The UCG 1.5 flopped!

Did that grab your attention? That's right, the Universal Card Game(UCG) as we know it is a flop. We've had some rough months and for the first time we were making money from the card game. What happened, you ask? Well there's much ground to cover and that's why I'm going to fill everyone in after a yearlong prelude.

 

Did you know we went to a convention? Yes, the print quality was that bad for the flyer.

Indie games have come a long way since the idea of a "Universal Card Game" was conceived. Our game was developed and created well before the entire mobile game craze that hit with the release of games such as Hearthstone, Gwent, MTG Arena, and Duels Links. Indie games were also much more niche back twelve years ago when I first decided I want to do game design as a full-time gig. Heck, I didn't even have a Steam account and I was one of the people who bought the DVD version of Half-Life 2 when it first came out!

Never did I think we'd have professionally printed stuff like this.

Times were much easier back then. I wasn't married and most of my expendable income went into the UCG. I think John and myself gloated at the fact we put in about twenty thousand into the game. A game that, at the time, was version 1.3. Let me tell you about the artwork quality of that one. I made a whole video on my long dead Youtube series "Card Critic" making fun of the stuff. In was infantile, there's no way a game made with photoshop filters on artwork we created in high school could come close to clashing with the mighty Magic The Gathering, Pokémon, and YuGiOh!. Yet, these were the games that we used as a selling point of the UCG. Rather than play all three of these games, just play ours! Yes, it looks vastly inferior and no one knows what the heck it is, but take my word on it!

See how well that worked out?

Architect of the Flesh by Vicki Be Wicked, Chaos Legionnaire by Danielle Crain, and Muerte Inquisitor by Julie Attanasio

The UCG needs a re-branding, the game's artwork needs to be upgraded to acceptable levels. Indie games are part of the gaming market now, they're held to the same standards as anything else. No longer can a developer use the excuse "we're indie" to deliver a bad product. I will be as fully frank as the creator of the UCG that it wasn't there yet. It still isn't. Considering this, we've reeled back on development. We're fixing cards that are considered low tier and upgrading the artwork. We gave some great pieces in the game: Chaos Legionnaire, Architect of the Flesh, and Muerte Inquisitor just to name a few. The fact of the matter is, ALL the cards in the game should look and play great. Every card in the game should have value and I'm giving each one of them a significantly higher budget. Yes, we've spent about 40k on the UCG by now, I must pay for this website each week. That number will need to keep rising to upgrade our quality and I'm fully committed to make this happen.

What's the new plan?

The UCG is going to be called Neo, The Universal Card Game(NEO) or Universal Card Game System: NEO(UCGS:NEO). I'd like to make new games with the same universal system. If something hits before another target, Expertise will be the term in all the games that share the mechanic. Same applies for our card layouts and other terminology. I'm finally getting a partner to help with coding the game. No longer are we going to be forced to used LackeyCCG to play the game. The plugin will still be fully supported as a free option to play the game. Exposure to the game is critical to its success and I still believe in allowing players an option that requires no financial investment. The new game client will be coded in C Sharp using MonoDevelop. We want to focus on open sourced tools as this will allow us to port the game over to several different platforms. My dream would be to get the game on the Nintendo Switch, I think a handheld system such as it is the ideal platform for any card game. The touch screen is just a bonus to the cake.

Ahh, my old Jeff's Erratas artwork. Thanks Danielle!

Jeff's Erratas will be a regular thing. As we code the game and play it more, cards are going to need to change. I've already made a list of several NEO cards that just gotta change. If we're going to spend the time and money to provide them to you, I'd rather make them more enticing to play. The new balance changes will be reflected in the next release of the LackeyCCG plugin. Once everything is finalized, I will reach out to those that purchased cards in the past and offer them a significant discount, if not free, option to replace their cards.

New cards! New Artwork! Splendid!

In addition, we're trying to make a new set of cards in NEO. The new set we're dubbing "Dark Electro Dark" or just DED. It features characters and events from an expanded universe that another UCGS will take place. This will allow us to explore new ways to expand NEO and also spark new interest in making a new UCGS game dubbed “Dreambourne.” This new game I'd like to fully focus on the digital experience and as we get better at programming, would like to develop after NEO has gone live. There will be an optional version of the LackeyCCG plugin to explore the new DED set and I will make another website update once it has gone live.

Have more to say but need to conclude.

It's been a good year of shifting gears and figuring out a new plan for NEO. With continued effort and newfound passion placed into the game, we can make it into a true Neo Beginning. Until then, stay tuned for a Jeff's Erratas where we go over some of the card changes I have planned for UCGS/NEO Version 1.6.

Jeff, The Rare Hunter