Home and Hearthstone
Welcome to Spawn Point, where we take something wonderful from the world of gaming and explain what it is, why it’s worth your time and how to get involved. This time: collectible card games (or at least, the videogame kind).
Hello, I would like to collect some cards please. Of course, friend. We have a wide variety of fantasy themed cards, ranging from hostile dragon to raving ghoul to –
Hang on, what are these numbers? Oh, ignore those, they’re nothing to worry about. Look at this wizard! Read the rest of this entry »
Lane down your cards
You’ll often see characters in sci-fi stories play seemingly incomprehensible games like multi-dimensional space chess, and that’s basically what it’s like playing Artifact, Valve’s upcoming Dota-inspired card game. It’s an ambitious hybrid of the studio’s MOBA and Magic: The Gathering, and it works shockingly well. So much so that it only took two games for me to understand and get on board with Valve’s vision. Read the rest of this entry »
Blending Rogue-likes with CCGs
This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Slay the Spire [official site].
Slay the Spire is a deck-building card game about careful attack and defence. And poisoning. And letting your own blood to amplify your damage, and hitting each enemy every time you lose a card, and gaining energy by hovering close to death. It’s a bit like Hearthstone, but it’s also a Rogue-like in which you ascend floors and find new cards and relics which power up your character in transformational ways.
It’s really good! And the secret behind it is a detail that seems minor, but without it your card-playing strategising would be for nothing. It’s the fact you get to see what your enemies will do on their next turn. Read the rest of this entry »
Pen And Paper Meets Keyboard And Mouse
Computers suck at stories. We’ve been trying to create AIs that will make writers redundant for decades and it’s just not happening. Even clever, experimental systems like Storybricks are using sophisticated technology to create stories which amount to “There are bandits on the road.” If you want plot twists more complex than “And then I killed the guy”, you’re going to need a writer.
That’s why I’m interested in Storium, a web based card game inspired by ideas from pen and paper RPGs like Fiasco, FATE and Apocalypse World. It’s a game in which the players collaboratively tell a story and the computer only exists to do the housekeeping and ensure they play by the rules. It’s a game where everyone is an author, not an actor, and you don’t play to win, you play to find out what happens. And if none of this paragraph made any sense to you, then don’t worry, because in order to fully explain what Storium is, I’m going to have to give you a crash course in the last ten years of pen and paper RPGs.
Read the rest of this entry »