This is a post about the design and development of a currently unnamed Shipwreck Game. You can see the other Blog posts at the Index for the Game.
Player Character Development
There seem to be 3 essential elements of developing this legacy campaign: introducing new mechanics, developing player characters & completing harder tasks. These are very much intertwined, of course. And in a co-op combat game, the new mechanics directly develop the characters. This gives them the ability to complete the harder task of fighting bigger villains.
With that in mind, the Player card will start off very simple, with a space for the character name, and an attack value of 1. But there will be obvious scope to increase the attack value, some coloured bars which will hint at something down the track, and plenty of space for player expansions via stickers.
Player Card Alterations
The power circle is designed so that the lowest shown number is your attack value. It indicates that during the campaign you will get the choice to colour in another wedge, and your base attack increases. Your attack gets stronger as the villains do.
There are also 4 spaces for stickers. At the start of the campaign you will just have a card that is worth 1 attack. This is like a base or starter card you would get in a normal deck builder. You will soon get the opportunity to add a base ability that works every turn. This is the first introduction of new mechanics. “You get +1 attack for each different number among the Villains.”
The next space is for triggered abilities, that need specific circumstances to trigger. Something like “Overcome the Odds: If there are 3 villains in play, you get +2 attack”.
There are also 2 spaces for magic abilities. These tie into the 3 coloured bar graphs on the card, labelled by the suits of the cards.
So, as I said in my last post, I have been working on the world building of the shipwreck game, and I have been toying with adding a magical element. As well as developing cards into items and skills, I have added the element of spell casting. A character discovering a magical ability during a story element of fear or anger or anxiety, seemed like something that could be built upon. And working with 6 cards, of 6 suits, had me think about 6 different types of magic. And as the suits are split into 3 physical and 3 mental traits, it seemed like 3 pairs of magic, working in tandem/opposition to each other, would be a good way to tie them together. Adding the 6 colours of the spectrum also seemed like another good way to differentiate them. So I ended up with:
- Red/Strength Magic – “Push” – Shield and Levitation spells
- Green/Tenacity Magic – “Pull” – Summon and Opening spells
- Purple/Dexterity Magic – “Create” – Heal and Water Generation spells
- Yellow/Perception Magic – “Destroy” – Attack and Fire Generation spells
- Blue/Speed Magic – “Space” – Teleport and World Distortion spells
- Orange/Intelligence Magic – “Time” – Divination and Time Travel spells
In the original design, the push/pull magic would be the easiest, create/destroy would be intermediate and space/time magic would be the most difficult, learned near the end of the campaign. This would need to be altered somewhat for the 18 card game, but I think the gist of it could be kept.
All players start with no magic abilities. Their bar graphs are empty. But, they will earn the chance to fill in a spot on a graph. And once they have filled in a red/strength magic square, they have the ability to trigger one red magic ability each turn. Like the +2 attack of Mjölnir, because they have mastered ability to push/throw the hammer more effectively.
The players will also be adding specific magic abilities to their player card. These might be generating magic to trigger card abilities, or a spell they have learned, that they can cast when they have the required magic.
The important part is that there are choices to be made. There are stickers that can be added, and spots on the power circle and magic bars that can be filled in. Players have to choose between 1 or the other during the game and any finished character will be an individual. Likewise, players make choices for the villains and they become stronger during the campaign. More on that next.