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Core Types

Started by 3XXXDDD, May 10, 2012, 09:24:34 AM

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In M:TG, we have Colours
In Pokemon, we have Types
In Vanguard, we have Clans

Each of these give a broad generalization to what each card in those Core Types do,

Black in M:TG, Simply put Destruction and decay as opposed to Green which is growth and expansion

Fire in Pokemon, burn and blast things as opposed to Grass which stuns and poison

Nova Grapplers is battling and attacking many more times then most cards during the same battle phase whereas Dark Irregulars absorb their allies to increase their own power.

What my question is though, how does one initially define these charestics? Do they base it off some philosophical thinking and apply it to game play (Maybe M:TGs Five Colours is based off the Four Platonic Elementals + The Quintessential Element) or do they draw it up from game play? (Such as Vanguard which seem to create the style of play first and then add a flavour on top of it)

What about the numbers of them though? Would an odd number be good? (Rock-Paper-Scissors/Yomi, stuff you might have read from Sirlin) or would an even number be good? (Giving the game a somewhat circular elemental situation)

I'm trying to create something similar to the five colours of magic, by which I mean, a large broad generalization of what this type does without running into problems like a card effect not fitting for any particular archetype as opposed to Vanguard, we they keep seem to be throwing out extra clans every set or second set. I'm just not too sure where to draw the inspiration from.


First, they shuldn't have clear advantages against one another, but strategies tot ake each other color.

If you want diversity, you can create archetypes based on that color.

In my pinion, the color's perpose is to help you give stats and tags to your deck, defning it as it not just a group of 60 cards. It means something more than that.

Philosophy, yes. Card games will always be a form to tell stories, way unappreciated and underrated.

Go with what fills right.


Another game you might look to for inspiration is Yu-Gi-Oh, whose design has shifted over time and now uses very clearly defined archetypes. Each archetype emphasises different mechanical aspects of the game, has some amount of exclusive support cards, and also some degree of consistent flavour.
See for a list of archetypes.

In my opinion, the Magic colour philosophy is completely artificial but it is mechanically effective in the same way that pokemon type strength and weakness relationships are. 

You can twist the flavour to support almost any mechanic, but if two thematically different cards do the same thing in the same way then I believe they will end up feeling the same. So while you can probably design from either a top-down (thematic) or bottom-up (mechanical) approach, the bottom-up approach will at least ensure that gameplay is cohesive.

I agree that explicit advantages and disadvantages just seems bad. If you have deck strategies based on different play styles then strong and weak matchups will naturally emerge without needing to say X beats Y, which beats Z.

Hope that was somehat helpful.


Typherion: You mean instead of having a Broad Generalization (such as M:TG's colours), I could just create these fairly specific archetypes as in yugioh?

Then again, I could create various specific archetypes and try to separate them into broad-groups.


One thing I feel I should bring to light is that each type should have a specific reason to pick it over any other type. If every type uses the same strategy just replacing keywords, then the only type anyone is going to pick is the one that supports the single most broken card. That's my only real problem with pokemon, their types are really ambiguous as to what they do (except maybe fire and grass), so the most common you see are fire because of Reshiram, electric because of Zekrom, grass because of Jumpluff, and steel because of Cobalion; and with those four on top, fire is the most used because it has an advantage over 2 of the other 3. I personally like using specialization in type strategies, especially when the strategies determine advantages and disadvantages. Of course whether you make them specialize in strategies or not is up to the creator and the flavour of the card game, but it can help emphasize the flavour of each type if used correctly.


I think you just need to make sure that there is a reason for players to play cards of one group together, and that each group allows for different gameplay to some extent.

Whether you get the inspiriation for different groups from the mechanics or the flavour doesn't really matter as long as the gameplay is different I guess. And if you can achieve that, then I guess it's just a matter of preference how broad you make the categories.

I actually think Yugioh's archetypes are too specific because I don't like it when cards have to explicitly name other cards. To me, it feels almost like the card designer is making the deck instead of me. But I like more general groups based on card type like Magic's different tribes.