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Subject: Cyberpunk Card Game concept - the Market Research rss

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Clint M
Canada
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Hi all,

I have recently been "brought back" into the world of board games via Carcassonne and Race for the Galaxy (mainly the latter) and I'm also fresh off my play through of Deus Ex Human Revolution.

I am in love with both RtfG and the Deus Ex franchise and these influences have suddenly brought about an idea to design a cyberpunk themed card game.

This was a few days ago and although I've written out several pages of notes detailing the game's high concept, I am still a long way from developing cohesive play mechanics.

My questions to you, the good people of BGG, are as follows:

1.) What would YOU like to see from a card game about hackers, hacking, subterfuge, sinister corporations and tyrannical governments?

2.) Is there another game-reference besides Netrunner that I can turn to? Are there other noteworthy card-only games that are required play?

3.) How receptive are board gamers to the cyberpunk genre? It seems to be making a bit of a resurgence in the videogames space but I don't want to limit the game's appeal by slavishly sticking to a theme.

Would appreciate any thoughts and initial impressions you guys may have!

Thank you for indulging me

Mac
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Aaron Morgan
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Maclintok wrote:
1.) What would YOU like to see from a card game about hackers, hacking, subterfuge, sinister corporations and tyrannical governments?

2.) Is there another game-reference besides Netrunner that I can turn to? Are there other noteworthy card-only games that are required play?

3.) How receptive are board gamers to the cyberpunk genre?


1. Netrunner pushed a lot of the right buttons for me. I liked the mix of combining programs and connections and hideouts to do runs on systems, rather than just focusing on the hacking portion of the game. Making the two sides of the conflict play in very different manners was a big plus, too. So, keeping the asymmetrical card decks and going big-picture instead of only focusing on one part of the genre would draw me in.

2. Richard Garfield really was on a roll back then, wasn't he? If you've not already, check out Jyhad / Vampire: the Eternal Struggle for another great take on subterfuge / intrigue / combat between various warring factions. The theme is ancient vampires using their minions to hunt each other, but underneath it all, it's a game of espionage, assassination, and politics.

There was a Shadowrun card game in the late 90s. I never played it, and it was pretty short-lived, but that might provide some ideas.

3. Android was pretty well-received, and science fiction boardgames as a whole have been doing well for the last few years. Cyberpunk feels a little dated now, but even after more than 25 years, it still has a following.
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Justin Hendry
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i most likely won't be of too much help. i saw your post and since the word cyberpunk was in it i had to check it out. i am very interested in cyberpunk games. two games i thought of of late both are not just cards, but have cards and i feel they are worth a look.

1. Zaibatsu
it is a print and play

2. Android
bladerunner themed

hope that is a good start for you

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Tiwaz Tyrsfist
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I was/am a huge fan of Netrunner. I'd love to see a card based/card driven cyberpunk game, like a deck building game or something like Race for the Galaxy.

Maclintok wrote:

1.) What would YOU like to see from a card game about hackers, hacking, subterfuge, sinister corporations and tyrannical governments?

I'd love to see things heavily based on Gibson's early novels, Count Zero, Virtual Light, and such. I think I'd prefer a game more about information trading and theft/sale of high tech prototypes, where hacking was a tool, not the absolute core of the game.

Maclintok wrote:

2.) Is there another game-reference besides Netrunner that I can turn to? Are there other noteworthy card-only games that are required play?

Android, which has already been mentioned of coarse. You might also check out the RPG Netrunner was based off of, Cyberpunk 2020.
Something REALLY important to keep in mind, is that game theme and game mechanics are only LOOSELY tied. Race for the Galaxy grew out of trying to turn Puerto Rico into a card game after all. Look at ANY card driven game with good mechanics and see if parts of it would work well with your game idea.

Maclintok wrote:

3.) How receptive are board gamers to the cyberpunk genre? It seems to be making a bit of a resurgence in the videogames space but I don't want to limit the game's appeal by slavishly sticking to a theme.

Sci-Fi seems to be coming back up as a strong/popular theme lately. I think that a strong game will certainly carry on well with a cyberpunk theme.

A good game, a game with a strong, fun mechanical side will carry and strengthen a theme. If your game is REALLY good, it will increase the perception of Cyberpunk games.
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Clint M
Canada
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Thanks for the useful feedback, guys. Looks like I have some research/game playing to do in the short-to-mid term!

EitherOrlok wrote:
1. Netrunner pushed a lot of the right buttons for me. I liked the mix of combining programs and connections and hideouts to do runs on systems, rather than just focusing on the hacking portion of the game. Making the two sides of the conflict play in very different manners was a big plus, too. So, keeping the asymmetrical card decks and going big-picture instead of only focusing on one part of the genre would draw me in.


Yeah, I am very much on a similar wavelength. Netrunner really went into nice detail with the hacking/counter-measures game. A pity I didn't play it all that much back in the day (it was still about about M:TG for me). Since I'm envisioning 3 unique factions, by necessity I would want to make the act of hacking & stealing data more abstract. It's still a contest for "points", but I definitely want things like resource denial and opponent trolling to be big part of the game.

EitherOrlok wrote:
2. Richard Garfield really was on a roll back then, wasn't he? If you've not already, check out Jyhad / Vampire: the Eternal Struggle for another great take on subterfuge / intrigue / combat between various warring factions. The theme is ancient vampires using their minions to hunt each other, but underneath it all, it's a game of espionage, assassination, and politics.


I was such a Magic kid but I remember looking at Jyhad longingly because it *appeared* to be a deeper, more interesting game. I also loved the artwork! The very least I could do is hunt down a rulebook and check out some videos of it being played.

BTW, I am intending this to be a stand-alone non-CCG. Planning 3 factions that play differently is already making my brain melt.

Speaking of which, designing a game that plays optimally with 3 players (one for each faction) while it plays so-so for 2 seems like a bad idea. But... have there been games that have done that before and succeeded?
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Johan Haglert
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Part 1 of point 1: Just copy the movie 'Hackers' perfectly, inlines and all, and it will work.

Part 2 of point 1: Due to limit in the rules of political questions I can't comment.
 
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Toco
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Maclintok wrote:

2.) Is there another game-reference besides Netrunner that I can turn to? Are there other noteworthy card-only games that are required play?


Search no further. Stick to Netrunner, it's the best hacker game out there. thumbsup
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Christian Link
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Clint,
When someone mentions Cyberpunk, I think about the RPG inspired by William Gibson's book, Neuromancer. The RPG used mechanics using concepts and terms coined by Gibson. The demographics for non-geeks that know this is probably low. The movie, "Johnny Memonic", is probably more common among plebs.
Someone definitely needs to apply this theme to any mechanic and the card mechanic mentioned (RFTG like) is also definitely popular. I'd say its worth the attempt..I'd buy it and play it.
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Christian Link
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"BTW, I am intending this to be a stand-alone non-CCG. Planning 3 factions that play differently is already making my brain melt."


Instead of factions...you might mean corporations.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Cyberpunk the RPG was definitly about alot more than just the net. The CCG Netrunner thats set in that RPGs world though is totally about netrunning and pretty much nothing else. Yes, you can sic a hit squad on an opponents hackers meat side. But thats more or less secondary to patrolling the net and stealing data.

FreeHansje wrote:
May I point out, that Cyberpunk is about a lot more than netrunning and computer hacking. I have not played Netrunner, so I don't know if this is solely about computer hacking.
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Clint M
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aliquis wrote:
Part 1 of point 1: Just copy the movie 'Hackers' perfectly, inlines and all, and it will work.


Haha, I think I see your point. Cyberpunk does smack of mid-90s cheese thanks to Hackers and that awful Johnny Mnemonic movie. Tonally, the game could go for a humorous, post-cyberpunk irony. But if it's a serious tone, I feel like it would have to include many of the trappings (good and bad) of the genre.

The Matrix was the big gateway into cyberpunk for most people. The movie is considered old news now.
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Clint M
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cptwacky wrote:


"BTW, I am intending this to be a stand-alone non-CCG. Planning 3 factions that play differently is already making my brain melt."

Instead of factions...you might mean corporations.


I still mean factions. They are: The Corporation, The Hackers and The Government. Of course I will think up more flowery names for them later.

I want a bit of a rock-paper-scissors dynamic between the factions but not quite in the sense of them acting as hard counters to each other.

I was envisioning predictable turn phases for each player, but the more I think about the more I like the idea of implementing RftG's "guessing game" where player's secretly pick their roles each turn. It could fit into the theme quite well.
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Wim van Gruisen
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Maclintok wrote:
I still mean factions. They are: The Corporation, The Hackers and The Government. Of course I will think up more flowery names for them later.

I want a bit of a rock-paper-scissors dynamic between the factions but not quite in the sense of them acting as hard counters to each other.

I was envisioning predictable turn phases for each player, but the more I think about the more I like the idea of implementing RftG's "guessing game" where player's secretly pick their roles each turn. It could fit into the theme quite well.

Don't pick hackers; pick punks. 'Hackers' sounds like you're focussing on the netrunning part. Punks are rebels against society / drop-outs of society.

And if you think about RftG's guessing game, perhaps you shouldn't pick role selection but battleground selection instead. Have one player for each different faction, and the battleground they pick indicates what area they focus upon. They have an advantage in that area over the factions that picked another area.
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Michael Pleier
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Maclintok wrote:
I still mean factions. They are: The Corporation, The Hackers and The Government. Of course I will think up more flowery names for them later.


How about Punks, Media, Megacorporations.

I tend to think of governments in a Cyberpunk setting to be puppets of the corporations.

Also, there was Cyberpunk: The Collectible Card Game.
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Clint M
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I like the idea of the Punks or The Resistance. The idea is that they are hackers with a diverse group of co-conspirators working with them, be it ex-intelligence spooks, anarchists, activists and vigilantes.
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