an hour to cut and glue all the stuff, but when I was done and looked at all the components, It almost felt like setting up a board game.

Components:
* I really like the design of the power cards, although you could have chosen to have white text for the ones with dark backgrounds (red, dark blue) for better readability. The icons look nice and it is amazing how many different functions you have crammed into this 56 card deck.
* The nemesis boards are nice and I especially liked that you put a little hint on how to defeat each one of them on the boards.
* I don't think that you need the "recycle tokens", but the other small ones are ok.
* In the rules you are proposing a set of 14 cards to select. It would be great if you could mark them somehow to shorten the setup time.
* Two cyborg thumbs up for the reference cards. They are a big help when playing the first games.

Rules:
I think you did a good job describing the rules and illustrating some examples. To be honest, the game is not too hard to learn and nohing is missing or unclear.

Questions after two games:
- What happens if the Avatar is defeated during the Power card Phase? May I still attack and hit the Nemesis directly?

- I found there is no reason to not shuffle the avatar deck once the draw deck is empty. Depending on when you defeat him, the sequence will alter slightly. On the other hand, it makes sense for the Power Card deck, so it is one rule for both... and to be honest, it doesn't really matter.

- Why is it not allowed to play just one attack card? Is it to force you to deplete your hand faster?

- I think there is no hand limit, but you should mention it somewhere in the rules.

Card Errors:
- "A Drop Down List" should be "Dropdown List"
- "Jocker" should be "Joker"
- "Troyan" should be "Trojan".. and "Application" on the same card

The card "Antivirus" tells me to "gain level 3 security". I have no idea what that means.

Gameplay:
My first game was against the Practice Doll and I spent some turns eliminating Avatars with no excess damage to the Nemesis. Also I spent cards for attacks with no real attention to the texts on it... about mid-game I suddenly realized that the cards in the discard are lost forever and I frantically used Power Effects to bring them back into my recycle deck.
Another strategy to win the game (against any nemesis) is to lower the Avatar's health to 1 as quick as possible and then prepare for a 6-8 damage attack that kills it and has most of the damage pass through to the nemesis.

Although I had a weak start, I managed to defeat the Doll with about 4 health left.

The second game was against the Gate Defender. As proposed, I tried to draw a lot of cards into my hand to burn through the deck and chose to just weaken the Avatar. I also tried to bring lots of cards into my Recycle Pool for the next rounds. Once the first defense barrier was down, I managed to kill the Nemesis with two hits and it almost felt too easy.

Final words:
The games system is great. You are always struggling to keep cards in hand, recycle and bring cards back to the recycle pool while keeping an eye on the type of security levels. It seems that the deck is fairly balanced and the fact that you choose only 14 of 56 cards and get 14 randomly chosen increases replayability. It was great fun to play the game. Very well done!

Is there something you could improve?
I guess the Programming effects could be harsher sometimes.
Also it would be great to add difficulty levels... maybe something like:

- add a hand limit of 6 or 7.
- You are only allowed to transfer damage to the Nemesis, if an Avatar (with at least two health) is present at battle.

These need some playtesting, but maybe it'll work.

All in all, a great game with a fitting theme, solid mechanics and, above all, fun to play.

All the best for the contest.

Dark.


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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Hello Dark,

Thanks for playing the game. Great feedback as always.

Here are some comments

Quote:
In the rules you are proposing a set of 14 cards to select. It would be great if you could mark them somehow to shorten the setup time

Actually they are just for first game Later you are free to select your own cards so keeping the cards generic is better.

Quote:
What happens if the Avatar is defeated during the Power card Phase? May I still attack and hit the Nemesis directly?

Yes

Quote:
Why is it not allowed to play just one attack card? Is it to force you to deplete your hand faster?

Combining two cars is what makes this game interesting. Sometimes you will be unable to attack as you do not have right cards.

Quote:
Card Errors:
The card "Antivirus" tells me to "gain level 3 security". I have no idea what that means.

Thanks for catching these. I will fix them as soon as possible. I will have to change wording in Antivirus. It meant to say you gain 3 defense against avatar attacks.

Quote:
I guess the Programming effects could be harsher sometimes.
Also it would be great to add difficulty levels...


While the game system is done, additional playtesting is needed to adjust difficulty. I am aware of that.
I do not think that hand limit will work as it contradicts with so many power cards.
Harsher programming effects are something I will consider.

For the beginning, try adding life to Nemesis.
Practice Doll with 30 life will become a greater threat. Gate Defender with 30 life will give you cold sweat.

Also, try playing against Dark Star, it is really difficult one. I managed to steal only one win out of 10 or more tries against it.

One more thing I would like to do is to add more Nemesis. If you have some ideas, I would welcome suggestions.
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Michelle Skevington-Carter
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Hi Aleksandr

I have put together your game, I'm obviously not as efficient as Dark as it took a little over 2 hours. I found the back-to-back tokens and cards a bit fiddly to craft as there was no common layout - some seemed to gutterfold and others needed cutting individually and then gluing but were printed on the same sheet. Anyway, I got there in the end and it does look stunning in the full ink version (I'm on a printing plan, so it makes no difference to my costs printing in black & white or glorious colour!)

Setup was clearly explained and illustrated in the rules; I really appreciated the table setup diagram that made sure I didn't miss anything. The main fiddly bit was finding the 14 recommended starting cards. Even though these are only recommended for the early games, I do think it would be useful if they were marked in some way to find them quickly. I got a bit confused between 'Nemesis' and 'Avatar' at first, but that was just me.

Gameplay was smooth, I liked the player reference card and turns seemed to move quickly as the game went on. I didn't find any problems knowing what to do, but my strategy was obviously awful as I lost very quickly. It is a very 'thinky'kind of game and I will try again tomorrow.

A few more card errors I noticed that all link to spelling -
Competitor Analysys should say Analysis
Weakeness Exposed should say Weakness
Custormer's Request should say Customer

I'll let you know how my next game goes.
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Hi Michelle,

Thanks for playing the game.

I do not think your PnP skill are any less efficient than they should be, in GDCR I marked build time as 120 minutes as this is the time I needed to build prototype, and you were right on the mark.

OK. Due to the popular demand, next iteration of the cars will have some mark to denote starting 14 cards

I am eagerly waiting for the result of your next game. I am interested in your opinion on difficulty as I need to tweak that soon.
 
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G. Uitz
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Hi Aleksandar,

I just had two ideas for Nemesis abilities:
1) "You can only inflict the same number of damage to the nemesis as you did to the avatar in the same battle round."

This means if you kill off the avatar in the Power Phase, you can't damage the nemesis this round. If you want to deal 3 damage to the nemesis, you need to have an avatar down to 3 health points and inflict 3+3=6 damage. Even if you were able to inflict 7, only 3+3 would hit and the last one blocked
In other words, the lower the avatar's health, the less damage you are able to inflict on the nemesis.

2) "Whenever you inflict damage to the nemesis, determine one security type by chance (die roll, card draw, etc.). You have to recycle all cards of the same color from your hand."

Dark.
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Great ideas Dark!

First one should be called "Dark Mirror" and should make really good medium difficulty Nemesis.

The other one seems brutal

I will put them both into playtest.

Thanks.
 
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Michelle Skevington-Carter
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
A question: if an avatar is immune to Hardware and has security against Energy, Application and Networking, do I have to use one of these power types to attack it or can I use, for example, Database and not subtract anything from my powers for the Avatar's Security? All examples use the first option, but the rules don't forbid the second option and I wanted to check that this is allowable.
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G. Uitz
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Hello Michelle,

if the security type is not mentioned on the Avatar card, it has no resistance against it and you deal full damage.

Dark.
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
As Dark stated, if the power is not mentioned it does full damage.
I noted the question, and will clarify in the next edition of the rules.
 
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Michelle Skevington-Carter
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
saranac wrote:
As Dark stated, if the power is not mentioned it does full damage.
I noted the question, and will clarify in the next edition of the rules.


Thanks both of you. It would make the game much harder to play in the first way, so I'm glad I didn't get it wrong - just wasn't sure I was getting it right either!
 
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Well, lats think about it as another idea for the future Nemesis
 
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Michelle Skevington-Carter
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
Just to keep you updated (and in response to the thread on the p&p Facebook group, but it felt neater to keep feedback over here), it has taken me 5 games to beat the Practice Doll. I kept the same set of 28 cards in my deck and the same security card for the Nemesis for the last 3 games - only 2 of them let me retrieve cards from the discard pile, so it was a race against the deck as I couldn't replenish it very easily. However, I felt it 'should' be possible to win with most setups and had to prove that I could do it. Not sure how many games you would expect the win to take against this Nemesis or what would be classed too easy, but the rules do offer alternatives to make it easier (10 health) or harder (30 health) to beat. I know Dark managed the win on this first game, so maybe I don't have quite the right strategy yet or the cards in my deck were a particularly awful set.

Another card update:
Button Menu card has Hardware misspelt at the bottom.

Finally suggestions for the PNP files: my tokens all feature a little white edging on one or two sides due to misalignment - colour bleed for the edges would make them look neater. And, I'd really love some backs for the cards, slightly different for the 2 decks (mine and Avatar's) ideally as my white backs look really out of place with the full colour version of the game.
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Martin Gonzalvez
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
(Cross-post from the PnP FB Group)

Dear Aleksandar Saranac — your tokens are driving me crazy. The white spaces in between make for way more cutting than if you had just put them together with no white space. The backs that are on the same page as the fronts, are also a complication. It has taken me many hours already and I’m still not done. I know it’s because I’m the kind of PnPer who will construct every single bit you provide; there’s no such things as “optional” components for me.

My main suggestions for improvement of the tokens: provide them as true duplex printable fronts and backs, and don’t put any extra space between tokens. Also provide true cutlines rather than just outlines, and provide some color bleed / allowance at the edges to make front/back registration easier.

I estimate that I still have about an hour left to finish constructing your game, but I will finish it if it kills me!
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Aleksandar Saranac
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Re: WIP - Power Surge: Cyber Security Academy Card Game - Components available.
After several playtesting games I am happy to say that Dark's Mirror works great.

4th Nemesis will invade the internet tomorrow!
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