View Full Version : Alternate Art as: loot, commodity, rewards,...

06-02-2013, 12:29 PM
There has been a long, interesting and rather controversial topic about Art on these forums.
(can be found here : http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=24458 )

One impressive idea came from the notion of relying on alternative art to please different tastes.

In most TCGs/CCGs Alternate Art is a form of collectible goodie, usually limited
and given out at special occasions (tournaments, kickstarter, season championships,etc)
and therefore (depending on its source) rare.
The Art in question tends to be "just another take" from a different or the same artist,
showing another interpretation of the card.

However while discussing the pros and cons of sexualization, violance, super fantasy and
the likes in our other thread, it came to our attention that the true potential for
alternate art has never been actually tapped into.

Imagine this:

Having multiple checkboxes for your favorite cards that enable you to choose between
different artstyles for the same card.

At first this sounds like a neat little feature that makes playing and collecting a little deeper
and more fun... but let me try to show you some (I m still in full brainstorm mode) of the
possible benefits and applications for this idea.

1.) You can have totally different target audiences for entire sets of AA (alternate art)

This is where the main idea came from:

-You dislike gore and violence or want to play with your kids? Well chose this considerate package.
-Want more sexappeal in the game? Its your choice to have chainmail-bikinis and super-fantasy males.
-You like the general look of everything, but some cards just have an even sweeter AA? customize!
-In reality you would prefer a LOT more violance and nudity? well only you decide.

Obviously it doesnt require "complete sets" of art for this. Even just corner cases could be
handled this way.

2.) This is another possible income for Crypto and great opportunity for artists.

You can have AA in the online shop without undermining PvP balance in the slightest.
One of the common problems for free to play games is naturaly its finances.
I dont doubt HEXs ability to maintain its paychecks via Boosters and Tournament fee´s,
but one of the most successfull economic markets in recent years is "microtransactions".

Most games step into the deep pit of selling power (in pve or pvp)...
and therefore making any competition in a "pay to win" situation.
Crypto stated that this will never happen to HEX, well this idea doesnt change that,
but still opens another whole market for them to utilize.

Profit for them, profit for us.

3.) Additionally this widens the possible loot by a BIIG margin.

One of the things I always wonder about, is how well crypto is going to balance the drops.
I know that very capable people are working on the pve side of things to create a stable
and desirable curve that if all stars align just starts to end right when a new set is released.

The entire concept of HEXs ingame world is brilliant and big quantities of content are rather
easy to maintain given the relatively low demands of graphics/3D art.

Still I cant help but think, with all those Kickstarter items (that they simply cannot take into
consideration while designing the game, since most people will start without these) wont
pve become pretty stale, pretty fast? (not their fault)

Alternate Art for as much cards as possible is a GIGANTIC timesink for collectors, a big
increase of scope for the auction house market and much need contrast to sleeves.

Let me tell you something about sleeves... they are everywhere. As much as it rocks to
have certain sleeves, you will only have 1 kind of sleeves per deck.
Giving me 20-100 different sleeves too quickly wont make me happy... because I will still
use my 2-5favorites and the occasional "theme sleeve". I might be alone with this...
but it sucks that the only real cosmetic reward in the game seem to be sleeves...

And the reason why crypto puts them there is the same I m talking about right now...
to decrease the amount of gold/card/equipment inflation via giving you something else.
You need enough loot in this game so you feel rewarded often and big enough.
But if you dont have enough different loot, well you can see where that would go quickly.

4.) Another biggie: Customization <33

Everybody loves identity. Big quantities of AA give us NEVER before seen possibilities
to customize decks to fit our personal preferences.
Additionally to deckbuilding alone and sleeves, a whole layer of personalization opens up.

5.) Concerns:

1.) but I dont want to see that gore or half naked chick of some pervert.
option 1.) make it standart for everyone too see the "default" art of their opponents.
option 2.) give us an option to choose if we want the "default" art shown or the "chosen art"
(might be that option 2 needs a certain age verification to cater to all audiences?)

This can be as convinient as a "toggle on/off" button acessible ingame so you
can change this on the fly. (if you happen to come across some wiredo)

2.) Time is too much, this feature doesnt have enough bang for a buck to make it in the release.

I dont think this is true (from a student of computer science point of view), since the technology
for AA is already in the game. The amount of code required to implement multiple options and
some small interface inside your "general options" is minimal.
The loot part is also very easy to code.

The only real timesink of this feature is "Art", but from what I know about TCG Artists
the amount of content they "could" produce (in high quality) is far and beyond the actual
demand of 2D Art.

Its a different thing if you ask WoW developers to create another dungeon because of the
huge amount of technical steps required to create, render, polish etc these 3D projects.

Naturally this depends on the amount of artists crypto likes and trusts with their work
and I could see this being a sad but true argument against this idea.

3.) You have it all wrong, the costs for crypto outweigh any reasonable price...

Erm, are you insane? Do you realize how much money a 1$(!!!) card would make in
a game played by hundreds of thousands of players?

This is exactly why I say its a HUGE financial market for crypto as well as for the artist involved.

If I was an artist (and I know 2 artists that completely agree) I would give crypto my
art for free, just as long as the % I get from the sales are reasonable enough.

4.) The Art is going to lose its "HEX´s style" if too many exist.

Not necessarily.
option 1.) It can be the same artists with the same style but different takes on the card.
option 2.) HEX can decide to be the first every tcg with multiple(!) styles of cards.

Since we already established that everybody can decide if he wants to see the art
others have choosen or not, there is no danger of losing immersion.

You could have a full Anime style of hex, and no one that dislikes this would
ever have to be confronted with it... this opens loads of targeted audiences.

Since there always is the "default" art that is used in the campaign,
(Because completely having multiple sets of art to choose from might burst the frame)
this would have no negative effacts on the pve experience either...
(outside of some people feeling a little sad getting art they dont like, but hey...
this would be a good thing in a way, endorsing trade and giving hex "blanks" to draw.
If everything you get is something you want, things get stale quickly.)

Conclusion so far

This is all pretty new in my mind and I m still in full brainstorm mode.
Most likely there are dozens of benefits and pitfalls I havent though of yet,
but thats why I m posting this here.

Gimme your thoughts, ideas, doubts, so we can help HEX to become the best game it can be.

1 EDIT: The concern of buying power this way/ creating a natural ceiling
for cards that can be specifically bought (not opened in boosters or found in other ways),
which cryptozoic has said they will never do, has been brought up.

For clarification: You would ONLY buy the Art/Option to use the Art. NOT the card.
This way there is no direct "price" by cryptozoic put on any card.
Again: You cannot use the card if you haven obtained it first in the usual ways.

Naturally this would be explicitly said when you buy any alternate art.

2 EDIT: The concern has been uttered that going as far as pornographic
content would most likely damage the repuation of the game too much.

While this may be common censensus or up for debate I want to take this
quick edit and state:

Every example in the original post has been that, an example, nothing more.

What exactly should be portrayd and where to draw the line is one of many
fine points that could and should be discussed here, so feel free to give your
feedback. Well reasoned and phrased if possible.

06-02-2013, 01:35 PM

06-02-2013, 01:35 PM
Didn't read, but who's paying for the alternative art?


06-02-2013, 01:41 PM
I like this idea but I dont think it will happen. They said they dont need a cash shop for extra income. They want to give it all out as part of the game and just have income through boosters. Either way is good to me.

06-02-2013, 01:44 PM
3.) You have it all wrong, the costs for crypto outweigh any reasonable price...

Erm, are you insane? Do you realize how much money a 1$(!!!) card would make in
a game played by hundreds of thousands of players?

This is exactly why I say its a HUGE financial market for crypto as well as for the artist involved.

If I was an artist (and I know 2 artists that completely agree) I would give crypto my
art for free, just as long as the % I get from the sales are reasonable enough.

I'm sure artists don't mind being featured once or twice for free, but I doubt they'd regularly offer free art assets.

Commissioning new original art probably costs in the range of $250-500 a piece or more, as well as some added manhours for cropping the art into a card and extended art card.

I don't really think it's a bad idea, and I'm pretty sure it'd run a regular profit, but the reasoning is somewhat silly. There's nothing obscene compared to any PG-13 movie, and the only graphic card I've seen so far is Relentless Corruption (that card gives me the chills...)

I would say that having art contests would be a good idea that satisfies most of your concerns. Give a theme and some design guidelines and then pick the top winners for alternate art cards.

Maybe even do a TF2/Dota thing, where the winner gets a tiny fraction of platinum for every AA card sold from the store.

But...remember, there are other costs besides money. Other costs, in this case, includes memory space or bandwidth.

This is going to be a mobile game too. The card art is probably saved inside your app, so if you have a MASSIVE numbers of assets, it'll eventually become too bloated to play.

06-02-2013, 01:53 PM

06-02-2013, 02:02 PM
1.) Crypto saying they dont "need" a shop is no reason against it.
More income means more or better content, be it Art, PvE, Sets, Tournament payout etc.
One big thing is how they finance their big ESport dreams, this can help.

2.)Actually the Dota example is one of many I thought of as well.
It also shows that it can be lucrative to give away art "for free" and
work on % without up front payment.

3.) The reasoning comes from the other thread (that you probably didnt read)
and some other points mentioned in the post above.

There are loads of different targeted audiences that can be reached this way
without insulting or driving away any of the current consumers.
And theres room to further increase the impulse to play the game for those
that already do, not to mention all the other benefits I spoke of that help
the longevity of the game.

4.) The contests you speak of would be a natural way to go the extra mile with this.
This would be another way for crypto to interact with its community, even once the
population of the game has become too huge for the nice and direct contact we have now.

5.) The memory space cant possibly be a real obstacle. Magic has tens of thousands of
cards and the entire program barely reaches 1 tiny gigabyte, thats after 30 years.

6.) please read before you post =) thx.

7.) as explained, this feautre should be a net profit for both the artists as well as crypto.

EDIT: 8.) any constructive critique is appreciated. "No" sadly is no critique

06-02-2013, 02:12 PM
One thing that makes Collecting a hobby is the rarity of whatever you are collecting, if AA cards became excessive you'd end up alienating the people you set out to please. I think over time will see quite a few AA cards but it will never be a full scale market plan so much as a catering service that appeals to the niche market who would want them.

06-02-2013, 02:13 PM
1.) Crypto saying they dont "need" a shop is no reason against it.
More income means more or better content, be it Art, PvE, Sets, Tournament payout etc.
One big thing is how they finance their big ESport dreams, this can help.

5.) The memory space cant possibly be a real obstacle. Magic has tens of thousands of
cards and the entire program barely reaches 1 tiny gigabyte, thats after 30 years.

They didn't say "don't need."
They said they REFUSE TO HAVE...

They don't want to touch the secondhand economy. CZE considers it a vital design decision.

Also, memory space for mobile is more of a concern than PC.
Each AA card costs just as much system resources as a regular card.

06-02-2013, 02:19 PM
@ Chance

Thats not really a problem since nothing keeps them from making "rare" alternate art.

You argument otherwise would mean = the fact that every card has 2 equipment means
that equipment is pointless for collectors since its not rare enough.

Again, there is no reason for there NOT to be some really rare arts that has a different
purpose (please the collectors) than the "normal" alternate art.


Kietay said the word "need" so thats what I was referring to.
Would you mind posting me the source of your statement so I can follow up on it better?

Until than:
Why would that mean or require "secondhand" economy.
They sell cards. Now they also sell different "skins" for cards.

They only real reason I ever heard from them to keep away from
any "maketing shenenigans" was the "pay to win" argument.
As long as this has no negative impact on the power of
pve and pvp, I so nothing that would alienate them from this idea so far.


Please, I know this might be asking a lot on any forum on the internet.

But I would be very grateful for any coherent post that tries to communicate
the overall conclusion we should draw.
Naturaly this requires referring to every individual point made so far, either
agreeing or contradicting it, bringing up new points and justifying them and
outlining a conclusion.

It cant be that this is the best the HEX community can muster ;(((....

06-02-2013, 02:20 PM
Being able to buy a specific card interferes with the secondhand economy because it creates a natural ceiling to that card.

Also, I think he mentioned it in the Geek Allstars (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamepodcastepisode/101273/episode-54-interview-with-cryptozoics-cory-jones) podcast, can't go through it atm.

06-02-2013, 02:31 PM
Again 1 gigabyte isnt too much, not for mobile devices either. And that
is far more than HEX would require in the forseeable future, especially
considering its design for such devices. (contrary to the mtgo client).

You wont be able to buy that card. That must be the misunderstanding here.

You will only buy the option for the art.

Without first finding or otherwise obtaining the card, you wont get to play with it.

So they are NOT selling cards this way.

EDIT: going to edit this into the first post for clearification.

06-02-2013, 02:36 PM
You wont be able to buy that card. That must be the misunderstanding here.

You will only buy the option for the art.

Without first finding or otherwise obtaining the card, you wont get to play with it.

So they are NOT selling cards this way.

EDIT: going to edit this into the first post for clearification.

I'm not sure you understand what an alternate art card is. It's not a skin that applies to all your cards of that type, it's a card that is functionally equivalent to another card but has different artwork.

06-02-2013, 02:39 PM
Huh...I guess it's implementable, but it's distinctly different from other AA cards they have, and would require additional coding to put in this system even at the most barebones level.

06-02-2013, 02:44 PM
@ Turtlewing

*sigh... yes I m aware of "usual implementations" of AA, this does not mean it has to be this way in Hex.
The redesign of the whole AA concept to "skins" leads to meny benefits, some of them pointed out here.

@ Tyrfang

Again, I know that this does in fact require a non arbitrary amount of coding.
However this system does not need balance, art(GUI), much design.

The actual coding of this system would be a walk in the park for a single person
given multiple days. (and I m adament about this, because all nice subjective
opionions aside, I study computer science and know more than one person
that wouldnt require more than 1-2 weeks tops to do this. And they are not
top of the line in experience)

06-02-2013, 02:47 PM
It depends on how the cards were coded originally, but it shouldn't be very difficult to add.

I think it'd be a good revenue source for CZE later.

06-02-2013, 02:51 PM
Agreed it would require a little change to the old implementations (buty mainly just cutting it).

The source of income is one of the bigger benefits, because in contrast
to all the other nice short and longterm benefits this might have,
money can always be universally spent by crypto to great effect.

for example Esports etc.

I ll call it a day for now (its getting late here in europe again).

I DO hope that this time some deep and well reasoned arguments
for and against this idea will greet me when I wake up and sip my coffee.

This topic seems to have a LOT of potential and depth.
There is no reason for our beloved and glorified community
to be incapable of getting their shit together and using some
well oiled logic and phrasing to actually produce something
potentially helpful for cryptozoic.

If you invested in this game or have the slightes of other motivations
for this game to suceed, than I call upon you to deliver a well
thought out and structured response to the initial post of this thread.


06-02-2013, 02:53 PM
Crypto is not going to sell porn art for their cards. Risque cards already exist, but they're not going to put fully nudity out there. It would end up attracting the wrong sort of attention and really hurt them.

06-02-2013, 02:57 PM
(quick add)

@Medican, no one proposed that every art possible should be supported.

Why not make a contructive post, detailing your reasonable opinion
on where the lines should be drawn. No matter if you use a social,
public relations, economic or whatever else perspective to argue.

Just take your time and put together a well thought out post
explaining the possible benefits and dangers of certain thresholds.

So we can go on discussing exactly "what" and "how much" would
be appropriate on such alternate cards.

Everything in the main post has been but an example of what is possible.
I ll clear that up real quick in a second edit and leave this to you guys.

06-02-2013, 03:34 PM
Should we use the term skins as opposed to AA because its quite different. I'm not opposed to the idea and I don't think it's a very new idea either they've probably discussed and outlined something very similar to having Skins and I'd be curious why they would be for or against. In the earlier days of reading up on HEX I just assumed that would be the norm kind of like how League Of Legends has so many.

06-02-2013, 03:48 PM
Well I see no real reason not to merge these phrases. Its AA skins.
Since its not "only skins", (though it is only skins).

Alternate art (in the usual implimentation) wouldnt exist anymore once this exists.

I dont really care much for these formalities, so name the child however you see fit.

(also, no skins are no new idea... but referencing
league or dota isnt really fair.
Thats like saying the new mercedes is old
because the wheel has been around forever.)

I m not aware of any successful and big TCG (since there is no really
successfull online only tcg) that has implemented this.

The digital space is something completely new to TCGs of this
scope. This might be one of the many new options we can
utilize now.

The fact that other games have shown how successfull this can be just enforces this.

06-02-2013, 04:13 PM
Hmmm, I see a lot of assumptions in your original post about costs etc. but as it's a brainstorming idea I can forgive those to a degree.

I wouldn't mind having unlockable AA in the future, but I too have seen/heard statements by Crypto saying that their business model is the selling of boosters and no more. I suppose they could change that, but I think there would have to be a solid reason to do so (and just making money I don't think would be enough). Maybe just the new ways that the digital space could be used would be reason enough.

A couple of thoughts though: Hex has a feel and theme. The art is all designed around that. Adding AA unlocks and skins would take more resources, even for just particular cards (though that might mitigate the concern for large cost increases). That, and it just doesn't seem to be the way that Crypto wants to run their business.

You have asked where the line on art should be drawn, I say draw it right where it is. It is obvious that where Crypto's art is at is where the audience wants it to be as shown by their wildly successful KS. To move any direction further towards sexualization, violence, etc. has the possibility, even with AA as an option, of alienating a section of their core target. Why risk it? To satisfy a small subset of that audience? Not a good reason for me.

If I were to suggest that we move the art AWAY from sex/violence, further than it even is, there are many who would denounce the idea, even if it would make me more comfortable playing the game. I think that the risk of alienating parts of the audience is too great to play with what is already working.

06-02-2013, 04:21 PM
It is still a Trading Card Game, meaning collecting cards is one of the main aspects of the whole fun. Alternate Art cards are one of the more rare cards to get your hands on and I think it adds to the whole collection aspect. I think just enabling new Art through checkboxes to customize your deck would demystify everything very soon. And as an artist myself, I actually like that people want to get one special card, because they like the artwork on it. It's more worth than money.

06-03-2013, 03:02 AM

1.) There is no need for forgiveness since I m reletively certain I managed to show
the source and amount of confidence I have in each respective assumption. And never
have I stated some objective truth or absolute information.

I m happy for any differential on those assumptions.

2.) This point about cryptozoic deciding something is starting to pss me off...next to some other ones.

Just because crypto made a decision does not make it the best. And the entire point of contructive
feedback is to challange and add to their design-choices, so we can inspire them to reflect again.

Naturally most of the time they will already have thought longer, better, and deeper about these things
than we have, and all we do is missing certain points to fully follow their reasoning.

But as long as we have good reason to assume that something would be a valuable addition to the game
with great expected value, its the job of anyone who deems to have honest interest in the success of the
game to sit on his sorry ass and use some logic to either prove the idea great, or negate it sufficiently.

"It just doenst seem to be the way crypto wants to run their business" wtf on fack. Where is any reason in that.
"It seems"? ,"want"? ... where is the "shouldnt", "for good reason ....", "because of...."....

3.) I addressed the "default" art in my original post, so the pve side and core game doesnt feel effected.

4.) Again this sad "argument" of a successfull kickstarter.

4.1 the success of this kickstarter has no merit in this argument, since there is no way
to know, if different art wouldnt have made this already great game EVEN MORE popular, increasing the pledges.
So unless you can show me via high level studies or well reasoned assumptions that other art
would infact LOWER the popularity of HEX, this is no argument against AA as proposed in this thread.

4.2 I made clear for billions of times, that the enitre nature of this feature would be optional and customizable.
No one is forced to use more or less of these choices than he personally prefers.

If you dislike sexualization or violance, its your choice to go away even further from those themes...
this model is as much for you, as for anyone else. No one is forced to see or use any of this art....

So no person in their right mind should be alienated by the fact that OTHER people have OPTIONS to
choose from that dont have ANY impact on their own game, if they so choose.

The only possible argument at that point would be social/Philosophical in nature, like:
"I dont want our society to glorify objectification, because... blah blah".
That would be an entire argument in itself (some of that seen in the other thread), but
has not been brought up here so far.

Any person who things better alternatives for different tastes that are entirely optional
are a bad thing (outside of possible reasons of cost, bang for a buck, etc) is a shortsighted,
selfish and most of all unreasonable being.

5.) Yet somehow no one in this entire forum, even though people pledged thousands of $, seems to have
the motivation or cognitive/emotional competence to take some time, focus, reflect, observe, consider
and finally phrase a reasonably presented conclusion on any matter at all, least of all this topic.

I always lived in the delusion of imagening the TCG community as pretty capable of logic, given all the
neccessary math it takes to design great decks, resource ratios and metagame breakdowns.

Maybe all the decent players stay away from the forums as far as possible, and for good reason.
But seeing how glorified this community reflected on itself and the positive feedback cory and co gave it,
I thought some of that has to be justified.

6.) One of the only "better" arguments that have been brought up so far is the immersion/seperation
point of people palying the same game but losing the feeling of doing so because of the difference in art.

But this has also been addressed by the solution of having a 100% consistent pve experience (needs to be
that way anyway for design of dungeons sakes etc).

Since PvP isnt story driven, but format, tournament, metagame defined, no one should mind the option to
have more Art to choose from.

7.) For the last time. Rarity doesnt work like that.

Rarity is an artificial effect created by supply and demand.
Whatever is sought after, but isnt achievable easily or in high quantities becomes "rare".

So when you take Alternate Art and make it more accessible you only take away the
"rarity" of alternate art "in general". Yes that means having alternate art "alone" isnt
proving much anymore.

HOWEVER, there is no good reason to keep cryptozoic from making certain AA skins
as rare or rarer than any usual AA before has been.

Which gives us the same rarity of individual objects as before.


You have a deck with 60 cards and 4 nice alternate art rare lightning bolts. They are awesome
and you enjoy showing them off and looking at them.

No you make the same deck with 56 other alternate art cards, that arent really rare. Your
lightening bolts are STILL rare and awe inspireing, they stand out for being rare AA not just AA.

Think of it as. Right now games only have rare and legendary AA, I propose common and uncommon AA.

Legendary items dont get devalued by common items existing... on the contrary they live from the
contrast of rarity.

The same would be true for alternate art. The small loss of general rarity in the beginning would be
quickly offset by the whole new market of collectible items that every freaking collector would love.
Its MORE things you can differntiatie yourself with and still the same or higher amount of RARE gems
in between.

8.) Now I dont want to sound selfpitying, but.

I have an ill elbow for 5 and and an ill shoulder for 1 year now.
I cant play any games as I usually do and only play a small amount of our in tcgs, using my left hand.
Writing in big amounts is painful for me and risks losing time on my rehabilitation.

Than how on earth is it possible, that I seem to be so alone in my attandance when it comes
to this amount of quality and quantity feedback?

This post and the original post have costed me less than half an hour each to create.

I see people stalking these forums for ours, posting small fledged answers everywhere like
vultures trying to steal some post count or social awareness of their community.

Why not take some time and actually try to help something that could be huge?


06-03-2013, 04:45 AM
Look, you keep posting these walls of text demanding a change to the game to suit you, and when anyone speaks against your ideas, you simply discount their argument and say no one has proven you wrong. No one can tell you your belief, and standpoint and moral code is wrong, in the same way that you should not assert that yours is better or truer than anyone else's. And this forum is not the place to debate philosophy, particularly that which can be controversial.

You are not going to be able to change the art direction of the game at this stage because that would have a net loss and negative effect on the game. Would you like it if people started threads on trying to fit the game more to their religion in order to get more players? Or change the art to fuzzy creatures to get the Pokemon crowd? It is not going to happen.

A game will and should succeed on gameplay. Ideally it should need no gimmicks. Realise that not everyone in the world is like you, so nothing that is designed will be perfect for you, just make the decision based on whether enough of it appeals to you.

06-03-2013, 05:39 AM
1.) I dont propose any changes for my own benefit, every argument so far has tried
to come from a producers point of view (cryptozoic) and was aimed at the benefit of everyone involved.

2.) I dont "simply" discount, I use logic to disprove the coherency of their "points".

3.) Actually yes you can argue for better and worse believes, and I assume you do too,
otherwise you are basically stating that wanting to rape and murder everyone is a perfectly
reasonable believe/standpoint. I guess you would have something to say about that.
Or if you dont because you say "believe is fine, "do" is not" than you just say "believe is irrelevant".

In which case your argument is pointles because my thread is designed to "do"/"change"/"inspire"
not simply change or argue others "beliefs".

4.) Several points I made showed that there is reason to assume this addition to the game
would be a net positive for the game. If you see differently please try to reason your point and
not simply "state" it.

5.) I would like any contsructive argument designed to benefit the game. No matter what it tries
to accomplish. I would be open about pokemon HEX, I would be open about religious HEX.

Being open for these ideas and capable of discussing their merit is something everyone here should be.

6.) You are saying you should just scrap the Art of every card since it has no effect on gameplay what so ever.

Just because the most important aspect of any game is its gameplay does not take away the possible
benefits of optimizing all other aspects that there are to it.

"gimmicks" are what seperates games with equally entertaining gameplay from each other.

7.) I m completely aware of the difference between human beings, their emotional conditioning,
cultural conventions and tastes. Nowhere in my original post have I proposed to make this
game fit "my" needs more than that of the rest of this world.

Everything discussed so far, again, is based on the premise that the most people possible benefit
from the idea.

8.), I m kinda sorry for everyone honestly interested in this topic and I hope I dont needlesly
discredit myself by doing this: the way the communication and feedback has been so far in this
forum... I see no reason why any intelligent being should choose to further invest their time and
energy in trying to make HEX a better game.

There is the hope that they guys at crypto find and read such posts and have a better understanding
of its content that their "playerbase", but even that starts to fade, seeing as every thread needs
some form of contructive publicity to catch their attention.

Anyhow it seems a sad thing that I start to lose any motivation to further contribute to this community
given the lackluster and one dimensional responses such an amount of work reaps.

06-03-2013, 06:39 AM
8.), I m kinda sorry for everyone honestly interested in this topic and I hope I dont needlesly
discredit myself by doing this: the way the communication and feedback has been so far in this
forum... I see no reason why any intelligent being should choose to further invest their time and
energy in trying to make HEX a better game.

If you can't see how comments like this and others in this thread discourage both positive and negative feedback to your ideas then you are going to continue to be disappointed.

Now on to some feedback about your idea.

1) You will have a better chance of pitching it if it does not change Cryptozoic’s business model. Specifically Cory has stated that he does not want to nickel and dime players for skins, art, in game functionality etc. As well, you suggest changing their relationship with artists and how they are paid. Again, you’d have an easier time selling the idea with a minimum of change to how they currently operate. Selling boosters, starters and tournament tickets is proven successful and Cory has been quite clear that this is what they are sticking to so that portion of your idea is a non-starter.

2) When we strip away the idea of changing Cryptozoic’s business model we are left with the original core idea of being able to switch between age appropriate alternate art. I think this is a valid idea and is something they pretty much already have to deal with to allow the game to be played in certain markets. However I think this is better handled with a toggle in the settings then with anything more complicated. If when receiving art for a card it’s not PG-13 enough they can get the artist to submit another version with a higher neckline or no blood or whatever else the case may be. This version of the art is displayed when the PG-13 option is checked.

3) I’d prefer to get alternate art for achieving things in game. For example in PvE if you finish a dungeon completely without dying you get rewarded with alternative art cards and if you die a couple of times you get the regular art. In PvP, they can be tournament rewards. Of course, I’m also all for them being given out as promotions.

4) Just a quick comment, I think you are underestimating the amount of PvE content and how hard it will be to get all the cards / equipment. There is plenty to chase in the game to provide hundreds of hours of gameplay.

5) I think having alternate art being separate cards instead of an option on existing cards provides a healthier market than buying the art from Cryptozoic. Collecting is more fun when the items have varying rarity and difficulty to acquire. Paying a dollar per card in your collection to unlock different art is not a fun collecting experience.

This is probably going to be my only post in this thread because this idea doesn't excite me (in the end I don’t care that much about alternate art.) As well, I don’t want to engage in a discussion that will at a minimum be hostile and antagonistic and most likely also include some personal attacks.

06-03-2013, 07:22 AM

1.) Point 8.) was already beginning with an apology. How should I be honest and considerate
without venting the frustration I feel in the most harmless way possible?

2.) This has been addressed mutliple times by me now but anyway:

Just because they stated a certain business model as their design doesnt make it the right call.
Its completely possible that they overlooked certain benefits of alternative business models.

This does not mean they have, they might very well have thought of all of these and still had
good reason to stick with their plan. However no one has been able to bring up any such reasons.

3.) I already talked about a "toggle" option in the original post and mutliple ways this could be implemented.
This point is clearly up for debate and many options should be considered.

4.) Dont know if you actually read the original post now that I read your point 3.).

I explicitly said that this entire idea opens up a LOT of reward options inside the game.
Namely Pve dungeon finishes, Pvp tournaments and promotions....

So yeah, I m glad you agree with that point I guess, though it sounds you try to disagree? oO

5.) I also addressed this with a very considerate statement, leading with my trust in crypto that
leaves only small doubts. And finishing with facts that show that additional Pve content/loot is
most likely a net positive at this point, because it can only increase the longevity of the game.

So again, I trust crypto to balance the reward curve well... but I also know
from a design point of view that aesthetic rewards are a very welcome way
to "stall" some time on the power curve.

6.) this point has also been negated mutliple times now, at least the second part of it.
Just as stated in 4.), there are multiple ways proposed for distribution of this art.
Only one of those ways would be the online shop, with its own ups and downs.

This has been suggested to compensate for the otherwise strongly increasing financial
load that crypto would have to carry.

Coming to your second point: rarity.

I lost count of how many times I explained that everything proposed in the original post
doesnt diminish the potential for very rare alternate art in the slightest.

Just because more alternate art exists and even some of that might be purchasable wont
mean that some ubar rare Art that only a few hundred people in the world possess isnt rare.

Its one of the beauties of the system, that once AA is accepted as a form of reward,
the differing rarities for AA also become common knowledge.
This is basically like the item system, common, uncommon, rare, legandary. etc

Yes taking away the "you get an actual card" effect does "shift" the form of reward that AA is.
But that doesnt necessarily need to be a bad thing/ design choice, just a different take on it.

I m sorry that you dont mean to further try for contructive critique,
but having said everything I already have sad, I guess I ll join you.
My arms are hurting and I havent seen any form of profit for anyone so far.

It seems this attempt to benefit me and the people around me has failed horribly.
I guess this asks for an apology since I wasted everyones time.

06-03-2013, 08:41 AM
Okay, I'm going to attempt to be constructive here. Let me start by saying that I agree with you, themed skins are a pretty awesome idea. You could also easily implement them while still keeping rare AA cards, and I believe the people bringing up rarity as a counter argument kind of misunderstood what you were trying to get across.

Now, the problem I see with skins is that there's currently no incentive for CZE to actually implement them due to the following problems:

1. Their way of implementation would be paid skins (similar to DOTA/LoL). While this would probably have a pretty good return rate in terms of financial investment (I'll stick to 500$ paid to a freelance artist and 1$ charged per skin, even if those are completely arbitrary numbers), the problem here is that Cory, and by extension CZE, has explicitely stated their only way of revenue will be boosters and tournament entry fees. I know your point is that while this might be their business model, it doesn't necessarily have to be the best, and I agree with you there (although I won't make a guess at what the best model might be); but the fact remains that they have (quite adamantly, in fact) stated this and it would probably anger a good amount of people if they changed that - just take a look at the "free card with t-shirt" argument and you'll see what I mean.

2. Their way of implementation would be as a reward for PvE/Tournaments. This would work if they needed additional incentives for players to engage in those activities, but they way I see it (and you're welcome to disagree with me here), they really don't. The PvP tournament players have the tournament wins (and of course the thrill of actually beating a human opponent instead of an AI), while the PvE players have the PvE unlockables (cards, equipment etc) to keep them busy, not the mention the sheer amount of time a completionist will have to put into the game to unlock every foil/extended art there is. Couple that with three new sets a year, and you really don't need to add any incentive to keep people hooked. Sure, they might add card skins nonetheless, but the fact is they'd have to pay money for them while not actually increasing the incentive to get people to spend more money on their game (which is, in the end, what they want).

3. Their way of implementation would be to simply give the skins to everyone for free. This would probably be the worst way of implementation, since it doesn't generate any revenue for CZE whatsoever - no player is going to look at all the available cards before deciding to start playing the game, and once he's invested some amount of time into it, he's quite probably already used to the art there is. Sure, it might be nice to have the option to have alternate skins, but if you don't, you wouldn't miss it, as it never existed in the first place.

On top of that, it gets very questionable once you start looking at art content that is out of their defined target age group, pornographic/gory art. You can't possibly market a game as PG13 that has art like this in it, even if it is only activateable with a toggle, since there's no way to actually prove you're really the age you say you are on the internet.

Now, again, I like the idea in principle, I just don't think it would be feasible for CZE to implement it, at least not at the moment or for some time to come. Two years from now, it might look different, but that's just speculation ;-)

06-03-2013, 08:51 AM
After further thought...I'd be okay with skins as long as they limit it to, at most, 1 AA skin a card, and maybe 10% of the cards in a set. Maybe give it an AA treatment for the most played cards, or for iconic cards (lore-wise).

It's not just "more options on art = better" - you want instantly recognizable cards on a glance of the artwork, alone. If you have 3+ AA "skins" for a card, it'll make it really annoying, as well as potentially damage the game thematically.

Furthermore...it kind of defeats the purpose of "collecting," if all you have to do is pay $X for it, while simultaneously devaluing other AA cards (like the collector cards, possibly future promo cards) because there are a larger number of AA cards.

As for what CZE said they would sell, I suppose another poll would be a fair way of doing it, if it was done between now and open beta.

06-03-2013, 09:09 AM
@ Turtlewing

*sigh... yes I m aware of "usual implementations" of AA, this does not mean it has to be this way in Hex.
The redesign of the whole AA concept to "skins" leads to meny benefits, some of them pointed out here.

Except that they've already promised AA cards to pledgers based on the assumption that it will be implemented in that way. And made official statements clarifying that they are using that model for those cards.

Hex cannot convert their existing concept of AA cards into skins without pissing of a fair number of people, and outright backpedaling on what they've already said on the topic.

They could also implement card skins (in addition to AA cards), but in order to do what you intend they'd have to be things only you see, and they's have to apply to your opponent's cards as well (when viewed on your client).

Personally I see that being more work than it's worth. You need alternate artwork for all the cards that will look different, and that likely means hiring more artists (since the point is to have different visual styles). I'd rather CZE spend those resources designing new sets rather than custom skins for existing sets.

06-03-2013, 09:33 AM
Love your post Pentregarth for actually sitting down and putting some thought into it.

I still believe that "pre alpha"/"kickstarter" claims are THE opportunity to "readress" designs.

This also holds true for economic decisions.

Otherwise the entire argument against changing their model is "now they said it, they cant go back or look weak."

To that I say, bullshit. Strength requires you to make the correct decisions and suck up your own words.
If they, for what ever reason realize that an alternative model fits the needs of this game better,
than its their facking choice to make the call.

Having fears of your public relation is the easiert of all pit fall as a company.

To everything the other 2 posters have said:
I m sorry, the information that disproves your concerns is
already in the thread and I m past the point of repeating myself.

If I failed to bring across the points the way I intended it, than so be it.
I m sure that you could find the solutions to your concerns if you truely
looked for them in my earlier posts.

06-03-2013, 09:42 AM
The opportunity to consider changing designs was before two years of development and not 3 months before soft launch. At this point we're far enough along that there shouldn't be any major design overhauls.

Also for future reference, your posts tend to be extremely long winded and slightly condescending; if you want to actually foster discussion and get your points across you should try to be more concise and understanding. Not sure if it's a language/cultural issue that just doesn't come across well online though.

06-03-2013, 09:45 AM


06-03-2013, 10:06 AM
Otherwise the entire argument against changing their model is "now they said it, they cant go back or look weak."

No the argument against changing their model is that they have made promises and taken money from people based on those promises. Going back on those promises is sleezy at best and criminal fraud at worst. It has nothing to do with admiting they made a mistake (they haven't), or appearing "week".

Anyway, the point of the existing AA cards is to be collector's versions of existing cards. This lets them hand out exclusive cards that will appeal to PvP players, without unbalancing the PvP metagame. It's a vert shrewd marketing choice and will benefit the health of the game long term.

This does not preclude adding card skins in addition to the existing AA card system. That's a different issue with different pros and cons. Personally I'm neutral on the question of whether it's a good feature, but opposed to spending resources to add it at this time (I would not for example be happy to hear they delayed release foe a moth to add card skins)

06-03-2013, 10:10 AM
Narya, rarity (supply) doesn't work like that, but demand is affected by comparables.

If you have two AAs available for a single card, the demand for any one of them is lower than just having a single AA for that card. Collectors *might* go after all, but people who just want to have a matching playset will just pick the one they prefer. That lowers demand for any ONE AA, although overall demand for AA of a card is stronger.

I'm a bit confused as to why collectors go after it if they aren't limited in the first place? You can adjust price and whatever, but if they're freely available at a fixed price at any time, it's no longer a collectible, but a commodity.

Also... you didn't really address the issue I presented about recognition of card art...

"It's not just "more options on art = better" - you want instantly recognizable cards on a glance of the artwork, alone. If you have several AA "skins" for a card, it'll make it really annoying, as well as potentially damage the game thematically."

06-03-2013, 10:14 AM
There have been multiple points made suggesting the "overhaul" could be minimal.
Unless you are talking about the 3 hours it takes to implement AA in the shop oO?

I know that I come across condescending, this is partially because of my inexperience
within the english language and partially because I fall victim to that trait far too quickly
given bad enough replies. (you see what I did there?)

Also being "concise" for me is one of the most overrated attributes in our current culture.
(not even considering the fact that the original post was marked as "active brainstorming")

Our obsession with time has already let to multiple damaging tendencies and priorities over
the years.

I might have the benefit of coming from a philosophical backround where people understand
that you cannot explain one thing in life without taking into consideration and reffering to
EVERYTHING else in life, and that the question "where to draw the line" is an entire topic
in and of itself.

Therefore I tend to view things from multiple perspectives, angles and in different scopes,
almost forcing me to "digress" to the point of possible confusion. Managing this trait is a
skill of every selfreflective person and I tend to err on the broad side of things and not the narrow one.

And I tend to get long on topics, because most topics cant be appropriatly discussed
without getting into the necessary depth. I know this forces a lot more motivation out
of "my readers", but it also increases the actual quality of each point made.
Our society is far away from the point where concise doesnt come at a cost of quality.

Also given the different verbal or cultural backrounds people have, it is my experience that
multiple different examples have a much higher chance of reaching a more diverse audience.
Being concise, again, sacrifices things at other ends for the sake of quick readability... its overrated.

TDLR: I m condescending when it feels appropriate to me. I dont accept bonus points for that.
I also know that it doesnt change the quality of any logical argument I make, just the sympathy for me.

EDIT: @ Tyrfang

Rare is by definition,
adj. rar·er, rar·est
1. Infrequently occurring; uncommon: a rare event; a plant that is rare in this region.
2. Excellent; extraordinary: a rare sense of honor.
3. Thin in density: rarefied: rare air.

2 AAs dont need to have the same audience that 1AA has.
If the fact that the 2AAs have different audiences targeted
increases the overall interest in AAs, than the rarity of each
individual Art can still be the same or even higher.

Again, the universal rarity of AA in general will be less,
but the rarity of each individual card can be undiminished.

And again, not all AAs should be buyable, never was the intention.

I already addressed that point multiple times.
There is still the "defaul" art that you have in pve and at the start of every card.
You can also "check" in the options to NEVER see any AA if you dont want to.

So if you want to "recognize" cards for mental shortcuts, pvp purposes,
emotional connection... than by all means, just either
1.) learn to count past 1 art per card
2.) just switch the entire system off and ignore it.

Different art has loads of possible benefits in this regard, not the last one
being the talk of people not knowing beforehand of certain possible Art of cards.

Nothing should be damaged by this.
Not the pve campaign.
not people not wanting to see these things.

Only people that 1.) want to use some alternate art AND
2.) are incapable of memorizing or bonding with more than 1 art per card.

That should be a small audience that deserves their own darwin award already.

They have no obligation WHAT SO EVER to even FINISH this product.
They just have to "give it their best shot".... yeah...

If you honestly insist that its the better quality of a company to hold true
to their earlier designs/statements, rather than learning from mistakes or new
concepts and updating their vision accordingly... than I have no words.

We donated, because we trust them... and we should trust them because
their statements made sense. Once their statements are questionend
successfully we should EXPECT them to change their freaking mind.

You second paragraph also has no meaning given the context of this thread.
The entire idea is to broaden the potential behind the idea of collectible art.
There is no need to hold on to the old design of actual cards being the property
in question. Why not change our usual interpretation and switch it to Art only?

There is no hurt done to any donater if the entire system gets designed around
this choice. Who cares if I get 6 Cards a year or 6 exclusive Arts a year? It will
still have the same value if its balanced accordingly.

06-03-2013, 10:35 AM
I agreed with your statement that rarity (supply) of a AA is not affected. I said the DEMAND is affected.
I never said 2 AA's have the exact same audience, just that they overlap.
If two AAs are available, people will gravitate towards the one they like better. You can't play two playsets of the same card in the same deck. That lowers the demand.

It's not the capability of memorizing more than 1 art per card. Images are a lot easier to remember than words. Adding additional artwork to the same card basically requires people to learn additional cards, or memorize the card titles rather than the images.

An option to turn off alternate-art is kind of a silly way of getting around that issue and might turn some people off of AA cards entirely...

Additional Info about Kickstarter: They do have an obligation to deliver pledge rewards. Yes, they could release some crippled piece of crap and throw boosters in your face with working drafts for a year and then close down, but if you don't deliver the rewards from pledge tiers...

"Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?
Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don't. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill." - http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter+basics

Also, an extremely public, embarrassing failure of this magnitude would permanently taint both Cory Jones and his company's image, effectively forcing an early retirement, so they do have more skin in the game than the average random indie without a KS, which would just disappear into vaporware.

06-03-2013, 10:42 AM
Again that depends on the overlap... given different enough art that should be minimal.
And even than you dont hurt the rarity of the really rare art... you just hurt the overall rarity
of AA which is unimportant anyways.

Items are not rare in this game... certain legendarys will be very valuable anyways. same for art.

Why would that be? Just learn multiple images and coordinate your subconscioussness to associate
them with the same card?

Big, great, giant, enormous, your brain knows synonyms. It already has this capacity easily accessible.
"Ah this is the kinky version of Lady Alex... Ah this is Lady Alex.... uuuh the gore version of Lady Alex eek".

The option to turn it all off is almost required or advisable given the different tastes of people.
You dont shut down your own Art mind you ... just the one of your opponents, so their taste
cant hurt your poor feelings. (yeah I wouldnt want some kid to see only sideboobs either).

That way no one needs to learn multiple cards if they dont want to, nor watch art they dislike.
They can just choose and learn their own cards if they so desire.

Also: the scope of how much art is actually desirable is a topic that can be
explored and discussed on its own, without impairing the general concensus at first.

06-03-2013, 10:44 AM
Again that depends on the overlap... given different enough art that should be minimal.
And even than you dont hurt the rarity of the really rare art... you just hurt the overall rarity
of AA which is unimportant anyways.

1) Why do you keep talking about rarity, when I'm talking about demand?

2) I find it difficult to believe that the norm would be AA cards so different that they have no overlap in demand, while given a set of design guidelines/themes or concept art/sketch to start from.

06-03-2013, 10:45 AM
Why would higher or lower demand ever hurt anything?

You cannot talk about demand without rarity or the other way around because they
depend on each other...

06-03-2013, 10:48 AM
If you honestly insist that its the better quality of a company to hold true
to their earlier designs/statements, rather than learning from mistakes or new
concepts and updating their vision accordingly... than I have no words.

I do not agree with your premiss that the current plan for AA cards is a mistake.

06-03-2013, 10:50 AM
Than be so kind and give the reasons for that in an overall conclusion with every
individual point explained. I ll be gratefull to read it.

06-03-2013, 10:51 AM
Why would higher or lower demand ever hurt anything?

You cannot talk about demand without rarity or the other way around because they
depend on each other...

Rarity is more-or-less synonymous with supply.
...stronger or weaker demand function of how many people play the card and the # of collectors who want the card.

Let's say of the 6 AA cards collectors get, one turns out the be unplayable, while another is almost a requirement for high level play (exaggeration for effect).
The "rare" AA card that no one ever plays will only be sought by die-hard collectors.
The equally "rare" AA card that everyone wants in a their deck will be wanted by more players (some % of which play the card as an AA, some are the collectors).

06-03-2013, 10:56 AM
Ok I see "our" missunderstanding.

Rarity is no synonym for supply... rarity equals demand divided by supply.
The value of things is usually a synonym for rarity. (or value = quality*rarity and rarity=demand/supply)

So sorry to say, but thats just a question of economics.

Yes if no one wants certain art its value will go down (its rarity first).
But it wont change the fact that there will exist rare Arts... so again oO?!?!?!

(the references for ecnonomy are VERY rough sketches, actual functions look more complex)

06-03-2013, 11:00 AM
I have no idea where you got your definition of rarity, but okay.

Ignoring that...
1) If there's two AAs of a card, the demand is affected compared to having just 1 AA.
2) If the demand is affected, the price is affected.


EDIT: Funny, my 1000th post, your 100th post.

06-03-2013, 11:01 AM
Than be so kind and give the reasons for that in an overall conclusion with every
individual point explained. I ll be gratefull to read it.

They current plan for AA cards enables them to release pvp promo cards, which will behave like the promo cards released for physical games. That will add a level to collecting, and allow PvP events to hand out unique participation rewards that are usable in PvP without altering the PvP metagame. It is also simple to manage (look at the card, to see what version it is). and is consistent with their "every card is unique" paradigm.

The only down side is that all AA cards need to fit the overall look/feel of the rest of the game. Which is just good design anyway so no real loss.

06-03-2013, 11:10 AM
1.) I answered that the demand musnt be highly effected dependend on the difference of the art.
2.) yes if demand is effected so is price/rarity/whatever... I never said that "common" art isnt cheap.
I just said there will be enough "rare" art with high price... so it doesnt matter that some art is cheap?

EDIT gz? I guess ^^.


They can still give out AA on these events oO? the only difference is its skins not cards.
That effects the balance even less. (and nothing of these should every effect any metagame oO)

06-03-2013, 11:13 AM
...I don't care anymore.

06-03-2013, 11:32 AM

They can still give out AA on these events oO? the only difference is its skins not cards.
That effects the balance even less. (and nothing of these should every effect any metagame oO)

OK, you're almost to the point of agreeing with me.

So long as they do not change the existing AA cards, adding a skin option in addition, is not necessarily bad. However redesigning the client so that every card can be reskinned (because they do not have that capability now) is likely a lot of work. That work will take time and time is money.

I'd rather they didn't put their resources into something purely cosmetic as this time, as they have so much more functional work to go (getting the game to release quality, creating/balancing set 2 and 3, adding tablet support, adding tournament formats, creating more dungeons, etc.)

And I certainly don't want them backpedaling on the existence of traditional AA cards, because in addition to trashing the expected value of my collector tier, it would limit their ability to hand out promo cards in the future which will be bad for the game long term.

Furthermore if they were to implement card skins the only clean way to do it would be by activating the skin it changes the appearance of all "default art"* cards to match the active skin, in your client only. As this resolves the "adult content" issue and the "card recognition" issue to the extent that it is possible to do so. But realistically they won't be able to sell "adult content" skins anyway unless they want their ESRB rating to reflect that and I doubt they do.

* should not affect AA cards