The Younger Scrolls: Mojang Prepping Alpha

By Alec Meer on April 6th, 2011 at 5:17 pm.

Louise and Brian's 'date thursdays' were becoming ever more elaborate

You there! You look like a Minecraft player to me. Well, how do you fancy maybe being one of the first to try out its developer’s next game, Scrolls? There’s nothing certain quite yet, but if you opt-in to the Scrolls newsletter you now also have the option to register your interest in helping test (and have early access to) the fantasy card-battler.

There’s no date and no guarantee, but for the brief sake of scrolling (ha!) to the bottom of the Scrolls website and enterting your email address, it’s well worth a shot.

Edit – oh, it’s a bit old. Oh well, no harm in restating it, eh?

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29 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    But this has been there since the game was announced.

    • James says:

      Yeah, I did that like, forever ago.

    • pakoito says:

      I guess Mojang told them to up it because the beta is starting soon or something. In any case I applied like with four accounts :3 A pity I cannot give data appliance on experience with TCG and stuff.

  2. James says:

    No harm indeed, information-bard.

    • pakoito says:

      The less applicants, the more chances for any of us to get in. If the game is any good it will easily become my new time sinker after leaving Urban Rivals and Wagic:TheHomebrew and Freerealms and VS and A Game of Thrones and Warhammer and Dominion and Yomi and… well I’m a sucker for TCGs :P

    • James says:

      That just increases the mystery and wonder inherent in the alpha selection process!

  3. d32 says:

    Well well, I’m probably going to sound overly negative, but: Isn’t this going to be zynga-style, real-money-for-unreal-stuff kind of broken deal, ergo deserving-nothing-but-contempt thing? I mean, zynga’s evil.

    • zergrush says:

      Well, first there is the fact that this will probably be a somewhat competitive game, it seems that as long as you have cards and an opponent you’re able to play and that already makes it different from the zynga-style games where you must give money to be able to play for more than five seconds every nine hours.

      And regarding the payment model, it’s all about implementation. They can use a standard card game model, giving you a starter deck and then charging for additional boosters, or making you able to unlock new cards by playing but giving the option to pay for immediate unlocking ( like guild wars ), or a mix of those, etc.

      A lot of it comes down to how much of an imbalance can be caused by simply putting more money in the game than your opponent.

      Anyway, I think It’s better to wait before passing any judgement.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      A lot of it comes down to how much of an imbalance can be caused by simply putting more money in the game than your opponent.

      Balancing a CCG so that money isn’t a huge factor seems like one of the more ludicrously difficult tasks known to man. In terms of game design.

      Say you buy a bunch of cards, you’re happily competing, and they come out with a new expansion set with new game mechanics. How do you make people want to buy the expansion, while still largely maintaining the competitiveness of old decks? Can you create new viable strategies without obsoleting the old ones?

      It’s probably theoretically possible. But it makes Blizzard’s task in meticulously balancing three Starcraft races look really easy in comparison.

    • Gothnak says:

      Funny, sounds easy to me.

      Use an MMO structure. Pay £X a month fee to play (Or just one job lot amount to buy the game), start with a starter deck and win cards, in game money for winning duels or doing single player campaigns. Spend in game money on cards.

      It then means people who have played the game more have unlocked the extra packs of cards and are therefore able to choose from a bigger pool rather than those who have spent more. See Yu-Gi-Oh on the DS or MTG:Shandalar on the PC in the past.

      I would happily pay £30 for a CCG game where i gradually unlock the cards, but to get a free starter and buy each pack? I won’t pay a penny.

  4. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Probably another never-ending alpha-beta game that serves very well this particular developer unfitness to never finish a project or present a project in a finished state. Pass.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Man, bitching about Minecraft on this site? I thought RPS was devoid of brainless contrarian hipsters. I guess I was wrong.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      You must be new around here.

    • Vinraith says:

      Pfft, I got more than my money’s worth out of Minecraft when it was still nominally in alpha, everything that gets added from here is gravy.

    • utharda says:

      Ah F@#$^#@^^ men.

      Seriously, for the what 10 currency units i spend on minecraft, I’ve gotten at least 150 hours out of it.
      The only other title thats been a similar value is dorfortress.

    • poop says:

      there is nothing particularily hipster or contrarian about disliking a videogame you dolt

    • James says:

      Poop wins!

  5. Xiyng says:

    I’m not a big fan of card games… But this definitely seems interesting, even if only because of its art style!

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    Mojang Prepping Alpha … There’s no date and no guarantee What about a price? afterall, Minecraft wasn’t free at alpha.

    I’ve actually been playing some CCGs on Kongregate.

    Tyrant is pretty fast, but tactically a little dumb.. and has a facebook-style “energy to play, recharge per minute” thing

    Elements is kinda dull at the start, and goes a bit overboard with 12 elements (like the colours/lands in M:tG).

    Mytheria is probably my favourite one, giving proper control over summons, and making energy management a separate issue from the cards… but it’s only a few singleplayer “puzzle-style” games with set opponents.

  7. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Also, can’t quite make one paragraph of their front page:

    Five years ago, Markus “Notch” Persson and I started talking about a game we felt was missing in the gaming market. A game we desperately wanted to play, but was unable to as it had not yet been developed. The game we envisioned had elements from the collectible card game genre as well as from traditional board games. It would be a strategic game with a strong foundation in tactical game play but with a touch of random and chance guaranteeing a never-ending stream of curve balls. You would control the outcome of battle by creating, modifying and refining your arsenal to overcome the obstacles in your path. The game would challenge you with ever changing content and let you explore the world and cleanse the lands of harm, one monster at the time. It would give you the opportunity to test yourself with your peers by battling other players using a long list of tournament templates ranging from friendly matches to ranked league matches. From quick, small sized tournaments to world championships!

    This gameplay was missing? It sure came to mind such games as Magic the Gathering (the computer games since the late 90s), Etherlords, or Spectromancer.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      It does seem a bit odd to say something like that. It’s almost as if he wasn’t really looking into it at the time, and simple never heard of those games.

    • aerozol says:

      I think he wants to combine elements from those existing TCG’s, with a more RPG’ey approach to drive gameplay.
      M:TG is very cool, but it’s concerned with individual battles, without an overarching story/ progression to tie them together. In any case, I’m sure he has interesting ideas, otherwise he wouldn’t be excited about it.
      I’d say he’s earned a little faith…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Etherlords was pretty RPGy.. not much of a plot, but it had levelling, a sort of map, monsters, etc.

      This thing could easily get stuck in a debate about exactly what “type” of CCG was “missing” that he thinks he’s creating, if pre-existing games don’t fit his idea.

  8. mod the world says:

    I’m not a minecraft player and i certainly don’t LOOK like one! Go somewhere else with your insults!

    • Matt says:

      I dunno, you look kind of low res and blocky and jankily animated to me….

  9. Crescend says:

    Hah, I volunteered for the alpha a couple of days ago already :) I hope that means better chance of getting selected..

  10. poop says:

    sorta weird to see mojang move away from something as creative and open ended as mindcraft to something as structured as a microtransaction based virtual TCG.

    I would be angry about the lost manpower working on this instead of minecraft but from my calculations if there were five more people working on minecraft it would somehow update over 100 times slower. somehow.