Deckbound Heroes – Deckbound LLC – PAX East 2017
Deckbound LLC Launches First Beta to Ambitious Series
After exposing yourself to dozens of different game genres over the years, it takes some something really special to make you think “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” PAX East attendees had moments like this at the Deckbound Heroes demo.
Deckbound LLC plans to make an ecosystem of games based around the same collection of digital “cards.” With Deckbound Heroes as its centerpiece, the indie studio wants to expand outside the CCG genre into new territory. At the booth, players could also demo a work-in-progress called Deckbound Spears. While this “shoot ‘em up” has a very different tone from its predecessor, the two games use the same cards. With four basic types of cards to purchase, an expansive Deckbound series would be an incredibly impressive sight!
Gareth Jenkins, the founder of Deckbound LLC, explained to Stack-Up just how these digital cards work. You can purchase cards either in packs or as individuals, but they remain “permanent digital assets” that cannot be replicated or destroyed. No two cards are alike, and none can be effectively traded outside of the Deckbound engine.
The developers also introduced another form of purchase using something called “Nomad cards.” These cards randomly appear in your deck before each match, free of charge. However, Nomad cards leave your deck after each game unless you purchase them. If you decide to keep a nomad card, it drops out of circulation. Buying nomad cards can be a great way to build decks, since (unlike booster packs) you know exactly what you get.
While a card’s use in Deckbound Heroes is quite specific, the same cards can create effects in Deckbound Spears. For instance, a “Hero” card might grant special bonuses in Heroes, but it might change your character’s appearance in Spears. The overall effects have some flexibility, which makes the cards useful in any upcoming title.
Players can even strengthen cards after constant use, like a leveling system. These leveled-up cards also transfer between games, and they keep their gained experience. In other words, you can (theoretically) buff your favorite cards in an easy game like Spears to gain the upper hand in Heroes. Jenkins states that his team takes the game’s difficulty into account when making the leveling system. However, he doesn’t deny that farming in easier games to tackle harder ones might make a decent strategy.
Deckbound Heroes has been gathering followers since its closed alpha, and the developers have considered their suggestions while moving forward. The creators deserve credit for the game’s dynamic design; having two heroes battle over bodies of water/lava makes Deckbound Heroes look more like a video game, and less like a fantasy version of Poker.
The Deckbound Heroes beta opened on Steam earlier this month, but the game is still under development. Expect a full release later this September, along with the first online tournament!