Hey Rangers! We've got a special dev-blog from the designer of the solo mode in the upcoming Power Rangers Deck-Building Game Storage Box!
You can pre-order the storage box now! It will contain cards that you can add to your deck which allow you to experience the game solo. How, you might ask? Read on to find out!
When I went to design a solo mode for the Power Rangers Deck-Building Game, it was both an exciting and daunting task. The goal was to provide a solo experience that felt like you were playing the standard game against an opponent who was also building their deck. The core game, however, was entirely a competitive versus game, very much at odds with that goal.
The solution ended up being a deck of Solo cards. As the goal is for the game to feel like you are playing the regular game, the Solo cards guide the "A.I." of the enemy player on their turn. What is on the Solo cards? There are 10, and each includes a card type (Hero, Villain, Equipment, Maneuver, or Location) and a special effect. The special effects are all different. Some are attacks, some are resources, and some are useful utility effects. Both of these elements are important to the enemy turn.
Each enemy turn, you draw one of the Solo cards, noting the card type listed. There is a priority when it comes to what the enemy will buy or battle. Zords, Masters, and Signature Items top that priority list, but otherwise, they will focus on the card type listed on the Solo card for the turn, if possible. This makes their turns a little random so you can't predict exactly what they are going to try to do in order to obstruct them easily. As far as the special action, unless it is providing resources like Shards (which the enemy will gain earlier in the turn), it is resolved towards the end of the enemy turn. It might attack you for damage or Stuns. It could activate attached cards. It could help the enemy thin their deck. A lot of possibilities! Additionally, a selection of the Solo cards allow the enemy to also use their character's energy payment ability, if any. All of this usually takes less than a minute to resolve. Combined with the guidance from the rule sheet, it is all fairly simple.
So far you might have noticed that I have used the term "enemy" to refer to the "A.I. player." The idea was to provide you with a great deal of choice and options as far as who you play and who you can play against, so the enemy can be either a Ranger or Villain. If you want to try to best Tommy with Lord Zedd, you can do it! Due to the nature of the original game, some of the playable characters are not ideal as the enemy player due to complexity or having a greater amount of decisions (the guidance can only go so far!), like Dayne with his myriad Signature Item options. However, for the most part, the mode was designed to be set agnostic. No matter which core set and expansions you may have from the original to Shattered Grid, you can play the Solo mode.
This mode was specifically designed as a Solo mode. I did give some thought to making it work for multiple player counts (such as 4 rangers versus Rita!), but wanted to keep it focused on being a fun and balanced experience for a Solo player first. As such, it was not tried as a Cooperative mode, but maybe it will give industrious players the tools to make their own Cooperative games. This was fun to work on and test, and I look forward to seeing it in peoples' hands later this year. May there be many exciting solo games in your future (and may the power protect you!)
- Marcus E. Burchers.