BrutalBall : a Future Sports Customisable Card Game

Introduction: BrutalBall : a Future Sports Customisable Card Game

Welcome to yet another customisable card game instructable!

This is time, I am devloping a new game based in part on Football (american), but set in the near future, with less players and includes "power-ups".

This instructable will be a sort of development log where I shall hopefully put all of my notes on my processes in developing this game.

Let us continue....

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Step 1: In the Beginning....

I want this game to be fast paced, but easy to play.


No nasty calculations
Easy game dynamic
Keep it fun
only two players

It's a short list, but I hope to meet these criteria, However, they may change whilst in development.

Step 2: Card Orientation

Believe it or not, card orientation does make a difference on how the game runs.

how easy it is to hold and scan the cards can dictate how fast the game runs and so should be easy to see and understand.

For this game, I want a mixture of orientations (typical!)

For the players, the cards will be horizontal (as they won't be held) and vertical for the play and power-up cards.

Mock ups of the cards are below.... (subject to change and improvement)

I have a fairly good idea how I want the look and feel to be, but I'm holding off just for the moment...

Step 3: Faces Everywhere

For those who may wonder where you get a fotofit face from (without lots of work!), I use this site... it's a bit of work to get a face, but it looks pretty good...

Step 4: Game Mechanics

This step is liable to be very long... if it gets too big, I'll split it up into a couple of steps.

Calculating the cost of players I think will work like this:

Attack + Defence + Speed + Health / 4

so on the demo card, the cost = 2

(2+2+2+3)/4 = 2.25 (rounded down = 2)

Basic Attack and Defence mechanics:

Speed is a big factor in whether or not any kind of sports manouver is successful, so we should reflect that in how this game is played.

(2hrs of pondering later and trying to make a 3 variable system simple to work out)

However, having speed as a separate variable seems to be really complicated (I can't get it to work with an easy system)

so, I'm going to change the variables to two - Attack and Defence - I shall work the speed into these two variables... in the end it shouldn't make much difference, but make many things easier.

So, this now makes the Cost of the player as the total of Attack, Defence and Health (I have changed it to the total of all the stats as it gives greater flexibility in the game)

See the new card attached....

I have increased the size of the image and the text space with the demise of the S column.

Attacking should work out as simple as comparing attack and defence values from each player - with the appropriate modifiers from the other cards.

Lets move onto another step and try some more mechanics....

Step 5: Game Mechanics 2

So after creating a second player and changing it's stats slightly we can have ago at combat/tackles

Lets call the guy with the dodgy tash and soulpatch "Bob" and the other guy "Eric".

Lets make some mechanics!

Bob has the ball
Bob wants to run down Eric to score
Bob compares his attack with Eric's defence (3 to 4)
Without any extra cards, Bob's play is stopped by Eric, but Bob will take one damage due to an agressive tackle!
Move the counter Bob's health bar down one.
If the health is less than or equal to zero then the player is unconcious and needs to be substituted from the bench.

Lets try it the other way around:

Eric has the ball
Eric wants to run down Bob to score
Eric compares his attack with Bob's defence (3 to 3)
Without any extra card, Eric's play is stopped by Bob. Eric doesn't take any damage.

So far so good! it may be a simple compare mechanic, but it is seems in this test case to be quite robust (and with a quick thought experiment works quite well, except if there is huge disparity in the values)

To limit large values there are two solutions :
1) cap the upper number (might change it back to 5)
2) When making a team, we can impose a fairly draconian limit on the team, however this doesn't stop having a single uber powerful character

perhaps a implementing both might be a good idea! (see last 2 cards)

Step 6: Next Step - Play Cards

Next we will start looking at the play cards

Lets start with passing the ball
with the team layout I have in mind (see pics)

Passing can be at most two cards (in distance), so, we should create two types of cards, long and short passes. Mutiples of these can be placed in a deck they will have to have a cost associated with them, but I'm not sure what to set them at yet.

To match the pass, on the defending team, we should have an interception card. This will steal the ball and turn an attack into a defence.
Mutiple steals in a single play should be quite fun!

The layout image, while looking confusing, is for both players and is the base for the layout. Buff cards will be played on the player cards and shouldn't interfere with basic layout.

Step 7: Expandable Buff / DeBuff Cards

Next to explore will be the Buff / DeBuff cards.
These will have various effects and will range from boosting stats to healing damage and hobbling your opponent.

There should be two types of buff/debuff "pre-play" and instant play
Pre-plays have to be played at the beginning of a turn and instants are played during a turn

These cards should not be too good as the effects can be stacked, they also shouldn't be too cheap. It's all about the balancing! So, I believe that no single card should be able to boost a stat more than 3 points and that the cost should escalate for the best cards. For each buff card there should be a debuff card too. This means there will be at least 18 instant play cards and probably an equivalent amount of pre-play cards. Now to naming them all! I could do with a hand with the naming and will gladly take suggestions! (leave a comment)

Instant Play Cards

These cards are played DURING a play. They are played and discarded during the turn, the effect is for only one move during the "play". These can be played on either team.

Caffeine - boost 1 point to both offecne and defence - instant
Pins and Needles - drop offence and defence 1 point - instant
Energy Surge - boost 2 points to both offence and defence - instant
Stumble - drop 2 points to both offence and defence - instant (Jacobz_20)
Adrenaline Rush - boost 3 points to both offence and defence - instant (Jacobz_20)
Fall - drop 3 points from both offence and defence - instant (Jacobz_20)

Strong-Arm tactics - boost 1 point to offence - instant
Heroic Strength - boost 2 points to offence - instant
Double Deuce - boost 3 points to offence - instant
Distracted - drop 1 point from offence - instant (Jacobz_20)
Tired - drop 2 points from offence - instant (Jacobz_20)
Fatigued - drop 3 points from offence - instant (Jacobz_20)

Quick Thinking - Boost 1 point to defence - instant
Desparate Defence - Boost 2 points to defence - instant
Bone-Crunching Tackle -Boost 3 points to defence - instant
Blinked - drop 1 point from defence - instant
Caught Off Guard - drop 2 points from defence - instant (Jacobz_20)
Ball Blindness- drop 3 points from defence - instant

Pre-Play Cards

These cards should be played BEFORE any moves are made. They last for the whole "play" and are discarded at the end of the play.

If people want to help in naming these cards, then there will be recognition given on each card! leave a comment!

Step 8: Expandable Buff / DeBuff Cards (Part 2)

Right.... where was I?

lets start on the pre-play cards, once again, they will buff or debuff players, but lets add some extra cards that can improve your play hand, or damage your opponents hand too...

as these cards are going to be played at the beginning of the turn, then they shouldn't be mega powerful. as an extra thought, perhaps there shold be some "group" buff/debuff cards too....

Team Tactics - boost a point to both offence and defence for the whole team
xxxxx - boost a point of offence to the whole team
xxxxx - boost a point of defence to the whole team

xxxxx - boost a point to both offence and defence for the selected player
xxxxx - boost a point to offence for the selected player
xxxxx - boost a point to defence for the selected player

xxxxx - drop a point to both offence and defence for the whole team
xxxxx - drop a point of offence for the whole team
xxxxx - drop a point of defence for the whole team

xxxxx - drop a point to both offence and defence for the selected player
xxxxx - drop a point to offence for the selected player
xxxxx - drop a point to defence for the selected player

(as with the other cards - help with naming these would be helpful!)

Step 9: Shooting for a Goal

Thinking about how this future sport should run, we know we have a goal and the ultimate way to win the game is to score.
This doesn't however tell us HOW to score.
Currently in the mechanics we have a way of dealing with tackles so, one way to score would be to beat down the goalie and drop the ball in the goal, however, we should also have a way of scoring a long range goal.

A distance goal can be scored from anywhere on the field.

A basic compare mechanic will cover the scoring (Offence must be greater than Defence)

a player has the option to spend health points to boost their attack.

The Goal tender cannot spend health, but can freely use buff cards.
A distance shot cannot be intercepted.

So, lets test this out once again with Bob and Eric

Bob goes for a long distance goal opportunity

Bob's Offence (was attack) = 3
Bob's Health = 3
Eric's Defence = 4

now, normally, Bob would have no chance of scoring from a distance, but he opts to spend two health points to boost his throwing power
Bob uses up two of his health

Step 10: Injuries

Now we shall work on what happens when a player is injured.

A player can only be removed from the field if their health is zero (0)

A player is then supstituted from your bench pile.

the size of this pile is determined by how many points you spend on your team and buff cards.

injured players on the bench recover one (1) health per completed play unless healed by a buff card.

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    4 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 7

    Boost 2 to both: Energy Surge
    Drop 2 to both: Stumble
    Drop 3 to both: Fall
    Drop 1 Atk: Distracted
    Drop 2 Atk: Tired
    Drop 3 Atk: Fatigued
    Drop 1 Defense: Juked
    Drop 2 Defense: Caught off Guard
    Drop 3 Defense: Got Lost (or something to do with losing sight of the ball?)
    + Change "Attack" to "Offense"
    + Possibly make some buff/debuffs do both, such as boost 2 atk and drop 2 def
    By the way, it's spelled Caffeine*


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    Great suggestions!

    I'll change add these and credit you with these cards!

    (p.s. I can never spell caffeine without a dictionary handy)


    8 years ago on Step 8

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions

    Once a player loses all his/her health they will be substituted off.
    Substitutions can only happen if a player is knocked unconscious

    a substituted player will gain one (1) health point for each play - this means that you could end up fielding a partially injured player.

    I was planning to have a preferred position for players (eventually) this will give the player a boost of stats in their preferred position.


    8 years ago on Step 8

    Expand on what you mean by "improve your play hand, or damage your opponent's hand too"
    Also, and I realize you just haven't gotten this far yet, but what happens when a player loses all of their health? Do you bring in new players? Or do you lose then and there?
    Lastly, I have another suggestion: each player could have requirements to what position(s) they can play.