Experience of Deck Building Game

Deck Building Game is a genre that is really hot these days. Personally I like it a lot, however there are also some issues that need particular care to make sure the game is going to work, and we meet some of them in our projects, which is really a pain in back.

The most important feature to be noticed is that most deck building games are slow. Such slowness comes from at least 2 aspects:

  1. The purchasing process. For many deck building games after you purchase cards in the center store, the cards go to your discard pile, which makes it come back to your hand at least 1 turn later.

  2. The economy system of such game. To run a efficient economy, players must purchase some cards which focus on economy building of their deck, which essentially dilute the probability of drawing those “winning-related” key cards.

However, these aspects have their own reason to exist, and need to be more carefully dealt with.

The slowness of purchasing process is actually somehow deliberated, or at least in the deck building game that I made. The point is, comparing to CCGs, in deck building games, people who purchase those powerful cards are at least economically strong. If we accelerate the game by make all cards purchased directly go into those hands who purchased them, such fast pace might be easy to form a huge positive feedback that other players may not be able to catch up with.

The economy system of such game I believe has more interesting tricks to be done. In my project, I give each card 2 roles.

The first role is what it is as that card itself: the effect on it, the attack that it provide to monsters, etc.

The second role is money. Those cards can also be used as money, as long as you discard them into discard pile, while not let the effects on them happen.

This later role actually provides more meaningful choices for players to make. Shall I use the effects of the cards, or shall I use them as money to purchase more powerful cards? Choices emerge from the very beginning of the game.

Also, because we add a mechanic where you are able to obtain other players’ cards when they are used as money if you meet certain criteria, this decision is even more challenging. Shall I use this expensive card as money to fill up the money gap when I try to purchase something I really need while taking the risk of being captured by other players? Or should I just wait for next round while other players may also lay their eyes on that “something”?

Personally I think that the choices we make on the project as game designer are overall good. Yet I believe that these techniques still need more carefully examine as it may not be appropriate for every game.

Think the reason. This is the only correct way to use other people’s idea.