With a name like 'Cards & Combat' it's pretty clear what you're in for when playing the game. The Card and Combat elements of play are the foundation on which everything is built, we'll explore these in future posts, but for now let's have a look at what I hope will elevate the project beyond being a typical adventurous brawler.
There are 8 game modes in development. On launch and during open beta testing there'll only be 3 modes available (two simple modes, one standard mode), with the rest to be revealed and added at a later date. The starter modes include:
Before we take a look at one of the starter modes let's go over the criteria I use to decide what modes make it into the game.
GAME MODE THEORIES
- It has to put a 'Cards and Combat Spin' on a familiar play style. Player familiarity is essential. It gives an easy hook to bring people into the game and intuitively understand how to play it and the sorts of experiences that should expect when playing. The casual card and combat foundations of the gameplay will already be familiar to anyone who's played adventure board games like Heroquest, Space Crusade, or Zombies!!!. But for the game modes to stand out they too need to have mechanics and additional content that players can quickly recognize and jump into.
- Think of these modes as expansions. Typically a game mode adds in new rules and mechanics to the base gameplay. But in the case of Card & Combat there is no base game, there is only a base mechanic (of cards and combat) on which other play styles are built. To avoid confusion I'll refer to these 'games within a game' as modes... "a particular type or form of something".
- Each mode must offer something entirely different. Each mode is a new toy added to the sandbox intended to keep players engaged if they want to change things up. The variety of modes (and play experiences) is intended to increase the chance that a new player will buy in to the game world... then explore it further, in time becoming a fan. Each planned game mode is spun from a very different inspiration/source including (I'll be vague here)... a board game take on a popular video game genre; a parody of a popular board game; a mode inspired by core concepts from two vintage board games; an attempt to adapt an FPS game play mode to the board game medium; an attempt to fuse combat with standard playing card games; a head to head fighting mode; etc.
- It must add new assets to the sandbox. A new set of rules for a new mode is substantial, but it isn't as gratifying and tangible as a bunch of new 'things' to unpack, admire and play with. For a new Cards & Comat mode to be anticipated and enjoyed without immediate buyers remorse I figure it has to come with new Playable Characters, new Costumes for existing Characters, new tiles, new cards for the base game deck, new 3D props to play with, new decals/stickers to add around the board, new music and so on.
That said, here's a brief summary of the first mode in the game. While reading bare in mind that the nature of the cards and combat in play are the centerpiece of each match, we'll get to those in a future post.
An unpredictable game of Combat & Cards (with a touch of RPG) where Players use cunning and brute force to outwit each other while capturing letters of the alphabet in order to complete the 'Winning Word'. To win the round, correctly guess and spell that word. Sounds easy enough, right?
Requires one GAME MASTER (GM) and up to 5 PLAYERS. Medium game length. Complexity: EASY.
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