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Evolution Cards

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1 Evolution Cards on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:14 am

I was just thinking about animals that go through 'life stages' and these animals habits effect the environment differently as they grow. Would this ever be something that came up in the game?

EXAMPLE:


FLY"S

Fly's lay eggs on carcasses and hatch into maggots that help to clean up the mess. I'm sure there may be critters that are willing to feast on maggots. Maggots become flies and repeat the cycle while in this stage feeding other life.


FROGS

Frogs lay eggs which may feed animals such as snakes. Eggs hatch and become tadpoles which feed other life as well such as some birds. They then become frogs which become food for cats, herons, ECT.


Animals such as Gypsy moth larva can strip trees of all their leaves.

I'm not sure such a thing may even be put into the game as it complexes things a bit and requires more art, but if it were to be incorporated into the game somehow I think it would work to place and adult on top of a larva stage card kind of like the Pokémon evolution, but this could effect the food chain setup of the game.

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2 Re: Evolution Cards on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:53 am

This sounds pretty essential to the educational aspect of the game, but the technical side of it is troublesome. I'm imagining that for life stages (which we definitely don't want to call evolution, by the way) we could just have, for instance, a Tadpole card that says "after x turns, replace this card with a Frog," which by itself is fine.

However, it obviously requires a Frog card to be immediately available. So how do we make sure we've got that card there to play? Printing both animals onto the same face of a card would be far too cramped, and backs are out for obvious reasons. I contemplated several possibilities for folding the cards so they have flaps that can be turned, but that would reveal information about said cards to the opponent, as well as being a nightmare if you want, say, third-graders making their own cards. Requiring kids to print them out will work, but if the cards require ASSEMBLY, too, then that might be pushing the limits of what we can expect...

The best solution I can think of is to have people just look through their deck for a Frog, then put it into play and shuffle their deck. An inelegant solution, but also the only one that's come to me that would work.

One final thing I want to say -- a relatively obvious solution I'm disinclined towards is to require that players draw the card for the next stage in a creature's life before the creature can progress. Because, I mean, really -- how unrealistic is that? It just seems like a bad idea, not to mention it would be exactly like how Pokemon handles evolution. Originality is good.

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3 Re: Evolution Cards on Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:33 pm

The best solution I can think of is to have people just look through their deck for a Frog, then put it into play and shuffle their deck. An inelegant solution, but also the only one that's come to me that would work.

This sounds like a good solution to me and I think other card games use this method.

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4 Re: Evolution Cards on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:12 pm

This is where the concept of card sets would be particularly handy. i.e. there could be development of a game that addresses a relatively specific concept, and that there would be a particular card set that could go with this. In other words, we can always provide pdfs of these card sets (perhaps the game developer will create these pdfs by piecing together existing cards).

An example of this was a suggestion via some blog post where a game specifically dealing only with ant colonies and a specific prey would be interesting. Here, there would be various different types of ants, each with certain stats, and the object is to work this community of ants towards a specific goal.

Forbidding's idea here could develop into a game where the actual "win" is whether the fly or frog develops into maturity.

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5 Re: Evolution Cards on Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:29 pm

I think perhaps "evolution," a term I vehemently agree we should avoid when referencing the life cycle/metamorphosis we're talking about, depends on how we are presenting these cards. I need to read the proposed rules more carefully, but it seems like we're talking about entire ecosystems here. If we imagine the species cards to each represent a single organism (one tree is represented by each tree card), metamorphosis makes sense as a game construct. We can talk about a single organism and its struggle for survival.

I suppose I imagined a more abstract representation of the presence of a species within a particular system. For example, you could have a grasslands habitat and introduce corn (Z. mays), it doesn't mean we're keeping track of one rogue stalk but rather the presence of corn generally. In this case, metamorphosis isn't very meaningful. How would we talk about an ecosystem that has frogs instead of tadpoles? This isn't to say that germination, reproduction, mitosis, metamorphosis, etc. can't be part of the game, but the importance of these concepts and how they're treated by rules and other cards should be addressed differently.

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6 Re: Evolution Cards on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:01 am

Here's a thought regarding the life cycle. Once the proper habitats are in place to spawn youngsters, perhaps the eggs/juveniles could be tokens (perhaps printable in sets from the website?) that would not be able to do much except flee predators, and then after a certain amount of game turns, they would cycle up into being full cards (by flipping the token over or being substituted for a card, if there's one available)? That way, all you need is one card to explain what the animal can do, and then multiples of that animal, if you end up with more than your cards have (or if you don't have a card available), the tokens represent the extras?

That would make for an interesting game set to play where an environment has to fight off a hostile parasite or an invasive species in a survival-horror style game.

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7 Re: Evolution Cards on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:45 am

glunsforddavis wrote:
I suppose I imagined a more abstract representation of the presence of a species within a particular system. For example, you could have a grasslands habitat and introduce corn (Z. mays), it doesn't mean we're keeping track of one rogue stalk but rather the presence of corn generally. In this case, metamorphosis isn't very meaningful.

I agree that the most logical way to set up the game is to have every card represent that species as a whole, not as an individual. As such, it would odd to have metamorphical stages as groups, unless said species is known for mass spawning/growing.

Also, I believe the use of egg/juvenile counters would make the game overly complicated. It goes from being a ecosystem building card game to a turn based large scale strategy game. The end goal is having more sustained species than the opponent, and it wouldn't be fair to say you were able to keep ten rat cards around, while I could only muster three Indian Elephants.

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8 Re: Evolution Cards on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:50 am

glunsforddavis wrote:
Also, I believe the use of egg/juvenile counters would make the game overly complicated. It goes from being a ecosystem building card game to a turn based large scale strategy game. The end goal is having more sustained species than the opponent, and it wouldn't be fair to say you were able to keep ten rat cards around, while I could only muster three Indian Elephants.

Games that have food requirements, like the Strategy game ruleset proposed, would make having ten rats an exceedingly difficult system to maintain without cannibalizing one's resources. I see your point. I wasn't envisioning it being used as a way of growing a massive army of X to use (although, there is merit to be said for being able to do that just to show how phenomenally destructive it is to the environment around...), but just as something that could be used if you wanted to play more of a particular creature than you had cards in your hand for, and could support.

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9 Re: Evolution Cards on Sat May 01, 2010 3:08 pm

I think one of the goals of Phylo is having cards that can be played different ways or in various game styles.

Currently I think were aiming for a game that is based of the food chain and environment as a whole. This could be seen as a separate game based of off species development and survival, but such a game would have to be put aside and addressed at a later date until the food chain game can be sorted out.

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