Trading and deceiving

In the previous blog I gave an example of a game feature that was introduced after listening to feedback from players. Another example of this is one of the ways you can trade cards in Apocalypse Frenzy, although part of it has always been in the game. In Apocalypse Frenzy, you can trade cards with a deck and with players. I’ll explain the latter first since there is a lot to tell about it.

Trading cards with players

This way of trading cards has always been in the game and is one of the game’s most fun aspects in my opinion. Remember how you can only play cards of your own colour in this game? Well, most of the time you will have some (useless) cards of someone else’s colour, while they have cards in your colour that you need. You can trade these cards when it’s your turn, but: players may lie about their cards. Yes, deceiving is an aspect of this game, although it is not a requirement as it is in games like Werewolf for example. There is a downside to it: deceive other players too much, and they probably won’t want to trade with you anymore.

To give an example: let’s say you need blue cards, and you have a red card you want to get rid of. You can make an arrangement with the red player (if he has a blue card) and trade your red card for a blue card, so that you both get what you need. Or, you can pretend your red card is yellow, and ask the yellow player for a blue card. If he gives you a blue card, you will get what you need, while he gets a card that is useless for him too.

I’ve noticed big differences in playstyles while testing this game. In some games, players were deceiving all the time, which gave them great advantages at the start but later on the other players would not trust them so they had a disadvantage. In other games, players were really nice and did not lie about their cards at all, making it possible for them to trade more often which gave them an advantage compared to the third player who did not trade. Another method, which is my personal playstyle, is to build up trust by never lying, then wait for a crucial moment (like when someone really needs a certain card) where I can hurt the other player the most, and give him a useless card while I get a valuable one. What would fit your playstyle?

This reminds me: the colour of the cards is not the only thing you need to consider when trading cards in this game. Cards have a value that depends on the alignment of the player: Protector or Destroyer. Offering a card that is very valuable for one particular alignment and seeing how the player reacts can give you a lot of information about their alignment, adding a psychological aspect to the game.

Trading cards with a deck

This is a new mechanic that was added after hearing feedback from playtesters. In Apocalypse Frenzy, there are three decks that all players use to draw cards. If you ever have three cards of the same colour, you can put them on the bottom of a deck and draw three new cards from the same deck. This rule was added for several reasons:

  • If you only have cards of a different colour in your hand, you can try to get new cards this way.
  • It is an alternative to trading with other players, when you don’t trust them or they don’t trust you for example, or when they don’t have the cards you need.
  • It makes the game faster, because you get the cards you need more quickly and because it takes less time than trading with a player.

This is another example to show how feedback really helps the game development process, so I will continue to test the game and keep improving it with your help until I believe it is ready for the market.

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