Designer David Sirlin has launched a new Kickstarter for a customisable card game based on real-time strategy video games.
Codex, which Sirlin describes as a "card-strategy game", aims to feature decks that continue to be viable years after launch, as opposed to decks in collectible card games such as Hearthstone, which fall out of favour as new cards are introduced.
"What if almost any deck you could make is reasonably fair and matchups are generally won or lost by how you play them, rather than before the game starts?" Sirlin asks on the Kickstarter.
The idea is Codex decks offer a wide enough range of effects that they're "resilient" to whatever's thrown at them. Sirlin reckons during each game of Codex, players have access to a number of effects equal to about three Magic: The Gathering decks.
The video, below, gives us a good idea of how Codex works.
"It addresses a fundamental problem with customisability, where it usually creates only the promise of more variety in decks, but the reality is it ends up creating far FEWER viable decks (usually three or four that are way better than the rest in any card pool)," Sirlin explained to Eurogamer.
"Codex's system of limited customisability with discrete chunks that are coherent within themselves means it's the only CCG around where it's possible to create literally over 1000+ decks, all of which differ from each other by at least 1/3rd, and all of which are as viable as an average character in a fighting game."
The real-time strategy elements are inspired by the likes of Warcraft 3 and StarCraft, whose armies remain interesting even after hundreds of hours of play. But there are other RTS-elements fused into Codex, too, including build orders, fog of war and an economy.
David Sirlin has spent a number of years trying to improve long-established competitive game mechanics. Back in 2008 he rebalanced Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo for Capcom's HD Remix. He's also tried to "fix" chess and poker.
The Codex Kickstarter calls for $50,000, and it's already well on its way. If all goes to plan, Sirlin will ship to customers in November 2016. Then, the designer returns to the world of fighting games with Fantasy Strike, an attempt to distil the genre down to "the fundamentals that matter".