Monday, March 8, 2010

The Fantastic Deck Editor

This article is going to be half advertisement (because the deck editor is soooo good) and half FAQ. I wanted to highlight some of the deck editor's features. I even have a celebrity endorsement. Yoda says, "Love the deck editor, you will."

In the middle of the deck editor you can easily see the buttons for Land, Creature, Sorcery, etc... which easily let you add or remove cards of that type. The "Deck Analysis" button gives you more information about your deck such as breakdown by color, type (Creature, Instant, etc..) mana cost (how many cards cost 1 mana, 2 mana, etc..) and it also has a "Random Starting Hand" generator. For serious players the "Deck Analysis" button also shows you the probably of drawing each card for turn 1, turn 2, etc... Checkout this screenshot to see Deck Analysis in action.

OK, I know what you are thinking, "Enough with the easy stuff and show us something cool." Well the filter option is very cool. It allows you to filter cards by name, card text, color or type. If you wanted to build a blue counterspell deck, a quick way to view all of the counterspell cards is to create a new filter and in the "Card Text" textbox type in "counter target" and then poof, 29 matches. (Searching for the words "counter target" gives you 8 more cards than searching for "counter target spell".)

While the "Card Text" filter is probably the easiest and most useful option in the deck editor it doesn't always do what you want it to do. Let's say that you wanted to build a goblin deck. You could search for "Goblins" using the "Card Text" filter and that would show you 35 cards. To view the rest of the Goblin cards, remove the filter and just click on the "Type" column name (click on the word "type") to sort all of the cards by type. Most of the Goblin cards are under "Creature - Goblin". Remember legendary and tribal goblin cards, so you should scroll down to see "Legendary Creature - Goblin" in order to find Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker (one of my favorites) and "Tribal Instant Goblin" for Tarfire.

I think Forge's deck editor is very good. Hopefully the deck editor is so good that you don't have to think about it.

(I added the deck editor very late into development. I probably had 100 to 200 cards working before I coded the deck editor. The deck editor was so easy to use that I wished that I had added it much sooner because creating decks by hand is just painful, (very tedious).

The first trading card game that I actually played was Yu-Gi-Oh on Gameboy Advance. Yes, Yu-Gi-Oh is a kids game but as an introduction to the world of TCGs the game was pretty good. And the deck editor sucked because there wasn't a mouse and you really needed a mouse.

For what it is worth, I was really into Gameboy Advance games back in 2001 and I loved playing them on my PC. I was fascinated by the whole "Gameboy emulator scene" that actually assigned a number to each individual game that was released, see To learn more about emulation Google the granddaddy of all emulator programs "MAME" and checkout the huge list of arcade games that it allows you to play. (The emulator program is free but you have to download the slightly illegal roms in order to play the actual games.)

p.p.s. I'm posting another article on Wednesday "Math and Magic: Probabilities".


Anonymous said...

Is the draw probability thing the chance of drawing the card on that turn, or the cumulative chance of drawing at least one of (or X of, for lands) the card BY that turn? I have no idea how to do the math for the latter, but I can see a use for both.

Forge said...

I don't know how the probability works in the deck analysis. Someone else coded it.

DennisBergkamp said...

I think it's the latter (I didn't code it either).

Forge said...

I posted the Java method generates the card drawing possibilities to Forge's Google Project so you can look at it and figure it out.

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