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TOPIC: Deckbuilder Games

Deckbuilder Games 13 Oct 2017 11:58 #255661

Sagrilarus wrote:
Your dice idea increases the difficulty of the game, but not the response to what happens on the board. I suppose it could . . . it could make using the same style of attack more difficult if you had a different dice pool for each attack approach.

What I had in mind was that a player performs a specific attack and it adds (or has a chance to add) a die to the die pool. What the die colors mean will be determined by the game, i.e., the colors could represent the AI's aggression or alert status, or they could correspond to spatial elements in the game. Regardless, you could then make the AI responses more granular by having the AI's behavior guided by the majority dice pool color, the number or types of successes in the individual colors, or a combination of both.

You could do all kinds of crazy stuff. If you want to gain this permanent buff then you have to add a red die to the pool. There can only be one red die in the pool, but if it ever comes up six, it's bad news. Or something bad happens if you get a 5/6 on the "left flank" dice, but only if they're the majority color, etc. Playtesting and streamlining a dice pool system like this might be prohibitively complicated but I'd like to see someone try.

Another way to do the card system would have the players' cards have top halves and bottom halves. When the players play the card they use the top half ability and discard it to the AI's hand. The AI then resolves all of the effects of the bottom halves during its turn. You'd have to prohibit table talk to a degree (i.e., no discussing the bottom halves of the cards) and the player decks would have to be large enough so they could make educated guesses but not know how the AI would respond.
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Deckbuilder Games 13 Oct 2017 14:09 #255678

I've been working on a dial system combined with dice that is based on probabilities (right now it is to create an AI opponent in an old west dual) to guide the response of the AI opponent. Trying to develop different dials for different types of opponents -- kind of like the old Baseball All Stars game

Similar to deck building, I suppose, but maybe a little more streamlined in terms of space and overhead.
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Deckbuilder Games 17 Oct 2017 08:50 #255817

san il defanso wrote:
That's also City of Remnants, which was a pretty good game too.

It's a pity that the game didn't look nice enough for most people to check out. It's definitely an early "deckbuilding with a point" kind of game. From my understanding of the genesis of this one, this was the first game that Isaac pitched to Colby, but it had a grittier real-world drug theme. Isaac had originally wanted to be a video game designer, and found that he didn't enjoy programming and left school. This game was his brainchild after playing Puerto Rico, Dominion, and some other popular late 00's euros, and it shows. Despite its lack of commercial success, this was the design (which was developed and rethemed by Colby) which convinced him that Isaac had talent and design chops, which made him the first full time employee after himself. Colby was still working days at the church as a media director, so that probably explains some of his aversion to the original drug theme and its marketability.

Back on topic though, Dominion is the best one and always will be. Ascension was a worse system yet it's the one that got copied. What killed Dominion for me was Isotropic, the ridiculously slick and ugly free online adaptation of it. If you liked Dominion, it was taking the cocaine of it and turning it into crack. 3-4 minute 2-player games back-to-back-to-back made coming back to the banality of a 30-minute live 4 players non-degenerate game of it into boring slogs that the rest of the world had already perceived.
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Deckbuilder Games 18 Oct 2017 03:52 #255884

Maybe controversial but I don't think deckbuilding games really work. at all. I mean, I think its a flawed concept. (I'm talking about games where during the game you are adding cards to a deck, so not including stuff like Magic where there is significant game in preconstructing/drafting etc). The main reason is it just seems like on its own its an extremely nice mechanism to simulate a dynamically changing quantity, but on its own, anything with "theme" added just becomes a distraction, I don't think I have played any deckbuilding type game that did not end up with the conclusion "all that extra shit just makes it more confusing than Dominion, for no real added gain since theres no real theme added, just obfuscation of what is basically oh this is money, this is points, these are actions":

The problem for me with Dominion is that it quickly become boring, overbloated with expansions, too dull on its own, and too much like a puzzle you could in theory somewhat solve before you start, and see who gets there quickest (of course, in real life, theres a game to be had to see if one or another person can actually find that path and execute it better). I recently played both DC Comics and Marvel Legendary deckbuilders and they were both terrible despite many people saying that Marvel was way better. It's not. They both have very clunky and dull procedural gameplay that in no way evokes any kind of superhero experience.

Changing the words "money", "points" and "actions" into some other words and adding art to the cards, and pretending theres a story going on just does not work

Where I see deckbuilding being useful is in being a small mechanical part of a game where your deck represents stuff you can do, but over time it gets better (representing some kind of experience) or worse (fatigue or disaster), but it should be a small part of a greater whole. The chaos bag in AHCG could be a "deckbuilder" if you added more negative markers based on this or that bad event, or if you removed the auto success counter based on this, hence increasing the "oh no" factor of using the bag later. Thats the kind of "deckbuilding" I think works, but thats not really anything more than a fancy way of saying a modified column on a table, so I guess a column shift from an old time wargame. Its that kind of principle that has a meaning.

Also,***** off with the constant shuffling (at least bag building became a thing because someone smart realised that drawing a few cards, buying a few cards, then shuffling those few cards every few minutes on auto repeat is tedious beyond belief).

So for me, I'm quite positive towards "changing odds" type ideas, whether that be via a deck of cards, or modifiers, or chits, or a table, but the concept of basing an entire game around starting with a few cards, "buying" some more, "trashing" others, and chaining them together while having to shuffle every other turn is something which I think has become a bit of a blight on the hobby to be honest, and oh so easy to be abused. Hey look, heres some cards with a picture of Iron Man on it, its a superhero deck building game where you can buy 5 different versions of Iron Man to go in your "deck" so next time you draw your 6 cards this time you can attack with 3 claws, not 2. Yawn.

(Just got AHCG and looking forward to that, I see the deckbuilding part is limited, but also thats more akin to you have a deck, and between adventures you can tweak out a handful of cards to try different tactics, and maybe you went a bit mad syou have to add an extra weakness to your deck). THAT kind of deckbuilding seems to be a more genuine game experience
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Deckbuilder Games 18 Oct 2017 08:55 #255905

Am I the only person in the world for whom shuffling some cards isn't a dehumanizing ordeal? Is this some kind of Millennials vs Gen X thing?

There are few deckbuilder games I haven't liked more than Dominion, even without bloat. Dominion is just boring to me, just a lot of going through the motions until there's a winner. I'll never get excited about buying a Villa or a Barony or whatever. And I love Ascension, which is so NOT a funely tuned engine, BECAUSE it allows for crazy unbalanced mega-turns every now and then. If I want a restrained, quiet, chin-stroking experience, I'm going to play something more interesting than Dominion, and if I want deckbuilding, I'm also going to play something else. I was impressed with Dominion for exactly the month it took between it coming out and everyone ripping it off. I've preferred almost everything else since then.
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Deckbuilder Games 18 Oct 2017 09:28 #255911

Legomancer wrote:
Am I the only person in the world for whom shuffling some cards isn't a dehumanizing ordeal? Is this some kind of Millennials vs Gen X thing?

Nope, I actually love shuffling and find it therapeutic. And I'm an older millennial. (1985). I grew up playing Pinochle and MtG. I tend to enjoy shuffling unsleeved cards more. Playing a ton of Dominion has gotten me to the point where I can usually tell how many cards are in a small pile of cards by picking it up. If I only have 8 or 9 cards in a Kingdom pile, I'll know immediately upon picking it up and look briefly for the lost card. I'll usually know how many points I'll get for my Gardens too. I prefer cards to minis or dice. But I still like positional play, so that's why I got really into Summoner Wars.

What was surprising for me was playing Dominion live after playing it online and realizing how much of the time is spent in some combination of shuffling and having new players take a much longer time trying to decide what to by. It's certainly true that a lot of the game is in those first few turns where you try to solve that kingdom set based on whether you get a 5/2 or a 3/4 opening split. What I don't like doing is shuffling large piles of sleeved cards. It's my least favorite part of playing EDH, and it happens a lot since I've been playing a GW deck with a lot of ramping.

The most troubling thing for me about Dominion was that it came out a year after Race for the Galaxy, which is a superior "euro in 30 minutes" kind of game. The decisions there are way more nuanced, complex, and numerous. And none of that time is spent shuffling, so there's more active business time. And unless there are a lot of attack cards in Dominion, it's more interactive too, especially 2-player. I prefer RftG to ANY worker placement game or 90 minute mid-weight Euro, and it's far better than Roll too. Or Imperial Settlers. Again going back to Summoner Wars (the source of my avatar here), it felt like Race for the Galaxy with a board since you paid for cards with other cards. If someone could come up with a good way to draft Summoner Wars, or deckbuild it like Dominion first and THEN play Summoner Wars, I'd probably lost my mind over it.
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Last Edit: 18 Oct 2017 09:37 by Jexik.
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Deckbuilder Games 18 Oct 2017 10:50 #255918

Well I'm close to 50 so no idea about generations. I dont feel like shuffling is dehumanizing, I just dont find it to be a particularly compelling activity and not when it is happening that frequently, as is typical for the first turns in standard deckbuilders, especially in games where your deck is starting at a handful of cards and increasing in size by 1 each time. But more power to you if that doesnt bother you, whichever of the labelled generations you want to fly the flag for.
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Deckbuilder Games 18 Oct 2017 12:26 #255925

Jexik wrote:
If someone could come up with a good way to draft Summoner Wars, or deckbuild it like Dominion first and THEN play Summoner Wars, I'd probably lost my mind over it.

I went ahead and tried it. It actually worked.

www.plaidhatgames.com/sum_forums/showthr...&p=131489#post131489
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