Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Let's talk about SolForge.

So I'm scrolling through my Twitter feed earlier this month and I see a few people talking about this new game on Kickstarter called SolForge, made by Richard Garfield (creator of Magic: The Gathering), Brian Kibler (one of the top Magic players in the world), and the guys who made Ascension (another game that's pretty good). And it's a digital trading card game? Hmm...

Well, I don't know about you, but I like this idea.

The core mechanic is both very simple and very deep. Each time you play a card, it levels up. Periodically, your discard pile gets shuffled back into your deck, and the next time you draw that card, it'll be a higher level and have a different effect.

So at Level 1, you might have a bolt of lightning. At Level 2, it might be a more powerful chain lightning effect. And at Level 3, it could be a full-fledged thunderstorm. Or maybe you have a dragon egg that hatches into a baby dragon and then into a giant full-grown firebreathing terror. Or, on the flip side, you might have a giant zombie that starts out strong, but rots and decays over time to become less powerful in the lategame. Like I said, simple, but deep.

This mechanic would be difficult to execute in a traditional paper card game. I mean, imagine the logistics. How do you track what level the cards are when you shuffle them back into your deck? You'd need, like, multiple cards in one sleeve, or something? I don't even know. But for a digital game, it's all taken care of by the little man who lives inside the iPad and pushes buttons to make the lights change color.

There was a playable demo of the game at GenCon, so we got a look at how the actual games play out. By the look of this video (in which Richard Garfield takes on John Fiorillo of Gary Games), it'll be a blast to play. I'm excited.

You should be excited too. There's still time to back the project on Kickstarter. If you do, you'll get special Kickstarter bonuses, like special exclusive promo cards and access to the beta and, like, just extra cards and store credit once the game is live, and whatnot.

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