Custom Card Game Design

Bottoms Up – Update

Several months ago I posted about a new MtG project I was working on – a set built around tactical creature combat and built from the bottom up.  As a refresher, bottom-up design is an approach to design in which you build a set based on mechanics and synergies, ignoring flavor elements like story and art.  This is in stark opposition to the top-down design philosophy that WotC has used to great effect since Innistrad.

MU03  Combat Pump

Even colors that typically don’t do a lot of direct combat will have some tactical combat options…

Although I’ve been fairly inactive online over the past several months, I’ve not ignored the project and I am fairly close to being done with the initial design phase (That is to say, I’m almost to the point where every card in the set’s skeleton has been initially designed, even if that design may change greatly during the development process).  Looking ahead, within the next month or so I will need to begin building flavor for the set and that’s where this post comes in.  I’ve been building a set that I feel will be fairly enjoyable to play, but I have no idea what the flavor will be.  I have no story, no setting, and no general art style to aim for as of this point, and I was hoping for some input.

CB08  Vanguard Creature G

The Vanguard mechanic features heavily in the set. Also, enemy color synergies.

I’m not ready to release the whole set file just yet, but these pics should give a decent idea of where I’m going with the set.  I’m looking for feedback from anyone willing to give it on what kind of setting the set should be based in.  Anyone have any ideas?

UR01  Reverb Loot

Not all cards directly revolve around creature combat however. Reverberate is another new mechanic, one that will need a lot of attention during development.


3 responses to “Bottoms Up – Update

  1. antaresmtg May 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Huey & co. is rumored to be a combat-centric block inspired by asian/mongolian themes. It will be interesting to see what it will end up being before deciding on a flavor for the set. Other themes could be a Nordic themed set.

    I would like to see “Whenever you cast a spell during combat” as an ability word. The blue feels more green with its symmetric pump effect. A blue creature would get more butt, something like +1/+3. Then it wouldn’t have to be a mythic, but could be uncommon.

    Good to see you’re still on it!

  2. reubencovington May 18, 2014 at 7:03 am

    What about the idea of some of a plane of eternal battle where the natural order is that you fight. Maybe if you have any reanimation themes you could have a plane where each day any who died gloriously the previous day are restored to life.
    Feels like making combat the focus really needs to seep into the environment as well as the creatures.

    I remember DnD having a few interesting “war/battle planes” that may give you some inspiration.

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