Wildstorms CCG - Work In Progress

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Mon, 2010-04-05 05:27
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

I am currently working on a template for an old CCG called Wildstorms. It was one of the earlier games to be based on comic books, pulling most of its material from Jim Lee's Wildstorm Productions when he was with Image Comics. I'm not devoting much time to developing a template for the original game as it really wasn't nice to look at and I haven't found any decent enough scans. My main purpose is to breathe new life into the game with an updated, more modern comics feel to it. So, I present you with my progress so far:

Side by side comparison(left is new template, right is original):
Card Back

Spoiler:

Hero Character
Spoiler:

Villain Character
Spoiler:

Plot Twist
Spoiler:

Combat
Spoiler:

Equipment
Spoiler:

Update!!
Well, after some considerable thought and soul searching based on the comments below, I have decided that maybe I should consider just designing a completely new CCG based on comic books. Try a different approach to what other superhero ccgs have done. Here are my initial thoughts on this idea.

What are comic books? What purpose do they serve and why do we enjoy them so much?

Spoiler:
Well, comic books are created to tell a story. Simple. How does that translate into a CCG? Well, an interesting discussion is going on here about adding a story telling element to Magic. Interestingly, it could almost be used to similar effect in a comics game. The idea is that each player has a deck of 'story' cards. At the beginning of the game, the first player would play Chapter One from his story deck. Then each player must try to meet some sort of condition for that chapter to be complete. Whoever completes that condition first, 'scores' that chapter. The player that scored Chapter One then plays his Chapter Two story card onto the table and each player tries to score that chapter. And so on until the last chapter card of the game is scored at which time the game is over and the player that scored the most chapters wins the game. Very basic idea that might need to be explored a bit further, but I think it would play out fairly well. Each chapter could be designed in such a way that they could be placed in any storyline deck and still be believable within the sequence of chapters. Also, the further into the sequence of chapters you get, the more difficult the game could be until the final climactic battle happens in the last chapter of the game. If designed well enough, I think this mechanic could be fun to play.

How do we remedy the dilemma of Teams vs. Solo heroes and Heroes vs. Villains?

Spoiler:
Most comics based CCGs tend to let you build teams of heroes or villains from just about any characters you can think of. That's all good, but what about those iconic teams like The Avengers or X-Men? It just wouldn't seem right if Wolverine joined the JLA or Batman joined GEN13. Sure, it's possible in crossover events, but realistically characters that actually belong to a team would probably do better than a random mix of characters from different universes. So, I think that players should be allowed to use any characters they want in their decks, but give them some sort of teamwork bonus for each member of the same team that they control. I just think that Iron Man and Captain America would work more efficiently together that Iron Man and Plastic Man. They know each other better and are more willing to cooperate than complete strangers would be.

As far as heroes vs. villains are concerned. If you showed up to a tournament and every single player brought their Avengers deck, what would that be like? It could be pulled off, but would it be as interesting? Probably not. I don't think that each player should be required to play the good guys OR the bad guys, that's too limiting. However, there is a solution to this problem that kinda ties into the storyline mechanic. In Lord of the Rings, each turn was kind of split in half. During the good guys' phase, you could play as many cards as you wanted. The side effect being that each of those cards contributed to a twilight pool. The twilight pool was then used during the bad guys' half of the turn for your opponents to try and take you down with swarms of bad guys. This kinda lends itself to the fact that you are trying to get your team of heroes through a storyline in a comic book. Along the way your team is going to have various obstacles and a nemesis or two trying to stop you. And as the story intensifies, the more difficult the journey becomes until you hit that climactic final battle at the end of the last chapter. I really think it would be fun to explore the design opportunities that mechanic could hold for a comic inspired game.

How do we represent the characters? How can we best simulate a battle of super powered beings?

Spoiler:
Well, superheroes are big. Really BIG. It seems unfair to give Superman an attack value of 5 or 6, while Batman has a value of 3 or 4. Not very realistic in terms of their respective power. I do like the way games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, DragonballZ and DuelMasters use very large numbers to portray how big their monsters really are. In addition, larger numbers give us a larger range of values to work with in the game. For example, if Superman and Batman were to punch the same guy in the face, Batman may hit for 300-400 points, but Superman would probably pull off 2000-3000 points easily. I think the large numbers will help to show how powerful these guys really are.

As far as battles go, a lot of games have added way too much complexity to their combat mechanics. I really dig the simplicity of games like Magic and YuGiOh!. Battles are very quick and easy to pull off. There aren't a ton of stats to remember and the structure isn't too complicated. However, something I do like from both Wildstorms and VS. System is the idea of ranged combat. You have two or more levels of distance from the opponents team. The guys in the back row can only be hit with ranged attacks, and they can only attack enemies using ranged attacks. Meanwhile, the guys on the front lines can duke it out in hand to hand melee. They can also move around between ranks, they can fly, teleport, and so on to set themselves up for the best tactical position.

I think the combination of simplicity in combat with the ranks system would allow for a fast and easy combat system yet give you enough tactical options to be more in depth.

Well I gotta go for a bit, but I will add more to this when I get a chance later.

Mon, 2010-04-05 05:45
Hawkeye
Hawkeye's picture

I'm for this for sure. I played it years ago to, especially the solitaire part of it which could be revamped to. There was a website that had fan cards made but haven't found it since! I relly hope you will finish this one A happy smile .

Mon, 2010-04-05 05:56
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

It may take me a while, but I hope to finish it this time.

Mon, 2010-04-05 12:37
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

Good luck. If you have any questions about coding, or about what is or isn't possible, feel free to ask.

Mon, 2010-04-05 13:43
Hawkeye
Hawkeye's picture

That goes for me too.

Mon, 2010-04-05 13:51
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

Thanks. I will.

Mon, 2010-04-05 14:06
Hawkeye
Hawkeye's picture

Okay, now that villain is up, might you add the words 'POINTS' at botton like CC, RC & Health? Are all keywords going to be added to this and do need Subterfuge, it was an important keyword to the game?

Mon, 2010-04-05 14:31
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

Right now these are just prototype cards. I won't release the template until all of the kinks are worked out. I'm just trying to get some quick mockups done while I work on them. I will definitely get most of the game's features into the template when I'm finished.

Mon, 2010-04-05 14:48
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

Now that you've put up a plot twist, they don't really look like they're from the same game. What I mean is how little they have in common. It's just a completely different look and feel between the plot twists and the characters. Both are good, but they don't look like the belong to the same game.

Mon, 2010-04-05 15:28
innuendo
innuendo's picture

curvy corned text box /// square text box

that's what gets me, plus the strange font change for the typeline (and complete relocation of it).

I agree with pich here

Current Projects: Siege SCG

Mon, 2010-04-05 15:31
ocb777
ocb777's picture

While I do enjoy the plot twist appearence, and it is very comic, I have to agree with pich, other than the cost, these cards wouldn't seem to tie together much.

Alos faction/group symbols are helpfull in a game like this for immediately identifying characters, Etc. perhaps at the end of the name line?

Once you have this designed, I assume you plan to remake the original sets? I played and mostly enjoyed wildstorms for years, long after it died. I would be interested in helping to playtest your designs, concepts and help tune it for release.


"You hate me, I hate me, those guys hate me, at least we all agree!" - ocb777 at a L5R Tournament

Mon, 2010-04-05 15:37
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

Okay, I apologize for the different styles, and appreciate the critique. Really this is a work in progress and each card type will probably evolve over time. I will post new versions each time they change. So, keep the critiques coming so I don't miss anything. Thanks.

Edit: Pich, is it possible to have a gradient on editable text like the typeline for the plot twist? Also wondered about making the outline. I know you can do drop shadows but wasn't sure about putting a black 2 pixel stroke on the text.

Mon, 2010-04-05 15:57
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

smr1313 wrote:
Pich, is it possible to have a gradient on editable text like the typeline for the plot twist?

No. The only way to do this is to replace the text with a symbol-font. Magic-new-token has a similar problem; there is a bevel effect that MSE's text rendering cannot replicate, so it is replaced with symbols.

To do so, you would render each letter separately, then create a symbol-font file to replace each letter with the appropriate image.

smr1313 wrote:
Also wondered about making the outline. I know you can do drop shadows but wasn't sure about putting a black 2 pixel stroke on the text.

Technically, no. There is no "outline" key like there is for the shadow stuff. I've requested it, but it hasn't ever happened.

You could of course take care of this with a symbol-font like I mentioned, but if you're not doing a symbol-font, there is one other work around for this.

Create a text field, and have it render with a black drop shadow with x and y offsets of 0, and a blur of 2. That gives a very faint black glow to the text. To enhance the glow, make a style specific extra field that is scripted to be a copy of the editable field. Give it the same shadow. The more times you copy the field, the stronger that faint glow gets, until it looks more and more like an outline. The trouble is that the more you do this, the slower use of the template gets, as there's lots of extra stuff taking up system resources.

If you decide you want to pursue that, but are confused, I can help you when the time comes.

Mon, 2010-04-05 19:19
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

Awesome. Thanks for the advice.

EDIT: If anyone happens to have a PDF of the rulebook, I would love to get a copy of it. Thanks.
Updated the character cards to be more in theme with the other cards.

Mon, 2010-04-05 21:22
Hawkeye
Hawkeye's picture

They look alot better now, the only thing is that each combat stat had it's own color or even give it an inner edge color glow. CC = yellow, RC = red and DEF = blue... You might find the rules over at The CCGWorkshop where this was added to there games! Otherwise I will look for them for you.

Mon, 2010-04-05 22:23
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

I tried CGWorkshop, but it seems to be down right now. I'll probably do CC=Green, RC=Red, D=Green.

Updated with a card back.

Tue, 2010-04-06 02:30
ocb777
ocb777's picture

Having no luck with the rule book since ccg workshop is defunct and epic failed by stopping web archiving.

But I did find a neat collection of fan made cards.

http://www.desperatehousecats.org/shane/art/wildstorms.php

Just a thought, Vs had a lot of similar mechanics to Wildstorm, when all was said and done, and with the time and effort you will be putting into making this, why not make it universal? you can base it on Wildstorm, but update it a little with the things that worked from later games and make it a "Superhero CCG" instead of a remake of the wildstorm CCG, you can state that WS was the basis, but you already stated you plan to update it, and I would be more than willing to chip in as my time allowed...


"You hate me, I hate me, those guys hate me, at least we all agree!" - ocb777 at a L5R Tournament

Tue, 2010-04-06 06:11
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

Hmmm...I'll have to think on that one. I'm a little too sleepy tonight. Not a bad idea though. In fact, I kinda like that idea.

Tue, 2010-04-06 14:17
Hawkeye
Hawkeye's picture

I game for this too. Once this is done maybe start a new thread on card ideas and make mini sets to Mavel, DC and Image (plus other too).

I think this needs to be added:

Spoiler:

Tue, 2010-04-06 18:46
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

Those ideas are intriguing, and possible too. As far as starting a new thread, that would just cause this one to be locked, no need for that just yet. I do like the idea of taking different concepts from more modern CCGs and applying them to a new game based on Wildstorms though, cause there were a few things in Wildstorms that I didn't like too.

If anyone has any ideas on what would be the perfect mechanics to see in a superhero themed CCG that isn't named Vs., let me hear them. I'm gonna brainstorm this for a while before I commit any more on the template.

Wed, 2010-04-07 02:01
ocb777
ocb777's picture

To be honest, the main reason I'm a fan of Vs is be cause along with Overpower and wildstorm it's the only one that DIDN'T suck. LOL.

Wildstorn took the Overpower Idea of "objectives" a little further than overpower did, but it still wasn't perfect. Generally Heroes (or villians) don't just attack each other to attack each other, there is usually some reason for it. I would like to see this refined a little, and the game sped up a bit at the same time.

Th complaint I had about playing wildstorm or versus with there whole "missions" thing was the amount of time you had to invest, no quick 5 minute games between rounds of a Magic Tourney (which we used to do all the time with basic overpower).

Also the "Staging area" thing over complicated the game, in my opinion. on more than one occasion of trying to teach someone the game, that is where I lost them.

Peopls like fast paced, quick play games, and the current mission set up and the staging area slow that down dramatically.


"You hate me, I hate me, those guys hate me, at least we all agree!" - ocb777 at a L5R Tournament

Thu, 2010-04-08 19:32
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

I updated the first post of this thread with some initial design thoughts about a possible new game idea.

Fri, 2010-04-09 01:43
Hawkeye
Hawkeye's picture

First comment on Chapters:

Spoiler:
This is a great idea that I can agree with and kind a reminds me of the Full Metal Alchemist TCG! I also liked the Teen Titans TCG fights a different locations, but we all need to agree how to go about this...

Next, on the Teams and all:

Spoiler:
Maybe we could have team cards with either a list of characters on it with special team ability or characters with team logos and a team logo card with special team ability. Or better yet Team-up cards whih list certain characters that work well together with an ability (kind of like MtG's Enchantments). I also like the Narotu CCG's client cards which we could have for Ally cards (like Mary Jane Watson, Alfredand etc), where they are special card that are discarded (KO'd) from the field to give a special ability effect. And if everyone showed up with Avengers decks that's okay, you'd have the Civil Wars going on or hidden Skrulls! Anything is possible in the comics, so the Teams would still work.

Last, How do we represent the characters:

Spoiler:
This is a challenge, I agree I like the simplicity of MtG; but also the Arc System and especially the LotR TCG. I can see Hulk being Strength 13 with Damage +2. And these characters having Health with Wound counters. Or we can go with a system more like Naruto CCG when damaged turn sideways with different Strength number showing it injured or stunned and can't use it's ability while injured. If damaged again, its KO'd. Example: Hawkeye STR 3 / Injured 9card sideways) STR 2 (and no ability use). And last, there's Teen Titan's Grade or I prefer Level idea of Lvl 1 is 100 - 300, Lvl 2 is 300 - 600 and so on with cost of 1 or 2 more than level depending on ability if any on that character. And you can only level up a character in play 1 higher but not a lesser level. But however we go about this we also need a system to follow when designing new characters and then discuss any changes before making it a card. This is why I think there are so many problems with creating superhero card games. With way to strong of characters and a very wide array of powers. There's the immune factor along with weakness and resistance. For instance, if Firelord took on the Human Torch their Fire powers perty much squash each other out. Another, would be Hydro-Man vs. Human Torch in the fact that Water can exstinguish Fire.

Fri, 2010-04-09 03:09
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

@Hawkeye: I like some of your ideas and I think some of them actually could be applied to my vision for the game. Here's a little more fleshing out of the concepts I have so far. Some of it may be a repeat from above, but I am kinda fleshing it out as I go so bear with me.

The thing with the Story mechanic is that I also like the idea of fighting at locations. We really could go either way, but the Locations thing has been done several times before. My goal with this is to make it feel more like you are reading a comic, not just witnessing the battles at different locations at random points in time. I think there could be a way to merge both concepts into one mechanic, but it is escaping me on how to implement it right now.

Also, with the chapter cards, each team may not be in direct conflict all of the time. A lot of the time, they will be fighting the bad guys that are lurking at each chapter of the story. The story cards will be generic enough that if it calls for the teams to fight a major villain, any villain will do most of the time. It all just depends on how many resources are in the 'conflict' pool.

The conflict pool works almost exactly like twilight in LotR. During your turn, you can play as much as you want but each time you do, you add that many tokens to the conflict pool. During the conflict part of the turn, your opponents get to use the conflict tokens to play bad guys for your team to fight. I might change this in the long run. I like the concept, I think that it may just complicate the game a little. I might try to find a way to streamline it.

With teams, really I want it to tie in with the storytelling aspect of the game somehow. Basically, you can play with any characters you want; good, bad, and neutral. However, there will be a central 'teamwork' mechanic that rewards players for playing characters from the same team. You can play any character you want, good or bad, and each character you control from the same team will get a teamwork bonus of some sort. For example, if you have Cyclops, Wolverine, Gambit and Green Lantern in play, all of your X-Men characters will get a bonus for being on the same team. I've noticed in comics, that during crossover events, a lot of the characters from different teams have a difficult time working with each other for some reason. Not always, but it is a common theme. The X-Men might be willing to have a little help from Green Lantern, but do they trust him? Do they know his powers well enough to exploit them properly in combat? Probably not. Which is why he wouldn't receive the same teamwork bonus as the others.

As far as combat goes, I really want to keep it as fast paced and simple as possible. I really like how Magic and YuGiOh! both keep it simple with two stats: offense and defense. That's all we really need to know. How much damage can this guy do and how much hurt can he take before he is knocked out? Simple. No need to keep track of how intelligent he is or how much willpower he has. Most of those traits could be described on a per character basis in the game text.

I do like the 'ready, stunned, knocked out' concept though. I also like that in comics, many of the more powerful characters don't stay down for too long. And I also like the idea of characters being able to gain levels in some way. I kind of like how Star Wars did this. You put a character in play, then you can later play a different version with the same name on it and it becomes more powerful. Not sure if that's how I want to do it, but it's a possibility.

As far as the balance in strength between characters, I want to hold on to what Wildstorms did, but limit it to just the characters in your deck, not every single card. I think Rage did this, but I don't remember for sure. Basically, when constructing your deck, you will have a number of character points you can spend on putting characters in your deck. Say, for instance, you have a character point limit of 40 points. You can put a number of characters in your deck whose total value is equal to or less than the 40 point limit. If you put Galactus in your deck, you might not have very many more points left for other characters but it will take a lot of firepower to bring him down. However if you put in a few more characters who aren't quite that powerful instead, you will have more points to distribute and can have more characters. Basically, the more powerful a character is, the more it will cost to go in your deck. This helps to balance how much power each player has in the game.

All in all, I want the focus of the game to be on the story and the characters with everything else just being there as support for those two things.

Fri, 2010-04-09 03:29
ocb777
ocb777's picture

Holy crap you've been a busy boy! LOL

I was just stopping by to see if you had added anything new, and wasn't expecting this, I will sit down and read it tonight or tommoz night.

And SMR, you inspired me... and I hate you for it. LOL Big smile


"You hate me, I hate me, those guys hate me, at least we all agree!" - ocb777 at a L5R Tournament

Fri, 2010-04-09 03:37
Hawkeye
Hawkeye's picture

Okay, that would work in having each chapter revolve around a location and who ever wins that chapter plays the next chapter. And have a sperate deck consist of 8 chapters per Chapter decks and the first one to play their End Chapter card wins. So, that 7 chapter cards are shuffled in this seperate deck with the End Chapter placed on the bottom. So, when you win your 7th chapter and turn over the last card End of Game, you win! And have a structure value like the Quests in Legend of Norrath CCG or Star Wars Galaxies CCG with a simular win premises.

If we do the Star Wars part of stacking, I vote it be a boost also of +1/+1.

I also say attributes or traits we have to come up with be just like Teen Titans TCG or just skip that and have special cards for only specific characters.

Also, we need to figure out how many types of cards there are. So, far we have the Chapter cards and Characters cards?

PS - I love the layout of the cards, don't change them to much.

Fri, 2010-04-09 03:50
carbonfyre
carbonfyre's picture

Well, I guess this is going over well. lol

I have a lot of plans for the game and will have to reveal them in bits and pieces until I have a solid design. And I plan on leaving the templates as close to their current state as possible.

@ocb777: I'm glad you're inspired. lol

I'm hoping that after this is done, we can import it into Lackey and play a few games.

Mon, 2010-04-19 05:54
Hawkeye
Hawkeye's picture

Okay, I'm glad I was able to help you out alittle with this. This is your puppy and now I'll sit back and see what you come up with. And Lackey would be a perfect place to play and to also playtest too!

UPDATE: Sorry, I could find no rules for this anywhere and the last place was on CCGWorkshop which doesn't exist any more.

Sat, 2010-07-03 08:30
ocb777
ocb777's picture

I hope this is acceptable necromancy.

I happened to be poking around an old ccg site and there was a link posted to this, and it might fit smr's needs:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Wildstorm-Card-Game-Players-Guide-Adam-Warren-Gen-13-/230488158322?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35aa2a3072

If not, sorry to annoy everyone.


"You hate me, I hate me, those guys hate me, at least we all agree!" - ocb777 at a L5R Tournament