A board game designer's web site

 Copyright Eric Pietrocupo

E-Mail: ericp[AT]lariennalibrary.com

General Information

My Designs

Game Design Knowledge

My Board Games

Spellcraft: Designable Card Game

Page: GameIdea.GameIdea-TitanDCG - Last Modified : Tue, 12 May 20 - 2458 Visits
How much do you like this idea?

0 stars Rating 0.0/10 from 2 votes
Vote Distribution: 2 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0

Very Good (10/10) The game is very interesting, make it as soon as possible.
Good (8/10) Great idea but some modifications are required.
Fair (6/10) Interesting but a lot of things are missing.
Bad (4/10) Would need to completely redesign the idea in order to work.
Very Bad (2/10) It will never be interesting, abandon the idea.
Already Exist (0/10) Do not waste time on this game idea.

Status: CLOSED

  • Game is partially working
  • Most work is thematic and card design
  • Essentially a 2 player game with multiplayer options
  • Core rules could fit on page like most collectible card game does it

Progress: Prototyped
Priority: Average
Number of players: 2+ players
Expected Play time: 15 - 30 minutes (for a 2 player game)


Each player are a huge titan composed of creatures represented on cards. These creatures can be used in various ways to attack the enemy titan.

Note: recent development might change the theme and focus it back again on a civilization like theme.


The goal is to make a Designable Card Game where players can customize their deck and fight other players. Since it's a DCG, players can design their own cards. A list of abilities with cost will be supplied for the user to design their own cards, including templates to make the cards.


Duel Masters is the primary source of inspiration.

Priority Evaluation

Theme vs Mechanics: Based on mechanics, the new rules system is strongly inspired from Duel Masters + Magic the gathering which is a working system.
Video vs Board Game: There is no platform restriction for this game.
Single vs Multi player: 2 or more players is a must for playing this game.
Rating = 8/12


+ No Cartography: There is no map. There could be at most 5 columns which is a 1 dimensional map.
- Scripting: Scripting is necessary.


Old Rules

The core of the game is that each card can be used in various ways:

  • Creatures: You can expel creatures out of your body to attack enemy creatures or titans
  • Power: You can use your creatures as a source of power to feed other creatures and spells in your deck.
  • Spell: Most creatures can be used to channel abilities to your titans giving them spells that they can cast at will as long as they have the mana.
  • Armor: Creatures in your deck are used as your hit points. SOme of them will have stronger armor level allowing them to absorb more damages.
  • Enchant/Attach: Another idea is that some cards could be used to power up other creatures by attaching it. The main difference is that a destroy creature will not destroy the attached cards which will return in hand or in the deck.

I intend to use the tapping mechanics, so to avoid any legal issues, I will have to wait until the wizards of the coast patent wears off near 2014 or 2015.

note: The new rules are much closer to duel masters. Probably this game idea could be recycled for another game

New Rules

I won't repeat duel masters rules, here are the new features

  • Groove: The shield trigger has been replaced with a groove, when you lose creatures and shields, you groove increase allowing you to use groove trigger abilities during your opponent's turn.
  • Draw up to 5 cards each turn
  • Card attachments, like enchantments.
  • No mana tapping: A simpler mana management system requires less space and no tapping. Much faster to play and it takes less space.
  • Each card has 3 functions: Creature, Mana and spell. This is a big innovation that will make the game stand out from the original DM game.
  • All monsters can block.

Problems that prevent development

I think that the most complicated part of the game would be to design a large list of abilities and make sure they are balanced. Duel Masters will be a good source of inspiration. The design of the abilities in that game was pretty well structured since most of them consisted in moving cards from a zone to another.

News, changes and updates

February 13th, 2013: I have been approached by another designer on the net to re-design Duel Masters together. I will be making shortly a list of things I don't like about Duel Masters and the solutions I have found so far. I am still waiting for the WOTC patent to end, but maybe we could design the game and only release it when the patent it's over. If the project works well, I might place it in my active project list to replace another project.

March 15th, 2013: The rules are available. Since it's probably going to be a free game, I don't mind if people see the rules. Anyways, most of the rules will be on the cards. I will be in charge of the rules while tobias will be in change of the card layout and design. We have a small database of artwork as see in the pictures below that we will use for our initial cards.

March 28th, 2013: I just want to inform the people that the first ability catalog is completed. This is very preliminary to be able to test the game. The catalog is currently private, but I made 10 cards examples and I might post these examples here for demonstration. Tobias will eventually place the information in a card template when he has the time and he might design cards of his own.

December 10th, 2013: I had a chance to playtest my prototype and the results was average. The biggest issue was calculating the best combination of cards to cast. Various options has been tested without beign very elegant. Another solution was to remove the idea of mixing a spell and a creature on the same cards. But by making spell have effects not achievable else where, and increasing the card flow, it could maybe work again.

December 27th, 2013: Made a few test and development before the new years. Interesting ideas came up that I'll try to summarise here:

  • 2 Casting Phase: There will be a phase for casting spell and a phase for summoning creature which both use the crystals you have in your vault. So with 5 crystal, you can cast up to 5 points of spells and creatures each turn. This makes the cost planning must less confusing.
  • Draw up to your hand: Now that much more cards are beign used each turn, you refill your hand up to 5 cards each turn. You also draw before attacking for simlicity.
  • Less unique cards: A collection will only have 40 unique cards instead of 80 and players will be able to hold up to 5 copies of each card in their deck of 40 cards. There are various reasons for this including production issues, but also that the increased card flow and multiple use of cards might make multiple copies of each card more convenient.
  • Resource Management: There will not be any spells that will boost resources management because the core rules already control the flow of resource correctly. So all spells will affect the battlefield and the fortress. But Creature and spells could have added secondary affects that will affect resources since they are not as essential or powerful as other card games.
  • Blocking System: I might use a different blocking system where there are 3 type of creatures: Ground, Flying and Stealth. But a creature can only block creature of it's own type (Flying cannot block ground like in magic). That would open up the battlefield, but even if there is an advantage gained in attack, those creatures are still vulnerable afterward to any type of creature since it only affect blocker selection, not targetting (So a ground unit could attack a flying engaged creature.
  • 5 lives: Once the last tower is destroyed you lose the game. No need for a 6th attack. It solve many problems and force an end game in case of stalemate.

So this is all I could think of so far. It has also strong impact on the card design. Reduce some abilities on one side, but multiply the combinnations of abilities on the other side so I have very excited. Unfortunately, I should not work on it in 2014 ... Unless I finish another game. Well see.

February 14th, 2014: I made a mini play test using double casting which consist that your crystal can be used twice during a turn, once for casting spells and another for summoning creatures. I find it very interesting and the math behind is much more simple. The only drawback is that sometimes you could like to summon creatures before casting spells, but in that case you can always set aside face down the creatures you want to summon and see what spells you have left to cast.

One of the thing that breaks the system is that there are more spells that destroy creatures that gets cast during the game and that reduces the number of creature on the board which is not something that I like. I want players to be able to fight with larger armies to get more possible combinations of attack and defenses since this is where the core of the strategy is. So my idea is to remove creature destroying effects.

Instead, the status system of the card will be changed. Instead of "Ready", "Engaged", "Afflicted". It will be "Ready", "Engaged", "Wounded", "?Neutralized?". Ready and engaged stay the same. Wounded replace afflicted which also reduce the HP of the unit by half. Spells can wound creatures, but now in battle, if the opposing creature is stronger than 1/2 of the creature strength, it becomes wounded. This allows 2 weaker creatures to destroy a stronger one. As for neutralize, the creature lose a complete turn and cannot use it's abilities. Spells can neutralize creatures, but players could neutralize their own wounded creatures to heal them (remove wound status). But that makes them vulnerable to attacks.

So with that status system, there would be more spell effect possibilities even if it's impossible to destroy creatures. Since creature can only de destroyed by other creatures, players will need to be very strategic in their spell and creature usage to overcome their opponent. The neutralize status is pretty neat because it can allow to by pass an annoying passive ability for example. (ex: this creature cannot be attacked, or both creature strength are reduced to 0).

So the changes of the last 2 updates would require redesigning the cards and the ability catalog before testing further. Since this is not an active project, I should not work on it anytime soon. But I am excited to see how the game could become.

November 27th, 2017: I am not sure if it's because of the expiration of the Wizards of the coast's patent, but there is a lot of video games lately which use the same mechanics as magic the gathering, especially for combat. There is "Fable: Fortune" and "Hand of god: Smite tactics", both game have differences and similarities that gave me some inspiration, some of these games also have the same bugs as magic (^_^). There is also "Heart Stone" which is much more a magic clone than the two games above, but I have not played that game yet.

I wrote some new ideas in the development log so far. I also probably forgot some ideas or simply wrote them on a piece of paper. I'll list a few ideas that I got from the games above, or by trying to do different than the game above.

  • Limited battlefield size: Fable fortune has that concept that a maximum of 6 creatures can be put into play. It was surprising first, felt more like a screen size restriction issue first. But I was wondering if there could be any design benefits. For example, having spells that target every body can now be evaluated much more easily since there is a monster limit.
  • One monster per turn: No quite sure about this one since it could create the yugioh effect, where the player with the most monsters will always get the lead. Restricting to 1 creature and 1 spell per turn to avoid resource tapping (you just compare values). With maybe the option of having special creatures summon other weaker creatures in hand, or have creatures and spell requires no summoning actions. Another idea would be that you could have 2 actions for either spell and/or summon, allowing casting 2 spells or monster in a turn. It might just be easier to handle resource cost this way when every card has 2 costs, than computing the various card combo you can play.
  • Mana System: The two games above used a mana system where you mana pool increased each turn, I have also seen this in Etherlords. One part of me say that there should simply be no mana pool, all cards are equal. But that would reduce cards permutation. I also like my idea of rising the stakes by pumping 2 mana and passing your turn. It creates a sort of bluff and raise feeling seen in games like poker for example.
  • 2 combat stats, but used differently: Using 2 different combat stat allows multiple permutations than a single stat, but I am tired of seeing that strength vs toughness combination in many of the clones above. The only things this system allow is to have more combinations of ties where both creature kill, or not, each other.

I am thinking of using strength and armor. Highest strength would destroy his opponent like in duel masters, but if the opponent exceed the armor, he can wounds his opponent (Consolidation prise). Which now gives an interest to have first strike using a melee/range property. Because first strike could allow wounding and opponent before he can retaliate. Armor can never exceed strength and some units could have armor piecing abilities making them wound their target every time.

This is what I got for now. If I ever release something, I will probably make a digital version first to playtest the game intensively. Even if using the digital route, I want this game playable using real cards in order to get more publishing options if the game actually works.


Essai about Problems with Duel Masters (February 14th, 2013)
Exploration mini-playtest with Duel Masters cards (February 17, 2013)
Playtest Session with new Alpha 001 Cards (December 1st, 2013)

Game Rules

First rule Draft (March 12th, 2013)
Rule Draft v.2 (March 15th, 2013)
Rule Draft v.3 (March 34th, 2013)
Spellcraft DCG Rule Draft v.4 (November 25 th, 2013)

Prototype Files

Spellcraft DCG Alpha 001 Card Collection (4.9 Meg, November 25th, 2013)

Prototype Pictures

Concept art/designMade by Fhizban
Sample of cards I designed for the first prototype

Related Threads

Board Game Designer Forum: LCG: Restricting card play through cost, actions or other methods (Dec 5, 2013)
Board Game Geek: LCG: Restricting card play through cost, actions or other methods (Dec 5, 2013)
Board Game Geek: LCG Keywords: Thematical vs Mechanical (nov 23, 2013)
Board Game Designer Forum: LCG Keywords: Thematical vs Mechanical (nov 23, 2013)
Board Game Geek: LCG Ability Cost (nov 18, 2013)
Board Game Designer's Forum: LCG Ability Cost (nov 18, 2013)
Board Game Geek: LCG text ability: Pseudo VS natural Language (Nov 7, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: LCG text ability: Pseudo VS natural Language (Nov 7, 2013)
Board Game Geek: Placing faction colors on the back of the cards. (Oct 31, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: Placing faction colors on the back of the cards. (Oct 31, 2013)
Board Game Geek: How to make a CCG, TCG or LCG playable out of the box (Oct 25, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: How to make a CCG, TCG or LCG playable out of the box (Oct 25, 2013)
Board Game Geek: How Would You Change MtG?(Oct 18, 2013)
Board Game Geek: Question about the Expiration of the wizard of the coast patent ( Sep 20, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: Question about the Expiration of the wizard of the coast patent ( Sep 20, 2013)
Board Game Geek: Tapping tarot cards ( Sep 20, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: Tapping tarot cards ( Sep 20, 2013)
Board game Geek: Meditating on CCG abilities to strengthen Theme (Aug 1, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: Meditating on CCG abilities to strengthen Theme (Aug 1, 2013)
Board Game Geek: framework guide to creating a TCG/CCG (may 1, 2013)
Board Game Geek: Using Top-Bottom or Bottom-up approach to design data ( mar 28, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: Using Top-Bottom or Bottom-up approach to design data ( mar 28, 2013)
Board Game Geek: LCG: How many duplicates (mar 22, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: LCG: How many Duplicates? (mar 22, 2013)
Board Game Geek: how much cards on a print press? ( mar 15, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: How much cards on a print press ( mar 15, 2013)
Board Game Geek: Balancing card cost, strength and special abilities (mar 8, 2013)
Board game Designer Forum: Balancing card cost, strength and special abilities (mar 8, 2013)

Development Log

6-jan-2020IdeaI was thinking to make eventually a digital implementation. One Idea I got is for the meta game. Instead of starting 1 collection of cards until complete, you could have multiple games or mod that allow acquiring cards in different ways. Each mod would require 2 set of cards. Which will create various outcome and strategies in the collection and construction of decks. A mod example could be to fight opponents in a row, but to keep the rewards, you need to stop. Else if you fail, you need to start over. They could be a conquest style game, adventure game, drafting game, etc.
30-jun-2016Ideasome card game use only around 10-15 cards in their deck, I really like the idea of small deck, but since there is a lot of card reuse, they cannot be that small. An idea to reduce production cost could be to reduce the amount of cards by half (25-30 cards), but that could make the need to reshuffle more often, thus losing towers.
23-jun-2016IdeaA long time ago I wanted to use a groove system like what I found in "Capcom VS SNK" or "Advance Wars" video game. I manage to integrate a generic groove allowing to use spells in other way. But the problems is that spells could never be cast and only be used as grooves, and also the grooves are not unique. I am thinking to re-implement unique groove that will have spell like abilities of their own instead of using spell on cards. Each deck would be supplied with a groove explanation card or sheet which could be mixed match with various deck before playing. It could even be part of the strategy where you can get flexibility to adjust to your opponent by changing groove without touching the content of the deck.
23-Dec-2013IdeaAn idea from Thobias in order to simplify production cost is to give more copies of the same cards rather than a high variety of cards. IN my case, I could increase the nb of copies to 5 instead of 3. Have 40 unique cards in a collection (8 for each sphere (1 card per race)), in 5 copies which are distributed as 5 decks of 40 cards. There could be like 2 or 4 spells per sphere making 2 or 4 cards share the same spell. That would make artwork design much simpler.
20-Dec-2013ideaAllow having creature with pay to activate spells using groove and make unused crystals at the end of the casting phase power up the groove when not used. Or simply activate during casting phase (avoid move cards into groove). Reuse the idea of the titan where some creature were assigned to magic task. Maybe could have a support zone in the castle.
20-dec-2013ideaTo have spells and creatures on same cards, could shuffle half the deck upside down and have a mix of both spell (upside down) and creature (upside up)
19-apr-2013ideaIt's some sort of substitute for tokens. Not sure if I really want that but it could be interesting. They would be called charges and some condition would allow a card to charge or uncharge (ex: using abilities). A charge is added by attaching the top card from the deck face down to the card to charge. So the more charges the cards are using, the faster the deck deplete. So you cannot abuse too much of those charges. Not only you will not need additional tokens, but also you are limited to the number of cards in the deck which avoids infinite combos like in MTG.
25-mar-2013StatusFirst ability catalog is ready
15-sep-2012ideaThere can be global enchantment too, and considering that an enchantment is a creature, there will probably be able to attack a titan and destroy a card from the hand or enchantment area instead of the top of the deck.
12-feb-2012IdeaThe HP of the titan could be determined by seal cards. Players must place in their deck 5 seal cards, when a titan takes damage, if a seal card is flipped, the card is discarded and he stop taking damage. The seal cards could fall in player's hand, maybe the opponent can target card in hand if he wants. Maybe there is a limit, or maybe the player will have to get rid of his hand at a certain point (like in deck building games)

Back to my list of Board Games and Ideas

Prototype Pictures

Attach:file_thumb.jpg Δ Δ | Picture Description



News, changes and updates

Date X: this thing has happen.

Date Y: this thing has happened.

Powered by PmWiki and the Sinorca skin