The Traveller Spirit
I was talking to someone in a game store about Traveller as I was heading out the door after an event. He was interested only in solo play. His view is that the cards for this game (and others) are a toolkit for people looking to play a game. Paraphrasing, he said “May not be in the spirt of the game …”
What is the spirit of the Traveller Card Game?
We made a game patterned on various other card games familiar to us while also reinventing some mechanics used in card games not so familiar to us. But, we don’t decide what the spirit of the Traveller Card Game is.
The players do.
There are customizable card games heavily oriented to tournament play. Traveller is not one of them. Just as my Shadowfist group that plays more than most of the world’s Shadowfist player base plays with a bunch of house rules, customizable card games can lend themselves to many forms of play.
Look at how many play casual Magic, multiplayer Magic, casual multiplayer Magic. As toolkits go for players to play the game they want to play, customizable card games are relatively efficient. The components are portable, easy to manipulate, easily mixed with each other, and varied.
I have played a ton of solitaire with a 52 card deck. There are plenty of games that someone can invent using the components of Traveller.
And, Horizon is not only fine with that, we encourage it. Tell us what you want to do with the card game. Do you want cooperative play? Try some rules and let us know what you’ve discovered. Want to play seven player games? Let’s see how that would work.
Solitaire play is more popular than we had in mind. I can see multiplayer play doing reasonably well if the critical mass can be achieved as the game doesn’t have a clear “what’s good for me is bad for you” ethic, like some card games oriented to two-player have.
I’m pretty sure I said this before, but the ease of switching between solo play, two-player play, and multiplayer play is a differentiator from many other card games.
Want to use Traveller cards for art in a RPG? That was part of my reasoning for getting into Shadowfist 20 years after I first played it.
I made up an ad hoc game of Dragon Dice versus some CCG many many years ago, can’t recall now whether it was Vampire or Ultimate Combat!, could have been both. Some of that game worked better than I thought, i.e. some of it worked at all.
I’ve read some reviews where the reviewers wished the game wasn’t so CCGlike, that it was more of an adventure game with cards. Great! Come up with mechanics to accomplish that. Let’s take this toolkit and see if we can architect a variety of ways to play. As I think the game can play like a CCG for those who like CCGs and play very differently for those looking for something different.