Blood of the Empires Card Game


The Fountain War Kickstarter failed to galvanize the Eve Community and resulted in a tremendous amount of drama. (To say the least about it.) But there are consequences to that effort and the results that you may not be familiar with. One of those is a project that I've been working on for almost a year, in fact I brought early game design concepts with me to last year's Fanfest to discuss in private with several people. The concept is called Blood of the Empires and it is (or was) intended to be a new Card Game based on Eve Online.

In talks with CCP I was told that it would have to wait, as "other" projects were being prepared for launch during the same time-frame. So BoE was put on the back-burner and myself and my development team of volunteers (Marc Scaurus and Xander Phoena are two of them) waited to see what the results of the other projects would be.

Sample Card Designs

The BoE Card Game would feature my spaceship art on the cards. With 142 pieces already done, the majority of the work on art is already completed. The game itself is rather simple and brilliant in its execution. Using the Alliance Tournament system for ship values, each player builds a Fleet using no more than 100 points. Then each player does battle with a selection of Action Cards featuring typical Eve related items, tactics, lore, history, trolls, and other actionable items. In this way each player conducts PvP with the other fleets until only one player is left standing. Depending on the number of players, a typical game session should run about 30 minutes.
A Sample Player "Hand"

The goal all along was to make the game fun to play even if you know nothing about Eve Online. And to build in game play that could make it easier or more difficult to play, depending on the skill level of those involved. In addition we also had plans for additional services, such as Mobile support, if the KS warranted it. The Mobile version would provide yearly point value updates, as well as additional functionality. Plus things like a Battle Arena play-mat, Pirate and Faction Expansion Packs, over-sized Collector Cards, skinned rare cards, branded sleeves, famous FC modifier cards, AT Winner Decks, etc. All depending on how well the community supported the idea of course. Imagine wooden or metal Deck Boxes engraved with the BoE logo. Every time a new ship is added to Eve a new card is added to the deck. The long-term potential of the game is staggering.

I've had experience with building card games from scratch before. I was involved with game-testing and development of a card game back in the mid-1990s for a small company you may have heard of called Marvel Entertainment. I was the Creative Director on the Marvel OverPower Card Game, which also became the DC OverPower Card Game and more. Not only did I help to develop the game, I also designed it. So I've successfully done this sort of thing before.

I'm bringing all of this to light right now because I'm a tad frustrated. My original plan, in light of the Fountain War failure, was to construct "test" decks and bring them with me to Fanfest for play-testing. Perhaps holding a Player Presentation and presenting the game at the event, having some buttons or cards to give out and generate interest in the game there. The idea was to create a grass-roots demand for the game and to help generate
some energy to use to convince CCP to support another kickstarter. This was my plan. 
However, as many of you well know, I'm not in a financial position to outlay thousands of dollars to build test decks for something that may or may not happen. I strongly believe in the project, I think the game will be amazing, but I have enough trouble making my mortgage every month. Much less bankrolling concepts that use someone else's IP. An IP I've had enough trouble with over the years I might add.

So, as usual, I'm turning it all over to the Eve Community. Anytime I have problems I can't solve I turn to you. I don't like keeping secrets and it is time this project became public. As I said many times in the wake of the Fountain War Kickstarter, the community can decide for itself what it wants to support and what it doesn't find worthy. And I believe in the power of those words enough to let this project come to light.

There are those at CCP who might be upset at me for publishing this post. I can't help that. I'd hope that they would understand the reasons why it has become necessary. I simply can't invest the time and energy needed to complete the card game, play test it, build test decks, all on the "maybe" of something happening down the road. With the potential fear of yet another "modified" Fountain War KS in the works, that raises its own concerns. If my original timeline had held, all of that would have happened already, the KS would have launched this week and we'd have completed decks finished in time for Fanfest.

So what now? I would like to see this game see the light of day. But I don't know what to do at this point. So I'm laying it out there for the community. What happens next is anyone's guess. If this is something you'd also like to see happen, then make your feelings known. If you can help in some way to make this happen, then please let me know. If you have suggestions, advice, or other comments, then I'd like to hear those as well. This community of ours is incredible in so many ways, we tend to figure things out for ourselves eventually. So maybe something positive will happen and we can move forward together. 

And maybe, if we're lucky, one day we can play Blood of the Empires together. I'd like that.


PS: Let me say this clearly. Anyone who wants to get personal should not do so in the comment section of this blog. I will delete your comments.



31 comments:

  1. Lol. you're asking the 'community' to assist with the project to convince CCP, but in the exact same sentences backhanding CCP and your difficulty working with them.. Dont quit your day job.

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    1. Anyone that knows me knows the difficulties and the struggles I've had over the years working with CCP, these things are not secret. I've had stores and video games taken down, and plenty of other challenges over the years. I'm not going to apologize to some anonymous commenter about my efforts to create a working relationship with CCP.

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    2. hey anon, get some focking balls and identify yourself. you basement dwelling douche canoe.

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  2. If you don't have a license from CCP to proceed with this, what's the point? You can't make any money off of it. You can't make CCP want to make more money from players who would most definitely love to buy this game by throwing even more of your own time and others' money at it and then beating them over the head with a finished product. There's way too much history of similar projects that went nowhere in the very same way because CCP has no apparent interest in establishing a licensing scheme for their IP that would allow amazing player-made projects to come to life. If I were you, I'd focus my time on work that paid my bills, not woulda-coulda-shoulda been great EVE-related projects that CCP has shown no actionable interest in making happen.

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  3. If there was work to be paying the bills it would be happening. Sometimes things happen and your entire professional network vanishes and you are left to start over mid life. It's easy to think by the looks of things that his efforts aren't on focused on real paying work but they are, so much more than you see. Rixx is an incredibly gifted person, more than he leads anyone to believe. What takes someone else days or weeks he completes in hours. It's about more than money, it's about dreaming and taking action. Which is how he ended up with one of the largest ad agencies in our city in two years time. The thing about judging from the Internet, you only see what is made available for you to see. You've not seen the huge potential client contact spreadsheets, heard the go nowhere client calls, or read the we have no interest in you any more emails.

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    1. I know about Rixx's talent, accomplishments, and the bad shit you guys have had to deal with. My point was that CCP does not appear to be a reliable path to income for a freelancer. And I get how frustrating that has to be. From the outside looking in, we all keep wondering why they are so clueless about this stuff. People would want to throw money at projects like this and not only its creators but CCP could profit. Why do they hate money? It boggles the mind.

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    2. Also, why not just reimagine this game disconnected from the EVE IP? I assume by now it's been at least somewhat playtested. I assume the rules are simple enough that they could be tweaked to take out IP-specifc stuff. You could always make it spaceship/sci-fi themed, just not EVE-themed. Maybe in a fun comic book style. Then a Kickstarter could proceed unencumbered and with Rixx' following in the community, it would probably get sufficient support to succeed.

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    3. Maybe a successful product that could have been theirs is just what they need to see the light?

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    4. It is a possibility that has been considered.

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    5. I'd be into this. I like spaceships. They don't have to be CCP spaceships.

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    6. It is possible. However that means starting over from scratch for me, clearing the deck of already completed work and re-inventing hundreds of spaceships based on my imagination and nothing else. Which, again, can be done but it is rather riskier than basing something on an existing IP with a built-in fan base.

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  4. I think this could be successful as a kickstarted standalone game (see recent success of Exploding Kittens). If the idea is a CCG that is going to require investment and a big entry-point then I think not so much.

    As a standalone, I'd definitely put money into Kickstarter for this, and I don't back many things on Kickstarter.

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    1. It is intended as a standalone project and the necessary investment is very small for a Card Game. I suspect the KS would be very successful in a short period of time tbh.

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  5. A spaceship based tactical combat card game with a built in tournament theme? It's been nearly 10 years since I last played a MtG tourney but this would have me back to a card shop tonight if the play is solid.

    I sincerely hope you get some traction with CCP off of this post. If not, please do not let it die, I and many others will happily contribute to a kickstarter based on the concept as an entirely new IP. Yes, it would mean new art, but given your portfolio of past work if you adjust the KS goals accordingly I think you would still be able to hit your targets.

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    1. Thank you, that means a lot to me. I am considering it.

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    2. Would also support something like this on KS, EVE themed or not.

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  6. Like everyone else has shared, I think you should go it alone with original concepts. I'd be standing in line right behind Mael. Just leave open the possibility of having a version of the game themed on EVE, much like Monopoly versions you see appearing all the time; you never know if an initial success might draw CCP's attention. Though I tend to agree with Mynxee's statement; I too think CCP is afraid of making money. It's almost like they're a shell corporation for the Icelandic mob that doesn't want to draw "too much" attention and are just kept around for appearances and as a tax write-off.

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    1. I believe EvE is one of the largest foreign currency earners for Iceland, a nation of ~320,000 people. I hardly think the "Icelandic mob" would be able to get their fingers in that pie without it being known. I don't think CCP is averse to making money, they just want to protect very unique IP. After all profits from EvE themed stuffs would be very thin.

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    2. Oops! I see the problem...I forgot the closing tag.



      I do disagree with your premise, though. I think EVE themed items would be wildly profitable, especially taking into account the advancing age of the player base for a game firmly into its second decade. I'm sure there's a lot more discretionary income available to players that started 10 years ago and would like nothing more than immortalize their conquests in the real world. Just my opinion; feel free to ignore.

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  7. I have to agree with starting it without CCP specific IP and then pitching it to them after you have a proven product. Maybe that could be a benefit of the kickstarter... Being able to offer designs or names to the different types of ships?

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  8. I must say, A iPhone/Android version of this kind of game with EVE IP would get my money from the app store

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  9. I would probably support this.

    Still, a few things :

    Exploding kittens was an expensive game. 56 cards and about ~25$. The rules are kinda crappy, but the art is funny.
    You talked about a deck creation, with 100 points. Assuming the "base card" would be 2 decks, each having at least ~15 ships (that's more of an AT team and must be over the 100p limit, but you need to have some spares to play with a few different rosters), action cards (20 for each player) and a few items (10), that's (15+20+10)x2 = 90 cards. So probably not that cheap, which may be a barrier for a lot of people.

    I can see 2 different base decks (calamaris vs gallente ; goldido vs minmatar, for example), maybe some kind of more expensive pack with less cards, but higher paper quality, for a specific pirate faction. And with rules to be able to mix any race in a deck.

    A mobile version is something very different. It's a lot more expensive, and CCP may not allow a direct "competitor". They are already making video games, after all.

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  10. Mobile game.

    Also I would ignore ccp and eve related stuff, they can't even put together a store that sell baseball caps and tshirts with logos they already have on them.

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  11. I would back this in a second!
    Unfortunately the EvE IP doesn't seem to be getting much love outside of the game itself. I haven't seen too many out of game items, which is a shame, because I would love to put things like this in my collection.

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  12. I'd probably back and buy it. I have a weakness for these type of games and this looks like it could be pretty interesting.

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  13. I'd buy it. My sons and I would play the heck out of it. I'd still win, of course

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  14. Here's a thought, maybe CCP is so reluctant to back any products based on eve, because they are the only ones who know how small the player base is. If the number of people who play eve is much smaller than most of us think it is, that may make some sense of the companies attitude.

    Cerv

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  15. This is a "fan"tastic idea, I'd really love these!

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  16. ... also the art is really innovatively presented. The fact that Rixx left these art asset focused means that you can do so much with them, they won't age as soon as they've been purchased. For very comp you contemplate you'll be flipping through these for imaginative play testing.

    Money upfront is what I'd be willing to offer, perhaps as a stocking filler a small gift of appreciation to all the bros in Vendo.

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  17. This literally looks great and sounds like fun. Whether Eve themed or not I would back this.

    In case anyone from CCP reads this:

    As others have said you guys don't seem to know how to manage your IP in a way that lets the fans have what we want and makes you money whilst protecting it. There is a lot of pent up demand for Eve related products that goes un-tapped.

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