While working on some designs for unit tactics in the card game this morning, I realized the creation of a combat zone can’t be as limited as I previously suggested. If a substantial portion of a player’s deck is going to consist of characters, I think players will want more flexibility to use them than I’ve offered them.

There is a potential problem though, if any unit may initiate combat, it may break some, I don’t know, suspension of disbelief. I wonder if perhaps an inherent ability of locations is that they are able to create combat zones. I don’t want the effect to be too easy, nor too difficult — it needs to be fun and playable, after all.

Cookiemonger and I had an interesting discussion about gameplay in The Sims last night, pertaining to interaction and life stages/cycles. While I recognize that certain elements exist to inject a sense of realism and thereby enhance its immersion, I think the designers chose poor elements — which were implemented poorly.

Pathfinding, for example, adds little to the fun of the game, and subtracts quite a lot. If Sims simply moved from room to room via “portals” (doors, hallways, whatever), then a significant source of frustration could be excised from the gameplay experience (like when they stomp their feet and wailing about being unable to reach an object).

Coming back to the card game, I’m thinking that a certain minimum level of investment must be maintained to ensure that interaction remains meaningful and deepens the level of strategy. Trading cards as a resource to achieve effects is a building block of interaction. The question lies in what an individual card is worth.

So, here I am debating whether it should be necessary to print the rules for gameplay uses on every single cards. If a location is intended for use as a field of battle, I want to be able to include more than ancillary rules reminders. I want room for unique powers and exceptions. Additional modes and uses for everything!

But I suppose that’s where a line has to be drawn. At a certain point, the game ceases to be about basic card interactions, and becomes a game of exceptions. *ponders*