Wing Commander Card Game - Is there a digital version?

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Let me ask you guys - as far as a "tabletop" is concerned, I was thinking about going with a starfield, maybe with the "nav map" connections drawn on top of it. My current plan is to set up the Nav Point cards so that they can be randomized prior to gameplay. I've also given some thought to the possibility of having the four-player map in the mod somewhere; it wouldn't take a great deal of additional effort to add it, methinks.

Any suggestions or ideas about what needs to be in the mod or any wanted features would be most welcome.

Yeah, I think the background should be more or less a star field with the nav points and probably lines between nav points drawn out. I also think the four-player variant is fairly important - it's a lot of fun! Not sure how flexible the engine is, but when someone throws down a minefield or nebula, it would be fun to see that graphically represented in space somewhat.

There's HUGE potential to expand the CCG with new cards, but as Whistler says, you have to manage your ambitions somewhat and work on what's realistic and practical first.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
I had some time today to work on card clean-up; I've got eighty cards from the Confederation set done, a little over half if I've done the math right. I've pretty much decided to just make the corners transparent and call it good for the time being; more serious clean-up work can take place later if any of the images look like dreck. Not all of the cards have the same around of whitespace around the cards, but so far the differences in sizes aren't too jarring. At least not to me...

One thing I do need to share and then ask about: today I was able to locate my collection set (the ones I've got in card sleeves, not the loose ones I'd use to make decks with; those are still unreachable at the moment due to the unfortunate presence of a spare box-spring I need to get rid of - which also happens to be denying me access to my copies of the WC Novels, my hardcopies of WCRPG and my copy of Secrets of the Wing Commander Universe). In with that set was a copy of the rules (probably obtained in a starter pack circa 1995 or 1996 at the original Starbase 21 in Tulsa; I only got to go there two or three times during that period), and I came across this:

IMG_1062.JPG


I've noted that in the "board" setup here on the CIC that there are no connections indicated between the pairs of Nav Points on the sides; it has everybody passing through the center of the board. That begs the question - is the CIC version incorrect, is it a variant, or was does the CIC's setup reflect the original intention of the designers? I'd figured I should ask that question.

I could do that setup as another board variant; that'd be easy enough to set up...
 
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ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I think that might just be our typo. I don't believe those were rules posted online, just our transcription of the printed instructions. As you note, it creates quite a huge bottleneck in the center to eliminate those side lines.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Crossed the halfway mark on the images today. I might get some more done before the day is out.

One thing I wanted to ask y'all was about this:
  • Q. Why is Stealth Technology so pricey?
  • A. The line, "May be played in addition to any other Weapon System" was omitted. Play with this version of the card. It's lots more fun!
That's off the FAQ page from September of 1995 and I'm assuming that came originally from the folks at Mag Force 7.

Do y'all want me to try to add the text to the cards, or should I leave them be?
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Alright - be honest with me now: do these look like dreck or not? If so, I've still got the original images.

k-we-ste-tec-alt.png
c-we-ste-tec-alt.png


Looks like I've got a few artifacts to clear up on the Confederation one for sure. The Kilrathi one isn't looking all that great its own self. Guess it helps to get the cards against a darker background...

On a related topic, the initial cleanup of all 314 cards is now complete. Construction of the mod can begin at this point, and VASSAL mods let you update images as needed, so I can begin building the thing and clean up the images some more while that's all still ongoing.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
The cards I'm working with ARE the hi-res scans. At least, I think they are...they're definitely from the ccg.jetlag.us site, I can tell y'all that much. What I'm trying to cut out is all that white-space around some of the images. Some of them have quite a bit.

Might've grabbed the lower-res thumbnails by mistake. Since I've got the initial cleanup work done at this point, though, I'd be understandably hesitant to start all over again.

The CCG might look pretty cool in Tabletop Simulator if setting it up would be easy to do; the big issue I've got there is the price tag. $20 is a bit much when the missus is 35 weeks pregnant.

I might have failed to mention that one at any point in time during the last eight months...

VASSAL is 100% free and I've got experience using it. The main drawback with it is that it's dependent on the Java Runtime Environment. As a PC user that's not that big of a deal to me; others may not feel the same way.

Anyways, what do y'all think of my alterations to the Stealth Technology cards? Yes? No? Adding that line of text was not easy...
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Your Stealth Technology cards definitely do not look like dreck. I think the text looks quite authentic. For the rest, well, I'd be happy enough to play withe these cards even if they have certain faults.

I also second the motion to keep to the official cards for the being.

But great project and always nice to see the energy that is put into fan work.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Knocking some boards together this morning. I've got three board versions so far - the original 2-player board, the CIC bottleneck and the 4-player board. I'm going for a simple look on these at the moment but I'd still like y'all's opinions on how they're looking so far before I proceed further.
 

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ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The white border artifacting I see on the couple examples you posted here don't look great, but when it's in the game engine it actually looks intentional and consistent with the white jump/nav lines.

I think your added stealth text looks fantastic.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Thanks, ChrisReid - and thanks for the front-page spread this morning. I thought the little white-border "place your nav point cards here" boxes might do a good job of covering up the artifacts, at least until I can get them all cleaned up a little better...

Alright. The cards are mostly presentable and the boards are pretty well finished at this point, so it's time for me think about markers and things. I want to try to add some kind of "damaged carrier" marker - still debating between a simple "DAMAGED" text filter to add to the card or trying to work in some kind of fiery explosion marker...the explosion marker would look cool but it's the sort of thing I'm not certain I could pull off. I also want to do some kind of "TAPPED" marker; that one I've pretty much decided will be a text thing. I'll need to add some kind of feature to untap all cards, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

I want to do the Ready Areas as a separate board, something visible to both players. I'm thinking for that I'd just do a background with the Confed sword-and-star symbol on one side and the Kilrathi Icon of Sivar symbol on the other (i.e. the same symbols that appear on the backs of the cards). Extracting those images from the card backs is cake (is the cake a lie? / Ukaknav'ha er?). I might also use smaller versions as part of the top menu to keep the master card sets, where you go to draft up a deck for yourself. I'm still thinking of the mechanics of deck building - I'd like to keep the common/uncommon/rare feature if possible but I don't really know how to go about doing it without putting unnecessary limitations on the players. I might ultimately abandon that whole notion.

Turn markers are also on my list of to dos. I'm thinking there I just need some kind of translucent cover. I have the names of the factions and number counters ready to go; I was going to make the faction names a permanent feature of the game boards, but I had the thought this morning about possible future changes - if we get that far - that might need to make that bit flexible (e.g. if we ever successfully add a "Border Worlds" deck in the future). Hell, folks might just want to play with Confed on the right and the Kilrathi on the left - opposite of the way they were in my little GIMP eye candy shot. I can set that up now and make things easier on myself later.

I think that will cover everything...can anybody think of any other markers that might need to be added to the game at this time? Did any of you ever use any markers to help you play the game back in the day?
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Quick little visual effect later...

k-s-siv-glo-dmg.png


Thrakhath says: "Ja'lra ri'awinhal va bhantTerran'hra, yansh?"

Works reasonably well, I think.

I may have an idea as to how to finish cleaning up those edges. If it works, then I'll clean the cards up and we'll go from there - the process will take some time but it'd be time well spent. If not, well...at this point I've got all my art assets, I think.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Okay - that looks a hell of a lot better:

k-s-siv-glo.png
k-s-siv-glo-dmg.png


I had to go turn the threshold value up way high on the original card. Looks like I've got a little bit of that explosion effect bleeding onto the edges, but I think that's something I can live with.

So the good news is that I can clean up the artifacts to an acceptable degree. Bad news: I have to start over on the card images. Won't be starting building the mod today, but that's the only delay I can see at this point.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Alright, that was fairly brutal, but I can report that I've successfully cleaned up all the cards at this point. What remains as far as the artifacts go looks like wear and tear on the cards, which combined with the fact that not all the cards are square should enhance the "authentic" look IMHO. As part of the process this time around, I went ahead and uploaded each image temporarily here to the CIC forum, looked at them, fixed any that needed it (of which there were two or three - the Hell's Archer Squadron card had the top of another card in its image, something I missed the first time around) and then took them down. They all look good to me.

Which means my art assets are all ready to go at this point. I'ma gonna take a bit of a break from this now, but this evening I think I'll begin work on the mod proper.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I'm still thinking of the mechanics of deck building - I'd like to keep the common/uncommon/rare feature if possible but I don't really know how to go about doing it without putting unnecessary limitations on the players. I might ultimately abandon that whole notion.

One method could be to assign "points" to each card during a new deck building phase. Commons "cost" 1 point, uncommons 2 points, rares 3 points, or whatever makes sense. There could be a default where players each get to build/bring 100-point decks in (which would work out to 30 commons, 20 uncommons and 10 rares, or some other comparable combination that falls under the limit). If players wanted more flexibility, they could raise the limit to 150 points and bring in 10 commons, 20 uncommons or 30 rares. With this model, each player may have different total numbers of cards in their deck. At 200 points they'd have significant customization (60+ rares or some huge number of commons/uncommons and a handful of rares).

Another model, if the engine supports it, would be to literally apply a rarity to the draw pile. Rather than a random assortment, common cards have a greater likelihood of showing up earlier in the game. Rares would be unlikely to be drawn initially, but would increase in likelihood as the commons/uncommons are drawn. The drawback of course is that if the deck is entirely comprised of Rares, then they're all equally likely to come up. :) But this could be combined with my first model or perhaps with some forced distributions of common/uncommon/rare quantities in a deck (take a small number of rares, get an increased chance to see them early on in play. take a large number of rares up to a set limit quantity and the rares are more likely to be drawn later in the game).

In regards to your Damaged text overlay, you might want to try a thin black outline around the letters so that they contrast with the card images more.
 
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capi3101

Rear Admiral
So...something like this?

k-s-siv-glo-dmg.png


I think I like the hyphens better than the tildes anyway. This one's a little darker than the original but it still works. While I'm at it, let me showcase the "tapped" overlay.

tapped_example.png


I did that one earlier in the day, and the plan is to go ahead and give the card some rotation as well in-game.

Should've read the card itself a little more closely...you can't tap Rachel for mustering purposes. Oh well - bad example then.

I'll give your ideas on deck building some thought. It is possible to limit the number of times a card would appear in the drafting deck - I was planning on using that very feature to keep strict adherence to the rule of only one copy of a particular Luck card in a deck (you can't put more than one copy in your play deck if there's only one in the drafting deck).
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
I guess for the deck building mechanic we could/should also ask long time CCG player (of other systems) lots of stuff like drafting, cubes, ... exist to address our problems here
 
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