In the modern day and age, collectable card games are doing well. Titles like Hearthstone, YuGiOh, and Magic the Gathering have all established their own solid positions in the video game industry, bringing the decades-old hobby to computers, consoles, and even mobile. Enter Marvel Snap, a new challenger to the big hitters with the word accessibility at its back in shining golden letters, and the team at Second Dinner Studios to restore the spirit of an older, youthful card game experience.
Ben Brode, the former head of Blizzard Entertainment''s Hearthstone division, is to lead me through the game, and is currently leading the development team at Second Dinner Studios. While the studio has a long list of content courses it''d like to include as seasonal releases and ongoing updates, can it make a difference?
What is Marvel Snap? Well, this quickfire card game with each play filling three sections on the board, each with four card slots and their own active modifiers, all of which range from buffs to cards played there. This is the perfect type of game for phones in my mind, which is very quick and straightforward to grasp.
"We wanted to make sure that the mobile experience was accessible," Brode says. "We were challenging ourselves to create a game that was extremely simple to learn, super fast, but still has a lot of depth." The result of this balance is a game that begins of extremely simple for my money perhaps a bit too simple but gradually introduces its variety of mechanics and intricacies.
The downside is it does so in a non-linear, collection-focused way. As you collect and upgrade cards, you as the player develop an collection-level that acts as your only source of new cards. Not with money or in-game currency. This is to force players to play around with their new cards as they obtain them rather than throw them aside.
"So when you get a new card, it''s an opportunity to put it on your deck, level it up a bit, and unlock additional things. So you get an opportunity to spend time with each card, cards you might not initially thought, but after a few games it''s quite beneficial! It allows you to explore the collection and connect with deck-building.
Ben and the team have a subterranean goal, namely bringing back a long-delivered card game experience, discovered on playgrounds and living areas around the world many years ago.
"When we was little, we''d go to a card shop or local comic book store and get a pack of trading cards, or even other card games. It was not a thing people did back then, but it was rather about slowly collecting cads and building decks with what you had. It was an amazing journey, and when we made the game we was attempting to recreate that old-school style of card game."
Most people will benefit from Marvel Snap''s presence, according to Brode. Other things he believes are that cards are functionalized by the same skill. "For example, we''d sit down and thing ''what would Rogue do in Marvel Snap'' before starting picking out what ability makes sense. So, I can''t wait to introduce people to Marvel Snap, which is the best entryway to the genre."
"Often times we designed cards top down, which means we''d sit down and thing ''what would Rogue do in Marvel Snap'' before picking out what ability makes sense. However, sometimes we knew we needed an ability, like increasing the effectiveness of ongoing cards, so we''d find a character that fits the potential."
Brode described Zero as a fantastic example, a card that eliminates abilities off other cards. He describes "combing through the Marvel encyclopaedia" as a tool for actors who are similar to the effect.
I wanted to ask Brode what his purpose was for the game, outside of the "make a billion dollars" or "be the most popular card game out there." "With Marvel Snap, my goal is to increase the audience. When I was a kid, card games were always popular.
"One of my favourite activities to do in life is to introduce people to things I love, and I love card games. So I can''t wait to introduce people to Marvel Snap, it''s the finest introduction to the genre."