Checking out the latest Penny Arcade comic, I noticed that they are running an ad for a card game called Yomi. The ad caught my interest as it displayed a big “10 out of 10 – Tom Vasel” quote in the middle of the banner (some of you may recall that I quoted him recently in a post about my own game). As I mentioned there, Tom Vasel is a famous board game collector/player. Last time I checked, he was living in South Korea, with a house full of daughters and a basement full of board games.
After clicking to see what kind of card game would deserve the coveted Tom Vasel 10 out of 10, I noticed, to my surprise and delight, that it is a combat game with what appears to be four main types of cards: Attack, Block, Dodge, and Throw. The reason I reacted with such glee, is that immediately upon finishing Whipped!, with only a couple of weeks left before we would all be separated for the known future, Mark, Mark, and I started working on a Karate combat card game. It was quite similar (as it inevitably would be), yet to my mind, more exciting because it incorporated real kata from that martial art, based on Mark Groenewold’s personal experience and knowledge. The creators of Yomi are bragging 6 years of development and testing, and that would take it back to before we even thought of the Karate game idea, so even if we had worked our asses off for all of this time, we would have still had stiff competition.
All of this to say, it brought back great memories, a little twinge of “should’ve followed through”, and it gives me yet another reason why I wish that we could expand our weekend time to include face-to-face gaming, over Coca-Colas, Beers, and Burgers.
There is one more thing. While at the Yomi site, I noticed they were selling a digital copy of a book called Playing to Win: Becoming the Champion book, and I found the following quote from the publisher’s notes quite interesting:
- I wrote those articles in order to share the lessons of competition I learned from tournaments in fighting games like Street Fighter. Although I used examples from fighting games, I wrote the articles to be applicable to all gamers with examples from many different kinds of games.
Even within the realm of fighting games, each game has its own community. There are distinct communities for old-school Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Capcom vs. SNK 2, Guilty Gear XX, Tekken, Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter, and Super Smash Brothers Melee. Furthermore, I’ve peeked into communities of many other games such as Magic: The Gathering, chess, Counter-Strike, Puzzle Fighter, poker, Scrabble, and more. Each community tends to value its own game above all others and tends to ignore and be generally ignorant of the other communities. And yet I saw that all these communities were so similar at their core: they were all wrestling with the concepts of what “playing to win” really means. They all struggled over deciding which moves to ban from play and how to ban them. They struggled with concepts of “cheapness” and “honor.”
Now to see if I can find the early prototype Karate deck lying around here.