Guild Wars 2 CCG – Part 2: The Cards (GW2 Card Game)

gw2 ccg card game
(Last Updated On: February 27, 2017)

Harder than I thought

When I came up with the idea to design a GW2 (Guild Wars 2) CCG (Collectible Card Game) I didn’t realise how hard it would actually be. I mean, there is A LOT to think about. While designing the cards I knew I had to basically make the entire GW2 card game. Why? Because firstly, others as well as myself will want to play it. And the game has to make sense – why do we have Damage, Health and Endurance? Why do we need this here or text there? How will the game start, how will it end? Everything has a purpose and a place and the entire game needs to be designed so that the cards slot in like a large piece of a big puzzle.


Well I guess I’m building a CCG

I was really busy over the last few months and didn’t get the time to sit down and really think about how this game will work and play. Wanting to do the Guild Wars universe justice with a solid card game. I also have high standards when I compare it to games like Hearthstone, Star Wars Destiny or Magic the Gathering, and I know it will have to stand up to those games if people will want to play it. I’ll talk about game mechanics and how it’s all going to work in the next blog posts, but for now, let’s look at some nice cards shall we?


From Wireframe to Design

You saw the design process in my previous blog post here, but if you missed it you can read it here. The image below shows the high-fidelity wire-frame and how it compares to the actual card.

GW2 CCG card game

As you can see there are some very small differences I had to make that I could only see once the design was getting near completion. I decided to move the health number above the name, putting it right on top of the character portrait which felt so right. Moving the name directly into the card text just tied it all together and created a better design rhythm on the card.


Don’t forget the back

I wanted it to flow with the front of the card while not being too crazy or overloaded.

gw2 ccg card game

The front of the card flows really well with the back because of the blue curve – if you flip the  card, the curves match perfectly. I also added a very subtle map behind the Guild Wars 2 Logo just to show the world a little bit.

I also felt it necessary to write the word “unofficial” just as a disclaimer while also giving art credit to Arenanet. Let’s hope this doesn’t get me in trouble.



Profession Cards

I wanted to make the card game feel like the actual game as much as I could, so using professions rather than specific characters as the hero (yourself) made the most sense. The card displays the name of your profession along with some amazing concept art work and your starting health. There are 9 profession cards in total which I will show in a future post, but here are just 4 for now.

gw2 ccg card game


Professions Skill Cards

One of the main components that stand out with Guild Wars 2 is the fact that your profession and weapons direct half of the skills at your disposal in the game. So each profession will have its own specific skill cards which are based on the skills in the game and have similar abilities. Currently each profession has 5 skill cards each, but here are just 4 from the Guardian profession for now.

gw2 ccg card game


Basic Minion Cards

These cards are your army; cheap and effective. Not many of these cards have any special ability but they are a good part of your damage. Some will be very expensive but most are cheap and when used correctly can be deadly.

gw2 ccg card game


Exotic and Legendary Cards

These cards are special. They have special abilities as well as big health, big damage and cost a lot of endurance to summon. These cards can turn the tide of battle if your favour if you choose correctly. They are based on prominent characters in the world and story as well as the biggest and baddest bosses.

gw2 ccg card game

Currently there is only 1 design for all minions cards but I will shortly be designing some subtle changes on the Basic, Exotic and Legendary cards to show their relevant power.


Tokens make the game go round

If you’ve ever played any table-top CCG then you know about tokens, you use them to show how much health you have lost, how much damage you do, shields, resources, you name it. There will be 5 main types of tokens used in the Guild Wars 2 card game.

gw2 ccg card game

[From Left to Right Columns] Health, Endurance, Boons, Conditions & Taunt. I don’t want to go into the mechanics of the game in this post and these designs might change but this is a glimpse of the tokens you can expect to play with in the game.


Wrapping up

This has been a real challenge and it’s only just begun. Now that the bulk of the design work is done, I want to play the game. This means I have to knuckle down and make almost 100 cards.

I am really happy with how the cards have come out. After months of it not feeling right, it all just clicked into place. I will be working on a Alpha version of the game over the next month and try to release it out to the community then. I expect there might be a lot of changes to the game once released and I really want community feedback.

Hopefully you enjoyed and got something out of these posts to see my process and thoughts on the design aspect of card game design.


Please share the post and leave a comment if you have one.

Thanks, Luke


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