FAQ

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Playig the game

Q: How do I play the game?

WTactis offers multiple rule sets, so you can actually play the game in different ways. Start by reading your favorite rule set, then build your deck using the cards available in our card database. Print, cut and sleeve them and you're all set.

Q: Why are there multiple rule sets?

Since WTactis is an free and open project, anyone can create a rule set, and play using our cards. In fact we encourage players to think about the rules, and take part in discussions on how to improve them. The rule sets are not even fixed, and they are just a guideline on how the game could be played. If you and your opponents agree to tweak the rules, go ahead and just have fun playing.

General

Q: Won’t printing/developing the cards be quite expensive?

Not compared to buying any other pre-printed CCG on the market, no. It will actually be quite cheap since:

1) The player knows exactly which cards he/she wants to print, so he/she doesn’t have to pay for random cards or other cards they don’t intend to ever use.

2) Card rarity is not an issue that will push prices upwards on existing cards on the (second hand) market.

3) Commercial and closed-source CCG:s are purely profit-driven, so they have a constant incentive to keep prices up and devise ways to milk you for as much cash as possible in the long run. We don't. We give you all the material and you can then decide how and where you give the cards physical life – you choose what photo lab you will use, if you print them at home, school or at somebody's work. In the end we give you great freedom to acquire the physical cards any way you want, suggesting that costs become what you make of it.

4) In the worst case scenario we could ever imagine and by using really bad numbers we have concluded that the cards could cost you about the same amount as the almost cheapest cards you'd find on the second hand market for the popular commercial and close sourced CCGs out there. But here is the sweet thing: Even if the price of our cards was 2-4 times higher than those, you and your friends would still end up saving fortunes due to what's mentioned in the previous paragraphs above. Also keep in mind that you can print/develop every card for the exactly the same price per unit (or even lower if you get quantity discounts and do a develop/print order together with other players).

Q: Will the game be playable with real paper cards?

Yes, we will supply the world with the cards as high resolution files in standard file formats like png/pdf etc. People can then print the cards for themselves (and use plastic ccg sleeves to make them thicker/sturdier) or develop them as digital photos and get really professional-looking cards to play with. There's nothing to stop you from printing on materials other than paper, if you want. (Should you find a way to print on plastic cards please let us know!)

Q: How will the game be playable online?

By using open source CCG engines like OCTGN2, gCCG or others like LackeyCCG the game can easily be played online, totally for free, without spam and other unwanted distractions. It can also be done so in a decentralized and totally community driven manner – something we value highly. The power will always be in the hands of the players.

Q: I'm not into this DIY-crap. I just want play an already assembled game.

Everyone is also allowed to sell this game, meaning there is probably somewhere that you can buy it online, pre-printed and nicely packaged. You could also pay somebody to assemble it all for you if you can't/won't do it yourself. WT would, even in that case, still be very competitive and price worthy. To be honest though, if you are not interested in even assembling a game odds are high that you would thrive in a non-community driven forum where the players are just consumers. We would however still recommend you to try this out: It's actually fun and gives satisfaction to have accomplished something yourself.

Development

If you want to become a developer, team member or are a developer of another project then this section is for you.

Q: May I join your team?

Yes, of course! We'd love to get more active members to our team. Please present yourself in the forum and tell us what you're good at and interested in, and we'll give you some tasks.

Q: Can I use your assets but create a totally different game/rules?

WTactics is organized in such a way that you are welcome to join the project even if you want do develop a totally different ruleset: We'd just organize ourselves in different rule developing teams. After a while we would pick out the best one as the official one for the project. By working this way and joining forces, infrastructure and assets under the same project roof we grow stronger instead of having to re-invent the wheel all of the time.

You are of course also free to just harvest our resources and use them for whatever you wish without being a part of our project. In such a case you would however still have to abide under the same license as our assets, meaning your product would have to be open source and compatible with the GPL2 or later. We do not recommend such an approach though as forking only creates fragmentation on the very small indie CCG developer scene that is around. Most of the time all small projects perish since they star all over, doing work that has already been done by other teams, facing the same problems and so on. We encourage us to merge forces instead, so that we can create something stronger and better together.

Q: What kind of cards should the game be focused on?

WTactics should focus on a world containing sentient humanoid creatures in a low-fantasy medieval era, inspired by and set in the Battle for Wesnoth universe. As such, the creatures are the main pieces in the game. Cards that are played are somehow related to these creatures and their various lives, conflicts and tasks.

Q: How much player administration is tolerated?

WTactics is intended to be playable both on a tabletop and on a computer. It's our opinion that the sort of things a player must do every turn, or usually does every turn, in terms of writing, removing/adding tokens, shuffling decks, keeping score and so on, should always be kept to a bare minimum.

We believe the focus of a game should be on playing it, and not administrating it. Too much administration takes away focus and fun for the player, and prolongs the game needlessly.

Q: What sort of player preparations may be required?

When designing rules for WT they should always be written in a way which have very low demands on player preparation. It's OK to require players to have x amount of cards, have some tokens, pen and paper, normal six-sided dice, and so on. It would not be OK to require that players have specially-designed boards, terrain pieces etc.

The game must always be portable and easy to (un)pack. It should also be easy to play it on a casual mid-sized table, and every part it uses should be easily available without epic preparations and adventures to get hold of/create the parts needed to play the game.

Q: Is card balance a central aspect of how a good WTactics design should look like?

Yes, yes and yes! Card and faction balance is central to the game. Every designer should make it his/her goal to not deliver broken cards or cards that break the game itself.

Unlike many CCG's all cards in WT are freely available for everyone. There is no point in designing super-cards or cards that are only 'balanced out' by the fact that they're 'rare'. Super-cards, and games that use systems where the player with the 'best' cards win have been devised by the commercial interests within the CCG industry and the only reason for releasing such cards has been to make greater profits. The super-card concept is inherently flawed, unrepairable and generally indicates poor design skills on the part of the creator.

To ensure balance the WTactics developers must always be prepared to revise cards which need to be changed once they have gathered enough data about the problem.

Q: How big can the card pool be?

if you're prepared to finance the creation of new art or can contribute new art yourself the card pool can be whatever size you want it to be.

Otherwise, the card pool in the core set is around 250-300 cards, which is a standard number in the CCG industry. Of those around 120 are creatures since we already have all the art for them in place, while the rest of the cards will be other card types with different artwork. These other cards still lack artwork, and any contributions are appreciated.

Q: Must deck-building be a part of the game?

Yes. We believe that a solid card game, which wants to compete with the CCG industry on its own turf, must allow deck-building and have some kind of rules for handling it. Releasing pre-constructed decks etc. is in order, but the option for players to somehow customize their decks to a huge extent must be there.

Q: Is there a minimum or maximum number of cards for a deck?

This is up to the designer of the specific ruleset. The only global limitations we have set is that a deck of some size should be constructed and that the deck is not over 60 cards. Preferably and due to availability and economical reasons associated with the player and the nature of how this game is distributed, a complete and playable the deck would be in the range of 10 to 40 cards.

Q: Is there a design document available that explains things in greater detail? I want the hardcore reading!

Of course, you are searching for the General Design Document. It outlines what criteria should be satisfied when developing a new rule set for WTactics.

Q: Who decides which rules will be the official ones if several suggestions come in?

All participants in the project may want their own rule set to be a contender for the official rules version. They will be playtested in the community and we will have lengthy discussions. In the end though, the lead developers, will then declare the winning rule set that will become the official for WTactics. All other rule sets will however be kept here at the site as alternatives, allowing the community to maintain them if it wants to.

Ethics

Q: What kind of ethical responsibility does this project take?

The project is made up of several different individuals with most likely very different backgrounds, interests and ethical convictions (if any). WTactics does not try to change it's developers, nor does it exclude people for having a different ethical understanding from each other as long as they aren't counter-productive or somehow sabotage the projects probability to reach our goals. Thus the project has a wide tolerance for different ethical stances within the local development teams.

WTactcis, on a meta level, through it's domain and the WTactic concept itself - the project to invite people to create several local projects that try to create a CCG - tries to take an ethical responsibility. It does so by being open, transparent, including, pluralistic, non-censoring, cross-culture & cross-class. WT doesn't fear what might be politically incorrect or what could be seen as controversial: We allow any development team to use the game project to discuss, comment and awaken an interest in ethics, ideology, politics, real world issues and problems, should they want to do so.

The project also aims to follow international laws to whatever extent possible and will always comply with legal representatives that stand on solid ground. We do however differentiate a discussion about laws from a discussion about ethics.

Q: Isn't a CCG bad for the environment?

1. Yes. And so is reading this FAQ on you computer :-) Almost all urban human activity has it's toll on the environment. But, don't read that as a justification for you and us polluting and taking a huge crap on the planet - it's not. The fact that we're all a part of the problem doesn't magically make the problem go away, or somehow make our personal responsibility smaller. The answer of the question would depend on what we'd compare the playing of the CCG with: Do we compare it with global tourism? Flying? Cruising in an SUV? Spilling oil? Watching flowers grow on the hill? Playing a computer game? etc etc. While we live in a world where consciousness about environmental issues is supposedly higher than ever we as humans are far from perfect and have a really long way ahead of us before our politically correct small-talk will actually be converted into real action. When you decide to consume or use a product, any product, you are likely to contribute to the destruction of this planet as we have once known it. Ask yourself what you think is best for the environment on a rational basis, and act accordingly.

2. Playing this CCG would indeed have an effect on the environment in some degree. To what extent is pretty much up to you. You can select the inks you print with, the resolutions, recycled paper, the phot lab, if you order or if you use your bicycle to pick up the cards and so on.

3. WTactics should generally be much more environment friendly than the closed source - commercial products found on the market due to the above paragraph. In addition to the distribution model and locations of production, we don't use tons of unnecessary plastic wrapping/boxes for our product, and since people can choose exactly what cards they will acquire there are small to no amounts of production of excessive unused crap cards that nobody wants.

4. What would you do if you didn't play WTactcis? If it's something creative and better for the environment we urge you to do it. If not, them playing a CCG might even contribute to minimize the damage you would have done to the world if you would have partaken in certain other activities ;-) In any case: If you have printed the cards you should take care of them - you save money, life and the world by doing so. Be responsible and take care if the planet, cause nobody is going to do it for you.

Q: Do you pay the artists you hire good enough wages?

We pay people what they ask for in all cases we can afford it. Different artists charge very differently for a piece of art depending on many different circumstances, such as but not limited to: The pieces complexity, quality, deadline, bulk orders, artist's location etc. What a 'good' and 'bad' wage is also varies with the mentioned and additional factors.

We have never broken a deal or withheld payment for a job that's already done, no matter if we've been happy with the result or not. We would like to pay every person that somehow works for us very well and would love to throw heaps of money on them if they're good at what they do and their work contributes to making this project real.

That said, we simply can't do that: We have no funding for this project, it's open source, all work for free on it, and whatever money that has ever been spent on anything for it has come from our own pockets. We're casual people doing this as a hobby, and are not backed by a million dollar budget. Some of us have mortgages & bills to pay, others are student or maybe even currently unemployed. None of us are 'rich' or have plenty of cash over.

While we can't pay an artist hundreds of dollars for a piece of art we do our best to partially compensate for that by giving huge artistic freedom, no deadlines and in general a huge and direct influence over the project.

Our dream is to have in-house artists that would want to be a part of the development team and create art for us free of charge. Until that becomes real, we are forced to hire people, and we will keep doing that as long as we can afford it.

If you believe we should pay artists as much as possible you are free to donate us the money and keep it coming in to us: That would allow us to pay more. (And again: Please keep in mind we work for free and don't keep a single cent from the donations.)

Q: Who's responsible for this site's content?

Every person that posts is the only responsible individual for his/her contribution to this site.

Nobody can post without already have been given an account, and that is also the only quality reassurance mechanism we have in place. We don't queue submissions for review before they're published.

If we ever discover a, for some reason, problematic post we have reserved the right to edit it or delete it completely without a warning to to it's author.

Q: Who decides what's 'appropriate' or 'un-ethical' or in some other way problematic for this project?

The project's founder, snowdrop, has reserved the right to at any point do whatever he/she feels is necessary to protect the project and to keep in on track and heading towards the goals in the General Design Document.

WTactics' Relation to Battle for Wesnoth (BfW)

Q: What is this section about? What is 'BfW'?

If you don’t already know, please skip this section. Now. It will only confuse you and is not needed, really.

Q: Several things in WT don’t correspond to how they are in BfW. Can you fix it?

Yes, but we will not.

Our goal has never been to port or replicate BfW into a tabletop game in a way that as many mechanics and details as possible remain true to how they are in BfW. That would be great to do if the tabletops value is measured in how well it replicates the computer game instead of looking at how well it works on the table,

BfW already exists, and it is a great game on it’s own right, in the form it’s in, meaning as a computer game. Many of it’s concepts and ways of handling things depend on it remaining a computer game. While it is perfectly possible to convert the whole computer game into a tabletop game and retain every detail or as many as possible WT was not created to do so. We think it’s meaningless to create something which is only a worse off copy of the original BfW. To anyone that wants to play BfW on a table with a friend we’d recommend using two laptops ;-)

To create a fun and easy to play card based tabletop game we deemed it necessary to deviate from several BfW core mechanics and principles which rely on computerized administration. Some of the ones that were left behind in the Original Rules Concept were the: Terrain system, keeps, gold and villages. Instead the original rules concept focus on the battles only, and even they were revised so that plenty of dice repetitive rolling isn’t needed.

Q: But this and that is in BfW and would work great in WT…

If you can show us a concept in BfW (or anywhere else for that matter) that doesn’t contradict any of our design goals and which adds something functional to the game which isn’t already there in some form and that also makes the game more strategical or fun without adding to much admin or rules associated with it, please contact us.

If you on the other hand have some of the following concepts in mind: Time of day, more randomness and damage types – then please don’t contact us about those topics if you want to include them in the Original Rules Concept. They’ve been under consideration and we have decided against it for different reasons. Again: Ask your self if the reason you want it in WT is that it replicates BfW, or if it is because it brings something else to WT which isn’t there. (If you on the other hand want to devise a brand new rules system that use such mechanics please go ahead and then contact us – we happily acknowledge and accept all suggested systems and would love to publish it here!)

Q: What is the relationship between the two games?

1. WTactics is short for Wesnoth Tactics, as the game is heavily inspired by BfW and is set in the same or a very similar universe, using many of its characters and some of Wesnoth’s game concepts. In part, WT is a tribute to the BfW community and open source gaming in particular.

2. WTactics uses some of the excellent artwork found in Battle for Wesnoth as card art, mainly for our creature cards.

3. WT also gives back all of its own new and original art work to the Battle for Wesnoth community and the open source community in general.

4. Except for that, WT has really nothing to do with the computer game Battle for Wesnoth, its forum, wiki or developers. Please don't contact any representative for BfW if you want information about WT, and vice versa! We are two totally separate teams with two separate goals and creations and there is no official co-work going on.

Q: Must I like or have played Battle for Wesnoth to enjoy WTactics? Does it help if I have ever played BfW?

Not at all, there is no such relation between the games. However, if you do happen to like one of them we’re confident you should at the very least give the other one a shot. One of them is made for computer gaming, other one is a tabletop card game.

Q: Is there a random element in WTactics, as there is in BfW?

Most card games have some degree of randomness involved. An example that is more or less a standard in the card industry is random card draws each turn.

The exact answer for WTactics would depend on which ruleset you used for your game. The ORC has intentionally much less randomness involved than BfW has in its battles. Having battles with strong random influence where misses are possible only makes our game last much longer and adds the repetitive task of administering dice rolls or something equivalent all of the time. One of the design goals behind the Original Rules Concept is to avoid that kind of elements occurring too often in WT.

Another reason for why one could seek to minimize randomness is that it lowers meaningful competitive play the more prominent it is.

Q: But I want to play the computer game on my table, with cards/dice/board/gold/meeples…

Then create such a game yourself and play it:

We give you all our material and so does Battle for Wesnoth. It’s “easy” creating a game, especially if you’re intentions is to just clone. There is also the option of using whatever cards we have released, altering them somewhat and releasing your own rule set instead, even if we think that a project has greater chance to succeed if people unite forces than work alone.