Design Thoughts: Cards in State of Wonder

Hello and Welcome to Design by Night where we will discuss cards for the Game State of Wonder that I’m working on at the moment.

What is State of Wonder?

State of Wonder is a card game, where you play as the leader of a city state and the cards you play represent the culture of the people you lead, are they powerful warriors, smart saboteurs or master builder and economists? This is all represented by the cards that you put in your deck and there are 3 kinds of cards to put in your deck.

Firstly, we have Building cards, Building cards are locked in your city and can do things such as training soldiers, generate gold, repair damaged buildings and fortifications, give your soldiers better gear and more. The buildings are the core of most decks as they are what allows you to gain an advantage outside of the cards you bring to the table.

Secondly we have unit cards, unit cards are soldiers, champions to wage war with your enemies and destroy their city state, players can also use units to protect themselves from opposing players units.

Then we have Fortifications, Defensive walls to protect your buildings from enemy units to give you more time, Fortifications give you an advantage while fighting in your city, as your opponent has to destroy your fortifications before they can attack your units and buildings.


What does these cards let you do as a player?

So the buildings are enablers, they let the player play more cards or create new cards in the form of unit or fortification tokens, they can also make existing units or fortifications better by giving them special abilities or higher stats.

Buildings can also hinder your opponent, by interacting with their city in different ways, such as stealing gold and stopping other buildings from working.

Then we have units, Units are the primary conflict resolver of the game. They physically attack your opponents, by you declaring war with a player. Units can create sieges on your opponents, trying to destroy their fortifications, buildings and slaying the player themselves.

Fortifications on the other hand try to stop units long enough for you to build your own units to break the siege.

What kind of game play does these 3 kinds of cards promote?

The game play we have gotten from testing these card types against each other has been largely based on siege warfare, players go to war with each other as the primary interactive method is units fighting each other.


Players play the game by either, building buildings and fortifications and try to generate a huge army through my buildings, with some defensive units to protect themselves from early sieges and then just send their huge army to obliterate my opponent OR the game is a rush game, where players just throw out 1 or 2 strong units and chuck them at each others health totals.

The game play all depends on the balance of the cards, if units are strong, the second of these happens, if fortifications are strong the first kind of play happens and the thing is, that we need a mix of these play styles for the game to play well.

What is my plan to solve this?

I want to differentiate the abilities of units and buildings, units do combat and are only doing combat, while buildings interact over city lines. You can hire an assassin to do some dirty work for you, but that will be a building that does that, not a unit that first kills a unit and then is a unit, at least not in the beginning, this allows for more interesting, stronger combat units, while freeing space for buildings to perform well.

Buildings fight over the city lines, interrupting other players plans, by destroying units, stealing gold, capturing units, disallowing use of buildings etc etc. exactly what buildings will perform mechanically is up in the air right now. But they will be designed to interact over city lines.

Fortifications on the other hand will stop both units and buildings, by making it harder to perform disruptive actions and protecting units and buildings within your city and protecting you from attacks.

I hope that this will be a workable design as the game is planned to go into beta over the next 2 months (Panic!)

But that is it for the day, If you have any feedback please comment or send me an E-mail with the feedback and if you want to know more about State of Wonder, you can look into our Facebook group here:

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