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Infinity Wars - *Animated* Trading Card Game
Care Bear Nov 14, 2012 @ 7:28pm
My short list of ideas for making this game a success
1) Common, Uncommon and Rares should only be used for card frequency, NOT power. Too many TCGs make this mistake. If rare = power, then the game quickly becomes pay-to-win. P2W only works when you already have a 10 million player market share. Otherwise, this just discourages new players which, as a new game, is your bread and butter.

Cardinal Rule: No card (common or otherwise) should ever be a "throw away" card. Every card should have equal value when it comes to deck building.

2) Account spammers must be stopped. All F2P games have issues with people creating accounts for the sole purpose of spamming their RMT site in all chat channels, or simply to grief other players. Banning accounts doesn't work if a new account can be set up in just a few minutes to continue the spamming.

A solution that works well is to create a lengthy gameplay tutorial that all new accounts must complete. The tutorial should take several hours to complete, something that is fun the first time, but painful to complete multiple times (*only people that have their account banned would ever have to do it more than once). It should have just enough random elements to deter automation. Perhaps you could offer account bound cards as a reward upon completion. New accounts would have restricted access to all chat channels until the tutorial was completed.

The upside to this is account spammers will have to invest a large amount of time before they can gain access to the open chat channels. Every time a spammer is removed, they must make another large time investment to start spamming again. Eventually time wasted out-weighs potential gains. And since legitimate new players will want to play a tutorial to learn the game, there is no down side to this.

3) Card skins! If we've learned anything from the F2P market is that people will spend money on things that have absolutely no impact on gameplay. You can even have common, uncommon, rare, epic and legendary skins which can add increased value to cards.

Give the cards away for free, cash in on the skins. ;-)

4) Encourage players to play the game by giving them small amounts of game currency for simply playing the game. Dungeons and Dragons Online is one of the most successful F2P games because they offer small amounts of "Turbine Points" (the same ones that are purchasable in the online store) as rewards for playing the game. Many new F2P games are following this model.

This works on multiple levels:

Firstly, the more incentive players have for playing the game, the more they will play. Higher player concurrency leads to a more active and social game community, both in and out of the game. The more social community outside of the game attracts new players, and the more active community in the game helps retain those new players.

Secondly, as players earn points to buy new cards, packs, skins, etc.. they slowly familiarize themselves with the store and all it has to offer. You could even have a quest as part of the game tutorial that requires the player to purchase a card skin (quest reward would equal the cost of the card skin). Eventually some of those players will want more from the store than they are able to get simply by playing the game and that's when they become paying customers.

More players = More potential paying customers.

5) Daily, Weekly and perhaps even Monthly Rewards. Offer daily rewards such as "Win 1 Match" or "Play 3 Matches". Weekly rewards could be "Reach a cumulative 200 remaining Health/Morale from all wins" or "Play 10 matches that last longer than 20 rounds" for examples. Monthly rewards could be used to encourage players to use a diverse set of cards in their decks and would change from month to month. Some could be as simple as "Attack with a Wealthy Noble" or more complicated like "Have a Beast Character make a killing blow during the attack phase while buffed by a Pack Leader".

Again the goal here is to give players rewards for reaching certain goals while encouraging them to play the game. Daily goals are for the casual "few games per day" crowd. Weekly goals are for the "Weekend Warrior" achiever crowd. And Monthly goals are for the "Deck Crafter" achievement specialist crowd.


* Note *

These are obviously not original ideas. They are selected from amongst the most succesful F2P games of today. I had more that I wanted to include, but this post has already become a great wall of text. I'm sure a tl;dr is about to follow. :-)
Showing 1-15 of 25 comments
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AgentCoyle  [developer] Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:06am 
tl;dr
AgentCoyle  [developer] Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:08am 
j/ks of course. :P All excellent ideas, a few we've already been working on behind the scenes. It's a knife-edge between letting everyone know what we're doing (giving away our best mechanics to our competition) and not saying enough to encourage upvotes/backers.

Nonetheless, many thanks and we'll actually discuss your long ♥♥♥ post of awesome during our next design meeting.
WWKnight Nov 15, 2012 @ 4:16pm 
Excellent suggestions. Those weekly/monthly quest ideas get me excited!

Several hour long tutorial not so much :-/
Care Bear Nov 15, 2012 @ 8:29pm 
Originally posted by WWKnight:
Excellent suggestions. Those weekly/monthly quest ideas get me excited!

Several hour long tutorial not so much :-/

The lengthly tutorial would be a one shot deal. It would be used to learn game mechanics, rules, cards and user interface. But most imporatantly it would deter advertising spammers. If you've ever played 'Age of Empires Online' or 'League of Legends' you know what I mean by how these spammers ruin chat channels for everyone else. Public chat is just one big wall of spam.

Now I'm hungry. ;-)
Koowluh Nov 16, 2012 @ 6:13am 
An hour long tutorial will not only deter the spammers but honest players as well. I'd rather see another mechanic to beat spammers or cheaters. The ability to squelch players for yourself is one of them. As to deter cheating (mass account creation etc.) other mechanics are available. Cards on the account could become tradeable after a few days for example, which is ample time for a script to pick mass account creations from the same IP out of the pile.

Koey Nov 16, 2012 @ 3:53pm 
It has been "confirmed" there is some form of the weekly quest/challenge on KS.

Instead of a long tutorial wouldn't it make it easier to finish like 1 part of the single player campaign before people are allowed to trade/post/etc? This way it emerges the player in the game rather than lengthy hand holding tutorials.

Care Bear Nov 16, 2012 @ 7:04pm 
Point taken. Instead of calling it a "tutorial" it could be called the beginning act or first part.

The point is that the open chat channels need to be close off from brand new accounts and access to them must be earned. Otherwise those channels of communication get turned off and are never utilized by legit players.
Koowluh Nov 17, 2012 @ 2:44am 
I love how DDO has done that; your first character on the account can not leave the first island until finishing the quests there. The chat channels itself are bound to area, so you do not have spam of newbies requiring help or advertising spam.

Once you finish the island (takes about 20 minutes if you know what you are doing), any other characters you create are free to leave anytime.

The items you got on your newbie account are enough to get you into the game, but there is nothing to be gained by mass creation of accounts and running through the island over and over again. The so called favor run that you can do within about an hour of playing nets you just a tiny bit of ingame currency not to make it worthwhile the effort.

Furthermore, accounts not paid for are limited to only 2 characters per account per server. Something similar can be done here; new accounts are limited to 2 different saved decks, but no more. That restriction lifts within a few days, unless you make your account premium right there, similar to what TF2 does too.

I'm not for a clear distinction between premium and free though. A free account should be able to do just as much as any paid account within a few days. I shouldn't be able to see if my opponent is a free player unless he/she plays the cards from the initial deck that is given to you on the start.
WWKnight Nov 17, 2012 @ 4:55am 
I may be crucified for this...

But I honestly wouldnt mind the idea of paying $2 - $5 to unlock more deck spaces. A very small microtransaction that unlocks more slots to save multiple decks in. One thing I am very aware of at the moment is I am incredibly cheap. I wouldn't shout if a shark bit me under the best of circumstances.

I plan on unlocking every card upon release (thanks to my kickstarter donation) and staying on top of new releases with ingame currency from that point on. But this brings me to a dilemma. I want to keep my money, but I also want to support the guys who are clearly working very hard to create this great game for me.

If we were allowed to save 3 decks, and any new deck after that would require deleting a previous one, I think that would be reasonable. If you find that method taxing, paying a few extra dollars (and these are Australian dollars here... its practically pocket lint) would allow to to make 3 more decks etc etc.

Im not sure how data clouds work, how much servers cost and what space, if any, a saved deck would take, but I think this would be a good solution for Lightmare to keep upkeep/make a tiny profit.

However, as mentioned before among one of the many pages our conversations have sprawled across... As soon as you develop ingame drafting, I will very much adopt the attitude of "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!"
Koey Nov 17, 2012 @ 5:34am 
Luke - I know its you.
I see a lot of game that has deck space as a limit, but I think Infinity War should avoid it for these several reason.
They are trying to introduce a new faction ever month or two.
People would like to build a new deck for these, they are more likely to Super Starter Booster which probably is their aim to begin with.
I know a lot of people seeing the limited deck space will just play with their old decks and be less inclined to buy super booster starter decks as people would be like wait I have to buy a starter deck then unlock a spot?
It also limits deck building which is the main course of a TCG. If I know I only have 3 space what most people will do is create 2 main decks to try out then a 3rd one to mess around. What happens if someone made the 3rd deck so good they want to keep it. Then they are less likely to build a new faction and just tinker with the old ones. Limiting the amount of games, as you cannot only survive on Paying players. Then eventually get bored and leave.
This seems to go against the original goal of Infinity Wars.

Koowuh
I agree TF2 introduces a good model where people can support maps. This is why I suggested Faction Specific Packs like if you buy this pack it guarantees all the cards are from this faction, but cost maybe 2-3 of a regular booster pack ingame.
I know what TF2 is limited number of Items in the inventory which unlocks with a single purchase of everything which I can see this game do. But definitely not every $x you spend you unlock this space. As that makes the game too money grabbing for a deck building game.

Do not forget the fact that premium is just a faster progressioned freemium they should not be allienated cause of the fact they are not paying. A lot of games can be done by seeing who has DLC for what content. As each facton is earnable through constant play. Someone could save up tons of points and drop them on 300 normal packs on the first day of a faction they like and you wouldn't know they didn't spend $30 on those cards.

@All
Instead maybe you can exchange unwanted cards to upgrade your # of decks instead.
Like each card traded is worth a separate curreny used for upgrades or as a trading currency.
(ie. Common is worth 1 pt, Uncommon 2 pt, Rare 10 pt, etc based on the rarity index)
Then maybe you can unlock a deck spot with like every 10-15 slot. Or have a leveling system that unlocks more deck slots the more you play. Cause I despise games that force you to pay for deck spots.

Oops wall of text.
Care Bear Nov 17, 2012 @ 8:03am 
Originally posted by Koowluh:
I love how DDO has done that; your first character on the account can not leave the first island until finishing the quests there. The chat channels itself are bound to area, so you do not have spam of newbies requiring help or advertising spam.

So true. DDO made all the right decisions when it came to F2P design. The Island of Korthos (newbie zone) is an excellent set of starter quests for new players to learn the game and at the same time keeps account spammers at bay.

Originally posted by WWKnight:
I may be crucified for this...

But I honestly wouldnt mind the idea of paying $2 - $5 to unlock more deck spaces. A very small microtransaction that unlocks more slots to save multiple decks in. One thing I am very aware of at the moment is I am incredibly cheap. I wouldn't shout if a shark bit me under the best of circumstances.

I plan on unlocking every card upon release (thanks to my kickstarter donation) and staying on top of new releases with ingame currency from that point on. But this brings me to a dilemma. I want to keep my money, but I also want to support the guys who are clearly working very hard to create this great game for me.

If we were allowed to save 3 decks, and any new deck after that would require deleting a previous one, I think that would be reasonable. If you find that method taxing, paying a few extra dollars (and these are Australian dollars here... its practically pocket lint) would allow to to make 3 more decks etc etc.

I would back this idea 100%. I would perhaps allow for 5 saved decks that were opened through the course of the campaign. But there definitly needs to be some sort of revenue model linked to number of saved decks. Most F2P RPGs charge for additional character slots, League of Legends started with 3 rune pages and then charged for more, and they weren't cheap either.

Originally posted by Koey:
I see a lot of game that has deck space as a limit, but I think Infinity War should avoid it for these several reason.
They are trying to introduce a new faction ever month or two.
People would like to build a new deck for these, they are more likely to Super Starter Booster which probably is their aim to begin with.
I know a lot of people seeing the limited deck space will just play with their old decks and be less inclined to buy super booster starter decks as people would be like wait I have to buy a starter deck then unlock a spot?
It also limits deck building which is the main course of a TCG. If I know I only have 3 space what most people will do is create 2 main decks to try out then a 3rd one to mess around. What happens if someone made the 3rd deck so good they want to keep it. Then they are less likely to build a new faction and just tinker with the old ones. Limiting the amount of games, as you cannot only survive on Paying players. Then eventually get bored and leave.
This seems to go against the original goal of Infinity Wars.

Perhaps additional deck slots could be optionally bundled with every new starter deck? Buy the starter deck and get 50% off the deck slot?

@All
Instead maybe you can exchange unwanted cards to upgrade your # of decks instead.
Like each card traded is worth a separate curreny used for upgrades or as a trading currency.
(ie. Common is worth 1 pt, Uncommon 2 pt, Rare 10 pt, etc based on the rarity index)
Then maybe you can unlock a deck spot with like every 10-15 slot. Or have a leveling system that unlocks more deck slots the more you play. Cause I despise games that force you to pay for deck spots.

Oops wall of text.

I hear what your saying. It all comes down to this: There must be a sustainable revenue model for the game to be a success. For every feature that is given away for free, the revenue has to be made up somewhere else. If paying for slots meant the cards were easier to get, then it's all the same in the end.

WWKnight Nov 17, 2012 @ 2:08pm 
Carlos - Damn, and I went out and bought a disguise and everything! :P

See, if i were in the situation you described where I had 2 decks I liked and a fiddle around space and then I found I had a deck I really liked, I wouldnt be inclined to stop buying boosters. Id be more inclined to spend that little tiny bit of money and unlock new slots. Whatever the numbers are, be it 1 slot, 3 slots, 5 slots or 10 slots that you start off, whatever... The key to this working is that the cost to unlock new slots has to be small, so it can be considered an impulse buy. "What? I have to delete one of my decks? But I like them. Well, its only $3, I may as well buy more slots".

Care Bear - Im glad someone saw the message in my inane ramble :P I dont know about numbers, im sure the guys at Lightmare know what they are doing. Id definately prefer 5 slots to start off with as well. That way I could get one of each current faction, and a slot to play silly buggers with.
Care Bear Nov 17, 2012 @ 2:38pm 
Or how about a "bulk" buy option. 50 deck slots for $15!?!

;-)
J-Boy85 Nov 17, 2012 @ 3:19pm 
I'm subscribing tothe Joss Whedon approach to content: "I'd rather make something 100 people NEED to see than something 1000 people want to see" Lightmare are making a game they always wanted to see out there and for players that desperately want this type of game. If League of Legends is anything to go by a great game free to play can still draw in cash. I don't think we have to worry about them living out of shoe boxes just yet
WWKnight Nov 17, 2012 @ 3:36pm 
In the case of Firefly, I wish 100 people wanted to see it. Namely, the executives at Fox! *Shakes fist*
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