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Offline iDaireTopic starter

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A Guide to Making Cards http://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=57666.msg1180885#msg1180885
« on: March 02, 2015, 12:18:01 am »
A Guide to Making Cards
By iDaire

Hello there. Looks like you have found my thread on how to make cards. My name is iDaire, as you could most likely tell. In this thread, we will be discussing how to develop a card before you make it (including nerfing and buffing), how you can test the originality of a card before you make it, and how to actually make it.

When I originally came to this forum, I first came to the deck help section to ask for help on my deck Endow. After that, I found the Card Ideas & Art section. I quickly became attached to this section as there was a chance, albeit remote, for the card to be added into the game. Even now, although I don’t make cards all that much, I still go around commenting on cards, because I still am very much into this section of the forums. Though I may not be a complete professional on making cards, I can help you get started on making card ideas. Well, let’s begin.


I Have An Idea!

So you have an idea for a card, but you don’t know if it has already been made? Well, when I find myself questioning the originality of a card idea I have, I often ask myself three questions.

How much is this card needed? - Is this card an absolute need for Elements? CC or PC for Life are absolute needs for Elements and are very likely to have been made before or at least attempted to be made before. When you create a card that is needed very much, you often much question the approach you are taking to making the card. If the approach you are taking to making the card is fairly plain and simple, there is a huge chance that someone already made it.

For example, in response for the need to CC for Life, you make a Snake that can inflict poison damage to other creatures. While this will answer the need for CC in Life, this is a very very plain approach to the problem and as a result, has most likely been made before. In terms of CC for Life, a snake is the first thing that crosses almost everyone’s mind.

Of course, just because you have a plain approach to the card doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to make a completely different card. That’s how overpowered/underpowered card ideas get made and the replies for those are usually summarized by the statements “Useless” or “Game-Breaking”. You should just come up with a card idea and then put a unique spin on it.

How does this impact the meta-game of Elements? - If this card were made, how much of an effect would this have on the players? Will this card be commonly used or seldomly used? If the card will be very commonly used, chances are, it probably has already been made, whereas a card that would seldom be used probably wasn’t made because the card would be low in terms of quality or usability. Think about how your card would impact the players of Elements. If this card were added, it could probably be the next biggest thing used or the most underused card.

How often has the need for this card been pointed out? - How often has somebody pointed out that the card is needed in Elements? CC for Life has been pointed out many times by multiple people and as a result, there have been many attempts to create CC for Life. If you create a card for a problem that many people have requested a solution for, there is a heavy chance that the card idea you are making as already been made. So take care in doing so.


It's original. Now what?

You are certain your card is original. You checked the archives, all the pages in CI&A, and possibly anywhere else where even a trace of the card could be sniffed out by those curious enough to find it. Now what?

Now we get to tweaking your card idea to make sure it is in top condition. This is where we check the quality of your card to make sure that it isn’t too powerful or too weak. This is just a general idea of how to judge how powerful your card is so if you are experienced at making cards, you probably wouldn’t get too much out of this.

Factors:
COST - The cost of your card determines how much quanta the card takes from a certain pool (pools if the card is a hybrid element) upon use. The cost of the card and the power of the card have a positive correlation, meaning that the higher costing a card is, the more powerful it tends to be.

For example, the spell card “Luciferin” costs two random quanta and doesn’t have a very powerful effect. It heals the owner for 10 HP and gives every creature on the field without a skill the ability to generate light quanta. The cost is low, and the effect of the card is arguably small. But, if you look at the spell card “Fractal”, it fills your hand with copies of the target creature, which depending on the creature, can have a devastating effect on how the game is going. Therefore, it costs 10 :aether and disintegrates all remaining :aether from the quanta pool, making it impossible to use twice in a row and hard to chain. You see what I mean? Big effect, big cost;small effect, small cost.

ATK/HP - If your card is a creature, then these are important as they determine how long your creature can survive on the field and how much damage they do to the enemy. The more you increase this, the higher your cost has to be. Please keep in mind that the ATK of your creature should never go above 15. Any creature with an ATK of fifteen is most likely overpowered or has a massive drawback that makes the creature look uncoordinated.

SKILL - The skill of your creature will also influence the cost. Just please know that your must either emphasize ATK, HP, or Skill. Creatures that emphasize ATK tend to have lower level skills, creatures that emphasize HP tend to have lower ATK, and creatures that emphasize skill tend to have low ATK and HP.

ELEMENT- The element of a card is very important. It determines the synergies that the card will have and will also determine how hard it is to play a card. Choosing your element shouldn’t be a matter of preference, as cards should be thematically aligned with their element. The themes of each element are represented below.

:light - Peaceful element; Creatures in this element have an average amount of attack and health; Spells in this element are usually non-damaging, supportive cards; Permanents in this element focus on protection and support of the owner; This element specializes in quanta generation

:darkness - Parasitic element; Creatures in this element are a little on the weak side, but come with a skill to make up for it; Spells usually take a valuable resource from the opponent and gives it to the owner, making this a parasitic element; Permanents focus on taking resources from the opponent and keeping the opponent from taking them back, employing cards such as Cloak; This element specializes on the theft of the opponent’s resources

:air - Damaging element; Creatures in this element have a high amount of attack with a decent amount of HP; Spells in this element focus on damaging the creatures of the opponent while also doing anything possible to increase the damage of one’s own creatures; Permanents in this element focus on having the owner evade the attacks of the opponent and increasing the amount of damage done; This element specializes on dealing damage, in more ways than one.

:earth - Controlling element: Creatures in this element tend to have more HP than ATK, with the exception of Shrieker. These creatures tend to also contribute in some way to the control of the opponent’s field; Spells in this element focus completely on protecting the permanents and creatures of the owner, delaying the opponent’s creatures, and destroying the opponent’s permanents; Permanents in this element focus on controlling the opponent’s permanents while defending the owner; This element specializes in control: keeping the enemy from utilizing their cards to their full extent

:gravity - Resilient element: Creatures in this element tend to have a huge amount of HP, or if not, more HP than they do ATK; Spells tend to make creatures more versatile: spells can make these creatures take damage for you, bypass shields, and lower their HP in exchange for ATK (with the exception of Black Hole); Permanents tend to defend the owner, while simultaneously using creatures to the owner’s advantage (such as Catapult, which sacrifices a creature to deal damage to the enemy); This element specializes in making creatures as versatile as possible

:entropy - Chaotic element: Creatures in this element tend to have smaller amounts of HP or ATK, but skills that make up for it, and sometimes go beyond by having the ability to completely change the course of a match; Spells in this element tend to gamble with luck: you might get a good effect, you might now. Roll the dice, pay the price; Permanents in this element tend to mess with quanta in some way; This element specializes in luck. Roll the dice, pay the price.

:fire - Destructive element: Creatures in this element usually either have more ATK than HP, or a way to gain more ATK than HP; Spells in this element are typically destructive, usually killing creatures and/or destroying permanents; Permanents in this element are also pretty destructive, damaging any creatures that attack and increasing the amount of attack done; This element specializes in destroying the opponent’s field while also having an extreme amount of attack power

:water - Standard element: Creatures in this element have an average amount of ATK and HP; Spells in this element are used to defensively support the owner while also going on the offensive and decreasing the amount of damage the enemy can do by freezing his creatures; Permanents are pretty much like the spells: defensive while also being offensive; This element specializes in maintaining a good balance of offense and defense

:life - Rejuvenating element: Creatures in this element usually have a low cost, increasing the owner’s opportunities to summon them; Spells in this element are usually non-damaging, supportive spells that either heal the owner or has a profound effect on their creatures; Permanents in this element focus on protecting and supporting the owner; This element specializes in healing

:death - Crippling element: Creatures in this element tend to have an average amount of ATK and HP. Some of the creatures in this element tend to respond to certain triggers, those being the death of other creatures and reverse time; Spells in this element are made to slowly kill the opponent and his creatures and benefit off of those deaths; Permanents in this element are made to benefit off of the deaths of creatures or trigger those deaths; This element specializes in the deaths of the opponent’s creatures: causing them and benefiting from them

:aether - Spatial element; Creatures in this element tend to be immaterial or spell-casting; Spells in this element are pretty straight-forward: damaging the opponent and supporting the owner and his creatures. The spells in this element tend to have a massive effect on either the opponent, the owner, or both; The permanents in this element focus on removing the opponent’s ability to do things, such as damage the owner or use the skills of their own creatures; This element specializes in immaterialism and massive spells

:time - Hasty element; Creatures in this element tend to be more skill-oriented, almost all of them having a guaranteed combo/strategy with another card in the game (Examples: Ghost of the Past + Nightmare/ Deja Vu + Shard of Patience); Spells in this element slow down the movements of the opponent while accelerating the movements of the owner and increasing his awareness of the game; Permanents of this element also slow down the movements of the opponent while accelerating the movements of the owner; This element specializes on delaying the opponent and accelerating the owner

Here is a thread that fully focuses on this.


I read all of this and now my card is perfect. Now what?

Now, you post your card. Create it using the card creator and post it. When you post your card, if you feel that it still isn’t ready, post it in Design Theory, otherwise, post it directly in the Card Ideas & Art section. Before that however, you might want to find some art for your card if you didn’t already do that. Make sure the art you find is either royalty-free, or usable (meaning that you were given the permission to use the art).

When you post the card, you move it to the public for everyone to see and comment on. People will most likely give feedback and tell you the overall summary of your card (how usable it is, flaws, etc.). If your card is not original, chances are, someone will point you out on it. Correct your card depending on the errors that are pointed out and it will be better than the state before correction (most of the time).


Is that it?

Yes. This is the entire card making process. It isn’t long at all and just takes some thought and consideration. If you go by this guide, I guarantee that you will either start making good cards, or make better cards than you already have been making. If you feel like I have made a mistake in my guide, I’d appreciate if you pointed it out to me somewhere. I used the Elements wiki for most of the information supplied in this post. I hope to see some great ideas out there in the Card Ideas & Art area!

-- iDaire, a member of the Elements Community.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 01:40:43 am by iDaire »

Offline eljoemo

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Re: A Guide to Making Cards http://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=57666.msg1180889#msg1180889
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 01:20:03 am »
I disagree with the first section of this guide, the bit about originality. If here is a gap to be filled, then yes there will have been attempts to fill it, but that doesn't mean any other attempt to do it won't be original. You can't put a blanket statement of "Giving life CC is an unoriginal idea". The originality of the idea depends on the idea itself. There could be 10 ideas posted about life CC and each one could still be original. Also, everyone forgets that Spine Carapace is CC (and a decent shield too).

Ideas that would be powerful or well used are not necessarily unoriginal too. Once again, the only way to judge whether an idea is original or not is to try and find a similar card, which is often quite difficult. The easiest way actually is probably just to post it and see if people point out a similar idea. It'll work most of the time.

I could also have a few word on your elemental descriptions, but I won't right now :D
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Offline dragtom

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Re: A Guide to Making Cards http://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=57666.msg1180890#msg1180890
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 01:36:33 am »
You are certain your card is original. You checked the archives, all the pages in CI&A, and possibly anywhere else where even a trace of the card could be sniffed out by those curious enough to find it.

Yes, because I'm going through all roughly 8350 threads to find if my idea has already been done.
This has been a major deal for me in the past; it was likely that any idea I came up with has been done before.
Is there any tool or way to check if your idea has been done?
other than bother long-time card designers over and over again, of course.

also, in the 'balance factors' part, I think a link can be placed towards a thread that fully focuses on that.
This is the only one I could find in a quick search.

I also find :earth more of an enduring element: capable of handling whatever the opponent put in his deck.
:water is more of a controlling element, mainly through cc.

Many paragraphs make this wall of text an easy read.
Nice job.
be quick- time is quanta.

Offline iDaireTopic starter

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Re: A Guide to Making Cards http://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=57666.msg1180981#msg1180981
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 01:38:45 am »
I could also have a few word on your elemental descriptions, but I won't right now :D
I would prefer if you did at some point. I'd like to correct the guide to the best that it can be corrected.
I also find :earth more of an enduring element: capable of handling whatever the opponent put in his deck.
:water is more of a controlling element, mainly through cc.

Many paragraphs make this wall of text an easy read.
Nice job.

Thanks. I find :earth to be more controlling than :water though. :earth has creature control, permanent control, and quanta denial while water only has creature control. Sure, :water as trident but you need :water to power that ironically. Utilizing the control and denial in :earth, one can almost completely shut down the strategy of his opponent with the right deck, while utilizing the CC in :water can only slow down the creatures of the opponent. Since the creatures in a deck aren't everything, :earth is more controlling than :water.

I find :water to be more enduring however. :earth has to rely on shutting down the strategy of the opponent's deck or finding a way to bypass that strategy to truly work while water seems to endure an extreme amount of damage by freezing the creatures the enemy put on the field.

Offline Espithel

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Re: A Guide to Making Cards http://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=57666.msg1180983#msg1180983
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2015, 01:48:08 am »
What you call enduring and controlling, I call passive and aggressive.

Earth is a mixture of both, veering more on the aggressive side.

It's stall is quite passive, yes, but its rushes tend to be rush with stalls, using very aggressive techniques.

Offline 1011686

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Re: A Guide to Making Cards http://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=57666.msg1211079#msg1211079
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2015, 10:36:40 am »
I have a card idea that I feel certain has been done before, but i can't find anything like it. I don't want to post it directly into CI&A, because i haven't made any of them yet, and i want to see what similar things have been made before i do that. I don't know where else to post a query like this, so could you point me in the right direction?

Pretty much, my idea is a spell caster of sorts for each element, with an ability that thematically fits their element but is still a unique ability(so not just a spell-on-a-stick).
For example, light would give a small buff and heal, while entropy would scramble a creature's stats. I have thought of fitting(IMO) abilities for every element except  :time and  :gravity.
So have you ever heard of a card idea like that? I just feel like this is the sort of thing that has been made before.

P.S. Is this the place i should post queries like this? Or is there somewhere else more suitable?
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Offline ZephyrPhantom

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Re: A Guide to Making Cards http://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=57666.msg1211123#msg1211123
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2015, 02:21:34 pm »
You might want to check out Ask a Fellow Designer! for quick questions like this.

If you can't find anything like the idea you've done before, just post it. We'd like you to check if your idea has been done before but we don't want people beating themselves up over it.

Quote
Pretty much, my idea is a spell caster of sorts for each element, with an ability that thematically fits their element but is still a unique ability(so not just a spell-on-a-stick).
For example, light would give a small buff and heal, while entropy would scramble a creature's stats. I have thought of fitting(IMO) abilities for every element except  :time and  :gravity.
So have you ever heard of a card idea like that? I just feel like this is the sort of thing that has been made before.
IMHO this is too broad to be "redundant" in any form - MtG has had endless variations of 5-color series of creatures with similiar abilities (Spellshapers being the most obvious example). You could argue that Nymphs are like your series on the basis that they're spellcasters that have unique abilities that still fit into their elements. I'd say go ahead and post the series without any concerns regarding overlap.

 

blarg: