Cardsmith

Cardsmith

Hello! I'm 20 years old and this is my first serious game project, and it's still unfinished.
You play as a smith who specializes in creating fantasy cards, as the customers ask.
It's still missing some features, and it may be confusing and may be boring for some. I'm working hard on those aspects. I tried to make the in-game tutorials as interesting, clean, short and intuitive as it can get.

  • It doesn't have a save function yet. Expect 20-40 minutes of gameplay to get to the end.

  • You can go out of bounds and fall out of the map. I'm working on that, just don't jump down.

  • It doesn't have sounds yet, only music.

  • Settings won't work in the main menu yet! Start a new game and press Escape to adjust the volume and resolution!


Constructive criticism is welcome, but I'm aware that it may be boring and quite confusing. If you are stuck, follow the guide I attached.

Guide

(Spoilers obviously)
https://www.reddit.com/r/Cardsmith/comments/jzrv91/guide_for_the_game_060/

Comments (11)

maartene
 • 1 month ago • 

Hi Sycix,

Here goes…

What I like:

  • Graphics: cool art style. Nice looking environment that is both comfortable, but also a bit abstract. The level is nice to wander around;
  • Music: nice relaxing music that suits the graphical mood well;
  • Sheer content: there's actually quite a bit to do in this game and it's clear a lot of time and effort went into this;
  • 3D printing: cool, modern take on the crafting sub-genre;
  • Polish: (in game) settings menu, the help menu with information about the game;
  • Mechanics: The basic mechanic of creating cards and adding more and more attributes to them.

What I didn't like
What I didn't like and eventually made me give up was frustration with some of the mechanics.

First the naming machine: what do the five buttons add in terms of fun? I didn't find any fun in writing down what to type and then figuring out the button to press. Then came the fairy cell mechanic. I can print one cell at a time, carry one cell at a time and then if I miss, I need to start over. Also, finding a card that falls to the ground is not easy in the tall grass.
Finally (and this is where I gave up): the image printer. The convoluted way of controlling the machine does not add any fun for me, it only takes more time.

Recommendation

  • The tutorial should telegraph the next steps more. I required the guide to progress;
  • I would focus on adding interesting crafting recipies: i.e. combining stuff together to create more interesting card results. Perhaps cards could also have effects?
  • I would take out the convoluted controls for the various devices. Change them all to work like the 3D printer or the computer screen.

Hope this helps. What are your plans for this game?

Cheers, Maarten

Sycix
  • 1 month ago • 

Hi @maartene!
Thank you for the detailed feedback.

I agree the artwork is not exactly a good mechanic. Honestly, I didn't think naming is boring, so this is an important issue. Maybe what would solve this, is purchasable Cores for machines that have different effects, which would make these mechanics work easier for people who don't like them.

I plan to have collections of predetermined legendary cards that you need to fill out in order to get your collection done.

The thing is, the game may have these flaws in it's core. I still have tons of ideas and I feel like the possibilites are endless, but I also don't see a way to correct these major flaws properly. Maybe I finish up the menu, the saving and the boundaries, and just call it an unfinished project.

Anyways, thank you again, I will make sure to review your game as well!

maartene
 • 1 month ago • 

@Sycix the purchasable Cores sound like a very good idea! It gives players choice between convenience and speed. I'd save up to get the convenience cores. Another player might skip that because they find the mechanics fun or because they prefer progressing in the "crafting tree" and like to spend their cash there.

I don't think the game is flawed in its core. Far from it! The core loop of printing cards, adding stuff to them and then selling them is definitely sound. My only issues were with how some of these machines operate. For the Fairy Cell it would already help me if you increased the "hit box" and make them easier to spot on the map?

Also, don't let the fact that the number of words with suggestions is larger than the number of words I spend on the stuff I like, discourage you. I gave you this feedback because I see potential in your game.

So I hope you will continue working on this game.

RayFlower
 • 1 month ago • 

To start off, I prefer not to download stuff through advertisement-based download sites, it's very sketchy and I prefer not to get viruses from stuff like that. I would prefer a direct download to the game.

Overall, I like the concept of it but I'm put off by how abstract the crafting process is, and why we are in the middle of a forest doing it.

I like the music, it's nice and relaxing and fits the vibe of things. I like the environment. Different colours are interesting, and grass is very lush. It makes me want to explore, but in doing so I find nothing around. No NPC's or materials to gather? is this that type of game? I dont understand the significance of why we are making cards in the middle of an empty forest.. why is there advanced technology here? why isn't this a studio?

Where can I get materials? Can I only buy them? I seem to be able to take out loans, but only with materials.. not machines. A little odd, I guess it's too expensive?

It seems odd to print cards using what looks to be a 3D printer. Are these not paper cards?

So the concept of the gameplay is really alien to me. Why are we 3D printing paper cards in the middle of a forest using advanced technology and delivering them via portals? The puzzle mechancis when naming a card is also a bit weird, I don't get the point of it.

As a fan of MTG, it would be mroe interesting if this were like a true-to-life process of how MTG cards are actually printed/made as like a fan-card creator. This game has a lot of potential for that! I would be very interested to make my own MTG cards, with foils, custom artwork, and silly descriptions and rediculous powers.

Sycix
  • 1 month ago • 

@RayFlower

Avoiding viruses is an understandabe concern.

The world is supposed to be abstract, because this is what I envisioned and I'm not going to change anything about it.

Sycix

HuvaaKoodia
 • 1 month ago • 

You've already spent quite a bit of time on the graphics, interactivity and UI. They are all pretty good already, yet there is an important design question which seems to have gone unanswered.

There are many things to do (take orders, buy materials, print cards, add text and images, send the cards away, capture fairies on strange electronic-magic-paper, etc.) and, unfortunately, it just feels like work! Numbers keep rising and there is always more work to do, but why would I? That is the question.

For me the answer would be challenge. I spend precious time and get to test my meddle against difficult opponents. Adding some kind of a card game to actually try out the cards in would be a thematic solution, even if it would require loads extra of development time.

For other people the answer could be a story or a peculiar world to explore or some such. I'll hazard a guess that very few are going to be content with watching a few numbers get bigger (even if idle/clicker titles more or less rely on this phenomenon).

Something to mull over.

Sycix
  • 1 month ago • 

Hello @HuvaaKoodia!

Thank you for the feedback, it's valuable.

As for the card game, I gave a lot of thought to that already. I plan on doing that, I just couldn't figure out a mechanic yet. I just finished making purchasable modifications for machines that make them act differently, like namer automatically picking the right option or printer autoprinting, or artwork machine not always using up the cell, etc.

For a challenge, I'm working on a book you have to fill with "legendary" cards, and you need to collect the recipes trough small challenges.

You'll also be able to customize and expand your home.


To everyone saying the game is missing tons of stuff, I'd reply with "One at a time."
It takes a lot of effort.
The game is not even just "unfinished", I would say it's about 10% done.

Sycix

Atayif
 • 1 month ago • 

TLDR: You have too many separate mechanics in the game, remove them and focus on one or two main mechanics that repeat across all the machines.


Interesting Idea for sure. I like the setting and the concept.

My biggest issue is that this game does not give me a chance to "find my groove", so to speak. I mean as the player, I never felt like a master card smith. I think this is because the card making process is always interupted.

Let's say I need to make a card with a name.

  • The drive is already in the machine so I just print 👍
  • I take the card to the naming machine 👍
  • I need to look up the name in the book ❌ (Interuption)
  • I type the name 👍
  • I need to look back and forth to the naming rules to know which
    button to press ❌ (Interuption)
  • I take the card after it's named to the portal 👍
  • I need to look up the address in the book ❌ (Interuption)
  • I send the card to the address 👍

These are interuptions because they are not related, from a mechanics point of view, to the main card making process, or to each other. For example, there is no link between the card throw and the naming rules mechanic, and no link between these two mechanics to the flashing number game in the image machine.

I think the main focus should be on helping the player find their groove by presenting challenges that build on each other.

Here's a simple flow that I think would reduce interuptions:

I get an email from Freya for a Blue card with an image (you show the image instead of a number). Then I print the card like I currently do in the game, I go to a color machine that should only have a few colors. I click Blue. I take the card to the image machine, I click on the image from a set of images. I take the card to the portal that should have 3 options (instead of the alphanumeric sequence), and I click Freya as the address, then I drop the card in the portal. As time goes on, I'll get faster at this process, because it is made up of multiple simple steps, then I'll feel like a master card smith

You can make machines need maintenace every now and then but they should not require a long process to operate.

Over time, you can add more options to the machines or add other mechanics that make the game more interesting and challenging, but these new mechanics should build on what you already showed the player. So you should not give me a programming problem (the naming rules), then give me a skill based problem (throwing the card), then give me a reaction problem (the flashing numbers on the image machine), then give me a memory problem (having to remember what portal address to send to).

I think the game you made is awesome, but it lacks focus from a game design point of view.

Sycix
  • 1 month ago • 

Thank you, @Atayif for the detailed feedback.
I understand your issue about the interruptions, however I have no plans on removing existing features and content for simplyfication. For now I will just keep adding content focused on simplification and QOL. From a previous feedback, I already added a way to avoid interruptions with 5 different purchasable modifications for machines. An example is the selector core, which autoselects the correct button for the Namer machine. I think it's going to work out this way.

Sycix

maartene
 • 1 month ago • 

Hi @Sycix, will you provide a new build with the "purchasable modifications" included? I would be interested to try that one out to see what it does for the gameplay experience and whether it would get me further into the game. I would also give you feedback on th perceived price of those upgrades.

Sycix
  • 1 month ago • 

@maartene Thank you for the offer, but I stopped working on the project entirely. It was boring and there's nothing to do about it.

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Fantasy card crafting simulation game

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Author

Sycix