The NightCity Rules game concept thread…

April 22nd, 2006

In the early portion of 2005, I attempted to purchase Cyberpunk CCG. We were going to integrate online and offline play via a system we were calling Night City Rules. I have included the brainstorming discussion thread here. Its a long one:

Night City Rules (Day in the life of Herbert):

Sonjaya:

Herbert just came home from the Game Empire, his local gaming store. He saw a demo of a game called Cyberpunk CCG and really liked it. He picked up a few starters and about 10 boosters. He signed up for the tournament next. He also found out that there is an online version of the game called Night City Rules. He decides he wants to try it out.

Herbert logs onto his computer and goes to the www.cyberpunkccg.com. He finds the download page and downloads the online game (it is a tiny download).

He fires up the online game, it downloads the components it needs and launches. At this point Herbert has the option of logging in or registering. Since he doesn’t have an account, he registers. To register he selects a handle, password, and provide his email address.

After registering, Herbert is presented with the option to subscribe for a small monthly fee or try the game for free. Herbert decides to try the game for free.

After selecting the free pay option, Herbert has the option of selecting 2 pre-constructed gutter punk decks. There is one for each sponsor. Herbert selects gangs and cops. At this point in time, Herbert checks his Runner Profile. His profile shows that he has a reputation of 0, 0 influence points, and even more alarmingly, 0 euro bucks. He checks his inventory and sees he has the two gutter punk decks he selected.

Since Herbert wants to start collecting some EB, he jacks into the Night City data term. There are a bunch of options – but the one that interests him is “Operations”. The only operations he sees are labeled “gutter punk”. He picks up a “defend mission” – basically this is just some guard duty. If he is successful, he will pick up some coin. Within a few seconds of picking up the defend mission, he gets a message from “Eternity” informing him he is under attack and should get ready to defend himself – he also has the option to run away – since he wanted to make some money, he continues with his operation.

At this point in time, Herbert plays a game of Cyberpunk CCG against his attacker b1gb0y. It turns out b1gb0y is a really awful player and Herbert easily wins. When the game is done, he checks his runner profile and sees he now has 1 influence point and 5 EB.

Herbert does a few more operations. He ends up with 3 influence points and 15 EB. He likes the game and decides to subscribe. He gets another 10 EB for signing up, bringing his total up to 25. From talking to a few people in the Streets (chat area), Herbert has learned that if he wants to build his own card collection, he will need to get sponsored. Herbert hits his data term, and looks up the Gangs.

Herbert has a couple of options. He can apply to be sponsored, or purchase a sealed deck pool for 10 EB. Herbert applies for a sponsorship and is given his first mission. To become sponsored by Gangs, he must win a hand-to-hand combat operation against five different sponsors. In other words, he has to win five sealed deck matches. The first thing Herbert does is buy a sealed deck pool from Gangs. He now has 15 EB. Next, Herbert opens up his deck builder. He is real pleased to see Morgan in his sealed deck pool. He notices that all the cards in his sealed deck pool have a durability of 10. After spending 15 minutes building a deck, Herbert opens his mission log, and selects “find opponent”. After a few seconds, Herbert finds himself in a match against some suit from Militech. It is tough going, but Herbert beats the suit by half a turn. When the game finishes, Eternity reduces the durability of all cards that were played by one. She also awards Herbert 1 influence point and 5 EB. Eternity then informs Herbert that the suit had a better Reputation than Herbert and as a reward for beating the suit, Herbert gets an additional IP AND can select one card from his sealed deck pool and move it to his card collection. Without hesitation, Herbert moves Morgan out of the sealed deck pool and into his card collection. Morgan is no longer available for play in his sealed deck. He now needs to add a card to his sealed deck from his sealed deck pool.

The next set of matches proves difficult, but Herbert manages to get some wins. He now only needs one more win against either Biotechnica, Braniacs, or Zetatech to complete his mission. The problem is that he has several cards that are at durability 1. In a few of the matches he lost, he really regretted moving Morgan to his collection. If he doesn’t win this next game, he will have to spend an additional 10 EB for another sealed deck pool (QUESTION: if he has to buy another sealed deck pool, do we make him start the mission over?)

So, Herbert is a bit nervous when he starts this last match. It turns out it is against Zetatech. His opponent has a much higher reputation than him and drops 5 locations and a runner on the first turn. Herbert’s opening hand looks pretty bad. Herbert offers his opponent Morgan (with durability 9), the only card he has in his collection, in exchange for conceding the game. His opponent takes the bribe, Herbert wins the match. His mission is complete. He is now sponsored by Gangs. He checks his profile. He saw he was granted 5 influence points, which pushed his reputation up to 1.

For going up in reputation, Eternity awarded him 5 booster packs. He also was given a Gangs sponsor and 10 Gangs booster packs from his sponsor. Herbert can open all or some of the booster packs (he can also save some for bribes later).

Here are the brainstorming topics:

  • Mission types
  • Mission rewards
  • What does influence get you?

Bartelett:

Mission Types:

  • A way of limiting Vic or Cards in a deck For example:
  • Stealth: Op deck with no more than 20POW in Solos
  • Style: Style Vic only
  • Net: Op vic, every Op must hav higher E-sec than M-sec
  • Special: SPecial vic only
  • Lo-tech Deck: No netrunners or ekwepment (my cue button is hosed-sorry for the mispell)


You get the idea.

Can you play a game with the players having different missions? Can you find out your opponent’s mission? If so, how?

Rewards:

  • Should be consummate withthe type of missions done- Complete 5 Style vics in x amount of time and get a style 5 card of your choice.
  • Also give “Monthly” awards- Person who wins the most style vic in March gets a Jonny Silverhand. Next month- Punknaughts!! This will encourage people building diverse decks.
  • I would REALLY advise against giving out powerful or game altering cards. Send out cool rares, alt artwork, etc. Winners already know how to play the game- don’t make it harder to defeat them. (at least in the early days of the game)

Influence:

  • You are cooler than everyone else.
  • You get cooler art, different card backs, graphics, ect.
  • Assuming that the graphics wizards can do this.
  • Allow them to design cards (Sorry Sgt Shanx!)
  • Make chicks dig them.

Sonjaya:

One thing to keep in mind is that cards decay — so rewards which help ‘heal’ cards after matches will be useful.

Also, more complex missions my change a cards faction. This will give the affilations something to battle over.

The larger game, Night City Rules is really about influencing the happenings in Night City and the rewards should affect THAT vs. game play of a card match.

So, how does one control territory — what does that mean. Perhaps you can build up a ‘fixer’ network, etc.

Bartlett:

OK, this would take some work, BUT…
make every location card Individual, and include a map o Night City with these on the map. So it’s not just a Junk Yard, it’s Moe’ Junk, Eddy’s Junkyard, JunkDawg, etc. Keep the same art/card effects, but change the name. Allow the player’s to name their Locations as well.

Boy, that would be a biblical pain in the trodes… never mind.

Controling territory can, perhaps, be a type of Special Mission. I want to control the Silverhand Studio chain, so in order to do this I have to go on x missions with certain perameter. (As an example end a game with 200EB of production, win 3 style vics using street decks, and do a simple Op vic). Now that I’ve done this someone else wants Silverhand studios. (if we want to get all Math-y perhaps Influence could determine the difficulty of missions you design. Sure you’d like to say “go on 5 Op vics using no netrunners or solos” but that would cost you, say 20 points of influence. You are putting your effort into defending your turf, and not looking cool.) I design a series of Special Missions (with the approval of the Big Brains, of course) and if they jump through my hoops we go mano-a-mano. If the opponent wins, they get SHS. They loose, they are just one more skull decorating my throneroom.
So the benefit of owning SHS is, perhaps, I get 4 copies of SHS that don’t decay, as well as certain Street fac cards that don’t decay or are delayed.

That means that certain factions will NEED to control certain Locs (imagine the Cops with no PX- yeek!!)

This could also appeal to other types of cards- say ONI has gone rogue, and if you go on THIS mission you can determine his affiliation. Or an R&D run that adds numbers to certain Gear. You get the idea.

Silverhand:

Nice idea regarding the locations Bartlett. One thing I had thought about was allowing everyone who chooses to create their own faction/gang/association to create a customised location against a standard template. For example, building on the map of night city idea:

The Circus
Home Location for The Bozos
Bar
Street
Cost 5
15 MSec, 8 ESec
Produces 5 Eb
This location cannot be the target of a hit or run

Then the next gang developed might be Wally’s Weeflerunners and they take the template to create

E-Lec-Trode
Home Location for Wally’s Weeflerunners
Bar
Street
Cost 5
etc, you get the picture

Thes would not decay but could be ‘taken’ in a successful turf war – this means that the winning team can use these as well in their decks, etc

Customising locations is a great idea, and certainly has its pros, but the cons are additional artwork (although some players can design their own art for their own location) and the fact that these cards will always be only a part of the online game. Perhaps a prize to a particularly strong gang is the printing of the card in a future printed set.

The great thing about online ‘cards’ as well is the ability to produce them a lot quicker – all based on a common set of templates, as in the locations above. This means that certain special cards can be introduced for a short period of time only, say a single month or even a single nights play.

Mission Types:

  • Should follow the concepts outlined in the cards, but there are a lot more that could be added as well.
  • One Mission can include several Operations.
  • A Mission is not completed until all Operations within that Mission have been completed. Operation Rewards go to individual players, Mission Rewards go to all members of the Gang or Afilliation involved in the Mission.


So Players A, B, and C form a gang, A completes the first Operation, B the second and third Operations, so A gets an Op Reward and a Mission Reward, B gets 2 Ops Rewards and a Mission Reward and C just gets the Mission Reward.

peteramthor:

I can see card decay as a problem that may drive new players away. If you keep loosing while trying to get the hang of the game you have to keep jumping back and getting more euro to get more cards.

One thought on this would be a ‘grace’ period of sorts. Once you’ve won X amount of games then the card decay begins to take affect.

I also like the idea of awards that help ‘repair’ cards. Call it a ‘Nanodusting’ or something and it adds in 5 or so points back. Also if there are ever full fledged type tournaments a player could be awarded a single sleeve. This can only be used on one card and it prevents card decay completely. It could also be used to bribe.

Just a few cents.

Sonjaya:

My thought was that gutterpunk missions would never cause card decay. This creates a lot of incentive for gutterpunk as it will be a reliable way to make some EB. But EB is about all you get for winning at gutterpunk. Also, it keeps the newer players focused on a reduced set of cards.

They will be better players if they get good at gutterpunk first.

Bartlett:

Just to give you a sense as to how out of the loop i am now-
How popular is gutterpunk? Is it a truly good way to intro the game? Sure it gets the new guy famillier with the crappy common cards, but will a good gutterpunk player evolve into a good all around player?
I’d argue that gutterpunk is more difficult to get to be good at. You have to KNOW the cards you have, as well as all of the cards. Remember how some cards in gutterpunk are indespensible, but in a normal game they are not so good.
I like the idea of Gutterpunk, and I like the ways being brought up to handle it, I just don’t know if it’s a good way to intro the game.

Sonjaya:

Well the newest players will start with a pre-constructed gutterpunk deck — so it will really be a matter of playing the cards, vs. building a deck at the beginning.

Also, newer players won’t have access to higher end cards (because they haven’t been around long enough to build their collection), so that leaves them gutterpunk and sealed deck games. And the whole point is to create an game system that incents new players to learn the cards and keeps it fun while they do that.

To keep it fun, I need to make sure that the new player can compete with the vetran player, but not do it at the expense of the vetran player’s experience. That is where gutterpunk comes in. The vetran player will do it to make some EB and some will do it for the challenge of the restricted deck construction rules.

The new player can make a deck and know that it has a shot of being even with a vetran player’s deck at LEAST in terms of card selection.

When I played magic online, it was always frustrating to be a new player there in a match with a vetran player who had far less skill but a much better card base. I would watch the guy make mistake after mistake, but at the end of the day, I never had a chance because the cards he was using kicked the ass of the cards I was using.

That is why I am a BIG fan of gutterpunk and sealed decks — it levels the playing field.

On the same token, we need to make sure the vetran player is rewarding for building a collection with kick ass cards. That is where Night City Rules comes into play. The tougher missions will involve unrestricted constructed deck — so, if over time you assemble one hell of a collection AND are a skilled players, you will advance nicely in Night City.

Ok, here is what I am thinking so far…

  • Primary game screen will be a dataterm that shows you personal stats, gang stats, affiliation stats. It also has a comlink that you can use to communicate with others. There will also be some comm channels available for group communication.
  • There will be a scream sheet so you can get up to date on the latest happenings in Night City.
  • There is a mission and operation terminal.
  • Once you select a mission/operation, the game engine finds you an opponent and opens a virtual desktop where you can play a match.
  • The results of the match are fed into the Night City simulation which updates runner status, gang stats, etc.
  • Some of you will also have access to R&D. In R&D you will have access to cards under development and can play against others in R&D.

As to rewards, here are possible benefits:

  • A way to earn bonus EB for each successful operation
  • A way to reduce durability loss on each match
  • A way to earn extra influence for each successful operation
  • A way to increrase the size of your card vault
  • Access to rarer cards
  • Access to expansion sets

These benefits can be given by

  • Control of Special Locations
  • Equipment/Cyber
  • Access to Named Fixers, Netrunners, etc.

Bartlett:

If the concern is making sure Newbies can play on an even feild, why not just design a “Kiddie-pool” section, open only to people who have been playing for x amout of time or less?
Stealing a term from Cy-gen, you could call it “Saturday Night Skuffle”.
After the grace period (In which they could play in the normal areans as well) they get booted out into the cold, cruel streets.
If you are going to make OPS the defining way of Special Missions, I’d recommend giving a number of ops of the same name that need to be run.(If i need to run 5 IWTP completed, I’ll need to play at least 2 games)Also insist that the ops mean nothing unless you win the match. How many times in CP have you done all the right things only to realize that you did not get all of your ducks in a row, and all the running around you did ment nada?

Silverhand:

I like the idea of the multiple runs of individual Operations – so a player gets a bonus or reward for having run say 10 IWTP’s. This is a great incentive to keep players playing. It also allows the Operations and their rewards to be classified under Sabotage, Anarchy, Theft, etc. These can be further broken down into respective factions.

Just wanted to throw my support behind this, and the concept that if you lose a game but have completed 2 IWTP’s, they count for nada as Bartlett said.

Sonjaya:

quote:


Originally posted by Bartlett

If the concern is making sure Newbies can play on an even feild, why not just design a “Kiddie-pool” section, open only to people who have been playing for x amout of time or less?



Well the first issue is how do we make sure people are playing in the kiddie-pool? I think the reality is that it will be hard to find an opponent there — also, this is cyberpunk. If you are going to learn, it has to be in the streets Razz

The reason we are headed in this direction is that when you first start playing, you don’t have a card collection. Also, you won’t be able to get cards by giving me real money (as in magic) — this is not a pay/card mechanism — it is subscription.

Instead you will use your EB and influence to build your collection. So, how do you as a player have fun when you don’t have a large card collection? Meaning, how do I make sure vetran players will still be inserested in playing against you. That is where the sealed deck ops and gutterpunk come in. There are incentives for both.

quote:


Originally posted by Bartlett

If you are going to make OPS the defining way of Special Missions, I’d recommend giving a number of ops of the same name that need to be run.(If i need to run 5 IWTP completed, I’ll need to play at least 2 games)Also insist that the ops mean nothing unless you win the match. How many times in CP have you done all the right things only to realize that you did not get all of your ducks in a row, and all the running around you did ment nada?


I like where this is headed. It also creates more incentives for bribery which I want to be a key part of the game. I loved how at GenCon SoCal, you can win by offering your opponent a card, or prize or something when things weren’t looking so good for you.

I also like the — you two need to figure out who won and if you can’t you both loose — approach.

Bartlett:

How about a “Kiddie Pool” instead of Gutterpunk?


A place (like the burbs) where people learning the ropes can play without getting hammered by players with better cards. Kick them out into the mean streets after x amout of times/ wins/ whatever. And if good players want to keep coming in as Newbies (I can’t see a way to stop that) you’ll get a boost in # of players, more direct income, and be a way to teach old players new tricks. I still don’t think that Gutterpunk is easier or less “good card dependent” than a normal game, so I would not use that as an entry level tourney idea.


But in the Putting my EB where my mouth is:

  • Any of you that have solid gutterpunk decks, How many Uncommon/common/rares do you have in them in comparison to a normal deck?
  • And what are the agreed upon rules for Gutterpunk?

Silverhand:

Standard Gutterpunk rules allow for 6 rares with a max of 4 in any one deck, so you can’t stack all 6 in your Runs for example.

One of the things Jonathan and I paid close attention to when developing Live and Direct was putting in place specific cards that helped the Gutterpunk environment. We still see it as the defacto third style after Constructed and Sealed.

I think having a specific area for Gutterpunk is a good idea, but I agree with Bartlett’s observation that if there is nobody there to play against, it seriously impacts on a players ability to generate Eb, forcing them into the big wide world to fight tooth and nail for a few measly scraps against potentially much better players.

What about rewarding players who win with low-powered decks. For example, the average Power total in a deck might be 100 points of runner power.

If I run a deck with 50 Power total and win, I get twice my Eb reward for a win, whereas if I have a deck with 150 power I get only a percentage of my Eb reward. This would have a double advantage – firstly it would give the bonus to the Gutterpunk deck player because they are by their design low powered decks, and secondly it would probably help remove the high noon dominance as no matter how many wins you get, you just wont accumulate Eb fast enough with a high noon deck – sure you will get win based rewards, but that wont get you as much Eb to ‘buy’ cards. Soon a Gutterpunk player will pass a high noon player in cards available.

Jonathan:

How about this for “control” of location. Just an idea floating around in my head.

Depending on what you are, Street, Corp or Govt you can do different things, well, let me explain.

If I’m the cops and I have my locations that I have to defend, that’s fine. But let’s say I wanna take out something else, as the cops I can go an “bust” a location. So, Precint number 2 goes after Wally’s World of Weapons.

For the X time period, the cops and the street gangs can take a missions either “Bust Wally’s!” Or “Save Wally’s Ass!” when they do it they get matched up with someone doing the opposite one. Cops win, one point towards busting Wally’s. Gangs win, one point away from Busting Wally’s.

If the Cops win, the bust Wally’s World of Weapons and no one can use it in their decks for say … 2 weeks.

Basically, give the same thing for each faction. They either stop their opponents from using it, or they keep control of a location.

EDIT: Oops, missed the last bit of the convo there. I think that this is something that should apply to different missions. If I’m dueling you and I’ve got a gutterpunk deck with 50 power and you’ve got a high noon at 150 power and I school you, then yes I should have huge bonus added.

However, if I’m running ARasaka with an unlimited constructed deck, don’t penalize me because I’m using all the resources I have available.

Sonjaya:

Well I guess I have been operating on the assumption that EVERYONE would want to play gutterpunk Razz

We need to list out the different kind of players and then plot out the life cycle of those players.

Now, I am not a great player and I was a very bad Cyberpunk CCG player prior to SoCal Gencon. Because of that, the sealed deck and gutterpunk formats were much less intimidating.

I learned the most playing the sealed deck tournaments. The most fun I had was playing gutterpunk — but that is probably personal preference. (Jonathan still wins the “Huh?, what, boom, did I just die?” wacky deck-type award)

So, there are two types of new players:
1) Ones who have never played Cyberpunk CCG
2) Ones who are just new to the online game.

Since our first goal is to RESTORE the community. Our initial target market is 2. So I think they will do well in gutterpunk and sealed deck because they know the cards and what to look for.

The question then, is when we start to focus on (1), what do we have in place for them AND when do we start putting that in place.

Jonathan:

Okay, this is me and my take on how this should break down, but not from Herbert’s side.

Okay, since this is Night City we need to have a few things preset. First of all, I think that at bare minimum we need to have the game sponsors set up. So, when someone like Herbert signs on, if he’s the first one to sign on, he can form his own gang or join up to Arasaka, Militech, Biotechnica, the NCPD Presinct #1, a Nomad Nation (My money is on the Aldecados), The Mob, The Yakuza and since we’ve got the Maelstrom Initiate, the Maelstrom. These will all be run by an appointed sysop who are then tools for the people running the story. Through them, they can get stuff to happen. So if we decided to throw in the 4th corporate war, we can begin the hostilites between Arasaka and Militech by just telling our sysops to go at it.

Of course, I tend to think that the sysops should be able to run the corps with a lot of independance. So, if they want to start some little things against each other because we have a scoreboard set up showing who’s the top corp and the top gang, and how many times the Cops have stopped crap from happening and turned it around on the corp in question or however we measure it, bear with me I’m really tired.

Of course, if one doesn’t like working for other people, the player can go and start their own corp, precint and gang. Corps and gangs start from the bottom and have to work their way up in ranking while precincts have to be responsible to precinct #1. But you are in charge of your little domain, as tiny as the one it may be.

Anyway, during the next little bit the story people decide that the cops are going to try and bust Wally’s World of … Well, you read the post. Just that all the stuff that happens is kinda story driven.

That’s how I see that stuff working. Thoughts?

Silverhand:

I like the preset Sponsors idea, run by an Uber Player or SysOp in Koipond’s terminology. These are determined by the current CCG Sponsors, although as mentioned the Gangs and Nomads break down further – I would go as far as to say all Nomads must belong to a Nation, but each player can develop his own tribe or family within that Nation – much like a player has more free reign over the creation of new gangs.

I would also set a minimum Reputation level for players to be able to establish their own affiliations – a gang it might be 3, a corp it might be 5 and a Precinct it might be 7. The reason for this is that every joe is going to want to set up his own gang and you’ll have hundreds of one-man gangs and very little of the benefits of a large group will be realised.

If you effectively force players to join existing affiliations, then you are helping to build the components that will result in large turf wars or corporate wars which is what we want. There is no fun if the mission pits Joe’s FlyBoyz (comprising only Joe) against Fred’s Felons (comprising only Fred). This also adds very little to the overall RPG experience.

I would also consider that an affiliation needs a minimum number of personnel in order to be activated – perhaps 3.

peteramthor:

I ran the Night City rules ideas by some of the other players (or former players as some have moved on). They all liked the idea up until the card decay part. At that point most said they wouldn’t play it because it would be to much hassle to keep going back and trying to gain more cards over and over just because you hit a bit of a losing streak. Mainly they felt the hassle would over shadow the fun of the game then.

One person did ask me if there is online play if there would be Night City rules and then just regular ole’ game play. He also felt that people would be gearing decks for the quick win to avoid losing and then losing cards. Therefore Gunslinger decks would be the tops and most of the people who build quirky little decks (like myself) just to have fun playing would be out.

Just some thoughts and feedback from out player pool.

Jonathan:

See. That’s why Dave gets paid the big bucks.

The reputation and minimum requirements is a great idea for it and makes it work better. That way if you’re new on the street you have to join a previously established one.

Heck, that way we can actually bring it up later on as a “feature.” Now you can start your own gang!

And then the newer players can decide that they want to join one of the newly formed ones and it gives greater freedom for later players and power for older ones.

Gang wars and Corporate backstabbing should be a huge part of the game. And the best thing about being a cop, is that you tend to get invovled in both sides of it.

Other idea. Hows this for a thing for reputation. It triggers certain events that can happen.

You hit high enough and you can start your own gang.
You hit high enough and you can get contacted by someone for a duel, that someone being say Morgan or Johnny or someone and if you beat them then you get their card.

Just a few ideas.

Jonathan:

Well, how about card decay in Sealed deck and no card decay in Constructed?
That way you’re sealed deck is always changing, but you constructed decks don’t.
Also, there should be casual play where the cards don’t decay at all.

Sonjaya:

As to the whole card decay thing we will need to play test that and I am willing to explore other concepts.

However, I do need to put a card control mechanism in place, otherwise the game is not balanced — and even more troubling (from my business hat), there is less reason to buy print versions of the cards.

The only two card control mechanism I can think of is Magic online’s method — i.e. pay per card OR putting in some sort of card decay mechanism — that doesn’t mean those are the only options — it only means that those are the only ones I can think of.

So the question, if we keep card decay, is how do we offset a bad run of luck. The other thing is I want to reward you BIG TIME for participating in tournaments in stores or at conventions. So, you will get a good chunk of EB, even if you are not subscribed for doing a face to face tournament.

Does that make card decay more palitable?

Also, on the subject of card durability, as you join an affiliation and complete missions, you will gain ‘control’ of certain cards.

Control of some cards will auto-repair durability.
Control of other cards will redude durability loss.
Other cards may make cards cost less EB to add to your collection.
etc.

Bartlett:

Hey!
So this goes online. Wee. Love it, you guys rock the llamma’s ass. I sign up, i get my cards, build my deck, I’m ready to go. Then none of the other 20 people who play this game (at first) log in. My panties twisted, I take my Zanes and go home.
How do we stop this?
Will there be some poor schmo who will be on or near the board 24/7 just to make sure the New Guy can play with someone?

In other, non-panty-twisting news:
I like card decay. But then again, I’m not a nice guy. Keeps the players hopping with little work on the sysop’s end (I assume. There are Diet Coke cans with more computer savvy than me).
Once you want to make cash for this, offer the option to Buy a card that you have- no more decay for you, Jimmie Blitz!

As far as stopping a bad run of luck, 2 things:
1) This IS cyberpunk. wear a helmet, ya big nance. Twisted Evil
2) Do cards only decay when you lose, or when you play? If it’s just when you play, it does not matter how well you play, after X number of games, John Smith goes bye-bye.
Also, with the card decay you can (if computerwise, possible- again, me, Diet Coke can) throw some nice toys to the masses- In certain types of play perhaps certain cards will not decay- While playing in a Corporate Sector, no Corp Locs suffer from Decay. Or July is Media Month- no Media cards suffer from decay. This will encourage folk to design and redesign their decks. (I assume ther will be an easy manner for folk to design and resesign decks offline?)
Bear in mind that this will vastly increase the appeal (and time spent) designing decks, which IS a big ol part of the hobby. Force the players to make hard decisions. They’ll hate you, but they will love your game.

Sonjaya:

quote:


Originally posted by Bartlett
Hey!
So this goes online. Wee. Love it, you guys rock the llamma’s ass. I sign up, i get my cards, build my deck, I’m ready to go. Then none of the other 20 people who play this game (at first) log in. My panties twisted, I take my Zanes and go home.
How do we stop this?
Will there be some poor schmo who will be on or near the board 24/7 just to make sure the New Guy can play with someone?


Well the intiial player base will be us vetran die hard players and you are right. Players won’t be available 24/7 — that won’t happen until we get past the 500 active subscribers mark — and that will take work.
So, until that happens we better have good forums. Use the forums to plan and coordinate. That way when you hop online there will be more of a chance others will be there.

quote:


Originally posted by BartlettOnce you want to make cash for this, offer the option to Buy a card that you have- no more decay for you, Jimmie Blitz!


Well my response is if you like Jimmie so much that you want to pay for him…that is what the print game is for. That is the primary differentiation between the online and offline game. In the offline game your collection is permament and you grow it via purchases and trades. In the online game your collection is a bit more dynamic — well a lot more dynamic.

quote:


Originally posted by BartlettAs far as stopping a bad run of luck, 2 things:
1) This IS cyberpunk. wear a helmet, ya big nance. Twisted Evil


Well…I wasn’t going to say it but… Razz

quote:


Originally posted by Bartlett2) Do cards only decay when you lose, or when you play? If it’s just when you play, it does not matter how well you play, after X number of games, John Smith goes bye-bye.


Win our loose, when you are in a battle, stuff gets worn out. So, win or loose the cards you used — meaning got into play, decay.

quote:


Originally posted by BartlettAlso, with the card decay you can (if computerwise, possible- again, me, Diet Coke can) throw some nice toys to the masses- In certain types of play perhaps certain cards will not decay- While playing in a Corporate Sector, no Corp Locs suffer from Decay. Or July is Media Month- no Media cards suffer from decay. This will encourage folk to design and redesign their decks. (I assume ther will be an easy manner for folk to design and resesign decks offline?)


I like it…I like it a lot. We have to be careful though, for licensing reasons about playing in a corporate sector … but, we can come up with a mechanic that achieves the same goal and is respectful of RTGs license.

quote:


Originally posted by BartlettBear in mind that this will vastly increase the appeal (and time spent) designing decks, which IS a big ol part of the hobby. Force the players to make hard decisions. They’ll hate you, but they will love your game.


That is what I am hoping … well, may be not the hate part.

Silverhand:

I envisage there being certain targets in Night City that appear every so often. These targets are goals that a player will have to build a specific type of deck to overcome. As Bartlett and his diet coke cans said, this means people are constantly being challenged to redesign new decks that have strength in certain areas. These will be targets that anyone can tilt at and if they are successful, will be rewarded justly.

The main thing is to ensure that the actual playing environment is constantly changing, dynamic.

Bartlett’s concern about there always being someone online is a valid point. Initially this will be a problem until there are a few hundred playing regularly around the world. It’s almost inevitable that it will happen, but there should be plenty of information available in the ‘world’ for a player to sift through lookig for ideas, messages, tracking missions, watching to see what other runners are doing, who they’re playing, etc.

I like the idea of the player who registers taking on their own role as it also provides a canvas on which they can develop their own personality, from what they look like (an avatar) to how they act.

Such a concept has so much that can enrich it – imagine a bunch of players who are rockerboys, form a band in the game, and then run anti-corp concerts as their specialty. In their spare time they develop their own music and release it within the game as MP3’s or, a clever Corp decides to take them on and market them and sells their MP3’s in the game for Eb, taking a cut themselves. A rival Corp seeing this entreprenurial thing and decides to hire some gangs to assassinate the band members or steal their catalog of MP3’s. Mmmmm, nasty, funny, but cool.

Jonathan:

Well, maybe we could have SysOps for that. I mean, they’re not always going to be in control of a stupidly powerful corp. Can we also give them, for their time and energy a regular account that we ask that they spend at least X amount of time on?

Sonjaya:

quote:


Originally posted by peteramthor
Okay real quick questions.In the online version is the only thing available going to be the Night City Rules stuff? Or where there be an open play area also?

If it’s Night City Rules only then I know every player in the area here, myself included, won’t be playing. We don’t have the time or the will to put into the game to keep replacing cards that we already ‘had’. Kinda feels like it would be “Spinning Wheels Syndrome”. And we don’t feel like playing Gutterpunk rules all day. Gutterpunk is fun… for a while, then you want to do something different.


I could put in ‘sparing’ missions. Basically these are matches that don’t incur durability loss — are constructed, but you won’t earn any EB or any other Night City Rules benefits. Also, remember, each time you participate in a sanctioned tournment you will earn EB/influence. The results will also count towards missions objectives.

So, if you really don’t want to particpate in Night City rules, you can earn your EB playing Gutterpunk online and participating in touraments offline. You can then use the EB you earn to ‘purchase’ cards for your online collection. Then, as long as you only do Gutterpunk and Sparing missions (and don’t get sponsored or join an affiliation) — you won’t ever incur durability loss.

Feedback?

Jonathan:

Personally, I think that there is a disconnect between what people are thinking about decay.

When you subscribe, don’t think of it as buying cards ala M:TG Online. Think of it as playing in one long, uninterrupted sealed deck tournament that you can play as often as and long as you want. The reason why you keep having to “rebuy” cards is that if you didn’t then the whole sealed deck tournament feature would go right out the window.

That’s the main focus of this. Constructed decks are something that will happen later when you’ve been able to collect cards. Now maybe we shouldn’t have decay on collected cards maybe?

So, it would break down into two things.

1. Casual dueling.
No card decay
No special benefits from it
2. Night City Rules
Sealed Deck
Most Common
Card Decay
Highest pay out in EB, most missions available, average rep gained
Special Events happen
Constructed
Rarer
Option for Duels
No Card Decay
Lower pay out in EB, few missions available, higher rep gained and lost.

How does that format work? The place where most of the stuff will happen in sealed deck, but the cards you’ve collected won’t decay.

Sonjaya:

Well, constructed matches still need decay — that is what makes getting control of stim patches, hostpitals, etc. worth doing.

Having said that, if two players want to have a match and NOT get any Night City Rules benefit, we should let them and NOT penalize them with card decay.

But Koipond make an important point about this NOT being M:TG Online. That game is a 1-1 translation and 1-1 $ investment as well.

My goal here is to create a DIFFERENT experience for you than face-to-face play AND to make that entertainment experiece low cost. I still need to make sure that you can do the quick matches with a friend, but I think Night City Rules is needed to offset the lack of face-to-face interaction.

Assassination Mission —
These missions will be very hard to do (and only successfully completed by one person).

L5R does a good job at mixing game play and story and much like their tournaments impact which characters (card) die and advance, we can do this with Night City Rules.

The assasination missions won’t be available very often (only when we want to twilight certain cards) and are only completable by one person. They will also be very difficult — akin to very hard Heritage quests in Everquest2 — and the result is that the card assassinated is removed from the online game, and will no longer be printed.

We can have other missions that cause other cards to increase in power.

Bartlett:

My 2 EB:

1) The online game must intice new players.
2) The online game must not loose old players.

There, say it with me- DUH!
I truly dig the Night City online idea- it’s cool, clean, and leaves a minty taste in my mouth. But are we not biting off more than we can chew with this? For now the only thing we want to do is keep the game alive, and will that best served by an alternate tourny, web-only format?
I think not. At this point I’d be pleased to just play a regular game with someone I’ve not seen in a while (Hi, guys!!). What happens when I log on wanting to play just a normal, fun game but the only format with someone on is a Night City game? Too many choices for the new player.
Speaking of fun, how will smack talk be done over the web? I assume some form of IM thing, perhaps with forum post that’s a “Best Smack of the Game” forum topic. Players can vote, and the smack with the most vote at the end of the week/day/whatever gets some EB?influence/whatever. (there’s my addition to continuing to make the game more complex- At least I’m balanced.)

Sonjaya:

The basic interface will be one of a data term. You will also have a comm area (i.e. chat). You can always listen in to “The Street” — this is were fellow runners wander when they jack in.

You can always challenge a friend to a ‘friendly’ match. I don’t want to prevent you from playing with the people you want to play. Rather, I will probably let you filter to see whose missions match up to yours. Then, when challenging, just turn on the ‘Night City Rules’ toggle — so the system knows to apply the results to your missions.

But keep discussing this, because it is helpful to visualize the interface and understand how old Herbert find people, plays matches, and still manages to get things done.

As to “biting off more than we can chew” — the company motto is “Dream when you plan, focus when you act” — we are planning, hence dreaming.

The first thing you are going to see is a simple playtest environment. You will have access to all the cards and simply pick an opponent by challenging them. I will then layer in the Night City Rules pieces.

Bartlett:

OK, so Herbert hears from his millionaire supermodel girlfriend (hey- dream big-right?) about this cool new online game- Cyberpunkccg.
First things first- the smiling face of a cyberpsycho MetalHead says-“Identify Yourself”
You log in, or reg as “Guest. A map pops up (I know, maps bad) but it is only used to tell where you go- Burbs ( practice), Corp Zone (Missions) or Free Fire Zone( Open Play)
You can also talk to a Fixer (Lou the Finger is my choice) who sells you stuff with the EB you have. Jonny SilverHand tells you your Influence, and you can do any influence stuff you need to do with him.
Just a start-!!

Trencher:

First of all, I’d just like to say that I’m fascinated by the concept of Night City Rules.

I like the whole card durability thing, especially in sealed deck, I’ve played so many sealed deck tourneys in various games where someone manages to get some damn good cards and just obliterates everyone. This would keep someone like that on their toes, and get them shifting their cards around if they want to be able to pull out those uber cards later in the tourney.

I’ve been reading and reading since I got here, and you guys have some awesome ideas. As someone who beta’d magic online (And then still went back and played it, because I’m learning impaired or something…), and even played that other cyberpunk-esque online CCG Chron X, I must say I like the idea of an ‘real’ online CCG (Not just some open engine for people to play CCGs online) that doesn’t treat the cards I get online as the digital equivalent of real cards.

I’m pretty bleeding-edge when it comes to tech, but I nonetheless find it hard to really get behind ‘virtual property’ for a CCG. I mean, if they want to do virtual property, then it should be 100% interchangable between the real and the digital worlds. I guess when it comes down to it, I just really like being able to hold the cards and look at them and stuff, and paying real money for cards I can’t do that with doesn’t make sense to me. But I digress… ^_^

Speaking of Chron X, my mentioning of it in this post (That I started writing 3 hours ago) led me to check and see how it was doing. They’re doing fine apparently. Eight years that’s been running. I got in on like month two.

I hope the online Cyberpunk CCG enjoys ATLEAST as much success! (As I imagine it will, since without the whole ‘virtual property’ thing, it should be far more accessible for people.)

I again offer whatever help you guys need. I’ve got a lot of time on my hands. 😛

—-
Added:

I agree that there needs to be a way in the online game to have normal games against people. I must say, when I first bought my starters and boosters off ebay, I did it just to see the game… I had no illusions about the availability of opponents in my locale. Infact, other than the ‘test game’ I played against a (mostly) willing guinea pig, I haven’t played a face-to-face game of ANYTHING in almost 6 years. Since my local hangout, a comicbook store, went out of business. (It was on the first floor of the building I moved into like 6 months later, and still live in, talk about crap timing!)

I also agree that revival of the game is paramount, but I think, in the end, the online game will bolster support for the whole thing. When word gets out that there’s a great and innovative new online CCG out there that doesn’t cost a fortune to play, people will come.

Other observations based on my experiences:
Now, I’m not a very good CCG player in general, but I was fairly good at Magic…depending on the state of things. The problem with Magic is that you need to be constantly in the know, or you’re toast. I would get good, have a good deck, play a lot…then I’d be busy. I come back to Magic, and at BEST half my cards need to be replaced with similar cards from the latest expansions. (Yay! More of my money down the crapper!) At WORST, my entire strategy/deck-type is no longer viable. Who are these people who have enough time to devote to such a thing?

Avoiding that kind of planned obsolescence/nerfing will get and keep more players. Especially casual players who want a hobby or pastime, and not a job that costs money . ;P

The durability system seems like it would fulfill a similar role, but without the BS. Since it’s not a real-world investment in cards going down the tubes, it also avoids the Magic “EVERY @#%$ing expansion fundamentally changes how the game works!” BS where you pretty much have to re-learn the game every month, as that’s the primary mechanism in Magic to keep re-leveling the playing field, and avoid stagnation.

I guess that’s my primary concern, as someone who, despite having boatloads of time on his hands, doesn’t have the time or money to devote to keeping ‘current’ like Magic requires.

———-
Added:

In case I wasn’t clear, I don’t mean “Expensions, bad!” I mean, moderation. I mean don’t follow MTG’s roadmap of “New expansion every month, oh and we totally rewrote the game!” and forcing out older stuff at a rate that means the average high school kid can’t afford to play. That’s all.

I realize that you can’t totally avoid this kind of thing since it would make the offline side of this ‘troublesome’, as there would be no simple way to periodically re-level the playing field in offline play. Except maybe to seperate players into tiers based on skill-level (Determined by their stats), for non-casual play. (And really, who wants to deal with that?)

Sandman:

Honestly? Simple: Online/offline compatibility has already been thought about and in discussion with various store owners around the nation, I’d have to say that it is their biggest concern. In promoting the continued sales of the print game, EA, Inc. is gaining allies within the stores and in the revitalization of the game, that is paramount.

As for online play and deck building (degredation of cards, etc.) I don’t really have much more to say on the matter because I’m one of those rare CCG players who makes a deck and then doesn’t reconstruct for months, or years, depending on how it goes. I also have very little time to participate in games of any sort since I always seem to be making them instead! Still, these issues have been covered and some very good ideas have been expressed. Knowing the design staff here, as I do, I’d have to say that those people who are worried are worrying needlessly, and those who have expressed ideas for improvement: keep on it! We are listening, Choomba!

Sonjaya:

One of the ideas, btw, that came out of this discussion were the adventure tournaments.

My plan is to use the adventure tournements to refine the Night City Rules concept. Also, as much as we can, I want to intermingle the online/offline world.

baughb:

what if the payoff for winning isnt determined by what is in your deck, but by you and your opponents rep. if you and your opponent have about the same rep the payoff is normal. if your opponent has quite a bit more rep then you, you get bonus eb or something. if you have more rep than your opponent then you dont get as much eb. that way the top runners will have to find other top runners to keep getting more stuff, and the new runners will get a little bit of a bonus when they just start out because everybody will have a higher rep then them.

if people think it would be too much of a hassle to keep replacing the cards that run out of durability. why not just let people buy back some durability. they could just go to the local fixer and put the cards they want fixed in the queue. but the draw back is that it takes a day to fix each card, and the fixer can only fix so many cards each day.

Cinos:

I have’t had time to read more than half of the posts, so sorry if I’m covering old ground here, or hashing up settled disscutions.


First, from my experance, Gutterpunk is not more Newbie frendly, but less! As you need much more specific rares for your deck to work right, and you need to know how to play better to pull a win off lesser runners and gear. Now I’m not saying its a bad idea for people to start in Gutterpunk, I’m just intercecting an opinon, and saying that the ‘Kiddy Street’ may be a better idea.


Also, the idea of location names and new locations for the online verson is great (I think the idea’s was Bartlett idea). I might say on a limb, and say that a player could rename all of the proper names (but for only cosmetic effect, the real name is still effective, and should be still visable, and so things like clone still gain both names, proper and true names, and things like Comaption will not be Tolerated will still work on a Zane namabed bob and a Zane named joe). I don’t know if this is fesable, but it would add a great amount of personalization to each deck to those who wish to use it, and would give each deck alot of flavor (mabye even picture custamaztion from a selection, so your Race Chapel could have the pic of a Shadow).


Entry Filed under: Games

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mikesty  |  April 22nd, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    I like the new truncated front-page format, but I dislike how three unsightly TuskensBane forum edit buttons show up. None of them work, either 😛

  • 2. sonjaya  |  April 23rd, 2006 at 4:12 am

    Mike,

    what edit buttons 😛

  • 3. DPrentice  |  April 23rd, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    remind me to take the time, there were some other posts that i found quite filled with creativity and constuctive arguements on the boards as well. But I think there was some truly inspired communication before the game was even locked down to being the card game… altho posting it now may not be the best… seeing as how the card game got shut down, its a moot point really discussing it. Those earlier discussions we had are still open, and even still posible…

    I guess this goes back to when we were discussing the initial project, of what a game could and should be…and how to break into a market that was already saturated.

    We discussed both MMO and card games, with multiple levels of involvement – and self designable levels which could then be uploaded for others to experience as content.

    Much of what we’ve talked about is being done, including the microtransactions such as Xbox Live is using, and iTunes, and the shared content, being used to a lesser extent in Spore (coming soon)

  • 4. sonjaya  |  April 23rd, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    I know which ones you are talking about. There is one more night city one I need to grab. And then I will grab the Eternity City ones (the ones you are refering to) and post those as their own blog entry.

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