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CCG Resource Systems

The resource system is an integral part of CCGs and can often also be found in ordinary card games, board games and computer games (albeit in a modified form such as “gold coins” in RPGs or the various building materials in “The Settlers of Catan”). In CCGs in particular, virtual resources are used to “buy” cards that can then be played. The role of the resource system is to generate the different types of resources in a certain amount, using different mechanisms. The main reason for such systems is to guarantee a basic game balance, because generally more powerful cards are also more expensive to play.

Before we look at the mechanics in detail, a more detailed analysis of the resource system is necessary to clarify its meaning and purpose.

Resource growth
The vast majority of resource systems as found in CCGs are based on a growth model. No matter how this looks in detail, it can be assumed that the available resources of all players tend to increase in the course of the game. The number and variety of available resources for all players is usually rather limited at the beginning of a game. As the game progresses, resources continue to grow, opening up new options for players.

Card Power
Trading card games have an extremely high number and variety of cards, but it does not fail that some of these cards are significantly stronger than others. It is considered the supreme discipline to make the cards balanced and often, given all the circumstances, this is either not possible or not desirable. Because of this, it seems logical that stronger cards should also be more difficult to play. Otherwise, competitive players would only insert the best cards into their decks and ignore everyone else, which would ultimately degenerate the game.

Resource costs
The resource system takes effect here and prevents the misuse of this natural imbalance by resource costs. Each card is assigned one or more resources in a certain number, whereby the stronger cards are generally more expensive. Of course, players can still fill their decks with the very best cards, but they would not be able to play them straight away, which is a not inconsiderable disadvantage. In addition, resource costs open up completely new creative freedom when designing the cards: Cheaper cards can be of great importance during the first moves, but will lose them later in the game. Meanwhile, more expensive cards can dominate the last third of the game and decide whether to win or lose.

In conclusion, it should be noted that resource systems are indispensable for CCGs for several reasons: on the one hand, they are an important balancing factor, on the other hand, such a system and the associated mechanics open up an expanded horizon for the design of the game. A trading card game entirely without a resource system dispenses with a cornerstone which is necessary for the game balance and also gives away a large amount of playful freedom and balance. This statement applies not only to duel games but also applies to less competitive concepts such as CCG role-playing games or even solo games. These concepts also benefit from a resource system, as this helps to balance the cards and relate them to each other in a realistic manner.

You can learn more about trading cards games in various blog articles on the internet, of course this kind of games also makes heavy use of Fantasy Stockart.

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What is a Collectible Card Game?

This special kind of the card game genre emerged in 1993 when Magic: The Gathering first appeared in the local games and hobby stores. This game was originally developed by Richard Garfield and was the first of it’s kind, spawning a whole generation of collectible card games, trading card games or customizable card games that are still popular until today.

As diverse as CCGs / TCGs are, they have several things in common that include the use of a starter deck or introductory deck that features a basic inventory of cards used to learn and play the game. Then, each player is able to expand his or her card collection and therefore the play deck as well, using new cards from booster packs. The cards packaged in those booster packs have varying rarity levels and the packs contain a random assortment of those cards, usually between 8 and 15 cards. Typical for this rarity system is the fact, that rarer cards have a much higher gameplay value than cards of lower rarity. With enough cards, players can create new decks and strategies from scratch.

The founding father Magic: The Gathering dominated the whole scene with it’s presence, but several other CCGs have come and gone. Among them popular IPs as well as smaller background worlds and scenarios with more or less varying rule sets: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, Legend of the Five Rings, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are very popular examples.

As the internet continues to change our lifestyles, it also has big influence on the way collectible card games are played. With the emergence of Hearthstone, digital collectible card games gained massive popularity. Those game do not make use of physical cards and instead use digital representations, with the newer ones foregoing card images altogether by using icons or avatars. Digital card games also allow for a much more complicated rules set and more subtle ways of distribution and monetization with expansions, custom card backs, layered rarity levels, campaigns and so on.

Quality games require quality artwork. We are here to provide you with affordable, royalty free fantasy artworks for your board-game, card-game, computer-game or mobile-game. Browse and buy professional artworks available at our art shop: Fantasy Stockart.