Revolutionary Ideas that are Changing the Card Gaming Scene
Card games have been a staple of home and public entertainment for well over a century. From those devised with classic playing cards all the way through to collectible sports cards and trading card games, it’s tough to understate the innate appeal of a well-made card game. Now, while many people do still like to play the likes of Bridge competitively and casually without the involvement of technology, what’s made card gaming so appealing over the last decade or so has been revolutionary ideas that are made possible by modern tech. Here, we’re looking at the leading examples of these ideas put into action.
Flipping the Script on Deck-building Games
Many trading and collectible card games revolve around players amassing several cards with synergies and then building decks to make the most of these. The Pokémon TCG is the classic example of this, simply due to how massive the franchise is now, with people opening randomized packs to get cards and build decks out of those cards. A Game of Thrones works a bit differently, being a CCG, with players buying set expansions to increase the pool of specific cards that they can deck build with to take on other set collections of each house. In 2018, the creator of the legendary Magic: The Gathering card game, Richard Garfield, finally released his next big idea thanks to the printing technology becoming available, per IGN.
Rather than randomizing cards in packs or releasing set expansion, this card game releases completely randomized deck boxes that are taken out of the box and played with immediately. The KeyForge game is revolutionary, cutting out all of the time of deck-building while appeasing the classic card pack thrill of discovering if you’ve drawn a lucky pack. Due to the complete randomization of each deck pack – which are presently drawn from three of ten “houses” and a pool of over 1,300 cards to create near-40-card decks – each match played is also a unique experience. As relayed in this Polygon interview, KeyForge’s procedural generation engine can create 104 quadrillion different decks. Not only is it a new way to play cards, but it’s also much more accessible than the common deck-building title.
Enhancing the Online Experience with Face-to-face Gaming
There’s something that has long been lost in the online card gaming space, with that primarily being the lack of face-to-face interaction, discussion, or reading of the opposition. This isn’t just a poker thing: even when playing the likes of KeyForge, you want to see your opponent’s reactions and thinking process. Naturally, some games like Hearthstone online have cultivated a huge audience despite this part of the experience being lost, but there are increasing ways for some card games to get that authentic gaming experience. Cards Against Humanity has become a wildly popular party game with friends, but through the years of Zoom and Google Meets hangouts, it was left to collect dust due to how the deck could only be in one place at a time.
Luckily, the PlayingCards.io platform came to save the day. Coupled with a live stream video call, it allows you and your friends to play the same card game, like CAH, as though you were together in person. Some of the more classic card games have run with the use of live stream technology, with Betway blackjack being a prime example of this. There are the video format blackjack games, but the most popular now are the live games, where the player is streamed to a table with a professional croupier to play blackjack in real-time. It makes online card gaming all the more authentic and competitive, which is what the upcoming CardBoard.live site hopes to replicate for other card and board games, with their initial focus being on Magic: The Gathering.
Giving Value to Digital Cards, for Now
The buzzword in gaming right now, for better or for worse, is “NFT.” NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are an advancement in digital ownership that’s been made possible by the rise of blockchains. These NFTs are completely unique and cannot be replicated, ensuring that when you buy a digital asset, you get the exact one that you wanted. This does sound good for digital card gaming as, with tight controls, rare digital cards can remain as such. Perhaps the biggest right now is the Gods Unchained free TCG to start, which emphasizes the collecting of rare cards, deck building, and selling of those cards on the in-game market for their perceived values. Right now, there’s a lot of hype around anything with “NFT” attached due to the news stories stating how people are getting rich off of these digital items.
Game companies are even leaning into the “play-to-earn” mantra, as seen with the new Skyweaver launch, to make a distinction from “pay-to-win.” Still, when the markets settle, or publishers and gamers inevitably become disinterested, there will be far more losers than winners. In theory, a TCG on a blockchain like the Splinterlands platform can offer a way to authenticate every card that anyone gets to allow for a more realistic sense of collecting and rarity. Right now, though, people are paying huge sums of time and money to get virtual items that, down the line, may not even be applicable anywhere or have tangible value beyond a game that almost certainly won’t run for ten years, let alone have items still perceived as valuable by that time.
New printing technology, live streaming, and blockchains are drastically changing how we can play card games at home, at tournaments, and online.