In this new feature, we’re checking out Card Shuffle, a team-versus-team game where you use minions and spells to take out your opponents.
We really appreciate the game’s accessibility and quick start-up. When the game starts, you are presented with various heroes and card decks each with their own unique traits. Every hero has two special abilities that can complement the different decks in various ways. Finding powerful and clever combinations among the heroes and the decks is a big appeal of Card Shuffle. The Devourer, for instance, summons a free unit whenever you use a card that creates a minion. Combining it with the ‘Beyond the Grave’ deck -- which focuses on overwhelming your opponents with low-cost minions -- can lead to a very early advantage. Alternatively, the Devourer’s heal ability synergies well with the ‘Machine Spirit’ deck which contains minions with large healthpools. Try out different combinations and find the one that suits your playstyle the best.
We asked Fulla for his thoughts on the creation of Card Shuffle and this is what he had to share with us.
Traysent: Please introduce yourself!
Fulla:Hi everyone, I'm Fulla, I'm 29 and from Essex in England.
T: How did you get started in game design?
F: I started in the original Starcraft, but nothing serious -- just fooling around. When Warcraft III came out, I started to get a bit more serious. I made a map called ‘Ninja vs Samurai’ that got quite popular and made a sequel to the already popular Elimination Tournament map.
T: What made you want to make games with the StarCraft II editor?
F: I'm much more of a gamer than a mapper. I play a lot of the arcade maps out there. If I see a map I really like that's abandoned I'll sometimes remake it. Every now and then I get a flash of inspiration to make something new myself.
T: What was the inspiration for ‘Card Shuffle’?
F: I played many cards games when I was young and I always wanted to make one myself. A guy called ‘Zync’ made a 'Card Shuffle' map in Warcraft III and it truly inspired my map a lot.
But Hearthstone was the main motivation. It showed how a relatively simplistic game design with heroes, hero abilities and cards could work.
T: How long did it take to complete ‘Card Shuffle’? How many people worked on it and what roles did they have?
F: I was fiddling about with the concept back in the beta of Wings of Liberty. But the game mechanics never quite seemed right. I scrapped the project over and over. In the past two months it really started to come together. Mostly it's been a solo project. I got a lot of help from ‘Gizmomcs’ on the UI and ‘Noobinabox’ with the terrains. I also received tons of feedback from other mappers and players on Battle.net.
When the game was still unreleased, I’d often host the map publicly and duel whoever happened to join. Obviously as the developer, I’d win the matches with no problems, but this one time, I faced someone, who like everyone else, had never played the game before and he crushed me five games in a row!
T: What was the most challenging part in the development process? How did you overcome it?
F: The balance was always very challenging. Depending on the team size, whether it was two or five to a team, it got thrown into complete chaos and disarray. I realized that I'd have to choose one or the other, so I limited it to 2v2. After that, the development process became a lot simpler and faster.
T: What do you feel makes your game compelling?
F: It has a lot of thinking, strategy, combos, timing, and plenty of diversity to keep it interesting. In the future I'll be adding much more cards, mechanics, decks, heroes, letting players build their own decks, and maybe some kind of tournament if there's enough interest.
T: Besides keeping things small and simple, what advice would you give to someone who is interested in using the StarCraft II editor to make their own game?
F: Give before you get. Help other people out. They'll often be willing to lend you a hand later on. Browse the many mapping forums out there and see what projects are already being worked on. If you find one that's interesting, why not contact the author and offer your help?
One day I saw a map posted called ‘Snipers Promod’ and I thought it looked very fun and I had some ideas to improve it. I contacted the author ‘Gizmomcs’ and did a few things for him. Next thing you know we both got a surprise and it was the Arcade Highlight. As I mentioned earlier, he helped out with Card Shuffle and we've became good friends.
T: How did you get people to notice your game once it was released?
F: I posted on every forum available. I'm working on a Youtube video currently as well.
T: Do you have any plans for other games or future goals as a game designer?
F: I'd like to make a top-down shooter game. I don't feel they're any good ones out currently, and there's definitely a niche there. Think projectiles, lots of cool weapons, and gadgets to pick from. I’ll have multiple maps and modes.
T: Do you have any favorite games in the StarCraft II Arcade?
F: I really enjoy ‘Star Battle’ and ‘Mafia’. I've played them to death. My other map Micro Arena is very fun too, but it's hard to find competition when you are the maker.
T: What’s the best way people can follow you and your work?