Plastic Made for Battle – part three. The Robot Battle League card game.

by Travis

PSCC’s Game Night playtest at the Oasis Resort

So what did I end up developing? Here’s the synopsis: Players use their game cards to perform combat actions with the goal of “taking down” their opponents in a robotic battle royale. Fights between robots consist of attacks that deplete their opponent’s shields and destroy targeted robot features, crippling their opponent’s ability to fight.

The number of card actions gradually whittled down after months of playtests. The most prominent edit to the list was the removal of the weapon cards. Part of losing the weapons was due to the complications of balancing the weapon cards against the rest of the deck. Plus, if a player brought a toy avatar but didn’t have a weapon attachment, how would the loss of the weapon be represented?

Another opportunity discovered during playtests was the presentation of the game’s rules. Calista and I drafted up the rule sheet and printed out several copies, but as the rules evolved, new prints needed to be made. With smartphones becoming as ubiquitous as wallets and house keys, having the game rules electronically available became an obvious strategy. But what else could be developed electronically?

Then came the return of Alistair from atomicnitro.com. I asked him if he would develop a phone app that not only contained a searchable rule sheet and card index but also offered some form of enhancement to gameplay. We discussed many ideas such as virtual battling robots, PvP features, and a live global scoreboard, but all those features pointed towards building a standalone app. Not that a standalone app wouldn’t be fun and timely, but I was still married to the idea of creating a tabletop card game. So, Alistair and I settled on producing a solid game wiki which included sound effects to enhance the combat actions of the card game.

Reader Con 2017 playtest at the La Quinta Library

Two years on, and playtests have helped shaped a solid game. Palm Springs Comic-Con has been very supportive in giving us opportunities to present The Robot Battle League during their community events. This November, we’ll be demonstrating RBL in Palm Springs Comic-Con’s game room, and if the reception goes well, we expect to launch a KickStarter campaign soon after.

PSCC playlets at Interstellar Comics

PSCC’s Game Night playtest at the Oasis Resort

PSCC’s Game Night playtest at the Oasis Resort

Reader Con 2017 playtest at the La Quinta Library

Reader Con 2017 playtest at the La Quinta Library