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Intro to Card Crafting

Intro to Card Crafting

Posted by Renegade Game Studios on May 13th 2024

Intro to Card Crafting

What is card crafting? 

Pioneered by John D. Clair in 2016 with his hit game, Mystic Vale, card-crafting is a revolutionary spin on the deck-building game format. Unlike collectible card games where you purchase cards and build the deck outside of play, a deck building game centers around that aspect, you know, the deck building. 

In a classic deck-builder you normally have one, maybe two decks that you can draw cards from. You hope that you’re going to draw a card that’ll aid you in your quest, whatever that may be. 

Even if you memorized every possible card (and some people have) what you draw is still random and your strategy has to be flexible because you might draw the perfect card, or not.

Card crafting asks a simple question at its core- what if this card I drew was….better? What if it could deal a little more damage? What if it allowed me to draw another card? Or spend less action points? What if you could craft that card to fit your strategy? 

The shop is a vital part of the rpg experience, from video games to tabletop there’s nearly always an option to buy add-ons or upgrades to help you along your adventure, so why should your card game be any different? 

Enter card crafting games! While drawing from the randomized deck you can also buy advances or upgrades that will enhance the cards you have and give you a boost to the next round. The longer you play and the more upgrades you get the stronger your upgrades become too. However this can come at the trade-off of the challenges being harder to beat. 

How to play a card crafting game?

Luckily most card-crafting games are self contained. You buy a box with all the materials and you can play the game in endless ways! 

Most games make use of clear acetate plastic windows on the cards, allowing you to stack them in a sleeve and still see the relevant information. There’s also a few games that use cards with odd shapes and cut-outs to allow for stacking without fear of acetate scratching or warping. 

After unpacking your game and doing all the prep (popping tokens out of boards, shuffling and organizing stacks and decks) the game directions should prompt you on how to set up the first round and begin play. 

Are card crafting games multiplayer?

They can be! Each game will have it’s own specifications but most card crafting games have the option to play with at least one other person. All alone? No problem, some of them even have a solo mode- who needs solitaire? 

Where can I find card crafting games?

The newest card crafting game from John D. Clair is Unstoppable, which is going live on Kickstarter on June 18th, 2024. Unstoppable is a sci-fi card crafter with solo and co-op modes, tons of lore, and three different bosses you can choose to fight. 

Check out the Kickstarter here and follow Renegade Games to keep up with our new releases!