Tag Archives: genre

Publishing: The future of the TCG genre

z4pQ8PshSince the inception of the genre, when Richard Garfield created Magic: the Gathering in 1993, a large number of trading card games have been created, each with its own themes and mechanics. However, if we look at the TCG landscape today, few of them remain standing. So many of them have just disappeared without a trace, but why? Can a new TCG be successful today?

What is nature of TCG?

Trading card games, also known as collectible card games, by their nature require players to buy booster packs and trade cards with their friends in order to build decks and start playing. This can be quite an investment: booster packs cost money and you need a sizeable collection of cards to start trading and building decks from, which requires quite an investment. The randomness within booster packs, along with the different rarities of cards makes the collection process quite costly, long and difficult. This usually means that an average TCG player can’t realistically get into more than one or two trading card games at the same time. This, as you can expect, means that when a new TCG is released, the target audience is already well invested into other games, and is hesitant to pay that much more money on a brand-new game which still has a small following. The success of a TCG is directly related to the size of its player base. Even smaller TCGs require a stable player base in order to stay in business. If a TCG player doesn’t have any friends who play the same game, he or she is more likely to abandon it for a more popular TCG. This leads to the bigger TCGs staying healthy and gaining more players, while the smaller ones disappear.

How does TCG market look like?

By now, the paper TCG market is dominated by only three games: Magic: the Gathering, Pokèmon, and Yu-Gi-Oh. Smaller TCGs still exist, but they are usually based on pre-existing franchises and piggy-back off their success. However, TCGs aren’t just limited to paper. With the advent of the internet, many online TCGs have started appearing and getting more popular despite the problems their paper cousins faced. Why is that? For starters, it’s much easier to find people online to play the game with. In fact, the game itself will find an opponent for you to play against. This means that as long as there is even a small, but stable, amount of people playing an online TCG, the game will still be able to stay alive and organize tournaments. Another advantage online TCGs have over paper TCGs is that they can be free to play, meaning that anybody can try out the game, without hesitation and fear of having to spend a lot of money. Not only that, but online TCGs have many more ways of distributing their cards to their players than just by selling booster packs, decks, or single cards. They can implement systems that allow players to unlock cards just by playing the game, or by accomplishing certain goals in the game. Games like Hearthstone and Hex have had great success with these strategies, and upcoming games like Multiverse: Cosmic Conquest will do so as well.

What about paper TCG’s?

But what about physical cards? Is there no hope for new paper TCGs? What about the players who enjoy TCGs not only for the gameplay but also the interaction with people, the fun times they have with their friends at home or in the game store? Well, while the TCG model is unlikely to work for new titles, this doesn’t mean that new games played with customizable decks are doomed to fail. Fantasy Flight Games coined the term LCG, which stands for Living Card Game. An LCG is a game in which, much like in a TCG, players build their own deck out of the vast collection available. The difference comes in the way the game is sold. LCGs are sold like board games, in that the entire game (or expansion) is sold in a single box, like a board game. There is no element of chance when buying an LCG, you know exactly what will be in the box before you buy it. This approach, while it defeats Richard Garfield’s idea of a game that’s “bigger than the box”, gives certainty to new players. It tells them exactly how much money they will need to invest in a game to be able to enjoy it to the fullest. Games like Lord of the Rings LCG, Android: Netrunner, the Star Wars card game and much more are sold in this manner. The LCG model makes these games much friendlier towards board game players, which also broadens the traditional TCG player base. Multiverse: Cosmic Conquest promises to be released as an LCG if its Kickstarter campaign reaches a certain stretch-goal. So, while you may not enjoy the feeling of cracking a booster pack of a future TCG, you can still do so online, or play it like a board game with your friends.

About the author

Leandro Tokarevski was born on September 26th, 1993. At the age of 6, he started learning the violin. He was always interested in games and drawing, and in 2004, at the age of 11, he moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he started to attend an evening art school, as well as continued his music studies in an evening music school. In 2009 he graduated the music school and since then he’s continued to play in various bands and ensembles both on the violin and on the keyboard. In 2010 he graduated art school as well as high school, and entered the St. Petersburg Academy of arts, where he studied architecture. This is where he started to get involved in game design and development. In 2014 he started working on the card game Multiverse: Cosmic Conquest and in April of 2016 he self-published his first full game: Rebels Unite, for which he was both the game designer and artist. In July of 2016 he graduated the Academy of arts, moved back to Rome and started working full-time on game development. Currently he’s working as a pixel artist for the 2D RPG Towards the Pantheon, while continuing to develop Multiverse: Cosmic Conquest. For more information about Multiverse: Cosmic Conquest, please visit a website: https://tokartsmedia.com/

Gamer’s Thoughts: Why RollerCoaster Tycoon ruined Tycoons for me.

RCT 1 (1)Link to my review

Lately, I have been playing the old PC games in my collection. While I’m highly enjoying myself. Some thought is actually popping up here and there. It’s a feeling that the Tycoon games could have been so much better. But when I played Zoo Tycoon, it actually hit me. RollerCoaster Tycoon spoiled me with features so that I start to enjoy myself less and less in other tycoon games. And in this article, I’m going to try and explain why. Why do I enjoy the original RollerCoaster Tycoon that much and why don’t I enjoy other tycoon games? Also, fair warning, I haven’t played a lot of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, and I bought the expansion packs years later. So yeah, I always played the vanilla version of the game. Feel free to leave a comment on the content and/or your opinion on this article. Do you have a similar thing with Tycoon games and/or with a different game & genre? I’m curious to know. In any case, enough stalling. Time to put these thoughts on paper.

What are tycoon games?

game-dev-tycoon-box-art.png

I haven’t, to be honest, played a lot of Tycoon games throughout the years. But before we continue, we have to agree with a tycoon game actually is. Even the Wikipedia article on Tycoon games gives a pretty vague definition.

So, let me be clear for this article. With tycoon games, I mean games where you are an owner of a company where you need to run it. So, for example: in Game Dev Tycoon, you are the owner of a game development studio and you need to make games and manage the finances.

A few games I have played that it that played that fit that bill are RollerCoaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, Game Dev Studio, Game Dev Tycoon, SimCity 3000 and Lemonade Tycoon. And honestly, I don’t think I have played other Tycoon games. The genre honestly interests me, but why don’t I play a lot of it? I blame the excellent game RollerCoaster Tycoon.

Addicted to RCT

rollercoaster_tycoon_screenshot

So, I have been playing a lot of RollerCoaster Tycoon lately. I have finished 7 missions so far. I’m playing with the two expansion packs installed. Something I wasn’t able to do when I played this game in my childhood.

I have rarely played the sequel RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. I remember one time picking up an expansion pack by accident before I knew how expansion packs worked. Yeah, I didn’t know that I had to own the base game. I have played the game recently, but I was let down by the interface. The interface of the original was more accessible than the sequel. But, that’s an article for another time.

After RollerCoaster Tycoon, I played RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. But that game interests me less than the original game. But the game has a ton of features I would love to have in RCT 1, but I enjoy myself a lot more with the original.

Why is RCT so good in my eyes?

rctd_ss_01

Why do I love RollerCoaster Tycoon so much? Maybe it’s because it’s the first game that introduced me to the Tycoon genre. And let’s be honest, it’s one of the best games created in the Tycoon genre.

I remember playing Zoo Tycoon and always comparing it to RollerCoaster Tycoon. “Oh, you can do research in this game too.” That’s one of the sentences that went through my head. Other similar things did as well.

I was also disappointed with the fact that your guests were able to go off the paths and walk to other animal cages/exhibits.

The building system is the best system I have seen in tycoon games. There a lot of things you can’t do with it, like curved paths. And that’s the charm of it, it’s simple and easy to use. You don’t need a lot of buttons to create something amazing. I rarely had to struggle with the controls. Something I had to do with the recent games in the franchise.

The biggest reason why I enjoy RCT so much, I think, is the simplicity of everything. Most things are just one click away and/or one button press away. The interface has all the options you could wish for and I love to use it. Also, the game is easy to play but difficult to master. The game has just enough depth to be challenging & fun and to avoid being overwhelming.

In the more modern Tycoon games I played, there are way too many little things that I can do and/or have to pay attention too, I rarely remember checking them. And that makes the game more difficult for me and less enjoyable.

I have only two complaints with the game. And that is that some missions are ridiculously difficult and some better mod support would be great. You can add custom scenarios but it’s difficult to create your own custom scenario. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools floating around on the internet to aid with this.

In conclusion

Writing this article has been interesting. I honestly can’t explain why I compare the tycoon games I have played with the original RollerCoaster Tycoon. Possible factors are nostalgia and the gameplay, but I can’t pinpoint it.

I also considered the fact that I don’t really like tycoon games and that RCT is just an exception. It was a rather interesting question to think about. And this article was the best way I could explain it.

In any case, thank you for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, take care and have a great rest of your day!

NekoJonez’s Question and Purrswer #2: 10 Questions make a long one!

Super Sparta :D

Super Sparta 😀

How’s that for starting off a Question and Purrswer? What’s this? Well, a question and answer with a neko twist of course. Want to ask me a question? Be sure to give a comment, send me a tweet, send me a mail, comment on my Last.FM profile, PM me on my forum… The possibilities are endless. Let’s get to answering the questions I got. And I totally didn’t steal this intro from my first Q & A. Because I add this section to it. Anyways, feel free to comment on this article. I mostly ask for questions for the next Q & A on twitter. Just saying. Oh, and all these questions come from Twitter. (Warning, thanks for the all the questions… This means it will be a long Q & A. Don’t worry, I’m trying out a trick so that this article is split into pages for your reading pleasure.)

#1: Am I going to buy Super Smash Bros / Am I hyped for it? – Asked by Austin from Arpegi

super-smash-bros

Short answer: One day.

Long answer: Well, depends on the money I have at the time of it’s release. Honestly, I’m more hyped for the remake of my 2nd favorite gen in Pokémon. Yes, I love the 3rd gen.

I also recently learned, thanks through my buddy Seraph, that Corpse Party is coming to the PC! And that with bonus features.

So, I have a two other games that I’m looking out for. Then I have a bunch of other titles that interest me. Like Tomodachi Life or Kirby – Triple DeluxePlus, I’m planning to save up my money for a lovely Wii U. Please don’t get me started at the Steam sales. It kills my wallet just thinking about it. 

So, the short answer explains everything.

Now, am I hyped about Super Smash Bros.? … Ehrm, do I have to answer this question? I mean, my reputation… Hehehe… Okay, honestly. I’m not hyped. At all. To be quite harsh, I’m not a fan of the series. I do enjoy the series but it doesn’t pull me in as much as it does to other people.

Why am I planning to buy the 3DS edition then? Well, because I hope that a handheld edition actually draws me into the series. That’s why. But remember, my bar for quality is actually set quite high since it’s a freaking Nintendo game.

#2: Favorite movie genre? – Asked by Sam, a Minecraft friend.

Favorite movie genre, eh? This is a hard question for me, as I tend to be a “jack of all trades”. What I mean here is that I enjoy a lot of movie genres. Lately, movies don’t hold my attention span for the whole movie. When I watch a movie on YouTube or on any platform, I watch it in multiple pieces. I just get bored with there is no interaction. That’s why visual novel adventure games get so much love from me. I get drawn into stories with interaction.

Back to the question, I tried to answer it in a style of “what would you do if you are allowed to watch one style of movies for the rest of your life?”. After much internal debate, I decided. Then the action adventure movies get the highest rating in my taste. Movies like Indiana Jones, Monument Men or National Treasure and even the animated variant, like most anime movies, I tend to enjoy the most.

#3: Bravely Default Questions. Have you beaten it? (Q, Yes. DAT friend) – My opinion on it. (Asked by Drakulus23, a friend in the blogging world.)

Bravely-Default-CharactersI knew that at one day, people where going to ask me about Bravely Default. I talked various times that I was going to write an article about it. And as far I can remember, I haven’t written a full article about it. Not even a first impression.

Yet, I have talked about it in my latest rant. Where I talked about the hate of grinding I have.

Now, did I beat it? No. I haven’t beaten it yet. I’m working on it though. Honestly, I think I’m not going to talk in depth of my opinion since I think I’ll start working on a first impression after I finished up all the articles I have started writing. So, you will know in this month.

#4: Goat Simulator. (Asked by Sarah, a real life friend)

How-about-noI’m sorry Sarah, but I can’t even stand to watch a Let’s Play of the game. After I seen a few moments of gameplay, something occurred to me. This game is nothing more then a tool to joke around with physics.

The game looks pointless, goalless … to me. Am I saying it’s a bad game? Honestly, to some extend, it’s a mediocre game.

I looked up what other critics say, while some disagree with me, I think that the review from the Guardian hits the nail right on the head. It’s nothing more then a phenomenon/meme spun out of control.

#5: My favorite piece of tech (Asked by LeoHartless, a co-editor @ BSB)

Oh lords. The most interesting question to get your friends to answer. The “favorite X” question. I answered one earlier in this article but now I have another one. These are the most fun to answer, since it really makes you think about the subject.

In the end, I choose a laptop. While I can image people thought that I would go for a handheld, I actually think that a laptop is my favorite piece of technology.

Think about it, you can take your games on the go. Plus, you can carry around your own office. It makes things so easy. Do you want to show something to a friend, just turn the laptop around and you can show it. With a desktop it’s harder to do.

I just love laptops for some reason. Even over my tablet. Laptops can just do more then a tablet in my opinion. And thanks to my laptop, I can be a hobby-blogger. And that’s a dream come true.