Sunday, July 3, 2016


For as long as I can remember, I've loved Trading Card Games. From the strategy of creating my own deck to compete against a friend's custom built deck to collecting a host of unique game cards with individual effects and artwork, I've always found myself incredibly intrigued by them.

When I was about 10 years old, I was introduced to the Pokemon Trading Card Game. In the sixth grade, I got a Pikachu card.

This one as a matter of fact.

Slowly I amassed my collection, getting a new pack every few weeks or so. I quit collecting them a couple of years later when two big things happened in my life. The first was the advent of Baby Pokemon and a selection of new monsters beyond the initial 151 and the first movie, there were too many to keep up with. The second thing was a Burger King promotion. But what does a BK promo have to do with Pokemon and my interest in the game? Well, nothing exactly. But it did introduce me to the card game that I would play for the next 15 years.

The Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game was released in 2000 when I was 13 years old. I received four packs from the second set after having my appendix removed and the rest is history. I started playing with friends and collecting more than ever. I was a little older now and I had a bit of money and no social life, so every dime went to this hobby. I played every day. And when I wasn't playing, I was studying the rule book. I wanted to be the best. And I was. I was never beaten the whole time I was active in the game. I loved it. But I wanted to go further with my hobby than I had ever been able to go up to that point. So in 2001, I began work on my first ever CCG! I took a lot of elements from Pokemon and DBZ and it wasn't very good. But I was on a road from which I would never return. The desire had been kindled.

Then, in 2002, a new TCG hit the world. Or at least my world. Yu-Gi-Oh! was a massive hit among my friends. Everyone had at least a few cards and as folks slowly stopped buying DBZ cards, I was sucked in to the new craze. I built a deck and lost every duel I entered. Then I built another. And another. I just didn't have the drive that I did with DBZ. But I liked Yu-Gi-Oh! well enough. So I played. And I got pretty good. But I was never the best.

That's around the time when a lot of my favorite anime shows got their own TCGs. YuYu Hakusho was one that I found myself particularly interested in. So I bought a few hundred cards and started playing with my sisters. Then Star Wars. Then Redemption, a game based on the Bible. Then VS. System. But I never found one I was more interested in than my favorite, DBZ.

Then, I returned to the game I'd created on my own. But I wasn't thrilled with it. So I started brainstorming. I came up with about a thousand game mechanics, but the game soon got extremely complicated and hard to explain. It got to be so detailed that explaining the rules would take longer than playing a game. So it was back to the drawing board.

Then, about a year ago, I came up with the perfect solution. I created a game engine with the perfect complexity and enough simplicity to make it accessible for beginners and difficult enough for experts. It's been nearly two decades, but I think I finally created the game I've always wanted to play. And later this year, around the release of the second book in my Romance of the Seventh Dhalmir series, I'll release the first set of my very own Trading Card Game, Decatus: Strategy Card Game. Here's a quick sneak peek at what's to come!

Sound off in the comments with your opinion on the design! I know you obviously can't tell much about the game's rules and mechanics, but what do you think of the artwork? It's taken a long time to finally settle on this artstyle. So let's hear it! What do you think?

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