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System Down: The Customisable Hacker Card Game!

Started by 3XXXDDD, March 01, 2012, 04:19:12 PM

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Well I made a few variations and I think I have exactly what you want. I also have another version that is my own interpretation.

With the other tabs crowding out the top area I don't think I like the _[]X boxes as much any more, but I like the new tab button still. I say one or the other but not both. That just makes the top right way too crowded. I think removing the x from the tab windows was a good call, so i didn't even make a version with it.

So anyways this is my understanding of what you wanted. I didn't throw any images in because I didn't want to waste time on an illustration before all the other design elements are finalized.

Hope you like it!

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I actually hope you like these versions better actually. These are my favorite. Pretty much the only difference is the icons for Virus, Anti-Virus or File, but I think these icons look way better than simple arrows by far.

I forgot to mention in the last post: only one and maybe half a keyword will fit in the address bar at it's current size. I can fit about three to four more letters after it's current stopping point. That's why I left room for another keyword in the top left. You don't have to use the slot, but it could be used if you need it. I included a version of what it looks like without it.

the other thing I wanted to mention was from my current understanding of your planned marketing strategy mentioned in the other thread there wouldn't be a rarity. The floppy or whatever icon goes there could represent the set or booster icon. It could also be a place to put icons related to keywords. Keywords are great but sometimes a visual icon makes scanning for keywords a tad quicker. Just some more thoughts.

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I don't think any card game really uses Sub-Type/Archetype's Keyword combinations that contain more than 20 Characters anyway.

Market Strategy likely has to be revised once I understand that area more. Regardless, Set Symbols or Keyword Icons (potentially more suitable considering the position) are also a welcome idea. The Fonts also worked out much better than I imagined.

Also, Thank you, I was going crazy thinking of finding more suitable symbols for the main card types.


I won't comment too much on market strategy. I have always been a designer and not entrepreneur. I'm great at coming up with images, cards, and games, but it ends there. In other words I can be an asset through the entire process until the end, then someone with more discipline and knowledge of that arena needs to take over.

I have some friends that are much more skilled in that area and I may refer them over to your threads.

Quote from: 3XXXDDD on April 03, 2012, 05:59:19 PM
Also, Thank you, I was going crazy thinking of finding more suitable symbols for the main card types.
Thank you very much! I worked hard on it, glad it's what you were looking for. Now that the card design is hammered out let's get back to some game design elements.

I really like the concept of systems, I think they make for a unique playstyle and objective to the game. The concern I had was that you could only use one card at a time. That makes the 1s and 2s somewhat useless if there is a 3 out. This continues my concern about turtle decks and makes it slightly more acute. What I liked about the original design is that 4 -1s could take on a 3.

There also doesn't seem to be a way to directly eliminate your opponents cards that are bothering you. Was that on purpose? Perhaps one could also attack anti-virus or virus cards in their system phase?

Depending on your intended use of the word 'effect' could 'process' be a similar thematic word you could use in it's stead?


Some Effects might activate here. Some Process' might activate here. Counter an effect. Cancel a Process. Could work.

I'm aware of that main problem, this Phase is quite complicated. I'm thinking Virus should only be able to attack your System generally, certain variations could have an effect that attack your Anti-Virus cards. Whereas Anti-Virus could generally target Virus with only certain ones able to re-activate a System OR the other way around, they'd generally re-activate System but an Anti-Virus card with the ability "Scan" could attack a Virus card.

I think Virus cards (maybe of the same sub-archetype) could work in Unison, whereas Anti-Virus (considering their real life counterparts) could work independently. So to compensate for the increase of speed/combination in Virus Cards, we give them a low Value and to compensate for the Anti-Virus only being able to work independently, we give them a large value. For example, Virus Range would be 1-3 whereas Anti-Virus would be 3-5.

This is just me rambling one or two ideas out and the System Phase will likely get changed over and over again till perfection.

Not a huge deal but someone pointed out to me with the M/M/E boxes gone with have more room at the top, maybe to make the tabs slightly bigger. Just something that's been noticed.


Some key word Ideas I was messing around with.

Not all of these should need Keywords. Some Keywords may have been over-complicated and the basic term is fine. Not all of these need Icons to represent they Keywords either.

Player: Host

Deck: PC Or Directory (Directory sounds like a Modern version of M:TG's Library)

Field: Cyberspace OR Data Matrix OR Global System OR Global Link OR Anything else, open to interpretation.

Hand: Folder

Discard Pile: Recycle Bin

Remove From Play Area: Hidden Folder/Directory OR External Storage

General Card: File

Effect: Process

Draw: ??

Discard: Delete or Thrash

Destroy: Delete or Thrash

Remove from Play: Hide/Store

Call: Upload OR Install

Return: Download OR Uninstall OR Refresh

Revive: Recycle

Counter: Cancel


General design note, I think the cards should have a Black (Maybe Navy/Blue?) as a base color with a Blue or Green glowing Power Button in the Center such as


Maybe System (or whatever final name) in Chrome/Silver Just over it as well.


My thoughts:
Most of these are perfect. I'll only comment on the ones that seem to need tweaking. Overall I think they sound awesome and I love the flavor going into it. It's becoming like a well seasoned dish.

Deck: 'Desktop PC'? I like directory too. It sounds more technical. I like desktop PC because it's a Players Cards on the top of the desk.

Field: Network? WAN?   :-\

Draw: ??

Discard: Delete (I assume you meant trash and not thrash regardless I'm not fond of either.)

Destroy: Hard Delete

Call: Upload OR Install (I like both but I think upload fits the internet concept better)

Return: Download OR Uninstall (same here)

I'm not exactly sure what these are for. Is that if you put cards in a hidden area like in VS?

Remove From Play Area: Hidden Folder/Directory OR External Storage

Remove from Play: Hide/Store

The keywords seem fine to me, but to me remove from play usually means in the hand or in the discard. I think a hidden area might be interesting for this game, especially if there are some viruses that AVs can't get to.

I like the ideas for attacks and defenses in the systems phase. It makes sense that viruses would be weaker but might attack as a group. Perhaps bot could be a virus keyword that is a bunch of viruses that work exceptionally well together.

Is the power button the idea for the card back? I really like the top image, but it seems incomplete. I'll see if I can make something just as awesome. I doubt it but I'll try. On the other design note I'm not sure why it seems like there is more space on the card with the boxes. I literally did not move anything I just turned a layer on or off. That's the only difference between having the boxes there or not. If you like it better with them on they can stay. Should the new tab box go then?


Personally, I think the design is fine over-all. I'm curious what the tabs would look like a bit more Centered (in that case probably would be best to get rid of the new tab box, otherwise it could stay)

Some idea's revised, if I haven't mentioned some, that's because the previous post had them perfected already.

Deck: Directory. I like Directory because it has a similar although more modern feel than M:TG's library and a Deck is essentially a Directory (a collection of files)

Field: Desktop for each individual field because when hacking/preventing hacking, that is exactly what your looking at. This is also a reason for not using Desktop PC for the Deck, also because you PC is everything you have, it's your hand, recycle bin, deck and field. Though your field is the more visual area of it.

Hand: Might be best to stick with Hand. Theres not much difference between Folder and Directory.

Remove From Play Area: Archive (My RFPA is supposed to exist with the potential of getting cards back from there eventually)

Effect: Process (May need revision later but let's see how it goes here)

Draw: Let's stick with Draw.

Discard: Delete

Destroy: Hard Delete presents the idea of never getting it back though. Which causes problems. Terminate might be an idea.

Remove from Play: Archive

Call: Upload (Might be easier to relate for casual non-hacker players)

Return: Download (Ditto)

Counter: Cancel

As for the card back, I'd like to keep it simple yet attractive. What I was thinking, for card images in general we have this background image that is replicated throughout and is reminiscent of Tron, basically a Grid of Blue or Red or Green lines on a black base, then each card image would have a Character image added for personal identity and we'd take this idea for the card back and the Character image would be the power button.


Quote from: 3XXXDDD on April 05, 2012, 06:23:42 AMDestroy: Hard Delete presents the idea of never getting it back though. Which causes problems. Terminate might be an idea.
Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by destroy. I'm not a magic player so I'm not exactly familiar with some of the differences in terminology for that game. I thought you meant Remove from Game, in which case hard delete sounds valid. If not delete should do the trick.

I'm curious how this RFPA will work. It'd be awesome if there was a hidden area like VS. for some viruses to attack from called the hidden folder. Archive sounds great if it's just a place to store cards though. Typically archived files do nothing while hidden files might do something but be difficult to find.


Well, I'm going with Delete for cards in hand, while Terminate to kill active process (ie cards on field). Some effects might need to differentiate between the difference.

Terminate also works in tandem with the Counter Key word, Cancel "Cancel 1 Process & Terminate that File." (I realize terminate usually means for the actual process but some adjustments need to be made for the flavors consistency)

The RFPA is really just a storage area. Just means it's harder to get at than your discard Pile. I don't actually want to use RFP as the name because if it returns to play, then it was never really RFP in the first play (See: Yu-Gi-Oh and the new term "Banish")


Another thing, more important. This Combat System still requires some thought.

Right now it's 1 Vs 1. No damage for successful defense (as opposed to bouncing earlier)

I'm currently thinking of these changes

Virus may attack in Combination but have low power.
Anti-Virus may not attack in Combination but have a higher base power.

After defending, Anti-Virus need to Flavour wise "Update their Database" which functionally means they return to your hand as it was in the previous game.

Also does anyone think re-activating Systems should exist? It just over-all seems to unnecessarily complicate combat and gives Anti-Virus too much of a Pro Active presence rather than a re-active one.

Simply put,
5 Systems to de-activate
No System re-activation (also meaning no Virus attacking)
Attacks may be made in Unison
Anti-Virus bounce after defending.


Ok. I can see now. Archive seems appropriate.

I can't prioritize the 'tron-like background' today. The perfectionism in me is making it take a lot longer than it should. Mostly I'm just toying around to see how I can tweak the look, but I can tell I'm a long way off from liking how it looks. I'll see what I can come up with in a few days.

I think the missing thing is you don't have a name for the viruses, Anti-virus and data files as a whole. Perhaps they could be called programs? 'Terminate target program' sure sounds good.

Onto the important topic of the combat system. Perhaps some cards could reactivate your systems, but likely they would probably be few and far between. Functionally this would be like regaining life in some games so it needs to be controlled carefully.

I like the idea of some anti-virus cards being able to target viruses. That should definitely happen. Otherwise you are only passively whittling down your opponents forces when they have to reformat, which means they get to choose what stays and goes.

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Patience is a virtue. Perfectionism is welcome.

Well I was using "File" for all of them. Program also sounds good. As you said Terminate Target Program works well. Program likely makes more over-all sense.

That's the same thing I was thinking regarding System. Especially considering it's not a huge amount like MTGs 20, YGO's 8000. (More like 80 dumbed down).

I was thinking

Virus Attack Systems
Anti-Virus Attack Virus. Simply doesn't make sense to have an Anti-Virus destroying a computer.

Though, I still don't like the idea of Anti-Virus being so pro-active, so how about they Counter-attack instead.

E.g. Attack Phase

Attacking Virus(es) are declared
Anti-Virus defends. If it wins, the attacking Virus is destroyed (which makes sense considering that's what AV's actually do)
Anti-Virus then bounces for to "Update"

I may actually be in two minds about centering, Does look kind of better the other way and also leaves us some room for small tabs in future with Icons.


'files' could still apply to cards in general, i was just thinking cards already in play (the ones you teminate) could be called programs.

i think you are at the place now where some prototying and playtesting is in order. I suspect there being no direct way to attack viruses will get annoying. Maybe not though, and if the game works as is why fix it?

I think left aligned looks better too. My browser tabs are never centered!