Fast forward to December 2011. One of my biggest frustrations with game design is that I like having an idea for the aesthetic. Specifically, I like having art. Two old friends of mine were well into their fourth year of publishing a webcomic, Eben07. The comic is about a government agency, the Intelligence Cleaner Agency, responsible for cleaning up after supers spies like James Bond. I started thinking about it and I realized that the comic would be a great theme for a simple card game. Furthermore, I had easy access to quality art assets. From there, I began designing.
Eben07: The Card Game
The basic idea of the Eben07 card game is that each player represents one of the different factions or organizations featured in the webcomic. These different factions are trying to complete various missions which are worth points. The missions represent any number of different things featured in the comic, from raiding Countess Vampirexia's castle in Eastern Europe to hiding a very specific Soviet ballistic missile submarine in a river.
|Raid on the Vampire's Castle!|
The Assignment Phase
Players draw a hand of cards from their individual deck representing different agents and minions of the organization. During the game round, players take turns assigning cards to missions (generally, face-down in a single pile). Some cards have the "Action" keyword and can be played on a turn to achieve a specific effect, like drawing additional cards or pulling cards out of a discard pile. Inspired by Saint Petersburg, I also included the idea that a player could pass but still stay in the round. The round would continue until every player passed in succession.
|Ninja Dan reacts.|
Players are not required to play all of their cards and may want to retain some cards in their hand. This allows for a certain amount of hand grooming for the next round. Some cards have the "Reaction" keyword which means they can be played in response to some event. For example, Ninja Dan has the Reaction ability to "Cancel any card played as an Action or Reaction." Some Reaction abilities get more sophisticated, such as canceling reveal effects or forcing players to discard cards that they assign to missions.
The Resolution Phase
|One of the more powerful|
Perhaps the most powerful Reveal effect in the game belongs to the Countess Vampirexia. As a vampire and leader of her faction (referred to as the Cult of Vampirexia), it made sense that she should be relatively powerful. When her card is revealed on a mission, the Vampirexia player is allowed to discard any other face-up card assigned to that mission. Thus, any card already revealed (or, assigned face-up) would be vulnerable to the Countess' attack.
Once all of the cards assigned to a mission are revealed, each player totals the mission-appropriate skill of their cards assigned to the mission. Whichever player has the most completes the mission and puts the card into their scoring area. Once each mission is resolved, one at a time, the game round ends. Assuming that no player has achieved the victory condition (some number of points, say 12-15), players draw up a new hand of cards and deal out a new set of mission cards for the next round.
The Eben07 card game is something that is still in development and everything here is subject to change. Right now, it is a 2-4 player game that plays in roughly 30-45 minutes. With every playtest iteration, I learn more about things that work and things that could use improvement. Hopefully, in the next few months I can go into greater detail about the different factions and how they work in the context of the game.