I have posted some artwork Dennis Saputra made for a game of mine, which I haven’t spoken enough of, and as much as it would deserve, in the past.
In this article I want to remedy this grave negligance by introducing to you and giving you an overview of my game
Crystal Clash, which is totally unrelated to Elemental Clash and my other “Clash Games” save for the name, was conceived when my younger sister Nora “confessed” to me that she, in constant admiration of my game design activities, always wanted to be part of such a game too. So without much further ado I offered that we could design a game together. So with Nora’s creative advice – she designed the characters and what they could do in the game which I then “translated” to game mechanics and specific card abilities based on said mechanics – Crystal Clash was born and within a few days I had come up with a great, new game system and, with the creative input from my sister, two sets of cards as well. At the beginning, the game consisted of two preconstructed / fixed deck, each containing 40 unique Character, Ability and Relic cards – The Darkness and the Light Decks. Hence we named the first incarnation of the game “Crystal Clash – Light vs Darkness”.
Here is a video review of the original Light vs Darkness version kindly done by Andrew Lloyd of Left Hand Reviews:
Among others, I sent a copy to the game to a renowned American games publishing company, whose name I am not yet at the liberty to reveal I think. The lead designer of that publisher is a good friend of mine and long-time supporter of the Elemental Clash project and he liked the game a ton. Currently we are working very hard on polishing and fine-tuning the game and may be looking at a 2014 release.
In order to increase the appeal to a wider audience of gamers / potential customers, I designed two more decks, Order and Chaos, to make 4 player games possibly even with just the base game. My game designer friend proposed one slight tweak of the game rules which works greatly and we will add one addtional “coolness” or “wow-factor” to the game, which is a secret for now and until we have figured out how to do it properly!
So the in the Crystal Clash base game we offering gamers the following four “factions”:
So you see the that each deck has a specific theme to it. Also, to ensure consistency AND diversity when it comes to the visuals of the game, I decided to have one deck illustrated by one artist and even with half the budget as for Elemental Clash, I was able to get high quality art from some talented artists. Manchen Yang did the Darkness artwork, Laurie Thomas the Light artwork, Cj Penna the Order and Dennis Saputra, who also illustrates Elemental Clash cards now, did all the Chaos artwork. I am very pleased with the result and want to seize the opportunity to thank all contributing artists for their great dedication and awesome works they made even at such low charges. And not to forget, Enggar Adirasa, my loyal, long-term supplier of great art and graphics and good friend, just yesterday delivered some awesome card layout for all four factions. Let me show you the layout with some descriptions on the anatomy of a Crystal Clash card:
You will notice the many, coloful symbols in the text box of the cards. This was a pretty recent idea of mine since there are some very common keywords on the cards and they were pretty heavy when it came to the amount of text. So I had the idea to replace the most common keywords with little symbols of different color to achieve two improvements at once: Firstly, the amount of text is reduced drastically and secondly, the readabiltiy is increased and players can recognize at once what the card abilities do. This was most important with the “offensive” and “defensive” keywords which are relevant in the context of how combat works in Crystal Clash and were replaced by a small, red sword symbol and a small green shield symbol respectively.
Let me give you a brief overview of how Crystal Clash is played:
The most unique aspect in Crystal Clash is that your “Life” is also your resources and the game features a “resourceless resource system” as I like to call it – a thing which I highly enjoy in any game, be it of my own creation or of someone else’s. So in Crystal Clash, each player starts out at 10 Crystals which can be spent to play Characters, Ability cards and Relics from hand. The goal of the game is to reduce your opponent’s Crystals to zero. You do so by attacking your opponent using an Offensive Ability of one of your Characters or an Offensive Ability card. The opponent may react by using a Defensive Ability of a Character or a Defensive Ability card OR letting the attack get through. In the former case, the blocking Character loses one of his or her Life Points and in the latter case, if an attack is unblocked, 2 Crystals are removed from the attacked player’s pool. So you see, the Combat System is something completely different from the “standard approach” of Characters / Creatures / Monsters having an Attack and a Defense value as is the case in games like Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! or even Elemental Clash. Such is unheard of in Crystal Clash. Furthermore, you generate new Crystals at the beginning of your turn, after having drawn 3 new cards from your deck, by discarding exactly one card from your hand and adding a number of Crystals to your pool equal to the Crystal Value / Cost of the discarded card. Your Crystal Count is kept track of by a 2o-sided dice and the Life and Magic Points of each Character card in play are conveniently kept track of by means of red (Life) and blue (Magic) six-sided dice placed on the Life and Magic Orbs you can see in the above card sample at the bottom left and right of the Character card.
There are really some unique and tough gameplay decisions involved with the way the mechanics work together in Crystal Clash. During Charge Phase, you have to consider carefully which card you want to discard, as cards with a high cost will get you the most Crystals but are also generally more powerful when played. Then of course you must be really careful with spending your Crystals as they are not only your resources, but also double as your “Life Points”. So spending Crystals is a double-edged blade so to say: Would you rahter have a huge army of Characters or will you stay safe and save most of your Crystals for later. That’s some of the tough decisions, indeed decisions that matter, which you will be facing when playing Crystal Clash!
And as I mentioned before, my game designer friend from that mysterious games publisher and I are planning for something completely unheard of and totally awesome which will give the game the “wow-factor” it still lacks. I will update you on that once we got everything worked out! So stay tuned!
To close my introduction to Crystal Clash I want to show you some actual card previews in the form of 4 Dragon cards each belonging to one of the four factions.
Thank you for reading and all the best,