Welcome to Scrolls Fans, home of all things "Scrolls"! The Alpha is nearly upon us, and eager fans are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to dive head-first into this exciting and dynamic CCG (collectible card game) adventure! Today, we have a very special treat - we had an opportunity to sit down with Jakob Porser, lead developer of this exciting foray into CCG territory, and ask him a bunch of questions about Scrolls!
sf.com: So far, how does the AI fare in battles?
Jakob: Slightly too good, I have to say! Jon Kågström has been writing the AI and so far we are very happy with it. Not only is it hard to beat, but it can handle any deck you give it, which makes for a very dynamic opponent. We are also very happy to report that it's not a cheating AI. It does not know anything about the scrolls in your hand or which scroll it will get from the library at the start of its next turn.
Will there be plans for more than 1v1 fights (3v3, 2v1, 1v1v1 etc)?
At the moment, there are no such plans, but even though the game isn't released yet, we have gotten this question a number of times. As always, we want to do whatever we can to please our audience, so if the demand for such a game mode persist even after the release, we will definitely look into it.
It was mentioned that the game's overall theme was pulling more from real-world folklore and sources; anything in the works for "demi-god" type characters or monsters?
I think basically all fantasy is pulling from real-world folklore in one way or the other, and Scrolls is definitely no exception. However, you won't see direct references to any real-world mythologies. As for "demi-gods", you will definitely get to battle some pretty nasty stuff. Some encounters in single player are against AI's using normal decks and some will be against bosses who has their own complete set of spells and skills. And of course, the greater the challenge, the greater the reward.
Something CCG games in general seem to employ in great number is personal spells - counter-magics, direct-to-monster/player effects and so on - what are some of the more interesting direct-effect scrolls available, currently?
I am personally a big fan of the damage that certain combinations of scrolls can cause. One such example is the use of "Death Cap Berserk" and "Leeching Ring".
"Death Cap Berserk" is a creature enchantment that makes a creature attack every round, regardless of its Countdown value (the number that indicates how often a creature will attack), but it will also damage the creature by 2 after every attack, eventually killing its bearer.
"Leeching Ring" is also a creature enchantment. It will heal its bearer by that creatures original Countdown every time it attacks. So if a creature has a original Countdown of 2 (meaning it will attack every other round) or more, then the "Leeching Ring" will completely negate the negative effect of "Death Cap Berserk".
Now if you REALLY want to put your opponent on his back, try sticking these enchantments on an "Honorable General". A creature with an original Countdown of 3 and whose rules read:
"When Honorable General attacks, all adjacent creatures set their Countdown to 0".
Needless to say, this combo is a power move. Now if I only could get it up and running more often!
Any plans for a deck-building tutorial in-game, for people who might not be as familiar with CCG-style games?
There is currently no tutorial for it, but we are trying to make it as easy as possible by nudging the player in the right direction. When you buy the game, you will have a pre-constructed deck at your disposal and as you play the game you will gain more scrolls that you put in your deck if you want to. So basically, if you never played CCG's before, you won't have to start out by diving into the whole deck building thing. We will also supply the players with some small advice as to what you should think about when customizing/building your deck.
Long-time CCG fans are bubbling with excitement about Scrolls; how would you describe the transition for players trying to learn Scrolls' system, relative to table-top CCG games?
I think the transition should be very smooth. Even though we are implementing some new features, it is still a CCG at the end of the day, and if you like that genre, then you should feel right at home in Scrolls.
What is similar about the system to more traditional CCG games, and what is different?
The cornerstones of a CCG are all still there. The deck building. The resource management. The dueling against other opponents. The collecting. The trying-to-abuse-the-rules. And of course, the epic wins and the heartbreaking defeats. But, there will also be new elements that the player has to adjust to, such as the game board. Moving a creature to the wrong tile, or positioning a structure in the wrong place, can definitely cost you the game. The game board also allows us to play around with area effects. For instance, some siege weapons in the game targets 4 tiles and some direct damage spells targets entire rows on both you and your opponents boards.
We have also made some changes to the traditional way of gaining resources. Any scroll in your hand can be sacrificed to gain a resource output, so there are none of those frustrating matches where you lose simply because you are unlucky with drawing resources. We have also done our best to adjust the game play to suit its online environment. Less time waiting for your opponent to make a decision, makes for a more enjoyable experience.
Any plans for an in-game representation of the player - an avatar, character model, etc?
Yes. There will be avatar customization and the possibility to find/unlock new swag for your avatar. This feature will probably be somewhat limited in the beginning, but expect us to increase the number of options as the game progress!
It was mentioned earlier that there weren't currently any plans to have in-game wagers for cards, resources etc -will there be a way for players to trade cards?
Trading is a big aspect of any CCG, and an option we would like to extend to our players. It will not be featured in the first release, but it is definitely on our todo-list.
If you had to pick one word to describe Scrolls, what would it be?
Oh no, I always fail at these questions...