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Subject: 2 player CCG vs 3 to 4 player CCG rss

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I am trying to design a CCG which is for 3 to 4 players (no 2 player variant). I would like to hear your opinions about comparing 2 player CCG against 3 to 4 player CCG. For the sake of the discussion, the 2 player CCG that I mentioned can only be played by 2 players only (therefore no 3 and above players variants). As for the 3 to 4 player CCG, there will be no 2 player variant or more than 4 players. We won't be discussing about whether a CCG business model is viable, because I would like to focus on the game design and not business model.

The thing is, I am mostly a 2 player only game fan. I like the fact that it feels competitive , because if you and me play, it is either I am better than you, or you are better than me. In a 3 to 4 player game, it may be difficult to compare between me and you because there is another player(s) who can screw either of us.

Now, my decision to consider a 3 to 4 player only CCG is a step towards exploring games that can only be played by minimum 3 players like Settlers of Catan, Puerto rico, Munchkins and the like. While that maybe good for growing gaming experience, there are some concepts that don't ring well with my preference for competition.

Most competitive games out there resembles 2 player games. For example, tennis, soccer, badminton, football are either one player against one player or one team versus another team, which resembles a 2 player game. You can say that there is Poker where you play againts many people, but Poker can also be a 2 player game (heads up) while Puerto Rico and other 3 player games can't.

However, 3 player games can be interesting by the fact that it resembles interesting situations like the Romance of the 3 kingdoms, or warring states of Japan or China. Unfortunately, most of the wars in American history as I know of (I don't deligently read American history)are one on one. For example, WW2 is about Allies vs Axis. Cold War is USA vs USSR.

Just to clarify things, I haven't thought of the theme or mechanics about this CCG. I am just thinking about the concepts of 2 player game vs 3 player game. I want this CCG to be competitive, however most successful CCGs out there only have tournaments for 2 player mode. MTG has multiplayer variants, but they are not supported in tournaments. In fact, there are people telling me that a game for more than 2 players are usually casual games.

So, for the sake of a competitive game, should it stay as a 2 player game or should it be viable for more than 2 players (but not viable for only 2 player).

Thanks.

 
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David
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I'd say that if you can't make it work with 2 players then CCG is the wrong model for you. Similarly you should put every effort into making a viable multiplayer variant on top of 2 player.

You'll need a viable 2 player or 2 team variant unless you want to come up with a convenient way to structure tournaments. If it's a CCG player will want to compete. If your game doesn't have that they'll walk away. Sure there may be some hardcore fans that would come up with their own ways of running tournaments with 3 or 4 players per game but if you want to be successful you must provide that option yourself. 2p has centuries of experience on how to do it. Much less work.

You also need to consider growing groups of players that might have odd numbers. You don't want them to sit out. So you need at least a three player variant to cover uneven numbers and at that point it's probably not too difficult to support 4 or more as well.

On another note I strongly recommend you do not set your CCG in any existing setting. Whenever you pick an existing setting you're limiting your card pool to things that already exist and bank the future of your game on the fast enough continuation of that setting. Unless you pick something huge you'll eventually run out of things to turn into cards. If you're going the way of the web with it you might have a bit more leeway as you're not as dependent on stores stocking your game. But as much as I hate to admit it, without new cards a CCG is dead.
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Matt Brown
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I think anybody making a CCG versus a LCG these days is pretty much screwing themselves. There is no real advantage for a CCG from a designer and publisher standpoint. The chase for rares doesn't really benefit them as those are bought at the store level. You are also more than welcome to list the hit CCGs that have come out since LCGs have taken off. There's only like 3-4 CCGs that have stuck around over time anyway and those were started well before LCGs.
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matthean wrote:
You are also more than welcome to list the hit CCGs that have come out since LCGs have taken off. There's only like 3-4 CCGs that have stuck around over time anyway and those were started well before LCGs.
You are more than welcome to list the hit LCGs that have come out since LCGs have taken off. That would make a handy comparison and it will be a short list, because there is not a single one that would be considered a "hit" by CCG standards in terms of product sold or the size and intensity of the competitive scene.
 
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Matt Brown
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Kiraboshi wrote:
matthean wrote:
You are also more than welcome to list the hit CCGs that have come out since LCGs have taken off. There's only like 3-4 CCGs that have stuck around over time anyway and those were started well before LCGs.
You are more than welcome to list the hit LCGs that have come out since LCGs have taken off. That would make a handy comparison and it will be a short list, because there is not a single one that would be considered a "hit" by CCG standards in terms of product sold or the size and intensity of the competitive scene.
Android: Netrunner will easily trounce any new CCG since LCGs have come out. Star Wars: The Card Game will also see far more play than any new CCG as well. CCGs have been out for about 18 years. Again, there's all of 3-4 of them that are major players. Even Shadowfist, one of the better CCGs, is now using a LCG format in its new go around.

If someone wants to make a CCG, they are more than welcome to do so. I just think they are shooting themselves in the foot by doing so. FYI, the number one tournament game at one of my FLGS is Dominion.
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David
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matthean wrote:
FYI, the number one tournament game at one of my FLGS is Dominion.
That's interesting. In what constellation do they play? 2 player or more?
 
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Ian Taylor
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I have never played a CCG which I felt played well with more than 2 players. All seem to be either cripplingly slow, or suffer from massive Kingmaker problems or both. Not saying it's impossible to create a good one, just that you will have to think hard about how to keep the game flowing and how 'political' you want the game to be (and how you can achieve that).
 
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Nicolo Nicolo
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piemasteruk wrote:
I have never played a CCG which I felt played well with more than 2 players. All seem to be either cripplingly slow, or suffer from massive Kingmaker problems or both. Not saying it's impossible to create a good one, just that you will have to think hard about how to keep the game flowing and how 'political' you want the game to be (and how you can achieve that).
But that's because they were not designed with multi first. If all cards/decisions affected all opponents then the kingmaking becomes less of an issue/non-existent. I don't know if it would work still, CCGs are dying.
 
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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piemasteruk wrote:
I have never played a CCG which I felt played well with more than 2 players. All seem to be either cripplingly slow, or suffer from massive Kingmaker problems or both. Not saying it's impossible to create a good one, just that you will have to think hard about how to keep the game flowing and how 'political' you want the game to be (and how you can achieve that).
Jyhad / V:tES was designed around multiplayer play, and is really best with five. It manages to avoid dog-piling and king-making, though it does suffer from the problems of being a two-hour elimination game (although there's snowball mechanics that tend to cause eliminations to occur in more rapid succession towards the end of the game). It's also a completely different game when played two-player, because it kills the politicking aspect and makes things zero-sum, so suddenly the best decks are direct combat engines that just try to rip apart every vampire your opponent brings out.
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Liam
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Moved from General Gaming to Board Game Design

I'll second the usual - why a CCG and not a LCG?

CCGs for me represent the dark ages: isolated and bankrupt, their role is played out. They should go where the belong from now on - into the dustbin of history. whistle
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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piemasteruk wrote:
I have never played a CCG which I felt played well with more than 2 players. All seem to be either cripplingly slow, or suffer from massive Kingmaker problems or both. Not saying it's impossible to create a good one, just that you will have to think hard about how to keep the game flowing and how 'political' you want the game to be (and how you can achieve that).
Depends on your definition of "slow" ... I fully expect a good multiplayer card game to take 2 to 3 hours. And the "politics" are something that I fully expect in a face-to-face multiplayer tabletop game. If I didn't want politics, I'd go play a computer game.

The CCGs I enjoyed were:

-- Babylon 5
-- Deadlands: Doomtown
-- Shadowfist

........


Going back to the OP:

The best way to avoid having us criticize you for designing a "CCG" is to just call it a Card Game. If you don't want to talk about the distribution business model, take the term "CCG" out of your original post.
 
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