Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 24, 2013.

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Orbs CCG is a digital, asynchronous collectible card game that can be played one turn at a time over the course of days.

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* ORBS CCG *

The digital, asynchronous collectible card game!

Orbs CCG is a revolutionary deep strategy online collectible card game!

In addition to live play, games can also be played asynchronously, one turn at a time, like Words with Friends or correspondence chess (only much more exciting!). The game was designed with async play in mind from day one. Simply choose whichever option is better for you in the moment.

So, how exactly do you play? It's quite simple, really. Players build their deck of 50 cards, then compete against each other or a computer AI. Plus, Orbs CCG offers tournaments (constructed, draft, and sealed), clans, and a single-player campaign to maximize your gaming experience.

Since you play Orbs CCG through a browser, it will work with PC, Mac, and Linux. Not only that, but you can also play from an iOS or Android browser, to take your turns throughout the day. And, should we hit our stretch goal, we'll even offer dedicated iOS and Android apps to further enhance mobile play!

* FEATURES *

Asynchronous play lets you play one turn at a time! (You can also play in realtime)

Asynchronous play means you can play a game with a friend one turn at a time, like Words with Friends or correspondence chess.

Both players do not need to be playing at the same time or even in the same location! When one player is done with their turn, the next player receives a notification that it's their turn to play. Turns typically take less than a minute to play, meaning you can fit playing your turns into time slices throughout the day, such as before a meeting, while waiting for coffee, or during a TV or Netflix commercial. It's a really addictive way to play games.

You can also create realtime games, where each turn must be completed in under three minutes.

Play on your preferred platform: Windows, Mac, or Linux! (iOS and Android are stretch goals)

Since Orbs CCG is played through a browser, it is incredibly accessible. This means it is possible to play with Windows, Mac, and Linux, all out of the box.

As a stretch goal, dedicated Android and iOS apps will also be developed! While technically playing it through the Android and iOS browser is possible, it is not the greatest user experience. Help make the game great with Android and iOS too by contributing to the Kickstarter! Asynchronous play would be especially great on mobile devices, since a turn is usually played in under a minute.

Replays of games!

Watching replays of games is a great way to study strategy, learn from pro players, and show off your epic games. All games of Orbs CCG will be viewable in replay mode, and even sharable with a canonical URL. This means you can copy the URL of the game and send it to your friends, or link to the game from a blog!

How does the gameplay work?

Orbs CCG introduces some new concepts to the CCG genre, such as the Bench and a novel energy system, while still feeling familiar to those who've played Magic: the Gathering, World of Warcraft cards, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and other CCGs.

One unique game zone is called the Bench. During the Main Phase, any card may be benched, by paying its energy cost and then placing it face down in the Bench. Cards may then be used from the Bench during the Defense or Main Phase. Benching is useful for bluffing and preplaying cards when you have the energy. Trap cards are used exclusively from the bench, in fact. Further, some cards interact with the bench in interesting ways: the Wolves, for example, gain strength with each turn they are benched. The Bench is a way make bluffing a more important aspect of the game.

Another unique innovation is that Orbs CCG has a colored resource system, but does not have "mana screw" or "mana flooding". How does this work? Rather than playing dedicated energy cards (like lands from Magic: the Gathering), once per turn, ANY card may be converted to energy of its color by discarding it from your hand. Energy generated in this way regenerates at the start of your turn. (For example, if you discard a red card for energy, you'll get one red energy each turn for the rest of the game.) In this way, the game avoids the most frustrating part of Magic: the Gathering (mana screw and mana flood), while still having a strategic, colored resource system.

* WHO'S BEHIND THIS? *

Jerpix, Inc. is a startup indie game company based in Silicon Valley, California.

Jeff Pickhardt, the founder of Jerpix, is a combination CCG enthusiast, game designer, and software engineer. Previously, he's worked at Google and Optimizely, a fast-growing internet startup.

Tom Martell is a co-game designer and consultant, and the winner of Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour Gatecrash (the highest level Magic tournament, kind of like the Wimbledon of Magic). He finished second in the 2013 Player of the Year race, and writes articles for the wider Magic community. He is contributing to both card design and game features.

We've already made a proof-of-concept alpha version of the game, and have tested it with actual players. Given this background and existing work, we have the capability to make this game awesome, launch it, and run it at scale. But we can't do it alone. We need your help to get this off the ground. Depending on the success of the Kickstarter, the game can have a larger vision.

* ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS *

Why is asynchronous play important?

Do you have friends you used to play Magic with, but don't get together with anymore for time or geographic reasons? Wouldn't you like to play with them again? Just as people play Words with Friends together online, when they can't meet up to Scrabble, people want to play a deep strategy CCG together too! That's why Orbs CCG is designed to work well asynchronously. Games are also played live, as well.

A strategic card game has to be designed from day one to be strategic.

Unlike most CCGs, such as Magic, where every card played can be responded to by the opponent, the rules of Orbs CCG are streamlined so that only one player makes decisions during a turn. This allows for async play, as well as simpler to understand gameplay. Trap cards (played face down) and abilities owned by their opponent can still surprise you during your turn, which add strategic depth to the game.

Additionally, the combat system has been redesigned in a novel way to create a defender's choice-style of combat that still works with asynchronous play. Defender's choice means that the defender gets to choose which allies defend against which attackers, preventing the snowball effect that can happen in games with attacker's choice or positional combat systems. The way this works asynchronously is by spreading combat over two turns: on the attacker's turn, you declare attackers, and then, at the start of the defender's turn, the defender choose which attackers to block.

Why is it a HTML5 game?

Playing a HTML5 game through a browser has a number of advantages.

For one, it means content can be share with a simple link. For example, some of the popular (and already implemented) features include:

- watching other live games through a shared spectator link

- sharing deck lists with a shared deck link

- referral links, to earn free booster packs

These are really useful for discussing and strategizing in the forums and chat. You could also imagine pro gamers sharing their games live through Twitter and Facebook.

HTML5 games also have the added advantage of being super accessible and quick to load. This is especially useful with asynchronous mode, because you can play your turns quickly while at work, without having to install or load a game. This makes async play highly addictive!

Further, HTML5 games can be played from any OS and browser. Mac and Linux players, you will not be second-class citizens any longer!

HTML5 gaming isn't so great for FPS or RTS games, where frame rate is important, but it works great for CCGs!

Asynchronous play is becoming more and more standard. What differentiates Orbs CCG?

Many modern digital games are designed with asynchronous play in mind, because of the many benefits. Orbs CCG is different because it should feel familiar to players of Magic: the Gathering or World of Warcraft TCG, while being able to be played asynchronously.

Orbs CCG strikes a delicate balance between complex, strategic gameplay, while still allowing for asynchronous play. The game has not been dumbed down. For instance, there is a colored resource system in the game, which is important to strategic deck building and gameplay. It also has a number of unique innovations, including spreading combat over two turns, the Bench and the energy system.

For the combat system, Orbs CCG retains the defender's choice combat style of Magic: the Gathering, while being playable asynchronously. The way this works is by splitting the turn into two phases: a "Defense Phase" and a "Main Phase". The reason this is important is that defender's choice makes the game friendlier to the defender, thereby mitigating a snowball effect where the player with the strongest cards on the board dominates the game. You see this in games like World of Warcraft TCG, where the attacker chooses which ally their ally gets to attack (although there are ways around it, like having a protector).

One unique feature of Orbs CCG is that any card may be "benched" face down rather than playing it. This is essentially preplaying the card to a game zone called the Bench. Cards may then be played from the Bench without repaying their energy cost. This adds an additional layer of strategy and bluffing to the game.

The energy system has been designed to have the complexity of a colored energy system (like Magic's) without the pitfalls of mana flooding or mana screw. Once per turn, you may discard any card from your hand to gain one energy of the discarded card's color. This energy regenerates each turn. Since there are no resource cards, you'll never be stuck with an opening hand with too many or too few resources.

* FUNDING GOALS *

Up to $10k - The game will get made as a browser-based CCG with 100 total cards, 25 cards per 4 colors (red, green, blue, and yellow).  The funds will go directly towards card art and hiring a user interface designer.

$10k - New color: BLACK! 125 cards total = 25 cards per 5 colors (red, green, blue, yellow, and black)  Additionally, all backers will receive 2 free booster packs for helping to hit the first stretch goal!

$15k - 25 additional cards, spread out over 5 new cards per color, for 150 cards total (30 cards per color).  Additionally, all backers will receive 1 more free booster packs (3 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

$20k - New color: PURPLE! 180 cards total = 30 cards per 6 colors (red, green, blue, yellow, black, and purple)  Additionally, all backers will receive 1 more free booster packs (4 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

$30k - 10 additional cards per color, for 240 cards total = 40 cards per 6 colors.  Additionally, all backers will receive 1 more free booster packs (5 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

$40k - Tournaments! There will be draft and regular tournaments held. Additionally, all backers will receive 1 more free booster packs (6 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

$80k - MOBILE AND TABLET VERSIONS! There will be dedicated apps for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, all backers will receive 2 more free booster packs (8 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

What are people saying?

"Digital CCG to Watch in 2013" - Forbes

"Great game! A nice fresh new game with balanced cards! This is MtG but better." - MansW1

"Great idea with the async game!" - donloebau

"Great game... also a gentlemen named Jeff just gave me great customer service when I had an issue... so great staff great game as well... can't ask for more..." - Lostindark

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Since the game has already been designed, playtested, coded, and is currently running in beta online, there's much less risk than your typical Kickstarter. Granted, the release version will have an improved design and user interface, and many more cards and features, so there is certainly more work to do.

As with any Kickstarter, there is no guarantee of success. Any number of unexpected occurrences could delay or prohibit the successful launch of the game, including delays completing the art, implementing the features, or scaling the online service to a large community of players. However, we want this game to succeed just as much as you, and we will devote all our energy to making it a success!

If you have any other questions or concerns about this game, feel free to email:
hello@orbsccg.com

FAQ

  • The more it's funded, the better the game will be.

    Up to $10k - The game will get made as a browser-based CCG with 100 total cards, 25 cards per 4 colors (red, green, blue, and yellow). The funds will go directly towards card art and hiring a user interface designer.

    $10k - New color: BLACK! 125 cards total = 25 cards per 5 colors (red, green, blue, yellow, and black) Additionally, all backers will receive 2 free booster packs for helping to hit the first stretch goal!

    $15k - 25 additional cards, spread out over 5 new cards per color, for 150 cards total (30 cards per color). Additionally, all backers will receive 1 more free booster packs (3 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

    $20k - New color: PURPLE! 180 cards total = 30 cards per 6 colors (red, green, blue, yellow, black, and purple) Additionally, all backers will receive 1 more free booster packs (4 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

    $30k - 10 additional cards per color, for 240 cards total = 40 cards per 6 colors. Additionally, all backers will receive 1 more free booster packs (5 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

    $40k - Tournaments! There will be draft and regular tournaments held. Additionally, all backers will receive 1 more free booster packs (6 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

    $80k - MOBILE AND TABLET VERSIONS! There will be dedicated apps for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, all backers will receive 2 more free booster packs (8 total) for helping to hit this stretch goal!

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