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Subject: LCG for Kids - would it work? or CCG? rss

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August Larson
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I'm designing a card game based on Brandon Mull's 'The Candy Shop War' book(s). The quickest way to describe it is kind of like a The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game-lite (with dice!). The Candy Shop War books are intended for elementary to middle school-age kids, and so is my game. I've playtested it with kids and they love it! I designed this game as a CCG, but it is different in many ways from other CCGs.

My game does not require 40-60 card decks like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and other CCGs. Instead, players will be using 15-30 cards at a time. I made the game this way so as to allow kids to buy just a few cards (one or two booster packs) and be able to play right off the bat.

But I plan to begin a Kickstarter campaign for my game, and I've seen that nearly all CCGs flop on Kickstarter. As backer rewards, would I do better to give away complete sets of cards as if this game were a LCG? And if I'm going to go that far, should I just scrap the CCG part of it and make it completely an LCG with card packs released later on(not booster packs)? Do you think kids would respond well to a LCG, or would most be more comfortable with a CCG?
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John "Omega" Williams
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CCG+Kickstarter=failure. zombie (Unless you are offering the complete game for the kickstarter. And even then most people are going to look at the CCG part and walk away.)

CCGs in general are failing gradually and you may meet actual retailer resistance or outright refusal to pick up a CCG.

LCGs and good ole "Complete in the box" games seem the way to go now.
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Nate K
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Omega2064 wrote:
CCG+Kickstarter=failure. zombie (Unless you are offering the complete game for the kickstarter. And even then most people are going to look at the CCG part and walk away.)

CCGs in general are failing gradually and you may meet actual retailer resistance or outright refusal to pick up a CCG.

LCGs and good ole "Complete in the box" games seem the way to go now.


What he said.

Let us know when you're close to release, though. My sisters love those books.
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Donnie Clark
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What they said. LCG.

An idea like this I'd consider backing for on behalf of my daughter.
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Drew Dallas
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If you think there is any possibility that BGG is a good portion of your market or will be your primary kickstarter source then you'd be better off going LCG at least for the kickstarter.
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August Larson
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Alright, it's decided. This will be a LCG. I will be starting the Kickstarter campaign in August or September, so keep an eye out for it! The Candy Shop War Card Game is going to be published through the book's publisher, Shadow Mountain, so it's gonna have some REALLY nice production. The art is all original from the book's illustrator, Brandon Dorman, and I'll post some pics of cards as soon as I can. If this game sells well enough I will be able to convince the publisher to let me make a Fablehaven LCG which I've already started working on.

Thanks for the feedback, guys, that really helped!
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Andrew Rowse
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In my opinion, you should drop the deck construction component of the game, at least for the 'normal' rules (it can be an advanced option if you like). Add a phase at the beginning of the game where cards are dealt out or drafted from a single deck instead, so that the game is truly stand-alone.

LCGs do better on Kickstarter than CCGs, but they don't do as well as stand-alone games. This is especially true when you're targeting children. As a new 'player' publishing on KS, you do not have a public image as a company that will exist forever, and that image is something you need if you're going to have a CCG or LCG, because the distribution model carries the message 'this game is not yet complete - you'll have to buy more in the future'.

Deck construction games need a critical mass of players in order to be a success. That's a barrier to entry, especially at the KS phase, because an individual has to either convince a bunch of friends to also back the game, or he has to make sure that he buys enough product that he can make decks for everybody.

By all means, make the game modular, and do something like have three modules available, each of which is a stand-alone game for (say) two people. By combining the modules, players could then expand the game to support up to six people. Include deck construction as an advanced variant, but don't expect an initial level of interest that will be high enough to establish the critical mass of players necessary for constructed deck play.

And good luck!
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