Dark Table CCG is more than just a card game. It is multiplayer card gaming re-imagined: Free-to-play, online 4-player, unrivaled instant deck-building, and a focus on social atmosphere and table politics.
Set in a grim Lovecraftian theme, Dark Table brings a unique strategic experience with up to 4 players battling in a free-for-all, using temporary alliances and mutual interest to get ahead. Select your leader and build your deck around it to survive the onslaught and claim your world.
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In Dark Table your health for a game is dictated by the leader you choose. Each leader has different amounts of health based on its rarity, enrage ability, and enrage cost. Leaders with low enrage cost will typically have lower health, so carefully craft your deck around your leader.
Each leader has specific “Enrage Abilities” that significantly affect the game once triggered. Enrage Abilities have different trigger types such as Knowledge Level, Berserk, and Bloodshed.
Knowledge Enrage Abilities required a certain level of knowledge be obtained in a game before the leader unlocks. For this type of leader, all knowledge points not used at the end of the battle phase goes into your knowledge pool toward the trigger. Knowledge Enrages usually have to stall the longest to get an Enrage.
Berserk Enrages require the Leader to be damaged down to a threshold health level in order to enrage and unlock. This creates particularly interesting mechanics which can dissuade early game damage to a Berserk Leader.
Bloodshed Enrages require a certain number of deaths in combat by your creatures, traps, or spells. Death of your own creatures counts toward the trigger. Poison kills after your Battle Phase do not count. Bloodshed makes for a very aggressive early game.
Strength of a unit is the amount of health the unit currently has and also the amount of damage it can do to another unit. As a unit is damaged its strength lowers, which means it has lower health and produces less damage.
For example, if a 2-strength unit battles a 5-strength unit, the 5-strength unit will end the fight with 3 strength meaning it has 3 health left and can only produce 3 damage. Any healing to a unit restores its strength thus increasing its damage back up to the original.
Skill is the measurement of fighting experience of a unit. Units will only take damage in a battle if the opposing unit has equal or greater skill. Skill adds a layer of complexity to battles, requiring players to find ways to take down higher skill creatures.
One method is to use the 3 skill tokens provided each round. These tokens can add a skill to a unit for the turn, which could possibly make a battle worth fighting. Only one skill tokens can be used on a unit per turn, and they are reset to the pool after all battle phases are complete.
Each unit can have a trait and/or ability. Traits are passive and can alter how a unit works. Abilities may be passive or activated and can usually do more versatile actions.
Walls are a trait that means it must be attacked first. They are a barrier or barricade between the enemies and your units/leader.
Heroes are next after a wall in being attacked before other units or leaders can be attacked. Heroes are usually enticing or extravagant and draw the attention of attackers. Heroes usually have low skill and higher strength
Airborne units can attack over walls but still just attack heroes first before other units.
Assassins can sneak around walls and heroes to attack units or leaders directly. They usually have low strength and higher skill.
Focus is a trait that gives a unit 1 skill when attacking.
Rally Cry gives all your units +1 strength when attacking that battle phase.
Frenzy means that a creature can keep attacking units that battle phase if it is not killed in battle. Hitting a wall or leader stops this effect.
Confusion reduces the skill of a unit by 1 when battled.
Spells and traps can also be played during the release phase. Spells perform an action during the phase, while traps are stored on the board after being played and are activated by a condition.
Dark Table is split predominantly into two phases, a release phase and battle phase. At the start of each turn, everyone's knowledge pool is replenished with a starting size of 10. Knowledge is used as the cost to release cards. During the release phase, players can release units, walls, and traps to the board. Any new cards are hidden from the enemies, while anything played in previous turns is shown. This phase happens for all players at the same time. The intent here is for players to be forced to make their own strategy without knowing what others may have played and reacting solely to that.
The second phase is comprised of the battle phases for everyone in the game. One player will get the battle chip at random in the beginning of the game and be the first to have a battle phase. Then, each player will have a battle phase in a clockwise rotation. At a battle phase, players can use units and spells to attack other units and leaders, if possible. At the completion of the battle phases, the battle chip will move to the next player in a clockwise rotation, leaving them to attack first next turn. This rotation of first attack can be a very unique mechanic that can be used for strategy.
Some of the most fun in multiplayer card games comes from the table politics that ensue. Players often make temporary alliances to change the advantage in the game or dethrone someone in power. Dark Table offers an Alliance mechanic to assist in creating table politics in a digital card game. You may select an opponent to alliance with, and then an opponent you want to fight. If the alliance is accepted it means that the players may be temporarily aligned in a target.
The game does not force the alliance to be fulfilled, but those that follow the temporary alliance can earn extra in-game currency. The goal is to use this mechanic to plan attacks if more than one player is required to restore balance.
One of the features that sets Dark Table apart from other digital CCG’s is the ability to play with up to 4 players in a Free-For-All.
The game’s alliance system allows players to make a temporary alliance with others in order to stop the largest threat on the table. This acts as a balancing measure when some players have better cards, but can also be a bluffing tactic to get an advantage.
One annoyance of other digital CCG’s is the reliance on packs, loot boxes, or endless grinding to build the deck you want. Dark Table takes a different approach; all cards can be bought with in-game currency, paid currency, or deck tokens so you can focus on the fun of deck-building.
The hope is that deck-building will be similar to real-life CCG’s and less like a gambling experience that makes you sink a ton of money before you can play the cards you want. At any time you can build a deck using a $20 deck token, no matter the value of the individual cards, so you can spend your time theory-crafting and playing decks and not stressing about cost.
Roles offer a means to gain more in-game currency while ranking up in your favorite play-style and earning special in-game items. At the beginning of each game you can select between The Brute, The Joker, and The Strategist.
The Brute will give rewards based on hitting face and dealing more damage, The Joker will incentivize being a troll and upsetting the game balance over winning, and The Strategist will value brooding combos and Knowledge gains. Mastering roles can earn you cards, skins, borders and other items that are specific to the role.
While other E-sports push 1v1 or team dynamic skills, Dark Table will offer a very new style of E-sport. Players will now have to learn how to survive in a 4-player free-for-all and learn how to use table politics and deception to win. These mechanics will be a shock to some, and a refreshing strategy to master for others.
The idea is that Dark Table will mix some mechanics of Poker with that of CCG’s, creating more layers of strategy to the sport than simply knowing the best cards, combos, and what to counter. Where a 1v1 builds a framework for aggressiveness and constant board state dominance to win, a multiplayer format allows for large swings in advantage. This means that players may need to save power plays for the correct opportunity to maximize the outcome, without letting other's know what's coming.
Each ranked season will have an entry pass for purchase that goes toward the prize pool that season. During the game players will be anonymous so you can’t prioritize targets based on reputation. After each game the players will be revealed. Rank up by winning or eliminating other players.
The farther you progress in a season the more rewards and achievements you will earn. Rewards for each season lock after that season, so player can earn unique card borders, backs, and more to be used as swag in future games.
In Dark Table CCG you will have the ability to create custom games if you want to play with your friends or if you want to organize tournaments yourself.
This option will allow 2-4 players which can also aid in testing decks or if you want a more casual experience. Custom games will have settings to allow for longer turns if you don't want to be rushed. This may also be a more familiar setting for some of the physical card game players, or may be used as an alternative when your local game shop is closed.
Each player will pick a starter deck at account creation to play with until they earn enough to build their own. One leader of each enrage type will be available.
Dark Table CCG will start with a set list of around 200 cards, 16 of which will be leaders. There will be additional sets of 100 cards at a time that will be phased into the game over time and bring unique mechanics that will add to possible play styles and combos.
We have the pleasure of working with Taylor Payton on illustration for Dark Table CCG. Taylor had experience in fantasy-themed art that fit the Lovecraft style so it was an easy fit.
Taylor is very easy to work with and produced phenomenal work. Together, we have created the start of the 200 card initial set of Dark Table CCG. Take a look at The Apprentice of Old, Adorable Lure, and Infected Reef:
Once funded, we will get to work on the rest of the set and push towards the Alpha and Kickstarter Exclusive Tournament.
To help set the ambiance for the game, we have the talented Graham Plowman composing a Lovecraft-inspired soundtrack.
Graham has created multiple albums of Loveraftian music and has been featured in many D&D campaigns and dark fantasy board games. His work has millions of views on YouTube.
Graham has been composing for nearly 10 years and has been featured in film scores, shorts, audio books, games, and trailers.
Doonamai has amassed a fantastic team of professionals to work on Dark Table CCG. Each has a background in development and with this team we will create a powerhouse card game for years to come.
Kyle is the owner and Lead Game Developer at Doonamai. With industry experience in game development, mechanical engineering, software engineering, and business leadership, Kyle has excelled in his roles at coordinating successful execution of projects. Having a background in mathematics and probability and statistics, he was driven to create a CCG for those that enjoy a more social experience.
Edd is a freelance UI/UX Designer, dedicated to bringing games to life through beautiful and functional UI and artwork. As an active member of the UK games industry, he is a regular speaker at Universities and events such as EGX, a member of the BAFTA Crew Games initiative, and was recently a juror for the BAFTA 'Young Games Designers' Awards.
Taylor Payton is a full-time freelance Illustrator living in Minnesota. He enjoys devoting large chunks of time to working and honing his craft. When he's not bending pixels to his will in Photoshop or cementing skills in his sketchbook, he's likely lifting, reading, or traveling.
Tara Jayne Sands can be heard as over 50 characters on the original Pokemon series, including Bulbasaur, Richie, Jasmine, Oddish, and Tori. Other roles include Biscuit in Hunter x Hunter, Mokuba in Yugioh, and Kari in Digimon Adventure Tri. Tara has also voiced characters in a number of video games including Sonya in Fire Emblem Echoes and Fire Emblem Heroes.
Official Website: www.TaraSands.com
Graham has been composing music for nearly 10 years now, and in that time he's written a large body of work inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft. He's also written 2 feature film scores, many short film scores, and has had music used in audio books, games and trailers. Select Lovecraft inspired pieces have also been performed by the Washington Symphony Orchestra.
Howard has been working in audio since 2014, starting out in post production working for the BBC and becoming freelance in 2016. Since then he has worked on a wide variety of projects specializing in sound effects for games and animation including both AAA and indie games. Having recently worked on Death Stranding, he is also proud to have worked on two projects which gained BAFTA nominations for best audio – Marvel’s Spiderman and God of War (winner of best audio and best game BAFTA 2019).
Launching a Kickstarter for Dark Table CCG is paramount to building a strong community for the game. The Kickstarter community itself has a passion for fantasy games and card games, so we know they will not only resonate with the game but are likely to become the seed that grows a great following and player-base. Having a strong player-base means that we can develop more game modes, increase tournament pools, and consistently release sets of cards.
This is a new experience for competitive E-sports. So far that has not been a prominent CCG E-sport that offered more than a 1v1. The following we grow from Kickstarter will be pivotal in expanding the competitive scene especially in the Alpha stages where we will need the feedback of professional players to tweak rulings and mechanics. The more we grow, the larger prize pools we can offer for tournaments, and the better the overall competitive experience will become.
We are using Easyship to process our deliveries of rewards and there will be shipping costs added at checkout here on Kickstarter. After campaign completion, we will send our Backer Surveys via BackerKit and collect your shipping information. You will also have the option to add some Add-on items through Backerkit. Here are typical shipping rates, but these are subject to change due to Covid-19.
Disclaimer - These rates are subject to change before campaign end, with Covid-19 limiting warehouse distribution. Shipping would not start until late this year at the earliest, so hopefully there will be no delays.