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Dev Blog 2: Card Design and symmetry

Tina the Tinker 1.5

Agency has a lot of different card types and different effects. And designing how the card will work and what feelings they should evoke when they are played have been a blast. In Agency there are three primary card types:

Actions: These are cards that give the player an one shot effect when played, such as drawing cards, attacking the other player or gives the player a supportive ability that allows the player to manipulate where a card in the game goes.

Gadgets: These card stays in play when played, and can be activated at key moments. Each gadget comes with several activations. Once a Gadget has used all it activations it returns to the discard pile at the end of the turn. Some Gadgets also have more powerful effects, but are locked when they enter play, meaning that it needs a turn to before it can be used.

Contacts: These cards also stays in play like Gadgets, however they give you a permanent ability that you can use during your turns. However you can only have one type of Contact in your deck at any time, meaning that you cannot have two “Queen Spiders” on your side at any time of the game.

When we design cards for Agency, we use design teams to clearly exactly what we what the card to be. These are:

Attack: Something that interacts with the opponent and benefits you in the end.
Support: Something that only helps you. Card draw, extra resources etc.
Card Manipulation: Something that moves a card from one zone to another.
Eliminate: Something that remove cards from your deck.
Choose: Something that has two different effects that the player can choose from.

We also combine these main terms with one another and use sub teams to further explain what a card does.

For example:

Card Type: Action
Design terms : Attack-Hand


Card Type: Action
Design terms : Support-Draw

High Town

Card Type: Action
Design terms : Attack-Deck


Card Type: Action
Design terms : Attack-Hand Support-Draw


[Hide Away]
Card Type: Action
Design terms : Choose Attack-Hand Support-Set Aside


Lastly when it comes to designing cards for Agency we work a lot with symmetry among:

The name of the card

Its effect

Its illustration

This is can range from an easy design to a nightmare to get to work completely.  Here is some examples behind each design:

Name: [“Fair trade”]
Effect: Should affect both players in a positive way, but the one who played it should get a bonus of some sort.
Art Description: We see a couple of agents and/or mafia meting in the harbors. One is walking away from the rest with a sealed envelop. The others are counting bills.


Name: [“Queen Spider”]
Effect: This is a contact in the game. Queen Spider is the number one super smuggler in the city. Her ability should be related to her ability to create something from nothing.
Art Description: We see Queen spider at her office. She has a smile as she watches the player like a businesswoman ready to strike a deal but behind that smile she has gone though years of hard work to reach the place she is at today.


Name: [“Gambling rig”]
Effect: Should get bigger payoff as the opponent plays high ranking credits. Like if the opponent is wasting their credits on gambling instead.
Art Description: Filled with neon light we see a gambling rig who is half machine half robot. We can see how money is flowing out of it.

Gambling Trick Rig

Thats all for today.
//The Question Marc