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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignLet's come up with single-player variants for collectible card games.
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Author Topic: Let's come up with single-player variants for collectible card games.  (Read 3514 times)
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« on: October 08, 2012, 05:43:12 pm »

In lieu of my usual stupid posts...

I used to play Magic: The Gathering a fair amount. Loved the game back in the day. Still do, although I think the new rulesets have sort of drifted in to weird territory, but I digress. Problem is, I have a job and I don't really know a lot of people, so face-to-face MTG playing is out of the question. Tons of online versions for actual head to head play, but I've still got a huge box of physical cards that's basically just collecting dust.

So, I've wanted to come up with single-player variants for MTG for some time but never really got around to it.

I'm sure other people here are in a similar situation, either for MTG or Yugioh or Pokemon or whatever the kids are playing these-a-days. Or hell, even with board games.

For inspiration, here's this website: http://www.angelfire.com/games4/magicvariants/ It has a few Solitaire variants.

So there are some considerations I've had for this.

- Ideally you don't deviate from the original FEEL of the game too much. Deviating from the ruleset, perhaps drastically, is inevitable. What I mean is like, you probably wouldn't want to completely eliminate the concept of land from MTG solo play, since land and colored mana are very central game concepts.

This is why the official MTG Solitaire rules aren't very good. It's basically /regular/ solitaire merged with War, only you're playing it with MTG cards. Most of the original game has been stripped out.

Completely removing mechanics for ease of coming up with solo play is also a kind-of-boring solution.

- One possibility would be to write some companion software that acts as a virtual DM/opponent. For instance, on the website I linked to, check out the Deep IQ variant. That could be automated somewhat with a simple text-based program.

- Some cards are going to have incredibly specific rules that aren't going to be reconcilable with solo games. You also have issues where certain expansions to CCG introduce rules that are only relevant to that expansion (which causes issues in regular play as well but again I digress). How do you cope with situations like these? Just outright ban the usage of the card? Come up with alternative rulings?

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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 07:01:05 pm »

Mythos, the lovecraft themed CCG had a single player variant that was rather nice, I collected almost all the cards, the problem with CCGs is that they're CCGs and chasing ultra rare cards (I'm looking at you Cthulu) becomes a bit dumb after a while.

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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 04:46:51 am »

Like Dungeon packs for DnD. You buy a campaign. There's restrictions on the deck you can build. Has to be on a computer. The AI messes with you.


The only other option.... Sell "decks" of throw-aways that come with a pamphlet that is the "scenario." Then shuffle and play against these other decks. ... this is actually a pretty good idea. Players train against the pre-builts, get excited about the game, buy the real cards. The practice decks would be cheap paper/cardboard or something (b/w, limited selection etc.)

There would have to be some AI too, like rules the pre-builts follow, kind of like a 7-step list of things to do each turn as the thinking. Maybe there's one rule set that all pre-builts follow, then each pack someone buys has a couple of additions. The power of the pre-builts would have to be a little bit higher to make up for the weak AI.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 05:25:02 am by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 06:04:49 am »

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