CardMaker is a game that player can design game content including characteristics such as card game strategy, roguelike, user generated content, token economy, and distributed trade.
See more of the game here
JBB.ONE: Hi, glad you accept our interview! We know everyone in your team is a master of indie games, but most gamers know little about that. Would you please introduce yourself and your team?
CardMaker: Hello, everyone, Hello, JBB.ONE. I have been hearing that JBB.ONE is a very thoughtful website, and I am very lucky to have a talk with you, I hope to bring you something different today.
We're an indie game team, but we're not great. We just love developing games. The team, including me, has made own games. As early as in 2008, I tried to develop a web game independently, which is weakly connected to network, calledEquipment House (《装备屋》）, and landed on Renren network. It is an idle game, and is inspired by My Brute (some regular players may have heard this name). On that time, web game industry was a blue ocean where you could develop the game you loved.
Then, in 2014, I conformed to the times and developed a mobile game called Explorer （《探索者》）and put it on Google Play. Gameplay of it is similar to Dungeon18, but more RogueLike. I think sometime the shape of game is the producer of preferences, and RogueLike is one of my favorite style.
Although these games have faded out of industry, but in the early era, they received good effect, which also let me realize if you are certain at a field, you should enter it early. We also have some long-running indie games that we loved and players loved, even though they don't make any money now.
JBB.ONE: CardMaker has won many prizes since 2018, thanks to its unique content and gameplay. Could you briefly introduce this popular blockchain game for our gamers?
CardMaker: We are lucky to won the prize, but it was a temporary honor.
For us, we are more concerned about how to make our game better. CardMaker is a fun indie game, also it's free! It combines classic card strategy, RogueLike characteristic, and a very stable token economy, which is a parallel design of gameplay and finance feature.
Depending on your choice, you will encounter different story lines in the module, and there are many hidden elements worth exploring. Players can also make their own cards, story modules, etc. Yes, you can really make some design in the game.
A strategic, research-oriented player has a better chance of gaining an advantage in the game than many others.
JBB.ONE: What do you think is the most attractive feature of this game?
CardMaker: As I mentioned above, UGC is our original definition of CardMaker, "a game of design". After we set the templates of cards, roles, events and modules, we can make a lot of interesting content through various combinations. For example, you can copy the story line of Godfather, or copy the dungeon of World of Warcraft, like the Blackrock Mountain module that we added in.
After more than 10-year experience of playing the game, we found that giving creativity to players leads to more accumulation, like RPGMaker, Roblox, 66RPG, or similar sites like Youtube, bilibili and so on. It is known that Hearth Stone is a great card games from Blizzard. With its content expanding and version update, although almost production is made by the official, we still find many lovers design out some more interesting card content. Their enthusiasm of the game may stronger, but their design has to be abandoned, which is very pity. Night of Full Moon is also an excellent independent card game, but the users have no more space for reverie after exploration. As a game experience, there's nothing wrong with it, but what if you want to make it more cumulative? Especially in crypto game field, we think UGC is a better feature, and card is a well-known NFT carrier.
What makes us different from tools like RPGMaker is that we are a game, and the player should "play" the game first, not design it first, then experience the game in a simpler way, and create some inspiration and production. Because production itself is a very high barrier, even the convenient game production tools on the market also requires the producer to have a series of skills, program, art, and a certain degree of planning knowledge. What we want to achieve is that as a player, you are able to produce something very quickly without a lot of expertise. There are 90,000 cards and more than 50 game stories in game, and sometimes, you just need to release your inspiration.
However, our UGC function is still evolving, with only self-design card and levels available. More complicated productions are still being built, and we're sure it will come soon.
JBB.ONE: Blockchain games still have a long way to go, especially in China whose prospect of blockchain games is still uncertain. Why did you choose to develop blockchain games? And how did you produce such an amazing game?
CardMaker: Any the establishment of a new field is from small efforts, such as a small team like us, on the one hand, we are more likely to explore; on the other hand, there is not too much living space for small team, everything is scaled or fixed.
For blockchain game, most of products is uneven, or can't be born, or take a few pictures to cheat users. Some developers take a variety banner of "asset authorities", "earning money" to fool users, which, I think, will bring irreversible negative influence on blockchain game.
Although it is difficult for us to change a field, we will do our best to make a high-quality game and accumulate with the help of content production, and eventually these content creators will sell all kinds of spiritual entertainment to the broader consumer group, which is the essence of games and the revolution brought by blockchain.
JBB.ONE: Which part of blockchain technology attracts you? What's the biggest change this technology has on games?
CardMaker: Let's imagine one application scenario that hero in gameA can appear in gameB. It has been realized in some traditional games, some blockchain games, including us.
Then imagine the other that the player in gameA can influence the development direction of the game because of his decision. For example, create a new "battleground" or "server", in conventional game, it can only be completed by developers, but through smart contracts, user’s single action can be carried out smoothly. This is, I think, a sense of out of control for game developers, and it is difficult to define that it is good or bad. Just like some films or anime we seen that those game design which allows players to dominate the game development direction is a large and interesting game, isn’t it?
In essence, the blockchain technology will not make the game more enjoyable, but it is a game designer's consideration to realize weakly-centralized design with the help of blockchain thoughts. So, when the blockchain technology is more mature, these can be implemented smoothly, just like 10 years ago who would think that the Internet has enter every aspect of our lives?
That's the funny thing!
JBB.ONE: Creating a blockchain game is not easy, so did you have any difficulty in your development process? And how did you overcome it?
CardMaker: There will be some technical difficulties in development, but these problems will be solved by us. What's more, it is the problem of human nature. Since the birth of blockchain ICO and a large number of gambling games and malignant Pyramid Scheme last year, the whole blockchain field has become muddy, making more powerful teams scoff at this field. The current industry is still very small, but it breeds a lot of malignant demands caused by money and malignant teams, which restrict the development of the whole field. It is conceivable that what will happen when more vivid talents are unwilling to enter a field? We fully understand the powerful financial effects of blockchain, but everything about "money" is a problem.
JBB.ONE: As far as we know, CardMaker has already had two "Towns" in ETH and NEO, and its "Ice Cream Town" will be available for gamers soon! How about introducing the "Ice Cream Town" for us?
CardMaker: I appreciate that you could find information about Ice Cream Town.
Ice Cream town is made of ice and snow. It has some special resources and is expected to land on IOST public blockchain.
All these are in preparation, you can check our official blog for details later.
JBB.ONE: Apart from the above three towns, do you have any other plan to build new towns in new blockchains? Can items possessed by residents in different towns be used and traded among different blockchains?
CardMaker: First, let me introduce CardMaker's multi-towns economy system. CardMaker is a game framework, which is built on multiple public blockchains. We build different initial forms of towns, and all towns have independent data and unified economy with own characteristics and trade.
Independent data means that data system between towns is independent, and the users of town A cannot crush users of town B with powerful data or resources before.
Unified economy means our game system is unified. Our token, CAKE, is shared by whole towns. If a new town is opened, denominator of CAKE will add 1, so CAKE become more scarce. It is a kind of token economy design and supported by more public blockchain users (the other support is UGC content).
Each town has its own unique resource and blueprint. For example, in Cake Town, user can make a card with effect of "Dispel", while in Nature Town, they can make a card with effect of "Continuous Damage". Nature town also has a unique Light Element that no other town has.
Trade is the most interesting part, and we will soon open Magic Hub (a cross-chain assets trading system) where users trade resources between towns.
In the future, we will establish multi-town plans on more public blockchains to form a whole system. Currently, there are two great public blockchains in production, and we will make more features and ideas according to the positioning of the public chain.
JBB.ONE: There is an important question that most gamers concern about before playing blockchain games. What can they get from CardMaker? How to create value and acquire revenue for gamers playing this game?
CardMaker: There should be an answer in everyone's mind. What should be gained from the act of "playing games"? Smart players will easily conclude the answer. We don't want to build a game world which is full of loser, and we don't want to fool user that you can earn a lot of money from it.
What’s more, in Nature Town, we open a large mining pool as game token which provided by public blockchains and its team. The current token is $8000 (with more users, the whole pool also increases). It is for players to mine and how many you can get according to your understanding of the game.
By the way, our game is free, you can experience it for free, then use your time, mind, or staking to speed up mining NEO or other main tokens such as (of course, if you are willing to recognize and support us, you can also choose to buy package directly, and it's up to you). Description of Staking
UGC is gathered by the wisdom of all the players, we also welcome more independent game developers, or lovers together to make more elaborate PGC content (all materials can be up to you to provide) combined with CardMaker, make more elaborate story for players to try, eventually form a colorful world, and gather a larger group of players.
JBB.ONE: Card games are precise in rules and numbers. You've allowed gamers to design this game, then how did you lead gamers to design? Did you have any mechanism to prevent gamers' design from hurting the original gameplay?
CardMaker: That's a very good question.
First of all, our original card rules are very simple, and then all attributes and data have been fully calculated, and some of data have been widely used in some conventional card games.
Later, our UGC had certain template rules that, initially, help balance the game, so it didn't hurt the game.
In addition, the production of some players is independent of the economy system, more is given to the enthusiasts to deal with, so there will be a lot of testing space.
JBB.ONE: You've partnered with the decentralized BlaCat platform which aims to run games in a distributed way. Specifically, after a year, how many parts of your latest release of CardMaker are in blockchain? Would you give us an approximate percentage?
CardMaker: BlaCat platform is one of organizer, and we had been on their test network before. Because they stopped supporting service for some technical reasons and we are waiting for official network release of NEO, we don't have direct relationship now. In the future, we will not only collaborate with more good public blockchains but traditional game platform, such as Steam, etc.
JBB.ONE: What's your attitude about the idea of "fully distributed game"? Could you talk about that in detail? In your opinion, what the future of blockchain games should be?
CardMaker: I firmly believe that, in the future, all data on blockchain will be open, transparent and efficient. But at the moment, we need to be realistic about the user experience. First, I can say, at present, all the so-called full blockchain game is fooling user. Even if the CryptoKitties also have mutability and background, as long as the team no longer supports for CryptoKitties, where is the values?
In my vision, the future blockchain must be no influence of game, just like when you are playing online games today, you will not ask what is the network. There may be a unity of thousand blockchains and users need not to understand blockchain, wallet, digital currency, only need to play, and then create content for returns.
JBB.ONE: Many thanks for your precious time! Last question, would you talk a little about your future plan or prospect for CardMaker?
CardMaker: Ok, it's all true stories and experiences that we've had along the way.
CardMaker still has a lot to be improved, such as making the game experience more fluid for beginners, improving the visual effects of art, making the game more accessible to more people, and opening up more UGC modules to connect more game fans as the real power.
CardMaker will land to Steam platform and accept more test from 7 million players. Only to connect to conventional market will we broaden bigger player group, or the market has become more and more small. Of course, we will polish game first and all of the early players will receive considerable room to improve.
When a new industry is established, it must be a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend and CardMaker will try to gather game lovers and designers.