Deckbound

Homepage: http://www.deckbound.com/
Genre: Cards, Fantasy, Free-to-play, Multiplayer, Role-Playing
Developer: EVA Plexus
Publisher: EVA Plexus
Rating: Not Rated

Deckbound is a collection of digital collectible card games that share the same set of cards. Every card is backed by a Bitcoin transaction and as such has a permanent, identifiable record on the blockchain.

All games can be played at no cost using “Nomad” cards, and playing grants players experience and unlocks augments and tweaks that can be used to modify cards and game elements.

Cards themselves can be levelled, and those levels are permanently written to the blockchain. Cards can be traded and exchanged via Deckbound or independently by or via 3rd parties.

Deckbound cards — the fundamentals

  • Permanent, non-proprietary cards that can be played in Deckbound games and elsewhere
  • Interesting variety created from the cards themselves through their cryptographic identities
  • Abilities and attributes of cards relate to different games and card types in different ways, allowing games to evolve properly
  • Game histories, card levelling, player experience and applied augments form a permanent part of a card’s identity — readable by anyone from the Bitcoin blockchain
  • Deckbound cards structure
  • “Nomad” cards allow players to experience the full game at no cost
  • Every Deckbound card is based on a Bitcoin transaction and as such has an inherent cost to create… instead of differentiating between “free” and “paid” cards and breaking this model, a large set of “Nomad” cards are created with each card inception block. These cards can be freely played by anyone, either individually or in sets.

Because those cards have a cost to create, Nomad cards can’t be retained by a player after a play session (depending on the specific game, you can retain them for a short period) unless they choose to purchase them. Purchasing Nomad cards removes them for other potential players and they become yours. Because Nomad cards can be levelled and upgraded like any other card, it’s possible to purchase pre-levelled cards that other Nomad players chose not to purchase.

Cards can also be bought in card packs and as individual type-specific (e.g. hero) cards. This is the most cost effective way of obtaining cards, but as the cards are created when you purchase them (see Card Inception for more information) you won’t know specifically what you’re getting until after they are revealed/generated.

Players with access to Pro features (any player purchase of 10 or more card packs provides some access to Pro) can browse available Nomad cards… this, along with direct player trading, provides a mechanism to find specific card types and classes.

If you pre-purchase card packs and Pro access you can also get a variety of player upgrades, rewards and augments. See the Early Access page for more information.

Games and play evolve, cards and collections are persistent
Cards and their attributes are permanent, and their abilities are mapped specifically for each game based on their genesis block. There’s more information about card attributes and where they come from on the Card Inception page.

Over time we expect the Deckbound games to evolve as we build and iterate upon them. As we do that we’ll need to modify the abilities as used in different games, but the attributes and available abilities of your cards won’t change. By mapping each card’s attributes to a set of game abilities, we can adjust and patch to balance specific game scenarios without effecting the global card pool.

Games work on the basis of graded hands, effectively like weight classes — when you choose to play a game you can either build a deck for a specific class, or build your deck as you desire and then play based on its grading. The grading process will be different for each game, and with evolve over time.

Cards issued in “genesis” collections

Because every card represents a small piece of Bitcoin and as we use the Bitcoin transactions themselves to tag the cards with their identity, cards a generated from large “genesis” blocks — large Bitcoin transactions split up into many smaller pieces to represent cards.

  • Each genesis will specify different parameters for card types, classes and available ability sets. Because some abilities are hidden until “discovered” by the community, it’s possible that new abilities (i.e. for new games or features) could be unlocked in old genesis blocks.
  • Core card types (e.g. heroes, structures, minions and spells) will be included in every block, but some blocks may provide for more of a certain card type depending on game releases and demand (for example, Deckbound Heroes currently only uses Hero and Rune cards, but Deckbound Quest uses Heroes, Structures, Minions and Runes).
  • Each genesis block will have its own set of ability maps per class, though may be similar across different genesis blocks. See the Card Inception page for more information.
  • Identifiable card names and art, based on genesis and card type
  • Each card inception provides a set of base card types, classes and core names. A class defines a card’s ability set (e.g. a mage-like class would have more direct damage abilities in Heroes), the genesis defines its heritage (effectively the lore of that card) and the core names relate one to another (e.g. in the firstborn genesis, Warrior classes may be referred to as “Towers”).

We’re currently exploring options for generative card art and community or 3rd-party traditional art (the heroes alpha is using a combination of both). If you’re an artist interested in contributing, get in touch.

Playing Deckbound games does a number a things:

  • Accumulates experience on cards — cards are levelled up with sufficient experience… levelled cards have access to more abilities
  • Grants player XP and achievements — player XP is accumulated separately from cards, and is rewarded regardless of card ownership (i.e. you accumulate XP even when playing with Nomad cards)
  • Unlock Augments and Tweaks — Augments allow you to permanently modify card attributes, while Tweaks allow you change the appearance of cards, game elements and provide other personalization options
  • Contribute toward Global Unlocks — some abilities have to be unlocked per card inception, which is done through accumulated play (by all players) with related cards

In addition, players can:

  • Complete challenges (quests) to unlock specific Augments, Tweaks, Achievements and bonus Player XP
  • Participate in events to unlock event-specific Augments and Tweaks
  • Card levels and Augments are written permanently to the history of the card using Bitcoin transactions (based on the tagging technology we developed in bitbind.io) — those level and Augment tags travel with the card, whether it’s used within Deckbound or elsewhere.

Global Discovery: community unlocks

With each new genesis block, a new set of ability maps are created for each Deckbound game. Cards created from that block are mapped to those abilities based on the unique attributes in their genesis transaction (see Card Inception for more information). Some abilities are available right away when you start playing a new card, and some need the card to be levelled up first. Every new ability has its own genesis transaction, but not all of those take place at the same time as the creation of the new genesis block…

Some abilities require a “global unlock” — all players contribute toward global unlocks (this process is called Discovery), requiring a fixed amount of XP from play with cards that use those globally locked abilities. Players who’ve already levelled their cards to obtain higher-level locked abilities will be able to see that they have access to them, but not what they are (those players will also be rewarded more XP toward the global unlocks).

The discovery rate will be tied to the size of the genesis block and the rate of inception for those cards (i.e. how quickly they are purchased by users), meaning that there’ll be a steady shift in the meta game as cards are played. Some abilities may have their unlock criteria associated with future genesis blocks or timed events.

Pro features — for hardcore players and experimentation

Players that buy cards also get Pro access — a set of features and services that allow for extending the game, experimenting with the API and leveraging the Nomad economy.

During pre-launch you can get significant discounts on cards, Pro access and other early access exclusives. Check out the Early Access page for more information.

Pro features announced to date (more coming soon)

  • Browse and play any available Nomad card (non Pro players are allocated Nomad cards randomly)
  • “Card Mimic” — practice play any card
  • Extended Nomad card play — retain Nomad cards in your deck for longer
  • Invites for game alphas and exclusive tests
  • Access to constructed “test” decks — only available for alpha tests, test decks use specially constructed card parameters, and are a great way to explore new genesis/game ability maps
  • Bot use — have AI bots play your cards
  • API access — write your own bots and other code against the Deckbound APIs
  • Flexible trade options
  • As every card is represented by a series of Bitcoin transactions — a genesis transaction to create the card attributes and then a series of ownership and tagging transactions to establish the location of the card and it’s additional attributes, like levels and augments — trading cards is the same as a sending Bitcoin.

Deckbound cards use bitbind.io (a public service that we built and manage) to track ownership and card status. Over time, the following trade and exchange features will be supported:

  • Cards retained in the player’s Deckbound account (Deckbound is effectively managing a small wallet for the player)
  • Cards traded between player accounts using Deckbound tools
  • Cards transferred outside of a Deckbound wallet
  • “Card activation” on your Deckbound account, i.e. a player registers their cards with Deckbound but stores them elsewhere
  • Bitbind.io automatically tracks tagged objects and cards around the blockchain, so unless you force your cards (effectively Bitcoin) through uncommon transaction types or deliberately try to obfuscate them, bitbind.io will follow them around and retain all card attributes, tags and additional information accumulated through play.

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