CGD Podcast Episode 14: Failed “Fighting Card Game” Prototypes

In this episode, I discuss some of my many spectacular game design failures!


I tried about 30 times at least to create a simple yet deep 2 player “fighting card game”. Something I didn’t even get into in the podcast was the fact that the “fighting” theme is probably part of the issue.

I know a lot of episodes have been somewhat esoteric, not-exactly-game-design recently, so this one is 100% pure unadulterated game design experience. Enjoy!



  • Simon

    Good episode! I definitely like these ‘post mortem’ type things a lot. Inspiring stuff, even though in this case they were about failure :p

  • Jimmy Mac

    I designed a card game with my friend that’s a competitive 2-4 player game about running for president ( I really didn’t want to make a “dudes attack” game, so instead of being combat focused, our game is more economy-focused. It uses a worker placement mechanic as its core, and layers stuff on that. It was interesting to hear some of your ideas about card games and think about whether we dodged those problems or not. We definitely tried to keep the competition of a game like Magic: The Gathering, but blend it with a more Euro sensibility. It’s a beta version now, and we’re hoping to launch in February. I’d be happy to send you a copy if you were interested in learning more.

    One thing that we thought a lot about that you didn’t mention was bluffing. I think card games like poker, Magic: The Gathering, and others are mostly fun because of the mind games and using them to out play your opponent. Magic is a rather dull game if you are just thinking about attacking and blocking. It’s the whole, “Does my opponent have the answer, and do they know that I know they do/don’t…” thinking that gives it depth. It’s something we tried hard to build into Ameritocracy.