Author Topic: Card Clarity  (Read 1675 times)

Offline Michael Saniyan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 167
  • The furry brony without a Facebook account
    • View Profile
Card Clarity
« on: November 20, 2012, 06:06:59 AM »
A few of the things I hope to see addressed along the line is card clarity, effect terminology and conflict resolution. This isn't that big of an issue right now, but it's important that card effects are well-written and thought out from the start. For example:

- Most cards that refer to themselves use their card name. I think that they should instead use "this card", simply because there are cases where cards with the same name could be on the field. Shikana, Who Demands Tribute is a great example (for those of you how don't know that card, check out Emanuel's list over at the Card Spoilers thread).

- Even when the game engine takes care of a conflict, the player must understand what happened. This is not the case when two Martyr Golems are on the field, and both of them take damage at the same time (from say Winds of War or the alike). Reading their effects, I'm sure you all think "well, doesn't that cause a loop?". Which, in the early stages of the game, it did! Martyr Golem is the perfect example of a card that needs clarifying or reworking.

- In some places, the word "kill" is used as opposed to "destroy". From what I gather, you can only "kill" non-artifical characters. But is there a difference between "kill" and "destroy"? Since Mass Death "destroys" all characters, does that not buff Verore Ritualists, since the Death Worshippers need cards to be "killed"? Probably not, but do you see what I mean? Terminology has to be precise, and you can't dismiss that with "oh, the game takes care of it". Players need to understand the cards and how they interact, and expect me to comment on this over and over and over.
"Lift me beyond the realm of men, so that I may never have to suffer through their lies again." - Angelify

Offline IanUnderwood

  • Infinity Wars Staff
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Card Clarity
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 07:15:31 AM »
Excellent points, Elvis.

For your first point, for consistency purposes we've gone with each card referring to itself by name. As a programmer, the idea of referring to itself as "this" is actually very appealing (that's how it's done in programming), but it reads kinda boring. We make sure to specify when it's referring to a card with the same name, but not itself, by saying "another".

Making sure that the players understand what's happened is important in game design in general. I think in Martyr Golem's case, it needs to come up with a feedback that the damage has been redirected (like it does with combat where the two cards are shown side by side). But that's just for that one card. I think there's fundamentally a deeper issue.

I know some people will have issue with this, but some cards have a less than technically accurate text box, so that they read more "intuitively" even if it doesn't explain every aspect of the card, because we know the game will take care of the small details and the player won't have to. We've tried to limit this to cases where only an advanced player would really care about the difference, and in that case they would just know from using the card before. For instance, Unending Drone says that it "raises another Unending Drone from the graveyard." A more technical accurate description would be that it "moves the first Unending Drone in your graveyard into your support zone". However, we found that people found it difficult to understand what exactly the card was trying to do when first reading it.

For some of the cards where it says "Kill" and others say "Destroy", we still need to go through a pass of tightening up the wording and making sure everything is consistent. There's a few things that this will involve, like I know some cards say "Exhaust, Pay 3:" whereas others will say "Pay 3, Exhaust:". It's just a matter of doing passes thru the file and making sure everything is consistent.

Thanks for your feedback.

Offline Michael Saniyan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 167
  • The furry brony without a Facebook account
    • View Profile
Re: Card Clarity
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 08:39:45 AM »
For instance, Unending Drone says that it "raises another Unending Drone from the graveyard." A more technical accurate description would be that it "moves the first Unending Drone in your graveyard into your support zone". However, we found that people found it difficult to understand what exactly the card was trying to do when first reading it.

So long as 'raises' always means 'moves from graveyard into support zone', that's fine. Shorting effects with terminology is appreciated if it stays consistent, and I'm glad you seem to be taking my points seriously. I have high hopes for the complexity of this game, otherwise I wouldn't be nitpicking like this.

Furthermore, I guess I'll have to deal with the self-referral compromise, heh, and in the case of Martyr Golem, I'm sure you'll come up with something intuitive. Happy to hear you'll be addressing the wording issues. All and all, you look to be on the ball. Keep up the great work!
"Lift me beyond the realm of men, so that I may never have to suffer through their lies again." - Angelify

Offline Synnym

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 219
    • View Profile
Re: Card Clarity
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 01:02:15 PM »
Maybe some sound that everyone will think "oh dat be da martyrey goleminiy" :D

Offline Koey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2020
  • The one trapped in the Hamster ball.
    • View Profile
Re: Card Clarity
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 01:19:42 PM »
For your first point, for consistency purposes we've gone with each card referring to itself by name. As a programmer, the idea of referring to itself as "this" is actually very appealing (that's how it's done in programming), but it reads kinda boring. We make sure to specify when it's referring to a card with the same name, but not itself, by saying "another".

But then you are referring to the class name so it will raise item of the same class instead of that specific instance. Assuming you are using some type of object orienting.
Ie. ( Pay 2, Exhaust to raise Bob's attack by 2/2 permanently, what if I have 2 bobs in play does that mean I can buff one bob by 4/4 in one turn. When clearly you meant for it to be "this")
"This" is just a safer word to avoid these kinds of edge cases.

Offline Snarley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
    • View Profile
Re: Card Clarity
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 03:35:24 PM »
I would love to see an in game option to display or not display additional rules information for cards. I want to completely understand exactly what is happening in my game. I also feel like not referring to a card that is talking about itself as "this" is much more complicated, but then I am a programmer so that could just be programming habit coming to the surface.
Self confessed rules lawyer. For every game. How do I rules lawyer a computer though?

Offline Synnym

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 219
    • View Profile
Re: Card Clarity
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 03:42:30 PM »
I would love to see an in game option to display or not display additional rules information for cards. I want to completely understand exactly what is happening in my game. I also feel like not referring to a card that is talking about itself as "this" is much more complicated, but then I am a programmer so that could just be programming habit coming to the surface.
Ive tried programming as an extra to a media design course, and thats it and i also feel "this" is clearer :)