Kickstarter project for a tower defense deck drafting game (Mage Tower) from a sirlin fan

Discussion in 'General Chit-chat' started by JohnnySmash, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    Hey guys I've read just about every article and blog by Sirlin and I figured this would be a decent place to post about my tower defense card game that I just put on Kickstarter. My other game design influences are Mark Rosewater (Magic) and Donald X Vaccarino (Dominion), both of whom I have also read pretty much every article I could find from them. I also made the webcomic if you've ever heard of that or seen people post the crappy yellow stick figure comics on 4chan lol. Anyways I'll just link the Kickstarter and you can find out more about the game there if you're interested:
    Logo likes this.
  2. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    So what happens if you reveal 9 points worth of monsters, and then flip a Demon or Giant?

    Is there a list of cards yet?

    How does one track damage on players/monsters/defenders? Does it carry over from turn to turn?

    Are you stuck with the same 13-card deck you have after drafting, or will you have opportunities to continue working on your deck as the game progresses?
  3. SpicyCrab

    SpicyCrab Well-Known Member

    Wow, this actually looks pretty neat.

    I noticed that you have public domain fantasy art?

    Do you mind me asking where you found a repository of fantasy art that was public domain? I am working on a card game myself and if I could find a similar database for Sci-Fi art it would really make my day (and might be worth a pledge too :) )
  4. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    Fry- you discard a Demon or Giant when it would put you over 12 points. Damage carries over from turn to turn. There are three prize cards that you can add to your deck during the game, they are just for basic resources (cards/energy/damage) but help you even out your deck and have a "mega turn". It's definitely not a deckbuilding game though. Also it's possible if you get some cards that give you gold (to buy more prize cards) and some deck cycling or shuffling, you can have a crazy deck full of prize cards that cycles through itself over and over.

    SpicyCrab - This is a pretty good one that deals with fantasy art: but I got most of them by doing searches on wikimedia commons It took a long time to find all the card images, you'd be surprised how few results you get when you're looking for common fantasy tropes because most of the art is so old.
  5. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    Congrats on reaching your goal!
  6. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    Thanks man, it's been super crazy, I can't stop checking my texts and Kickstarter/Facebook/Twitter. I've got to put up stretch goals tomorrow and there's like 10,000 more things to do. Big thanks to Sirlin for being one of my biggest inspirations even though he'll probably never read this! lol
  7. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    If anyone is interested in an in-depth overview of the game mechanics and some overviews of card combos and stuff, I just put up this video today:

  8. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    13 cost guy looks like a beating. How tough is it to acquire prize cards? You only need 3x Summoning to be able to play that guy. Or Labyrinth. :D Labyrinth is kind of a nombo with prize cards, though...

    In the game-setup image in the rulebook, it looks like Summoning is an Ability-Prize, while Intellect and Gloryseeking are Prize-Ability. May want to clean that up. :)
  9. zem

    zem Super Moderator Staff Member

  10. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    Hah Fry actually I just fixed that a day or two ago, it was "Ability - Prize" without me noticing for quite a while though.

    You get 1 gold a turn and I'm going to say a game lasts an average of 10-12 turns. But obviously if you're saving gold instead of buying prize cards the amount of turns you can survive goes down. BUT, there are cards that give gold, and there are cards that help the enemy a little and you a lot, making you both survive against the monsters longer, increasing the game length, which means more gold. And of course there are cards that give energy, so if you have a card that gives you 2 energy then that's 4 less gold you need.

    On the flip side there are counters, "Attack" cards will make a game shorter because one player is spending resources to hurt another, thus making the monsters kill both players faster. And if someone saves Meddlefish or another discard spell for your 13-cost card a turn or two before you play it then you're probably in trouble. But if you have a card that can get it back in your hand ASAP you'll probably be fine- these are the things you should think about while drafting.
  11. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    Also thanks Zem, glad you like Super Mega :D As I said in the news post since I reached my Kickstarter goal for Mage Tower I am going to be updating Super Mega three times a week at least for the rest of the year (if it becomes unmanageable I'll go down to two a week next year.)
  12. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    Argh. Now I want to play this game, like right now. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH
  13. icewolf34

    icewolf34 Well-Known Member

    Congrats on meeting your funding goal! Hope to see some play reports soon.
  14. Scattercat

    Scattercat Active Member

    I was intrigued by the idea of a tower defense board game when I played Dragon Valley. That game had... some flaws, but it was a noble effort. I'd be interested in trying this one...
  15. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    You haven't seen it used more often because it's really awkward and doesn't provide much gameplay value. Unicorn is kinda cute, I am OK with it. Unholy Chalice is a really boring effect though. Gain 3 life at game start? Meh. And the cost to the game is that you have to dig through your deck before the game starts, reveal all your Unholy Chalice and whatnot, and then...shuffle them back into your deck, before even drawing your starting hand? Yaaaaawn.

    Obviously you have played your game more than I have, but I would guess that Unholy Chalice is a perfectly fine card even without the "gamestart" ability. It's probably not going to be a high pick ever, sure, but seems like a reasonable card. Maybe make the "shuffle in to left opponent's deck" text optional?
  16. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    There are only four cards that have that mechanic out of the 170 draft deck cards so it doesn't come up a lot. And yeah starting with 3 extra life doesn't sound super interesting but I don't think I've ever seen anyone not pick Unholy Chalice first or second pick when it's out because it's fun to have more life than everyone else. In fact the "Gamestart" cards are almost always first/second picks just because of the fun factor of getting something extra before the game even starts. One of the other Gamestart cards replaces the "Knight" in your starting deck with a random Defender costed 4-6 from the draft deck (you just reveal cards from the draft deck until you get one. sounds annoying but it's actually fun to see what the guy who drafted this card is gonna get.). I'm not claiming it's like an awesome mechanic or anything but people seem to always want to be the one to draft them.
  17. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    Also I'll note that life gain is really good in this game, 3 life is better than 3 damage. This is because there are several monsters that have more defense than health, so for example it takes 4 damage to kill a 3/4 monster but if you gain 3 life you've basically killed it by preventing its damage. Also if you only have 3 damage to hit a 3/4 with you're taking the full 3 damage from that monster, but if you gain 2 life you've prevented two thirds of the damage, so life gain always works no matter the board situation. So starting with 3 extra life is better than it sounds, it's like the first 5/5 Giant that hits you barely even hurts, or the first 3/4 Ogre that hits you didn't even exist.
  18. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    Holy smokes, that's even more awkward. I'll admit that that one at least sounds fun, but ughhhh

    Question: does the "default" mode have you playing more than a single game with the results of one draft? If not, I'd strongly consider reworking "Gamestart" to "when you draft this, do X."

    Re: life being better than damage. I'm very skeptical of this claim. It might be better than regular damage, but I'd bet it's worse than arrow damage (which can go to your opponent's face)
  19. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    To be clear with your drafting system this doesn't happen correct? From my understanding since you draft as part of the game there's no digging through the deck because both players know what cards have been drafted. Even if that wasn't the case I got the impression that the deck was small enough that it is not tedeous to search through the deck.

    Gamestart would be awful for a game like magic with a large deck, but in this case it seems a perfectly reasonable mechanic. Hence why it's cool here, but awkward in other games.
  20. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    If I read correctly, for two player games it's a Rochester draft (everyone can see the entire draft pack at all times) but for more than two players the draft is closed (contents of a pack are hidden unless you are currently drafting from that pack)
  21. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    Right, but in either case when you're taking a card from the draft that's when you can process the fact that the card has a gamestart effect right?
  22. JohnnySmash

    JohnnySmash Active Member

    All of the Gamestart cards have a very obvious purple box behind their Gamestart text, I guess maybe I could recommend that when you draft a Gamestart card to put it in your draft pile facing the opposite direction so you notice it and are like "oh yeah I have to do that."

    And Fry the arrow damage thing is a good point, but it's actually not super common to draft a deck that's able to overpower the monsters and damage the opponent. But it's true that life gain spells would push you away from that strategy.

    edit: also 1 draft = 1 game
  23. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    If it's phrased as "when you draft this..." you can do things like

    When you draft this, add four cards from the draft deck to this draft pack.
    When you draft this, you may return a card from your draft pile to this draft pack. If you do, draft another card from this pack.
    When you draft this, reveal each other player's draft pile.
    When you draft this, skip your next draft pick.
    When you draft this, set it aside. After drawing your starting hand, add this to your hand. (Unicorn)
    When you draft this, gain 3 life. (Cursed Chalice)

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