What’s Wrong with Digital Collectible Card Games? Hearthstone-like Games| Game Design Thinking - finalbosscardgame.com

What’s Wrong with Digital Collectible Card Games? Hearthstone-like Games| Game Design Thinking

Game Design Thinking
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In the last few years, many games inspired in Hearthstone have been launched. This has created a series of Hearthstone-like games, games that share most of the core gameplay loop with the Blizzard game. This has created a sense of exasperation on players, who are looking for the next revolution in Digital CCG.

/* Books used in this video essay */
Advanced Game Design – Michael Sellers:
The Art of Game Design – Jesse Schell:
Game Feel – Steve Swink:

/* Gameplay Videos */
How to Play Magic: The Gathering:
Hearthstone Gameplay:
Magic: The Gathering Arena:
Boss Monster:
Creative Clash:

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/* Timestamps: */
00:00 – Intro
01:14 – CCG Brief History
01:51 – The Beginnings of the Digital CCG
02:34 – Hearthstone Brief History
03:20 – Hearthstone’s Core Gameplay Loop
05:04 – Hearthstone’s Cards
06:38 – Causa
07:19 – Kards
08:19 – Gwent
09:09 – What now?
11:07 – Outro


  1. A fellow game design channel! Cannot wait to go through your videos!

  2. Hi, is there a game like hearthstone that I can edit (cards,backgrounds, sounds) ?? I'm searching something easy that u can play offline vs AI

  3. Very good content like always! you have my like 👍🏻👍🏻

  4. this explains why ive seen many of my friends get increasingly interested in these kind of games, very interesting video as always 👍

  5. You need to check out David Sirlin and his physical card game Codex that attempts to solve the problems of the genre. "It took over 10 years to get Codex right

    because it radically re-invents the customizable card game genre"

  6. I hate hearthstone so I’m here to listen to your thoughts on the 20+ clones these idiots keep making.

  7. 1- congrats on making videos in english when it is so clearly not your first language. the subtitles are hilarious.
    2- i fell the video needed better direction.
    3- i feel there are some misconceptions: there are many tcgs out there but in neither of them is innovation a key term. neither companies nor players want great innovations. they are mostly content with replicating formulas with simple twists here and there.
    4- mentioning mtg when saying new cards are usually stronger seems like a mistake.
    5- i am still to watch a trully great video on the genre as a whole, covering all the games and what each brought to the table.

  8. Great video, have you taken a looked at krosmaga? part hearthstone but also there like a board game element to it

  9. Personally, i think that PvZ Heroes makes a great job in trying to diferenciate itself from other games of the same genre.

    The most obious difference, the gameplay:
    Unlike other card games, the PvZH gameplay relays on the positionig of your minions, since you only have five lanes to place them (and some of them can only place certain minions with a very specific hability to be played there).

    Another big difference is how the turn system works:
    Instead of every player being able to deciding the management of what your minions will do and what cards do you play on that turn, here depending of side you are playing every turn will go like this: First Zombies play their minions, then plants play their cards, after that Zombies are allowed to play ONLY tricks (basically spells or weapons from hearstone) or eviroments (more on that later) and finally comes the attack phase, where all minions placed will make an attack, one at a time per lane and from left to right.

    To add up there are enviroments, enviroments are placable terrains the will grant a possitive buff to your minions or a negative one to the oponents minions when they are if they are placed on that lane, also if another eviroment is place there i will get replaced by the one played, this adds a huger layer of strategy, since not only you have to worry about what minions and tricks will you opponent will have, you will also have to worry about what eviroment does he have to counter that and play around it.

    One of the most unique aspects of this game is how de heroes are separated into two very distinctive sides of heroes: The plants and the zombies:
    Here you have two completly opposite sides with very diferents sets of cards and stategies to play around, making a wide space for crativity an strategy.

    Its unfotunate that this game hasn't gotten any support from the devs since 2017 but still is a very enjoyable card game that you should, atleast give it a try.

  10. Fantastic video, you articulate your thoughts very well. To me, the reason why so many digital card games recycle mechanics is because new card games, both physical and digital, have always sank or swam based on how accessible they are. If a player downloads a game and is immediately overwhelmed with unfamiliar mechanics, there's a chance they'll just quit, especially if it's a F2P game like most digital CCGs are. There's certainly room for Innovative digital CCG experiences, and as you say at the end of the video, we're getting there little by little. The unfortunate reality is that the way to discovering successful new ways to play card games is going to be paved with countless failures.

  11. Hello, link in description seems to be broken. Thanks

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