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GDC 2011:  Minecraft  Developer Mojang Reveals Its Second Game ' Scrolls '
GDC 2011: Minecraft Developer Mojang Reveals Its Second Game 'Scrolls'
March 1, 2011 | By Mike Rose

March 1, 2011 | By Mike Rose
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    14 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, GDC



Gamasutra can reveal today that the second game from Minecraft developer Mojang -- a digital card game / board game mash-up announced by Markus 'Notch' Persson at GDC 2011 - is called Scrolls.

Scrolls, which Gamasutra was shown before GDC at the company's offices in Sweden, is set to be a collectible card game with board game elements. Players will build decks of 'scrolls' and use the various effects to cast spells and summon units for use against their opponents.

Gamasutra talked to Jakob Porser, the head developer of Scrolls, at the Mojang offices, in a lengthy interview regarding the game.

The available cards will change constantly as new packs are released, and players will be required to adapt with the changes and build new decks accordingly.

The playing area will resemble a chess board, with a grid laid out on which to implement your scrolls. The object of the game is to attack your opponent, and bring his or her health down to zero.

Scrolls can be used to attack or defend -- however, they are dispensable in action, as destroying your opponent's units will not directly harm your opponent. Hence, the idea is to break through his or her line of defense and attack their "king," in terms of chess.

Players will shuffle their decks at the beginning of each game, and so will have no idea what order the cards will come out in. At the start of each turn, one new scroll is lifted from the deck and placed in your hand, ready for use on the battlefield.

A single-player campaign will be included, allowing players the opportunity to build up their decks and learn the ins and outs of the game.

However, the main focus will be on the online multiplayer aspects. Players will battle one on one against each other, with both friendly and ranked matches available.

Mojang are hoping to hold huge online world championships for the game, and are currently looking for a big sponsor for the league.

Other than battling, players will also be able to visit the online auction house, where they can buy or sell cards to and from other players.

scrollscharacters.jpg

Those players hoping for an extensive backlog of statistics regarding their play sessions are in luck. The game will supply numerous useful information about your wins, losses, decks and more.

Other players will also be able to see how long you've been playing the game via creases on your cards. The more you use a particular card, the more it will begin to look dogged around the edges and the illustrations will fade a little.

Development is being headed by Jakob Porser, with art from Markus Toivonen, a.k.a. "jnkboy," and help from a backing developer. Eventually other members of the Mojang team, Jens Bergensten and Tobias Mollstam, will be helping out.

Porser said of the game, "Notch [Markus Persson, creator of Minecraft] and I started discussing the idea of Scrolls nearly five years ago."

"We are both great fans of the CCG genre, but we felt that there were some common gameplay flaws in the available titles. We’re excited to finally put all our thoughts into action with the realization of Scrolls."

Penny Arcade’s Jerry "Tycho" Holkins is also working with Mojang, collaborating on the back story for the new game. "Ever since Minecraft took root in the offices, it's transformed once vital staffers into shambling hulks, concerned only with the construction of monolithic structures," said Holkins.

He explained "When Notch said the Mojang guys had an idea for another game, I decided
it would probably be safest just to join them."

A private alpha build is planned, and will be made available later this year. The opportunity to join the alpha will be offered to a number of people who bought the original Minecraft alpha.

An open beta is then planned. Neither the alpha or beta builds will cost money, and will instead help the Mojang team to balance the cards and determine how the online play will work. Only the multiplayer elements will be available in these builds.

Gamasutra's full interview with Mojang's Jakob Porser -- in which he discusses the setting of the single-player story, the regular updates to the game that players can expect, and what kind of units and cards will come with the game -- is available to read here.


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Comments


Darcy Nelson
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Is it just me, or did they just re-create Magic: the Gathering - Tactics?

R G
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It seems similar, but I'm sure they will differentiate it somehow. TCG players would pick it apart I'm sure, and they are probably aware of this.



I'd go read the interview Gama posted, it's a good read.

Darcy Nelson
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Will do!

Simon Fraser
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I have no problem with a new game based on the MTG rules, as I think it's fair to say this is. MTG is a great game and a great concept and if Notch & Co. can take that basic idea and make a well-realized and fun collectible strategy game out of it I'm all for it.

Darcy Nelson
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In theory that sounds good, but in practice there's something about it that seems disingenuous.

Martin Crownover
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It'll be interesting to see if they can ride the wave of success Minecraft brought in. Or if they ever get it to a point where fans are satisfied enough with it that they can really devote time to other projects. Something tells me that Notch's idea of a "finished" Minecraft isn't (and can't ever possibly meet the expectations of) what many players feel is finished.

Chris Moeller
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Yeah- it is interesting, but will be more interesting to see if it pans out.



They already have a decent amount of publicity enough to get a lot of people to try it out, but sounds like it won't have the same kind of originality as minecraft.



Like is Rovio released another new game ;)

Dragos Inoan
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Mind the fact that Rovio's creation , while being a cash cow is a flash game spinoff :) I wouldn't call it creative, just a good game which is well executed and marketed.



Minecraft is a bit more original, however the similarities between Scrolls and MTG are striking

Chuan Lim
profile image
A to B and back again:





I work all night, I work all day,

to pay the bills I have to pay -- ain't it sad!



And still there never seems to be

a single penny left for me -- that's too bad!



In my dreams I have a plan,

If I got me a wealthy man,



I wouldn't have to work at all,

I'd fool around and have a ball _/



-



Money, money, money

Must be funny -- in the rich man's world!



Money, money, money

Always sunny -- in the rich man's world!



Aha -ahaaa ♫



All the things I could do

If I had a little money -- it's a rich man's world!



-



A man like that is hard to find

but I can't get him off my mind -- ain't it sad!



And if he happens to be free

I bet he wouldn't fancy me -- that's too bad!



So I must leave, I'll have to go

To GDC or Monaco



And win a fortune in a game,

my life will never be the same _/



-



Money, money, money

Must be funny -- in the rich man's world!



Money, money, money

Always sunny -- in the rich man's world!



Aha -ahaaa ♫



All the things I could do

If I had a little money -- it's a rich man's world!





< Repeat ad nauseum >







-- Chuan

R G
profile image
Can we add hip-hop and Samurai to this?



Nice btw.

Mark Venturelli
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I don't know. Sounds insane. I mean, a fantasy-based CCG? After the technology-driven toy that was Minecraft, going on the "full-game" route of a card/board game is a wild steer on the expected direction of Mojang. The designer's write-up about the game on the site haven't convinced me that this is going to be anything more than a pedestrian fantasy wargame, but I'm eager to be proven wrong. lt'll be very interesting to see where this will lead!

Achilles de Flandres
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I like the idea of a massive CCG in a digital format.



Magic the Gathering has failed to really jump on the digital distribution of it's game. MTGO is good, but it's prohibitive cost makes it incredibly unappealing to invest in. However, Magic will be hard to topple, as it's the base that many copy-cat CCGs try to emulate with laughable results. It's like watching amateur game-developers attempt to take on StarCraft in the RTS genre.



I would rather play Magic, but not MTGO. The price, and it's lack of visual polish, makes it unplayble to me. "Scrolls" just might have a chance if they don't make the same mistakes as MTGO.



btw... Look at the "Scrolls" logo, and look here:

http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/mtgcom/arcana1000/1348_LOR_Lo
go.jpg



LOL

Darcy Nelson
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You thought MTGO was bad? Take a look at Tactics. The demo made my eyes bleed.

Achilles de Flandres
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i saw 1 SCREEN shot and I was like... "NO".


none
 
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