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Article #5: "Digimon Tactics, Evolve!"
A Long Time Coming
Since Digimon Tactics was first announced in November 2011 — even since the last major project update was published in July 2015 — a lot has changed with the project. Paramount of all changes have been those related to design and platform: how everything will look and how you can play Tactics! I am delighted to say that after several iterations, discussions, and searches for willing collaborators, Digimon Tactics is moving forward with what will ultimately be its final card designs (pending minor tweaks) and is being built to be playable on an accessible platform with a large ecosystem of players: Tabletop Simulator. Let’s dive in.
Evolution of Design
When I first discovered TMS’s Digimon Tactics in 2013, there had already been a couple of designs in the works. Since becoming the game’s visual designer, I have contributed three designs and edit imagery on a start-and-stop basis. However, in late 2016, TMS and I took a full step back and decided to completely overhaul all visual elements of Tactics, from the card designs to the logo, and even the image selection process. The end result is what you see below: a brand new, modern (though Digimon-inspired) card design featuring carefully selected frames from the Digimon anime with a focus on dynamic, interesting shots.
Left to right (oldest to latest).
Though the labels mostly speak for themselves, I want to briefly highlight what’s changed. The first notable change is that these new card designs — dubbed 3.0 internally — are more vibrant than any predecessors, with bold new palettes for each Digimon subtype, and allow room for all text to breathe, ultimately reducing clutter and increasing legibility. Information has also been reorganized a bit, too, with evolution requirements being moved to the bottom of the card, the set symbol moved to the top right, and new icons created to signify HP, Cost, and Attributes (e.g. Virus, Vaccine, Data). Also, new typefaces were implemented for the headers/subheaders (Exo2) and body text (Roboto 2014).
Image not final.
New Platform, More to Come
Perhaps the most exciting change to announce is that Digimon Tactics will be coming to Tabletop Simulator as its first platform. If you’re unfamiliar, Tabletop Simulator is a game (available through Steam, $19.99) with a massive player base of almost 100,000 and an average of 45,000+ players a week that allows for game creators to upload assets and map them to physical, in-game components — like Tactics cards to actual in-game playing cards. It’s mostly a homebrew community, but there are scores of players active at basically any time (I can personally attest) willing to play or even playtest games of all kinds.
The decision to debut on Tabletop Simulator is twofold: convenience and efficacy. The process of implementing the cards and preparing the board for gameplay is incredibly simple — as is creating automated elements of the game, such as deck shuffling, card dealing, etc. Because the Tabletop Simulator community is so massive and active — with an audience of thousands of Steam users plus With the Will users — finding a person (or crew) to play with will be a lot easier.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the price. The $20 price tag is somewhat hefty. Thankfully, Steam – the platform you can download this game through — has seasonal sales that knock this price to around $10. The biggest benefit is that the game, depending on what you’re playing, is low-intensity and can be played on virtually any machine. Tactics will definitely be low-intensity. If you’re a fan of board games of any kind (even X-Wing and Settlers of Catan are on there, for example) this is a no-brainer purchase; if you’re not but are a fan of Digimon and Tactics, this may also be a no-brainer! If you’re not, don’t worry: We are still looking to develop an independent platform to play Tactics on but have not had much luck with finding dedicated programmers. If you are or know a talented programmer willing to lend a hand to this fan project, please let us know!
Good question! We are officially — and this has been said before but is 100% true this time — in full card production mode. As such, we will be generating cards and prototyping our Tabletop Simulator add-on in the coming weeks. As the add-on comes together, those with Tabletop Simulator can begin to participate in playtesting sessions with me, TMS, or each other! More information on that to come. If you want to help playtest and prefer print-and-play, we have not developed a printer-friendly version of the game yet but can certainly work on that in the near future if there is interest.
Let me turn this section’s header on you: What would you like to see next? Do you have any advice, suggestions, or comments? Questions? Please let us know here in the forums and we will get back to you soon. Our readjustment phase/hiatus is over and Digimon Tactics is very much alive and, truthfully, better than it ever has been before.
To avoid great image compression and the obliteration of the forums, all of our sample images have been aggregated into a private Imgur album (available to those with the link only). Click the link above or the image below!