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Phenteo
05-15-2015, 11:16 AM
Join Ben Stoll in jumping into this Friday update to talk about what it's like being a Game Designer. We know many of you are interested!

Oh, and there are a couple set 3 cards in there. ;)

http://hextcg.com/hex-update-becoming-a-game-designer/

Kami
05-15-2015, 11:34 AM
Great article! :D

Taqo
05-15-2015, 11:35 AM
mmmm vampire princess mmmmm *drools* :eek:

Kami
05-15-2015, 11:45 AM
mmmm vampire princess mmmmm *drools* :eek:

All I can think of is pairing her up with Queen Grace for B/D control....

nicosharp
05-15-2015, 11:50 AM
Thanks Ben for some insight. I'm sure many of us have at times dreamed of becoming game designers. It's fascinating, but also for many of us out of reach due to certain life circumstances. I hope, the community can at least be a muse/point of inspiration for your work. For some of us, the feedback and ideas we provide are heavily coated in the dream of being game designers ourselves.

Humility and Work Ethic will take anyone, in any career with fair and observant employers, from the bottom to the top. It's nice to be able to experience the benefits of that wise knowledge, several years now into my own career.

theghost32
05-15-2015, 11:55 AM
with vampire king in there as well

Vorsa
05-15-2015, 11:55 AM
Purge is expensive, but basically a game-ender for troop-heavy decks (which is good for me as I don't have the patience for control decks). :)

Vampiric Kiss is pretty nifty, and Vampiric Princess is a stonkingly good rare - 3/4 lifedrain flyer with a great ability and a fun random one too!

P.S. Set 4 Vampire Prince rare w/ signature Vampiric card targeting resources - art = Vampire Princess + Poldark farmer. For the fans! :o

Aradon
05-15-2015, 12:00 PM
10/10 article, will be reading again.

Thanks for a great update!
As for Vampire Princess, she'll be great in draft, but I don't think she'll be making too many splashes in constructed. Might be good against control decks, since she can get on the board before control reaches 3 mana, if you're on the play. Probably eats a removal spell right away, but that's not awful.

BlackRoger
05-15-2015, 12:00 PM
Hmm, is the princess ability a may ability?
Will we be asked every time we play a kiss if we want to cast it for free, Or will it just change all kisses to 0 cost?

Aradon
05-15-2015, 12:10 PM
Hmm, is the princess ability a may ability?
Will we be asked every time we play a kiss if we want to cast it for free, Or will it just change all kisses to 0 cost?

Good catch. Reads as a may ability to me. You should be able to cast it for 3 or for 0. It ought to use an interface like tunnelers, where you get the choice to hardcast it or cast it for free when you click it. Of course, it could be changed by the time the set goes live to read "Vampire Kisses you cast cost 0."

bootlace
05-15-2015, 01:07 PM
Appreciating these meaty Friday updates. It's interesting to hear the process/philosophy that goes behind making this game, and hope Ben turns this into a regular column. I know it's suppose to be about general game design, but it becomes even more interesting when the points are tied to specific examples from Hex like:

-How are the sets planned out? Is it top down, story driven, book driven, trait driven? For example Set 2 seemed to take a big inspiration from the Accidental Knight book with some characters appearing (Lady Shimmer) as well as abilities like Tunneling which were featured in the book.

-More "stories behind the cards" like the Plant Garden example, they're interesting to hear and turns the point from purely theoretical to something we can easily understand.

-What are some of the difficult/fun/interesting decisions that have been made - whether it's to swing the meta one way, promote a healthier game flow, or other things we might be currently enjoying but we have no idea of the work that went behind the scenes to make it happen.

-What are some underlying core principles the design team is following. For example it seems there's a strict intention to not easily allow infinite combos and many activated abilities have at least 1 resource cost attached to them.

-Champions: everyone noticed the power creep in Set 2, why was that done, how were they decided, how does the design team view Champions' role in the context of the game - this is a whole new area that I'm sure Ben could write a book about. Is the whole point of champions just meant to be yet another thing we can customize in this "create-your-own-TCG" sandbox Hex is creating or are there deeper levels to it in terms of fun than that.

I'm sure Chark, Chris, Tyler have just as many topics they could blog about in terms of the economy, AI, and art respectively. I'd also love to hear more random statistics from DataDragon (for example do we have data like what's the average pick number of a card like Wind Whisperer in draft, or what's the record for most consecutive tournament wins by a single player, etc)

Maybe in the future when things are more stable we'll be lucky enough to get regular columns from those guys as well :)

Daer
05-15-2015, 01:10 PM
The art for Vampire Princess is amazing.

exiledtyrant
05-15-2015, 01:32 PM
The art for purge looks awesome. It's like they said judgement looks cool, but purge has to look melt the screen fantastic.

Yoss
05-15-2015, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the column, Ben! I look forward to more! Even from this small introduction, I think I can make some progress on my pet game design project. Again, thank you. :)

Rycajo
05-15-2015, 02:08 PM
Does "play for free" bypass threshold requirements?

Xenavire
05-15-2015, 02:14 PM
Does "play for free" bypass threshold requirements?

It depends on the method. From the hand would need a specific line to exempt it from threshold. Anything that is in a different zone tends to not need threshold, so playing from the deck or void generally ignores threshold. We can't check playing from the graveyard, since the only examples we have use 'put'.

So I believe the Coyotle spoiled by MMORPG.com (Indigo Dreamwalker), as well as the Vampire Princess, will both still be restricted by threshold. It does depend on if the modifier acts like an ability though - if it works like tunneling, it may have a chance to ignore threshold, so we will probably have to wait until we can test it in the client.

Mahes
05-15-2015, 02:23 PM
The new vampire is missing lethal. Yeah, I am looking at you Vampire Nighthawk.

At 3 cost she is a pretty good creature being a 2/3 Flying Lifedrainer. Her ability is descent.

DocX
05-15-2015, 02:40 PM
Very much looking forward to several game design articles. This one was a great start.

BenStoll
05-15-2015, 05:00 PM
Thanks Ben for some insight. I'm sure many of us have at times dreamed of becoming game designers. It's fascinating, but also for many of us out of reach due to certain life circumstances. I hope, the community can at least be a muse/point of inspiration for your work. For some of us, the feedback and ideas we provide are heavily coated in the dream of being game designers ourselves.

Humility and Work Ethic will take anyone, in any career with fair and observant employers, from the bottom to the top. It's nice to be able to experience the benefits of that wise knowledge, several years now into my own career.

Yeah, well said! And thanks, those of you with various kind words and thoughts about the article :)

The community is absolutely both a muse and a point of inspiration for my work. Good gravy, Bootlace's post is just filled to the brim with great ideas for stuff to write about! The community is a consistently impressive force of enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, intelligence, and creativity, and generally seems to project the good vibes that we're trying to build the perfect home for...the community definitely inspires me to want to do the best work I can; I've certainly never put as much of myself and my effort into creative endeavor, game design or otherwise, as Hex, and the community absolutely functions as some of the fuel there.

Lefto
05-16-2015, 07:05 AM
Does "play for free" bypass threshold requirements?

Even if it does, princess' threshold requirement covers kiss' requirement, so it would have to be a borderline case in which it would matter since the princess needs to be in play for her ability to be active.

nickon
05-18-2015, 08:18 AM
Even if it does, princess' threshold requirement covers kiss' requirement, so it would have to be a borderline case in which it would matter since the princess needs to be in play for her ability to be active.

Kiss is also a card you can include in your deck, not only a token created off of princess' ability. So you could for instance have a opening hand with a princess and a kiss, but still needing to fulfill the threshold requirements at that point.

Lefto
05-18-2015, 08:23 AM
Kiss is also a card you can include in your deck, not only a token created off of princess' ability. So you could for instance have a opening hand with a princess and a kiss, but still needing to fulfill the threshold requirements at that point.

She still needs to be in play for the ability to be active. In other words you can't play free kisses UNLESS she is in play in which case more often than not the threshold requirement will already be met.

Xenavire
05-18-2015, 09:05 AM
For those claiming you need Vampire Princess in play - you can bypass threshold requirements in multiple ways, so getting the princess into play doesn't guarantee you have the threshold. So the question is valid.

Lefto
05-18-2015, 10:24 AM
For those claiming you need Vampire Princess in play - you can bypass threshold requirements in multiple ways, so getting the princess into play doesn't guarantee you have the threshold. So the question is valid.

Please indulge me and come up with a viable scenario (or any scenario for that matter) where you have Vampire Princess in your starting hand and she ends up on the board without you meeting the one BLOOD threshold required for the kisses :)
And btw I didn't say it wasn't a valid question, I just said that it would have to be an extreme case where it would actually matter.

The only possible scenario I can come up with, involves Resurrection where you have Vampire Princess in your deck but don't play any blood shards. Then she has to be in your starting hand and you have to find a way to discard her by the time you play Resurrection and you can finally put her in play... yeah like that's ever gonna happen :)

However, there is one less extreme (yet almost equally unlikely) scenario which involves stealing a Princess you opponent had in their starting hand via Mancubus' ability. Ofc set 3 might introduce more troop stealing, so it could actually become less of an unlikely scenario.

And finally, my guess is that in any case there would be no threshold check for the kisses when you can play them for free (which is how troops played for free work when you play against the angel in the arena afaik).

Gwaer
05-18-2015, 10:52 AM
Discard her by going to 8 cards in hand, use Rutherford banks power to put a troop in gy into play, don't even have blood resources in the deck. There are a bunch of ways to get cards into play, that will only increase as time goes on.

Xenavire
05-18-2015, 11:04 AM
The new human card in saph could do it too, as could a crazy EoC deck where you manage to get the princess back into the deck. There are plenty of valid ways to 'cheat' things into play, and as Gwaer said, they will only increase with time.

Aradon
05-18-2015, 11:32 AM
Yeah, it's possible, but probably will never occur in competitive play. Extreme corner cases. However, if we refer to Magic's rulings, even if you are casting spells for free, you still need to pay additional costs and meet any other requirements for casting spells. For example, MtG has some spells that you can only cast during combat. If you were to play those for free somehow, you'd still need to obey the restrictions on how you can cast it. As long as Threshold is a restriction (You may cast this only if you meet this threshold requirement) I don't think you'd be able to cast it, even for 'free.'

However, this is a point I expect CZE will change, and specifically note that playing things for free bypasses color restrictions. It's pretty intuitive that way, in my opinion, and will most often line with the intent of 'free spells.' After all, getting something for free and then not being able to get it at all is not fun. They'll lean towards the more fun option, guaranteed.

So: By MtG rules, you'd still need the threshold. By CZE's implementation, I expect you not to need the threshold. In the meantime, do we have any other 'play for free' effects in game right now? I know we have Angel of Dawn, but the free ability specifically requires you to have the right threshold too. I can't think of any other effects off the top of my head that use the 'play for free' wording.

Gwaer
05-18-2015, 11:57 AM
MTG doesn't have the equivalent for threshold. So there's really no way to say by mtg rules you'd need it. That's a pretty big stretch. To my knowledge any play for free effect we have immediately enters play, so it's pretty difficult to say how this should all shake out without actually seeing what happens.

Xenavire
05-18-2015, 12:01 PM
Prince Talysen voids cards and plays them for free. That is one in favour of bypassing threshold (from a 'it is possible' standpoint.)

Jankbot also plays things from the deck for free, so that would be two.

Chimes is a bit iffy, it creates and puts on the chain, so could go either way there.

Zero examples from the hand though as far as I can remember.

Aradon
05-18-2015, 01:30 PM
Ah, I forgot those two. Does Talysen's ability bypass color restrictions? I guess I'll make a deck and check. It should function exactly the same, as it is the same mechanical action. The only differences are where you're playing the card from (irrelevant, since you are still playing the card for free) and the timing, which is also irrelevant to whether or not you can play it.

And I disagree about Magic not having threshold equivalents that we can work with. Threshold is just a requirement to be met. If you meet it, you can cast the spell. If you don't meet it, you can't cast it. MtG's rules can interpret that just fine. But, since we have direct implementation in the game already, we don't need to speculate off another game now.

Edit: Okay, can confirm that Talysen doesn't care about thresholds when he plays cards for free, so you will not need your blood threshold to play Vampiric Kisses for free. You still need to get the Princess in play to get the benefit, of course.

Xenavire
05-18-2015, 01:55 PM
Ah, I forgot those two. Does Talysen's ability bypass color restrictions? I guess I'll make a deck and check. It should function exactly the same, as it is the same mechanical action. The only differences are where you're playing the card from (irrelevant, since you are still playing the card for free) and the timing, which is also irrelevant to whether or not you can play it.

And I disagree about Magic not having threshold equivalents that we can work with. Threshold is just a requirement to be met. If you meet it, you can cast the spell. If you don't meet it, you can't cast it. MtG's rules can interpret that just fine. But, since we have direct implementation in the game already, we don't need to speculate off another game now.

There can always be rules that say you need to meet the threshold requirements during casting (which is different from playing something for free.) Nothing from Talysen of Jank Bot are cast, only played.

I expect the Vampire Kisses to require the threshold, but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised if they could bypass the threshold entirely.

Aradon
05-18-2015, 02:03 PM
/shrug. Play and cast are identical (for spells) in MtG. Is there a distinction between the two that you are expecting in Hex?

Xenavire
05-18-2015, 02:42 PM
/shrug. Play and cast are identical (for spells) in MtG. Is there a distinction between the two that you are expecting in Hex?

Well, I use cast as a way to differentiate between putting something on the chain, and putting something on the chain from the hand. Cast is probably the wrong word for it, but sue me if I don't feel like typing it out all the time. :p

But Hex has other key changes that make this seem entirely possible.

nickon
05-19-2015, 03:06 AM
I totally misinterpretted the part were it says VP gets "You can play VK's for free" and hence this effect only works when she's in play :)

Kind of makes the 'free to play cards' threshold discussion obsolete for this specific scenario as it is indeed a niche play where you can get her into play without having the BB threshold.