Online Card Trading Games?
April 6, 2008 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Do you know of an online card trading game where you "combine" cards to make a new card? Alternatively, any online game where one component + another component = something more powerful?

I've spec'd out a new online card trading game. Before I enter into a contract for development, I'd like to be certain that previous games exist in this genre. By showing a precedent of more than one game, I can feel more confident that legal issues will not occur.

A little background:
This came in response to a game that I enjoy playing. Recent changes by the developers have had a large backlash by players. The devs' responses have been rude or condescending.

I would like to take the original game idea (the part the players liked), expand upon it (new trading area ideas) and release it to the social networking masses. However, the combining of cards is something new to me. I want to be certain that the aforementioned development team can't cry "FOUL!" and end up with attorneys at my door.

I'm not asking for legal advise. Just some help from gamers to see if I can point fingers at other games and show that these guys weren't the first to think of 1 + 1 = 2.

Many, many thanks!
posted by TauLepton to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I play a game exactly like this on facebook called Packrat. This might be the very game you got the idea from, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
posted by rosethorn at 12:56 PM on April 6, 2008

Don't you do this is offline Pokemon? You "evolve" your Pokemon, AKA you combine two cards. Essentially, one card is a pre-requisite for another card. Seems defensible but IANAL.
posted by GuyZero at 1:04 PM on April 6, 2008

Best answer: As far as Card A+Card B=Something better...

I'm going to use Magic: The Gathering here as my example. MTG has an online version of the game, wherein the rules are the same.

There's an entire card type, called Enchantments. Some of them are global - They stand alone and give an overall effect such as "All players draw 2 cards on their draw phase". Most, though, enchant a Creature or a Land, so the enchanted card effectively has new rules text, such as "Tap Creature to deal 1 damage to target creature or player". The only snag for what you're looking for is that the enchantment can be stripped away by various means. There's also a similar mechanic that allows you to attach weapon cards to creature cards, but I'm not familiar with it.

Sony has also released an in-game, online trading card game in Everquest and Everquest 2 that surely has similar functionality, but I'm not familiar with it so I can't comment. And World of Warcraft's physical-only trading card game likely has the same thing as well.

In the broader, online game where one component+another component=something better, this is a very common thing. Everquest and World of Warcraft both have a socketing system in many items (Everquest calls them Augmentations, World of Warcraft sockets, and WOW took this from Diablo 2). You have Weapon or Armor Piece A, and Augmentation or Gem B. You add them together and A gets the stated benefits of B. In the case of World of Warcraft, the Armor Piece usually has a bonus if the color of the gem matches the color of the socket.

Things enhancing, augmenting or plain becoming other things is a pretty common theme across a lot of online games, really. And especially within trading card games, online or not, there are only so many unique ideas that can exist across the whole of the marketspace.
posted by Rendus at 1:06 PM on April 6, 2008

I second rosethorn's suggestion -- sounds like Packrat to me.
posted by vanoakenfold at 1:26 PM on April 6, 2008

Best answer: In the Kingdom of Loathing, this is a frequent dynamic - not with cards but with items from your inventory. For example, goat cheese + anti-cheese = a goat. Much of the fun of the game is in clever combinations.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:18 PM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Collectible card games are all about A+B=something better. You'd be hard pressed to find one that doesn't have that.
posted by juv3nal at 2:45 PM on April 6, 2008 is a really mediocre game, but it has a card called "Combine" that lets you combine two cards into one.
posted by LSK at 7:24 PM on April 6, 2008

For a flash game monster master is pretty good in my opinion, but yeah thats definitely the first example that popped into my mind too.
posted by ihope at 12:09 AM on April 7, 2008

Back when I watched Yu-Gi-Oh, he was always combining cards to generate armor on a monster, or additional monsters, or combining a faerie and a pirate for a swashbuckling pixie.
posted by phritosan at 3:40 PM on April 7, 2008

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