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About this blog

         For the last few years I've made it a hobby to try to come up with custom changes for Yugioh. From simple ideas back in the old days like upping initial LP, highlander and semi-highlander formats with a more limited use of restricted cards, etc. to adding in extra stats to cards or re-arranging the board. Now I'd like to see if I can just go all the way and ditch the total Yugioh dependence on these features and make a custom card game from the ground up using these ideas as well as elements I like about other card games I've tried.

        I'll keep working on this on my own, but if anybody is reading this and is amused by the concept, feel free to jump in and stuff xP

Entries in this blog


Custom Card Game Planning (Monsters/Creatures)

In my previous entry I talked about the energy/mana system as well as the field:
In this entry I'll talk about the actual creature/monster cards used.... Let's go with monsters.
Like any other game, they are gonna potentially come with effects, but I'm gonna disregard that here and present a "vanilla" concept.

About Vanillas~
My idea first of all, needs to team up with my previous entry (the mana system).

With this, it'd have mana cost, ditching the idea of requiring on-field Tributes that can potentially make cards dead in hand. Not having enough mana also can do it but if the mana system is gonna be here anyways we don't need an extra factor that can make a card unusable. I don't think I have an ideal way to prevent the Rock/paper/scissors effect without resorting to effects, so path of least damage it is xD

-Monsters need ATK obviously. A hitting stat is necessary.

-The Monsters need HP. You drop them with their full HP, and hits would (permanently) damage said HP until depleted (much like Pokemon HP).
 Having HP needs both monsters battling can now wound the other even if they don't win. Flavor-wise I find it kind of silly that a 2900 ATK monster loses "easily" against a 3000 ATK monster without so much as a scratch on the winner in Yugioh. The one that has the initiative of attacking would naturally have a little bit of an upperhand though.
Something like:
*Attacker inflicts full ATK to the opponent's health.
*Attack target does half its ATK (which is weaker but it is not "nothing" as the attacked monster is reacting).

-I've also been thinking of an SP stat. Speed for attacking, if you will. Let's say "2" is the standard number for most monsters.
This is very much like how "First Strike" works in Magic the Gathering, except that in MTG your creature either has it, or doesn't.
A monster with 3 SP would be faster at inflicting the damage, while a monster with 1 SP would be slower than most at delivering. A monster with 0 SP would naturally not be able to put damage in, as it has null attacking speed.

Such a mechanic needs to be implemented more scarcely as it can be very effective according to tests I've ran. Though I'd still like for it to exists.
Flavor-wise, it'd allow attack stoppers to only stop cards to a certain amount, and have some monster still find value in being able to pull through unless something else is used against it.
In terms of comparing things to Yugioh, it is as if Level 1 or 2 vanillas had gotten that extra speed and extra HP to make up for it. 

The idea is that there are more factors to add dimension to battles overall.
I'm not yet thinking about adding a sort of "Defense Position" since it is already a lot of factors to take into account.
- - - - - 

What are your thoughts people? Too complicated perhaps?





Custom Card Game Planning (Field and Energy)

I've made other planning entries but I think they were a bunch of ideas scattered and going on tangents. An nonsensical soup with no clear answers.
I figured it'd be better to scrap things and start a concept here again.

Energy Systems in other games.
- - - -

My idea:

Based on the above brainstorms which you don't really NEED to read through, my idea to present a Finite field map that is an empty grid. Imagine the Zones are empty holes and you gradually put on the field to fill them up.
-You'd have an Extra Deck of sorts where you once per turn can pick it up and grab one of the "Zones" to fill the part you want of the grid with. 
-The cards can be for creatures or for spells depending on the Zone, and they'd be of a certain color/element/Attribute, providing anywhere from 1 to 3 mana of that color/element/Attribute.
-Your mana/actions/energy is based on the total in the combined Zones you've assembled, and they'd potentially even have effects attached to them, like a geographical advantage of sorts.

-Oh, and to be more specific, I'm thinking on a small field similar to that of Duel Links... Maybe 4 columns of zones instead of 3, but that is a tentative estimate. It is hard to think of standards with just an early concept because the total actions might be too few on full field, and the maximum potential number of monsters on board might be too big. Numbers need to be tweaked but I think it'd be a good starting number of zones (6) for simplicity.
-An Extra Deck for the Zones in terms of size will always adjust itself to be around 150% the max amount you can fit on a field, allowing for some choices to be made.

This would potentially create an intricate enough experience even if the rest of the game were just monsters/creatures.

- - - - 

What are people's thoughts on this mana and field hybrid system for a custom card game?





Monster/Creature Features

First: Attributes/Elements/Colors. Cards in general need them. I don't think I've seen a card game that doesn't have them in some form for the sake of variety in the pool. Be it the straight-forward Avatar elements, to stuff like Pokemon Types, Vanguard Clans, or even Elements of Harmony in My Little Pony. I like Yugioh's line up of FIRE, WATER, WIND, EARTH, LIGHT, DARK, but am into the idea of adding a CLEAR/Colorless one, and debating myself on Ice and Thunder here. There's also how in MTG, there are golden-colored cards that are used when something has 2 or more of these elements at the same time, but isn't exactly considered as either. At least I think it doesn't? I've never asked that question before, but they have split color when a card is specifically 2 colors so I assume they are different things....

        I'll skip the equivalent of Type/Sub-Type right now, I think that can be tackled once more important stuff is taken care of.

        -For starters we'll definitely have an ATK value. Though other than this, I have to elaborate on the others.

       - HP (Health): There are two ways to implement this in cards that I've seen. The MTG way or the Pokemon way. MTG's "Toughness" stat is primarily damaged by battles with other creatures, and retains the damage dealt until the owner's turn re-starts, at which point it heals up. The Pokemon way has a bigger bar that is meant to be taken down through more of a grind. It's not too hard to find a way to one-hit KO a Pokemon, but the process is at least slower than MTG's. Pokemon's health is not automatically healed up though, and I like this concept a bit more to be honest.
         -Speed: Here's a somewhat new concept. For those who have played MTG, there's the concepts of First Strike and Double Strike. For those unfamiliar: In MTG, creatures colliding use essentially their ATK stat to damage the other creature's health in the form of a simultaneous hit, no matter who the attacker is, but with "First Strike's ability, a creature with it will strike first, which means the other creature won't get to hit back if it dies from that quicker damage. "Double Strike" is the same, but with a second strike at normal speed on top of it. 
        Instead of making a key term like MTG, I'd like to add a standard speed value to monsters. Upping the value would amount to the same as a "first strike", and effects could manage attack responses in the form of lowering down the speed instead of outright stopping attacks. This would provide some variety of usage to even vanillas when cards come out with low stats but higher speed for example. 0 speed = no attack velocity = no attack, if you wonder.

        -Here's where I get a bit of a conflict. DEF and the ability to flip monsters is one of the most strategically enriching mechanics that seems to be unique to Yugioh. At least in older formats where such a thing was used, like in Goat Control days. It's not quite stall and it's not quite the same as Pokemon resistance or Summoning Sickness in MTG. It slows steps down a bit and makes some mindgames. I wanna implement it in some fashion but I don't wanna trace it 100%. There surely is some way to tweak it. I'm putting a note on it for now.

        -Finally, there's the concept between Levels' system in Yugioh or some sort of energy system like those from most other games.
        In Pokemon, you have Energy Cards that have to be administered, one to one Pokemon once per turn, but only serve to fill up conditions to perform certain attacks.
        In MTG, there's Land Cards that exponentially help you grow your field over time. They are also one each turn but they are required to play pretty much all other cards. They are luckily enough not attached to a certain card and will remain in play for the rest of the game providing you 1 energy/mana each turn.
        In Force of Will, these energy cards are placed in their own separate deck and you'll get to them consistently without the issue of the previous models where you can potentially draw only energy, or not enough of it. You still don't fully decide which energy you'll draw though, from what I've seen it's pretty much a non-issue, making the whole thing feel a little bland to me honestly.
        In Kaijudo/Duel Masters/Naruto's TCG, we don't need cards dedicated to fulfilling the role of the energy system. You are still limited to increasing your energy pool at a once per turn rate like in the previous models, but you use your regular cards of the respective elements/Attributes/colors as fuel, sacrificing them into the energy pool in a way that forces you to manage your resources and decide what you can or can't use. I find this to be the most interesting method, and IMO it doesn't prevent it from having effects specialized in supporting cards directed to be part of the energy system. Among these, Kaijudo is the weakest model though. So long as you have 1 of a certain color, you "unlock" the color forever no matter which energies you use, and pretty much all samples from competitive matches I saw always unlocked all card colors/attributes/elements in a few turns, making a color separation in cards borderline pointless IMO. 
        Duel Masters' functioned like MTG lands and would get tapped every turn from there on for new energy, while Naruto's were a 1-time resource. I'm not entirely sure which method I prefer, I'll have to test both models when a few cards are designed and see what feels best.

        Levels are also an option here. Yugioh has used them in a number of intriguing ways, providing ranges of support, a quick grasp of the monster's size for the most part, and used them for Synchros, Xyzs, Rituals, Pendulums, and Tribute Summons. I am most definitely gonna go for having a finite-sized field unlike MTG. I think it provides a great deal of room for strategy. That said, the idea of being able to remove excess of cards in order to play better once in a way that's inherent to the rules is attractive. I am not gonna be using the above mentioned Special Summon mechanics since we are trying to design our own game here, but the concepts can help us come up with our own avenues. I think the ideas can survive potentially even if we go for an energy system rather than Levels. Also, there are ways to make it not conflict with the health system in cards. I'll provide more specific scamples in future entries.





Win Goal Monologue (LP, Prize Cards, etc)

Although I said ultimately this won't be an extension of Yugioh, I'll most likely be using it as reference a lot of the time as it is the card game I've played the most.

        For starters we need a life source. We have :
-Life Points in Yugioh,
-Shields in Duel Masters,
-Prizes in Pokemon,
-Damage check in Vanguard,
-and even in some games, the deck itself is the life and the game ends when it empties out.

Shields and Prizes are opposite variations of the same method: At the beginning of a game, players will randomly pick a number of cards to turn into these shields/prizes.
        In Pokemon's prize case, you are rewarded for knocking down another Pokemon, which means you are rewarded for taking a lead at face value, even though their mechanics of switching active/bench open up the concept that players might choose to put decoys to buy time for a come back so it's not too bad.
        However, I think Duel Masters does it a little better, still furthering the game's goal but offering the attacked/loser of the exchange the prize (or in this case, the "shield") to even out the gamestate a bit. On top of that, this game has abilities that trigger when these prizes are collected, which I find pretty neat. 
        Then again, there's Vanguard. It improves on the previous model by having the damage taken from the top of the deck in real time. Both are random procedures to figure out which cards end up as "damage" but since the previous 2 models separate the prizes/shields/damage at the beginning of the game, this increases the chances you won't be able to play something that ends up there, while in Vanguard you can still search those out and whatnot until they are used as damage. On the downside of this model, unless you get a "Draw Trigger", unlike the previous 2 models, the advantage to either side is null through these exchanges. Furthermore, all of these present random choices by the game so I figure there should be a way to optimize the damage check/shield/prize model if I end up using it.

There's the model of "deck out a player to win" but I'll be short on this option, I like it being an alternative rather than the main goal.

About Life Point values, both Yugioh and MTG use this method. I believe the prize card models' benefits can still find a way to be implemented in a game with life point values, although it'd take effects kicking in rather than core mechanics in this case, but making it the other way around (implementing LP values in a game that functions with prize card models) is harder to achieve. I'm personally leaning towards this method.



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