Friday, May 25, 2007

Adventures In Playtesting

By Hayden-William Courtland

Countless hours are devoted to fine-tuning the choice of cards and the powers/abilities on the cards that get printed in each expansion of a trading card game. I’ve contributed to this process as a playtester for several games and numerous expansions and it has always been a treat. However, nothing compares to working with new cards for a brand new game. With no other cards previously in print and no preconceived notions of how gameplay and deckbuilding should be, playtesting for a new game is a blast.

When I jumped into testing for the 24 TCG I was immediately drawn in by all the new cards. There were so many to choose from, that it was hard to decide where to begin. I settled on an Agent deck since I could easily focus my deck around everyone’s favorite modern-day hero, Jack Bauer. Thirty minutes later I had assembled a pile of cards to build my deck. I was happy that there was a restriction of two copies of any one card per deck, because it meant I would be forced to have more different cards in my deck. However, when I started building I realized that I had collected far too many cards for my deck. You’re only allowed to play with 24!

I had to cut cards from the first run and made a deck that aimed to make Jack really beefy. My opponent took a different approach with a deck that had many smaller Terrorists. These characters played early and in numbers, often without weapons at all; them simply ran on over and slapped me around. As such the attacking was strong from the get-go, well before Jack even saw the table. I sat there thumbing through my hand, scratching my head, and then realized that when you reach the point where players have 5 time in their game, their game will be more than half-finished. So, the balance of card costs in my first deck build wasn’t optimal – the game can be fast. As a fan of the TV show I should have expected that!

So I rebuilt and rebuilt and eventually things settled in. Anyone who watches the 24 series knows that Jack can get big and beefy carrying items and firepower. Well, he certainly can in the game as well. I just had to be selective in the number of items and weapons I placed in my deck. In addition, I added a few cards to help get Jack out quickly and to buy me some time in case he’s running late. In the end it worked and my fellow testers had similar success with nearly every deck archetype they championed. There are lots of great cards to look forward to in the 24 TCG. But don’t take my word for it! Try it out – there’s nothing quite as rewarding as figuring out how a new game is played and feeling like it is your own.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Only Three Months to Go!

We're right about three months from the release of 24 TCG with the Day Zero Tactical Packs. The Tactical Packs will be followed by the full booster release First Edition in September.

With the game only three months from being released we're going to start posting regular articles on this blog leading up to the release of the TCG. The official 24 TCG site will be up and running any day now but this blog will allow to show off a more behind the scenes look into to designing everyone's favorite game about saving the world from terrorists.

Remember, events occur in real time.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A few early game results

David and Sherry Palmer easily defeating Nina Myers and her Femme Fatales.

Jack Bauer, with a lot of help from Kim, defeated Charles Logan and his minions.

Yet another Jack Bauer vs. Jack Bauer match up, I think Jack won that one.

Jack Bauer barely held off the Palmer onslaught.

To finish the best of the early games today a nail bitter between two different Palmer decks.

Day Three Begins

Playtesting started again about 40 minutes ago, after a nice breakfast of donuts and well more donuts. The extra sugar should help get things going. Today is shorter day than Friday and Saturday but we'll still get in plenty of games. One of everyone's favorite cards so far is the senator version of David Palmer. Man he is really good. Well off to test.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Day Two is Done

Well Day Two is finally done. Some 14 hours or so of testing, it is time to call it a day. Let me just say this game is turning out to be a blast.

Keep on keepin' on

12 hours later and we're still going. From Jack Bauer to Nina Myers to Chase Edmunds to Victor Drazen we've seen it all today. The fast-paced game engine has held up just like we thought it would. Players are having a very good time playing their favorite characters from 24. The unique timing and deck size are creating a great TCG experience. We'll have some more updates and fun playtest weekend stories over the next few weeks. Don't worry we're not done with updates this weekend though.

Day Two is well underway

We're not quite as hardcore as Jack Bauer, instead of 24 hour days we went from 8am till 8:30pm yesterday. The plan today is from 9am till about 11pm or 12am. We started a little late, around 9:30 or so. With an even dozen of us we should get in around 400 or so games today, not bad.

My plan today, at least for the first part of the day, is to play Nina Myers and her Infiltrators. These are the bad guys who represent the spies, the ones who sneak around and try to back stab everyone including CTU. We'll see how they go.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Jack Bauer vs. Jack Bauer

In my first playtest game of the weekend it was a Jack centric deck vs. a Jack centric deck. In a series of three turns Jack killed Jack five times between me and the other player. What good times.


This weekend (May 4 - 6) is our first major playtesting session for 24 TCG. We've been working on the game since November 2006 and now it is time to grind out and test the cards. It should be fun, about 16 or so of us will be here all weekend and we'll be testing over 450 cards! I'm going to make sure to post some funny stories and insight from the weekend. Check back for as many updates as we can post.


Welcome to the 24 TCG blog. We'll use this blog as a more casual place to update information about 24 TCG.