In my previous blog post, I mentioned that I would probably just use a website like mtgcardsmith to create cards for my game. I did end up using that to make some resource cards, but I actually might make my own later. Here is a picture of an example resource card right now.
Since the resource cards are not that complicated, I just had to add a title and number, representing that resources cost (in funding). However, as I started designing some blueprint cards, I realized I wanted my cards to be able to clearly display their speed, durability, and efficiency bonuses. I was unsatisfied with the Magic card layout for this purpose, and so I decided to use my poor man’s Photoshop to try to come up with a template for blueprint cards. After a couple hours of learning about Paint.net’s functionality, here is a template I came up with:
I feel that this card can clearly display a card’s tier, title, cost, and stats in a way that a Magic card template simply can’t. Since each of my 4 resources (Rettite, Orrite, Glotz, Latac) are associated with a color (red, blue, green, yellow), I can simply put a number in each colored box to indicate the cost. Similarly, I can put a number in each stat box to indicate the blueprint’s stat bonuses. At the end of the game, players will be able to stack their cards so that only the bottom half of the card shows, allowing them to easily total up the numbers in each of the three columns, which makes calculating scores much easier. Another benefit of making templates is that it will not take too long to make new cards, since I just have to add the relevant text. Here is an example card, made using the template:
As you can see, this blueprint has a construction cost of 1 Rettite, and provides 1 durability to the player’s spaceship.
On the game design side, I have decided to loosely associate each resource with a kind of theme. Rettite is typically used for durability, Orrite for speed, Glotz for efficiency, and Latac as a kind of binder/inverter for when spaceship parts provide multiple bonuses. I have designed all of the Tier I blueprints, so have a peek at the Tier I blueprint parts:
- +1 durability
- 1 Rettite
- +1 speed
- 1 Orrite
- +1 efficiency
- 1 Glotz
- +2 durability, -1 speed
- 1 Orrite, 1 Latac
- +2 durability -1 efficiency
- 1 Glotz, 1 Latac
- +3 durability, -1 speed, -1 efficiency
- 1 Rettite, 1 Latac
The costs for the first three parts are pretty self-explanatory. In the costs for the last three, Latac acts as a kind of “inverter” resource. For example, the +2 durability, -1 speed part seems like it should cost a lot of Rettite, since it provides durability. Instead, it costs Orrite and Latac because it provides a negative speed bonus. The costs are set up like this with a relatively even resource distribution in mind. Currently, there are slightly more Latac costs than other resources, but I think it is pretty even overall. I also might be willing to break more rules with the Tier II and Tier III blueprints, but I wanted the Tier I blueprints to be relatively standard.
You might also notice that the Hull parts tend to give durability over other stats. This is intentional, and each part type tends to provide more of a different stat. Wing parts provide more speed, and Engine parts provide more efficiency. Innovation parts are special, and provide unique combinations of stats or highly specialized parts. I plan to carry this theme through to the Tier II and Tier III blueprints as well.
Overall, I think I’ve made quite a bit of progress with designing the blueprints. My next steps will probably be taking a look at the possible Tier II and Tier III blueprints. Also, here is a link to the rules for Laureate (currently in progress and not complete): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RzJ9CmEzOQJbCZBqECTO0y9WycK8CDNWvOKqi12u5T4/edit?usp=sharing