Lately, with all of my work on my project, Scrap Metal, I have been looking through the original source material – the things that have inspired me over the last ten years. I don’t have an infinite amount of time, and so I like to think that I am combining my down-time (before/after work, when I’m too tired to do actual work) with “research”.
In other words, I’m playing games and watching cartoons – as long as there is a robot involved somewhere, it’s a feasible excuse.
One of the things that I have to consider, which always takes time to perfect, is how something would function in a card game version. It’s simple to say that it exploded, and that explosion was “this” big – but in terms of a card game, you are looking instead at damage inflicted from a radial start point affecting multiple targets. And how much damage is inflicted? How big is the explosion? The trick is finding the sweet-spot, between an attack being overpowered and being pointless. If you make the blast radius too big, it becomes too powerful – if you make it too small, it loses some of it’s usefulness. It’s all about the sweet-spot.
It’s what is taking so long on the whole project, to be honest. Originally, I had over 200 different cards – sadly, I think I only have access to about 100 of those now, but I am recreating some from memory and making brand new ones to spice things up, and to make use of the new rules. But with each and every one of these items, there is an initial testing phase – I have to throw some numbers together that match the power-levels that I hope to see, and then it all needs to be tested, to make sure that it hits the sweet-spot.
Not every card I create is a game-changer – some are regular cards, such as various types of ammunition. There’s not much that can be done with those, but there is still alot of work that needs to go in to find the best representation of each item.
Still, once this has all been done, there will be an official scale, so should it prove successful enough to make it’s way into the realms of videogaming, we have everything we need stat-wise.
Currently, I’m hoping to play more Gotcha Force, a game released by Capcom for the Gamecube. It’s excellent robot smashing and colecting madness, and it screams Japanime all the way! It does have a lot of flashing, so if you suffer from photo-sensitive epilepsy, this might not be the game for you.
Also on my hit list, are games such as the Medabots Infinity Gamecube game (although I need to see if I can get hold of a PAL copy of this – I’ve never owned it), Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron… Basically, if it has a vague connection to customisable robots, I want to explore it, see how it ticks, and see if there are any concepts that would translate into my project.
Remember kids, it’s not theft if it’s inspirational. Unless it is actually theft, so don’t quote me on that.