When I was working on Forge as a personal, pet project I didn't mind adding buggy cards. I knew which of the cards were buggy and generally they just made me smile when a bug happened during the game. Generally the bugs were mildly annoying but nothing more than that. (If the bug caused the game to crash, I didn't smile.) And the Forge developers continued to add cards that were a little bit buggy. By “buggy cards” I mean the cards would work under "normal circumstances" but not when things got complicated.
|(Random cool card picture)|
This rule-of-thumb has worked well for a while but it now that Forge has 8,437 things could be changed. The only reason that I included buggy cards to begin with was because Forge didn’t have many cards. And the more cards it has equals more fun. Now all of the buggy cards could be removed and the player could optionally use them by changing an option.
I started thinking about buggy cards after recently reading this post on the Wagic blog. One paragraph caught my attention:
I’m also proud to think that in Wagic, when we say a card is supported, you are very unlikely to find a bug with it, and if you do, we acknowledge it’s a bug, we won’t say “no, we couldn’t do better than that with this card”. When we can’t fix the bug, we “downgrade” the card. It is still in the game, but you have to enable a special option (the “grade”) in order to play with it.
This way, by default, a card that is not good enough will not appear in your game experience. For example, you won’t officially find the Planeswalkers in Wagic, because we think they do not reach the “quality bar” we expect them to reach…but it doesn’t prevent you from downloading them in a “workaround” version. So, when we say we support 7700 cards, we could actually say we support 8000 cards, but 300 of them were not considered “good enough” to be in the default settings.
I thought it was a very good way to deal with buggy cards. Of course the level of “bugginess” is hard to tell. Does a non-buggy card mean that it is 100% rules compliant and works correctly in all situations? And to further complicated the situation some cards appear buggy only when other new cards are added.
Wagic is a great implementation of Magic with rules enforcement. Wagic’s primary platform is the Sony PSP but it also runs on Windows, Linux, and Nokia N900 (maemo). Wagic for Windows features mouse support or you can use the plain, old keyboard. I think you can also use your gamepad if you use an external program to remap your keyboard to your gamepad.
Keep on tapping (and winning),