Leyline

One of the problems I always have with personal projects, is straddling the line between being too secretive and being too open.  If I am too open, I end up talking about it enough that I lose the drive to actually create something, because I released some of the energy bound up in the project just by explaining all the cool stuff.  On the other hand, if I do not tell anyone, it is very easy for me to simply forget about a project or randomly decide on a whim that the hours of work I have put into something are for a project not worth doing.  I tend to not complete them in either case.  In all actuality, I may simply be lazy and have a hard time finishing things because I don’t have the attention span to do so, but at least currently I still hold onto the above as to my reason for failure.  What is the point of all of the above?  Well, I currently have a project and I want to share part of it.  Said project is a TCG or trading card game.  Like Magic, Pokemon and Yugioh, it would be a game in which you assemble a deck of 40 to 60 cards from a large pool and then do battle against and opponent, restricted by the contents of your deck and with the specific cards available in your hand.  I will now attempt to explain the basics of how my game, “Leyline” will work.  Being able to put the game into a comprehensible form that others can understand is a good first step to making the game playable, so that will be part of what I am doing today.  

The first thing that needs to be explained before the game’s details can be described, is the shape of the play field.  I have a special place in my heart for TRPGs such as Final Fantasy Tactics, so many things that I create, end up incorporating some sort of grid into them, and this game is no exception.  The battle will largely take place on a 7×7 grid.  The first two rows closest to each player will be where cards from both sides will begin, but the cards will move over the course of the game, agressing towards the enemy lines.  In addition to this 7×7 grid, their will be 5 special spots behind the second through sixth columns on both sides of the board.  At the beginning of the game, both players will start with the same set of five cards in those slots.  These cards will be power sources, serving something of a similar role as mana and energy in magic and pokemon but with something of a different twist.  

The big gimmick of the game is that not only must you have the energy to power something, but you need to be able to get that energy to the right place.  Every card in the game will have arrows on none, one, two, three or four of its sides.  These arrows will represent where that card can send energy.  Initially, only the five spots right above the power sources can receive energy, but after a card is placed so that it can receive energy, it can also transfer that energy further along in the directions of its arrows.  Only a total of five energy is added to the board each turn, but as the game continues, the abilities of the players to put that energy in exactly the place they want increased greatly.  With the basic idea out of the way, lets skip to the basic goal of the game and the phases of play.  

Your goal in the game is to destroy your opponents five energy sources.  You can do so largely by attacking with creatures or using long ranged abilities.  

The turn is broken up into five phases.  In the first phase, the active player gets n points, where n is the number of energy points they still have.  The player may then spend these points either putting cards on the field or drawing.  They can do this in any order ie they could draw one card, decide to play something, then draw another.  Drawing a card always costs one point and playing a card usually costs one point as well, though particularly powerful cards might cost more and particularly weak ones might cost nothing.  The cards may only be played in your build zone, which, unless you have a card that changes that, is the first two rows of the grid closest to you.  An important thing to note is that even though a card is played in this phase it often cannot do anything until it is charged.  

The next phase is thus the charge phase.  The five energies untap, and each can be tapped to give one energy to either the card directly in front of them, or any card that can be connected to by a chain of arrows by the card in front of them.  Every card in the game has a minimum and maximum energy.  The card is basically completely useless until it has the minimum energy, being unable to defend itself or use any of its powers.  It can not hold more than its maximum energy.  Once all of the energy has been sent out, the next phase occurs.  

Said phase is the movement phase and cards that can move may do so.  Depending upon the card, movement rates are different.  It is also possible that movement might cost energy, depending upon the card.  Each card that can move may do so, in what ever order to current player chooses.  

After the movement phase is the attack phase.  Attacks from different cards have different values, different ranges and different energy costs.  Like the movement phase, each card gets an attack and these attacks can occur in any order.  

Finally, there is an end step, which has no specific thing that occurs, but is simply a phase where things that happen at the end of the turn happen.  

I will likely update the blog again with how attacking works and a few example cards, but this is the basic system of how the game works.  Any critiques or suggestions are more than welcome.  

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