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Design Article #4: Keywords and Their Applications


Discussion of Design Article #4, which you can read here:

Lord LunaEquie is me:
Sorry, had some computer troubles last week (which involved taking it apart) so I was somewhat incapacitated.

I hate to sound so egocentric, but the main thing that popped into my mind when reading this was that time I was trying to design the Shipwrecker CMC cards as ponies; one of the problems I had been running into was the length of all the keywords I thought I needed to include. Apple Bloom was the worst offender, since she seemed to need the Apple family keyword, her own name keyword, the CMC keyword, and of course the Shipwrecker keyword. I'm left wondering if the name keyword couldn't have been left out, since their names would have been in the card title, though as I think about the utitlity of the cards in pony form, I think maybe the Shipwrecker keyword is extraneous?

But I digress. This article leaves me puzzling over a few specific instances (mostly on fan cards, mind you), but overall is very clear as to the purpose and design considerations of keywords. I think the Race Keyword section is the most salient, honestly; I tend to think that designing for "outsiders" is one of the most important things a game should do.

Sounds like the Shipwrecker keyword is the extraneous keyword there. It's not really an inherent trait of the character, and could be retroactively applied to a lot of characters, which could get confusing. I also don't think it's the kind of keyword others would ever adopt.

Which fan cards were you talking about with respect to keywords? If any happen to be mine, I can comment on those or speculate on others.

Lord LunaEquie is me:

--- Quote from: Ithry on September 07, 2017, 11:26:42 am ---Which fan cards were you talking about with respect to keywords? If any happen to be mine, I can comment on those or speculate on others.

--- End quote ---
I don't think I own any cards you've designed as of yet (though if any show up at this year's Nightmare Nights I'm totally going to grab them). I dug through my collection to pick out a few examples, though this isn't the full extent of them:

Discord, Jelly Filled from I think the Fan Pon expansion (one of many that has no watermark and no set name on the card) has the Draconequus, Elder, and Villain keywords but not his name keyword for some reason. Similarly, I have a Princess Ember card from a... rated T for Teen expansion that has the Ember keyword (and somewhat surprisingly, no Princess keyword).

King "Kingsley" Sombra from the Fan Pon expansion has the King Sombra keyword where others, like King Sombra, Resurrected from the Alternate Universe expansion has the Sombra keyword (without the royalty). "Kingsley" also has the OC keyword and that bugs me a little.

Rock Breaker Pinkie from the Alternate Universe expansion doesn't have the Mane 6 keyword. All the other Mane 6 from that expansion do have the Mane 6 keyword.

Con Dorks from the Fan Pon expansion has Earth Pony and Unicorn as keywords, while the ability states it can count for either for all Goals, Ships, and Powers.

Connie from the Gem Ponies expansion has no keywords, even for her race which appears to be Griffin.

I can understand a lot of these are just basically "bugs not caught in development", but I'm kind of anal retentive and these things and it makes them seem kind of sloppy. Others, like the Con Dorks, seem innocent but unnecessary.

These are likely oversights on Sweet Cream's part and either oversights or unfamiliarity with the game on the part of the Fan Pon cards. Considering the wide variety of mistakes and wordings in Fan Pon, I'm under the impression each card was designed by the creator of the character on the card, which would explain that. Now that we're posting articles on card anatomy and design, we're hoping those articles will lessen these kinds of issues in the future.


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