Marvel Snap ignored a deck and it worked

Marvel Snap ignored a deck and it worked
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One image shows Marvel Snap's Quicksilver in front of comic book artwork.

picture: Marvel / Second Dinner / Kotaku

Marvel snap is a very good card game which recently left Early Access and is now playable on Android, iOS and Steam. Unlike virtually any other digital card game snap does not include a mulligan option early in the game, allowing you to discard some or all of your cards for new cards. But as Ben Brode of developer Second Dinner explained on Twitter, while the lack of a mulligan was an issue with early playtesters, developers fixed it by making just a tiny change to a single card.

Released last week after several months in Early Access, Marvel snap is a free-to-play card game developed by Former Hearthstone Director Ben Brode and his new game studio Second Dinner. It has quickly become one of the most popular mobile games and is a favorite among some of them kotakuEmployee. I’ve been playing it off and on since beta and think it might be my favorite card game for years thanks to its focus on quick matches, random elements and small decks. However, as part of this stripped down approach to a card game, Brode and his team decided early on not to include mulligans. And for that to work, a small change to Quicksilver was required.

Taking to Twitter, Brode explained that what makes card games fun is the variance. However, Second Dinner also wanted Marvel snap small decks, as deck building is often one of the biggest obstacles for new players. And the smaller the decks are, the less variance they have. To discourage players from just throwing away cards to get exactly what they needed – and to allow people to bluff with the snap mechanic – Second Dinner dropped mulligans.

As might be expected, the cutting out of such a popular and traditional part of card games caused some problems. According to Brode, people were always playing early builds of snap, They mainly complained about the lack of mulligans.

“We knew that once players understood how the Cube worked and how you could bail out at any time for only a small loss of Cubes, the impact of bad luck would be lessened,” wrote Brode. “And also, missing a one or two drop in Snap is really different than in other card games. There’s no ‘tempo’ in Snap. You don’t ‘lose board control’ by not playing a card early. It might not be the best, but you’re certainly not doomed.”

Even though Brode and the team were confident players wouldn’t miss the mulligan once they understood the game, the amount of early feedback concerning not being able to play anything on turn one and not having a chance to swap cards was hard to ignore. But instead of completely reworking the game, the team made a single change. It placed Quicksilver in the deck that players start the game with. The card only consumes one energy and also has one ability that it always puts in your hand at the beginning of a game.

“Instantly [after this tweak] mulligan feedback dried up,” explains Brode. “Who needs to mulligan when you’re always drawing your 1-drop? Eventually, many players choose to trade Quicksilver for another card, but at this point you’re doing it selection to risk a bad opening hand.”

Brode ended the thread He explains that developers often have to decide whether issues are system-wide or just an issue with some content. In other words, does an issue require you to overhaul the entire game system, or can it be solved with a minor change, e.g. B. by forcing a useful one-energy card into the players’ first deck?

In this case, a tiny change to Quicksilver solved the problem without fundamentally changing Marvel snap. That’s good because I’m happy with how the game is going today, and don’t miss out on mulligans!

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