Author Topic: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success  (Read 4871 times)

WWKnight

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Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« on: November 19, 2012, 12:56:06 PM »
Originally posted by Care Bear on the Steam Greenlight page.  (Go vote if you havent already.  http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=105974257)

My short list of ideas for making this game a success
1) Common, Uncommon and Rares should only be used for card frequency, NOT power. Too many TCGs make this mistake. If rare = power, then the game quickly becomes pay-to-win. P2W only works when you already have a 10 million player market share. Otherwise, this just discourages new players which, as a new game, is your bread and butter.

Cardinal Rule: No card (common or otherwise) should ever be a "throw away" card. Every card should have equal value when it comes to deck building.

2) Account spammers must be stopped. All F2P games have issues with people creating accounts for the sole purpose of spamming their RMT site in all chat channels, or simply to grief other players. Banning accounts doesn't work if a new account can be set up in just a few minutes to continue the spamming.

A solution that works well is to create a lengthy gameplay tutorial that all new accounts must complete. The tutorial should take several hours to complete, something that is fun the first time, but painful to complete multiple times (*only people that have their account banned would ever have to do it more than once). It should have just enough random elements to deter automation. Perhaps you could offer account bound cards as a reward upon completion. New accounts would have restricted access to all chat channels until the tutorial was completed.

The upside to this is account spammers will have to invest a large amount of time before they can gain access to the open chat channels. Every time a spammer is removed, they must make another large time investment to start spamming again. Eventually time wasted out-weighs potential gains. And since legitimate new players will want to play a tutorial to learn the game, there is no down side to this.

3) Card skins! If we've learned anything from the F2P market is that people will spend money on things that have absolutely no impact on gameplay. You can even have common, uncommon, rare, epic and legendary skins which can add increased value to cards.

Give the cards away for free, cash in on the skins. ;-)

4) Encourage players to play the game by giving them small amounts of game currency for simply playing the game. Dungeons and Dragons Online is one of the most successful F2P games because they offer small amounts of "Turbine Points" (the same ones that are purchasable in the online store) as rewards for playing the game. Many new F2P games are following this model.

This works on multiple levels:

Firstly, the more incentive players have for playing the game, the more they will play. Higher player concurrency leads to a more active and social game community, both in and out of the game. The more social community outside of the game attracts new players, and the more active community in the game helps retain those new players.

Secondly, as players earn points to buy new cards, packs, skins, etc.. they slowly familiarize themselves with the store and all it has to offer. You could even have a quest as part of the game tutorial that requires the player to purchase a card skin (quest reward would equal the cost of the card skin). Eventually some of those players will want more from the store than they are able to get simply by playing the game and that's when they become paying customers.

More players = More potential paying customers.

5) Daily, Weekly and perhaps even Monthly Rewards. Offer daily rewards such as "Win 1 Match" or "Play 3 Matches". Weekly rewards could be "Reach a cumulative 200 remaining Health/Morale from all wins" or "Play 10 matches that last longer than 20 rounds" for examples. Monthly rewards could be used to encourage players to use a diverse set of cards in their decks and would change from month to month. Some could be as simple as "Attack with a Wealthy Noble" or more complicated like "Have a Beast Character make a killing blow during the attack phase while buffed by a Pack Leader".

Again the goal here is to give players rewards for reaching certain goals while encouraging them to play the game. Daily goals are for the casual "few games per day" crowd. Weekly goals are for the "Weekend Warrior" achiever crowd. And Monthly goals are for the "Deck Crafter" achievement specialist crowd.


* Note *

These are obviously not original ideas. They are selected from amongst the most succesful F2P games of today. I had more that I wanted to include, but this post has already become a great wall of text. I'm sure a tl;dr is about to follow. :-)

WWKnight

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 12:57:45 PM »
Wont add all the replies, but I will add Elphie's, so that we all know whats being looked at by the developers.

elphiecoyle   Nov 15, 2012 @ 7:08pm     
tl/dr.

j/ks of course. :P All excellent ideas, a few we've already been working on behind the scenes. It's a knife-edge between letting everyone know what we're doing (giving away our best mechanics to our competition) and not saying enough to encourage upvotes/backers.

Nonetheless, many thanks and we'll actually discuss your long ♥♥♥ post of awesome during our next design meeting.

Offline Koey

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 01:11:54 PM »
EDIT WWWKnight you might want to link back to the Greenlight forums so people can read.
Damn links are hard to notice in this forum

Regarding reply to last topic.

Quote from: Koowluh
You could always go best of both worlds;
1 - Make Deck slots earnable while you progress in the game.
2 - Make Deck slots an optional buy.
3 - Add an import/export feature if you don't happen to have enough deck slots.

What does this mean? Say you want to start a new killer deck, but haven't got enough slots to do it. You could either;

- Try to earn a deck slot through the main game's progression (if you didn't finish that already, which I doubt if you keep up with all the quests).
- Buy an extra deck slot. This should be the "quick fix" or the convenience item so to speak.
- Export one of your decks to an external file for safekeeping. Later on, you can import the file again. Of course, this process has some extra checks present to see if you are not importing a deck with cards you don't actually own. Caveat: decks become easily interchangable between players. If you don't happen to have the cards which are present in the deck, it will be locked for play until you either edit the deck or obtain the cards.

Right that's exactly what I meant with Deck slots can be bought and earn-able in game. Cause previous suggestion was basically saying deck slots are only through real cash purchase which is a mistake imo.

Exporting decks will make deck-slots meaningless as all you need is to load a deck before game. Also this could lead to issues like can you switch decks if you have an on-going deck of another game.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 01:15:45 PM by Koey »

Offline Voxil

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 02:21:16 PM »
Right that's exactly what I meant with Deck slots can be bought and earn-able in game. Cause previous suggestion was basically saying deck slots are only through real cash purchase which is a mistake imo.

Exporting decks will make deck-slots meaningless as all you need is to load a deck before game. Also this could lead to issues like can you switch decks if you have an on-going deck of another game.

Exporting/Importing decks should most definitely be supported.  The simple ability of exporting a deck list is quite valuable.  You could lock down a deck that has cards listed that you don't own or have it simply pop up a warning "This list contains cards you do not own. Proceed?" and then have it only pull the cards from that player's owned cards.  As for the danger of changing your deck while in an asynch game, simply lock that deck until all asynch games using it are resolved.

This is a digital card game.  Not being able to shuffle through your owned cards and quickly grab things you want is already a down mark.  IW should have an amazingly powerful deck/collection manager.  There should not be a way in which you are incapable of handling your decks/collection because that brings about frustration. 

As for deck slots, 4 starting deck slots is probably fine.  I'm a little leery about limiting people on how many they can make but that's because I love building decks, even if I never play them.

Offline Koey

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 02:25:33 PM »
So what is the difference between deck slots? And having something stored.

Cause if thats the case shouldn't I be able to load a deck, start a game. Load another deck and start another deck.
Hence only needing 1 deck slot.

WWKnight

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 02:28:45 PM »
I know a lot of people are against the idea, but I still think there should be a limited number of deck slots, and the rest should be paid with real money to unlock.  Say we start with 4 slots.  Assuming we buy each faction starter deck (5, if launched with the Zombie face eaters of deathsleep) thats a slot for each faction to play around with and see what works together.  Then maybe another 2 or 3 slots unlocked in the single player campaign.  That should be MORE than enough to give you what you need.  If you want more decks after that, you can dismantle an old deck you dont use anymore (nothing says you cant remake it later), or spend some money to support the developers of the game you obviously enjoy. 

I dont think deck slots should be a whole lot.  $3 max, if that.  But even if every FB like paid $1 to unlock 1 slot, thats $218 that can go toward some new skins for cards (which would then be able to make Lightmare some decent cash, which could pay for more card design, which gets us new expansions!)

And apparently, everyone wants card skins.. so yeah!

Offline Voxil

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 02:35:16 PM »
What would be the difference between having 1 slot, playing a game with a deck, then scrapping that deck and building another one?  Both are the same thing but one adds convenience.  Asynch games and the ability to just have made decks on hand would be the point of deck slots.  Yes, some people will be fine with just one deck slot.  I am not one of those people.  Most of the TCGers I know are not those people.  Maybe you have your tournament deck, your "fun deck", the new tournament deck you're play testing, a real fun deck, your C/UC only deck for the Poor Man's tourney(or whetver they may end up being called, and finally your single player deck.  6 deck slots there.  and if I have two of them locked in asynch games... well, I can't change those.  That leaves me 4 deck slots to make new decks in.  I export my tourney deck, tear it apart and build something new.  Then when tourney time comes again, I tear apart that new deck (after exporting it so I can save it) and reimport my tourney deck.

Doing this does mean I didn't have to buy another deck slot, true, but it also means I don't  feel like Lightmare is going for a cash grab or forcing inconvenience on me.  Deck building will be a huge part of this game, as it is with all TCGs, and it needs to be as seamless and easy as possible.

Offline Voxil

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2012, 02:38:54 PM »
I know a lot of people are against the idea, but I still think there should be a limited number of deck slots, and the rest should be paid with real money to unlock.  Say we start with 4 slots.  Assuming we buy each faction starter deck (5, if launched with the Zombie face eaters of deathsleep) thats a slot for each faction to play around with and see what works together.  Then maybe another 2 or 3 slots unlocked in the single player campaign.  That should be MORE than enough to give you what you need.  If you want more decks after that, you can dismantle an old deck you dont use anymore (nothing says you cant remake it later), or spend some money to support the developers of the game you obviously enjoy. 

I dont think deck slots should be a whole lot.  $3 max, if that.  But even if every FB like paid $1 to unlock 1 slot, thats $218 that can go toward some new skins for cards (which would then be able to make Lightmare some decent cash, which could pay for more card design, which gets us new expansions!)

And apparently, everyone wants card skins.. so yeah!

Yes to skins.  But that's just to help support Lightmare.  LoL's developers seem to be doing well with it.

As for slots, i think you hit on a good idea.  Maybe start with 1 slot, have the tutorial open a second, and maybe unlock a third through the single-player campaign.  However, every Super deck you buy gives you that deck PLUS a new deck slot with it.

There should be NO cap on the number of deck slots you can own though. 

Offline Koey

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2012, 02:47:56 PM »
I feel like deck slots should still be earn able in game, why should someone who spends 10 hours definitely deserves a deck slot. Sure he isn't donating money to the game but in that 10 hours who could be playing 50- 100 players by keeping the community alive.

Also do not forget this game is also a mobile game which I do not know if you played any. You want to take short turns in small amounts of time. Deck building takes a huge amount of time just tapping and searching for a specific card.
Having a player dismantle their deck to build new ones its just not gonna appeal to the mobile market.

WWKnight

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 02:51:31 PM »
Also do not forget this game is also a mobile game which I do not know if you played any. You want to take short turns in small amounts of time. Deck building takes a huge amount of time just tapping and searching for a specific card.
Having a player dismantle their deck to build new ones its just not gonna appeal to the mobile market.

That is a factor I hadnt considered.

I still think 6 - 8 deckslots is a reasonable compromise though.  I think starting with 5 for free (in case we wanted to buy all 5 starting factions), and earning 1 - 3 through the tutorial and single player campaign, then maybe another 1 - 2 through achievement rewards...  That should be MORE than enough to keep people who dont want to spend any money on the game happy.

Offline Voxil

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2012, 02:52:57 PM »
Also do not forget this game is also a mobile game which I do not know if you played any. You want to take short turns in small amounts of time. Deck building takes a huge amount of time just tapping and searching for a specific card.
Having a player dismantle their deck to build new ones its just not gonna appeal to the mobile market.

Thus the point of importing decks.

Offline Koey

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 02:59:02 PM »
Thus the point of importing decks.
Please someone explain the difference from me having 1 deck slot. Importing Deck A starting a game and importing Deck B and starting a game?
I do not get why have deck slots if we can import.

I still think 6 - 8 deckslots is a reasonable compromise though.  I think starting with 5 for free (in case we wanted to buy all 5 starting factions), and earning 1 - 3 through the tutorial and single player campaign, then maybe another 1 - 2 through achievement rewards...  That should be MORE than enough to keep people who dont want to spend any money on the game happy.

I do not know my opinion is still if every card is attainable in game why not deck slots? Why set a hard limit on my creativity?
I am saying something like every 50 or 100 game so only committed players get more slots.

WWKnight

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 03:05:43 PM »
There is no hard limit on your creativity.  Its just you are valuing your creativity over a profitable resource for a game that is making it very hard on themselves to make profit.  They have made the most desirable item free.  You do not have to spend money on these cards  At 40 cards per deck, you would need 400 cards before you have filled up 10 free slots.  After putting in enough hours of gameplay to earn 400 cards, why would you begrudge a small fee to play some more?

Rewarding slots for playing lots of games is like rewarding players for choosing not to spend money.

I agree, playing lots of games helps out the community.  I tried playing Duels of the Planeswalkers the other night and there are NO games happening on Steam.  That just sucks.  I would hate to see that happen here.  But I dont feel they would be "moneygrabbing" if they offer us 10 slots for our "characters" and then asked us for a small contribution for more. 

There needs to be a line where you say "This amount of free stuff is amazing, let me repay you from here on in".

Of course, this is just my opinion.  I do not have a problem with either unmaking decks if I want to try something new, or dropping a few bucks to unlock some more workspace.  I think we will just have to agree to disagree buddy :-)

Offline Voxil

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 03:10:57 PM »
Thus the point of importing decks.
Please someone explain the difference from me having 1 deck slot. Importing Deck A starting a game and importing Deck B and starting a game?
I do not get why have deck slots if we can import.

Alright, let me try.  If I have one deck slot and I start a game that slot will be locked to that deck until all games using it are finished.  So if you have an asynch game going using your single deck slot, THAT deck is the only one you can use.  Once all games are finished you could import a new deck and start playing using that but you will run into the same issue.  Having multiple deck slots AND importing would allow you to have multiple games going using different decks in addition to making it easier to play the deck you want.  You can have multiple decks waiting for you at game creation and you can play the one you want to.

Offline Koey

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Re: Care Bear's short list of ideas for making this game a success
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 03:16:52 PM »
Alright, let me try.  If I have one deck slot and I start a game that slot will be locked to that deck until all games using it are finished.  So if you have an asynch game going using your single deck slot, THAT deck is the only one you can use.  Once all games are finished you could import a new deck and start playing using that but you will run into the same issue.  Having multiple deck slots AND importing would allow you to have multiple games going using different decks in addition to making it easier to play the deck you want.  You can have multiple decks waiting for you at game creation and you can play the one you want to.

Okay got it then this way makes more sense. I did not think of the locking of decks.

There is no hard limit on your creativity.  Its just you are valuing your creativity over a profitable resource for a game that is making it very hard on themselves to make profit.  They have made the most desirable item free.  You do not have to spend money on these cards  At 40 cards per deck, you would need 400 cards before you have filled up 10 free slots.  After putting in enough hours of gameplay to earn 400 cards, why would you begrudge a small fee to play some more?
The only issue is you do not need 400 decks for 10 decks.
Since they mentioned in the video and in comment you can use the same card in multiple decks it means. I could have 4 faction of 20 cards and build a permutation of 6 decks from that. Now thats not even counting in 3 colors.


Of course, this is just my opinion.  I do not have a problem with either unmaking decks if I want to try something new, or dropping a few bucks to unlock some more workspace.  I think we will just have to agree to disagree buddy :-)
Not saying purchasing deck slots is the only option just say it shouldn't be the only way. I can see if they open 1-2 slots per faction that you can earn that could be fine with me. Also with the import function people have been talking about I guess I do not see deck slots being an issue at all.
Agreed to Disagree it is :)