Playing cards have been around for centuries, and for much of that time, games have centered on the classic 52-card deck. Hundreds of games have been invented around the world, from the playing card deck, ranging from Newmarket to poker, rummy to cheat. The common theme has always been that the games are easy to grasp and only require 52 cards to be played. Nice and simple.
While these classic card games that have stood the test of time remain popular in the entertainment space to this day, the modern age both demands and facilitates advancement, even from the classics. It’s because of modern technology that one of the classic games, poker, became so immensely popular. In a period now known as the “poker boom,” crafting live poker into watchable TV led to an explosion of popularity for the card game that was once shunned up and down the US.
Still, some of the most inventive and high-profile innovations go beyond televising riveting gameplay. These are those innovations that are not only recent but continue to find new angles and new reaches for the card gaming industry.
Inventing the game that’s never the same
When it comes to competitive card games, games fall into the category of CCG and TCG. With CCG, collectible card games, each pack is predetermined, and then the user creates their own deck from a fairly large set of options, depending on the type or faction selected. In TCG, trading card games, there tends to be more variety and choice, but the catch is that you need to purchase multiple blind packs to build out from what are usually pre-set starter sets. Both lines of card gaming remain popular to this day.
While much less so when it comes to TCG, but certainly very prominent in CCG, an issue can arise that people will play with the same decks, or they’ll keep using the same deck continually. With competitive contests often posting results online, more casual players can grab these decks from the internet and then dominate in a more relaxed setting with friends or family. This can take some of the fun out of proceedings and potentially get very expensive for anyone who wants to craft that perfect, all-conquering deck.
Fantasy Flight went another way, bringing the LCG model (living card game) to the fore, which involves buying small packs of fixed cards that are devoid of rarity to play between the lines of CCG and TCG, in a way. Now, thanks to an incredibly advanced printing algorithm, and from the creator of Magic: The Gathering, Richard Garfield, there’s the UCG. The unique card game that’s pioneered this new model is KeyForge, which involves players buying full decks in blind packs, with the guarantee that every single deck is unique.
Delivering the authentic experience on the go
Online and digital card games have been around for decades, from simple built-in mini-games on Windows to the more elaborate titles that have broken into eSports. The technology powering some of them is quite spectacular. A huge benefit of digital card games, especially those that are based on physical TCG and CCG games, is that the software can help or restrict actions, ensuring that all moves are in line with the game’s rules. This also helped solitaire remain an incredibly popular card game in the digital space.
However, playing digitally in an animated space loses a bit of the core experience. Aside from physically holding the cards, the game assistance can work against it, pulling away from the skill, while being able to whip through rounds and not use a real deck of cards also lessens the immersion. It can still be competitive, a mind puzzler, and there may still be money on the line, but there’s a big difference between playing the physical game in person and doing so within a digital version.
To bridge that gap between real-world play and digital animated card game, innovators have applied new technologies to live streams to enable true two-way, real-time, in-the-moment card gaming. The classic game of Andar Bahar has become an online hit because it’s been given the live casino treatment. With this, players can go onto their smartphones, tap on the game, and then immediately take a virtual seat at a real table that’s in the game’s studio. From there, they get to bet on each round and see the croupier play out the real deck.
Inviting new innovators to the space
Given the abundance of card games, many of which are hinged on an existing IP or backed by a large publisher, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a large contingent of players with grand ideas of their own. Across the realms of CCG, TCG, and even UCG, there are many mechanics and ideas that people can experience. If you play severals games, you could easily pick out a few mechanics that are particularly strong in each, and may even know how to blend them together.
Whether it’s an attempt to create the next big hit and you need to prototype the game, or it’s just for fun with friends, you can now easily create and print your own card games now. Much more than a mere printing service, the custom cards service comes with several templates for you to use as the uniform for your game, and invites creatives to upload their own to the on-site marketplace. What this means is that you’re bound to find the perfect layout for your game before filling in the text boxes, images, and then printing a set.
These innovations are helping to keep card gaming exciting, fresh, and immersive, regardless of if you want to play a classic game on the go or invent your very own for a special occasion.