In the modern day and age, collectable card games are doing really well. Titles like Hearthstone, YuGiOh, and Magic the Gathering have all established their own deep roots in the video game market, 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 glowing golden letters, and the team at Second Dinner Studios trying to recapture the spirit of an older, youthful card game.
Ben Brode, a flannel shirt aficionado, previously of Blizzard Entertainment''s Hearthstone subsidiary, is on the back of Second Dinner Studios, where the studio has a long list of content courses it''d like to provide through seasonal updates and ongoing updates. Can it make a difference?
What is Marvel Snap? Well, this quickfire card game involves each play filling three areas on the board, each with four card slots and their own active modifiers, from buffs to cards played there. In six turns, both competitors must try and fill up these spaces with cards in their deck, with each card having their own power figure and abilities. It''s the perfect game for phones in my opinion, super rapid and easy to grasp.
"We wanted to ensure that the mobile experience was accessible," Brode said. "We were constantly ecstatic to develop a game that was so simple to learn, super fast, but still has a lot of scope." The result of this balance is a game that begins of incredibly simple for my money perhaps a bit too simple but slowly introduces its slew of mechanics and intricacies.
What''s interesting is it does so in a non-linear, collection-focused way. As you collect and upgrade cards, you as the player work through a collection-level that acts as your only source of new cards. Not with money or in-game currency. This is because to force players to play around with their new cards rather than throwing them aside.
"So when you get a new card, it''s a chance to place it on your deck, level it up a bit, and unlock additional stuff." So you get an opportunity to spend time with each card, cards you might not initially consider to be overkill, but after a few games prove to be quite effective. "It allows you to explore the collection and feel comfortable with deck-building."
Ben and the team are facing a subterranean challenge in resuming a long-term card game experience that was once discovered on playgrounds and living areas around the world.
"When we were young we''d go down to the card store or local comic book store and get a pack of trading cards, or other card games. It was rather about slowly collecting cads and building decks with what you had. "It was such a wonderful time, and when we became the game we wanted to recreate that old-school model of card game."
There are a number of Marvel characters in the picture that the inner kid and comic book geek will love, according to Brode. Unlike card games, the answer reflects what he intended for the game, and what he believes will be. "It''s really important to bring people to the game. So, if you have a kid, make a billion dollars."
"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 aptitude, like improving the effectiveness of ongoing cards, so we''d choose a character that fits the capability."
Brode described Zero as a fantastic example, a card that excludes abilities from other cards. He describes "combing through the Marvel encyclopaedia" for characters who fit the effect.
To finish up my questions on Marvel Snap, I wanted to ask Brode what his goals for the game (aside from the seemingly "make a billion dollars" or "be the most popular card game out there." "With Marvel Snap, my goal is to broaden the audience. When I was a kid, card games were so popular.
"One of my favourite things 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 best entrance to the game."