How To Create A Pokémon Trading Card Game Online?

Are you planning to launch an online trading card game to make a mark in this growing market?

If you are then no doubt you are searching for tips on how to create a Pokémon trading card game online.

In this article, I will explain exactly how you can do this.

Contents

The lucrative market of online card games
What are online trading card games?
Top online games like Pokémon trading card game
Features of online trading card games
How to create an online game for trading cards
Planning the next killer online trading card game?

The lucrative market of online card games

The market for online card games is growing rapidly. At the end of 2018, the market for these games amounted to an impressive $1.5 billion, moreover, the market is expected to reach $2 billion in 2020.

3 out of every 4 players of online card games also buy additional digital content, therefore, the sector is certainly a lucrative business! Read more about such interesting statistics on this sector, in “Digital Collectible Card Games Report”.

What are online trading card games?

These are games played on computers, tablets, and smartphones. These games are quite similar to physical trading card games. Players either play against other players or against a computer.

Many online trading card games are simply digital versions of physical trading card games. However, there are numerous original digital games too.

Read more about these games via this Wikipedia page.

Top online games like Pokémon trading card game

To start with, let‘s review a few popular online trading card games:

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Pokémon trading card game online

“Pokémon Trading Card Game” (Pokémon TCG) online is a highly popular game. It‘s the digital version of the Pokémon trading card game. It‘s just as interesting and as popular as the card game. Players of this game can play it on Windows, OSX, iPad, and Android.

Originally launched in 2011, the game continues to appeal to its‘ players. There are various modes of the game-play that suit everyone from new players up to the experts. Players can win prizes like tradable packs of digital cards.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

A highly popular online trading card game, “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft” has millions of players. It is another interesting game, moreover, there are a range of cards, games, characters, etc. There are frequent expansions in the range of cards, something which keeps players hooked. It‘s available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

GWENT

GWENT uses complex game mechanisms that clearly works well for its players. The aim of the game is equally interesting as its‘ card play! There are tournaments and live events where players can participate.

HEX: Shards of Fate

“HEX: Shard of Fate” digital trading card game is quite different from the others in its‘ category. Players can customize quite a few aspects. They can customize classes, moreover, they have a variety of race and class combinations to choose from. It has a great design, including its app user interface. There are various events, and players can use its handy calendar to make sure they never miss any.

Features of online trading card games

To compete with the existing games, a new online trading card game should offer the following features:

  • A wide range of characters, cards, game scenarios, and settings;
  • Backdrop options that attract and retain players‘ attention;
  • Live events, tournaments, and event calendars;
  • Streaming capabilities;
  • Easy-to-use player onboarding;
  • Interesting prize options in tournaments;
  • A captivating overall presentation including high-quality graphics;
  • Availability on multiple platforms, for e.g., Windows, macOS, Android, iOS;
  • A regular pipeline of new characters, cards, games, and tournaments, which will keep players interested.

Read “Alternatives to Hearthstone (best online card games)”, to learn how popular games are utilizing these features to engage their players and increase their player base.

How to create an online game for trading cards

I will now explain the steps to create a board game online for trading digital cards.

Step #1: Plan the project to create the best game online

A project to create your own game online should be an Agile based for the following reasons:

  • Such a game is a ’System of Engagement‘ (SoE), which is different from ’Systems of Record‘ (SoRs) like enterprise accounting or CRM systems.
  • Iterative development is the appropriate approach for SoEs, and Agile software development supports iterative development. Read more about it in “Waterfall vs Agile: which methodology is right for your project”.

Use a robust project management tool. JIRA is a good choice, however, you can find more examples in our guide “The 10 best Agile project management tools in 2018”.

Step #2: Build a team to create a game online

You will require the following roles in your project team:

  • Business analysts (BAs);
  • Game designers/developers;
  • iOS developers;
  • Android developers;
  • Web developers;
  • Testers;
  • A project manager (PM).

I am using the role descriptor ’Game designer/developer’ in a rather high-level way. To clarify, the role may include several different skills. For e.g., game developers may need proficiency in graphics programming, ’Artificial Intelligence’ (AI), game-play programming, etc. The role will also include people with graphics skills like 3D character design, animation skills, etc.

Read this Quora Q&A thread for more information.

Step #3: Get a ’Platform as a Service‘ (PaaS) provision for the web version of the game

The online trading card game that you are developing will likely be used by a variety of players. Some will play it on their smartphones while others will play using their desktop computers. The desktop players will need to seamlessly interact with smart device users and vice versa.

You have noticed that I have not budgeted for backend developers or infrastructure architects. The reason for this is that I recommend you use a ’Platform as a Service’ (PaaS) provider. PaaS providers address the following, leaving you to concentrate on your app development:

  • Cloud infrastructure;
  • Networking;
  • Storage;
  • Middleware;
  • Operating system (OS);
  • Runtime environments;
  • The database, and other 3rd party API integration;
  • Scaling and monitoring services.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a reputed PaaS provider with great cloud capabilities, however, you can find other examples in “10 top PaaS providers for 2019”.

Read How We Helped a Marketing Company to Build a Back-Office Custom Ads Dashboard

Step #4: Get a ’Mobile Backend as a Service‘ (MBaaS) provision for the mobile version

I recommend you use a ’Mobile Backend as a Service‘ (MBaaS) provider for the mobile backend. This is why I have not included any mobile backend developer or infrastructure architect in the project team.

MBaaS providers handle the following, enabling you to expedite the development:

  • Cloud infrastructure, including server and networking;
  • Persistent storage;
  • Database;
  • Security;
  • User management;
  • Integration with 3rd party APIs;
  • Push notifications;
  • Scaling your app.

You can use Google Firebase, however, you can check out more examples in “How to choose the best Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS)?”.

Step #5: Use effective tools for designing your game

I have recommended you induct game designers and developers in your team, however, using market-leading tools will really help streamline development.

Let‘s review a few options:

Option #1: Unity CCG kit

Unity CCG kit is a multiplayer digital card game creation tool. It was created by Unity. It has the following advantages:

Option #2: Dulst platform

With Dulst, you can create an online trading card game. Check out their advantages, which are as follows:

  • The tool enables designers and developers to create games easily.
  • There are features that support multiplayer games.
  • You can also use the built-in features to build a fan community and retain them.
  • The company has a flexible pricing plan.
  • There is a comprehensive set of documents and learning resources, which you can access here. The documentation covers game customization, developing a game, managing card art, creating the game board, building basic effects, etc.

Option #3: Flowfab Game Creator

With “Flowfab Game Creator”, you can create a game using your web browser. They offer the following advantages:

  • You can create apps for Windows, iOS, and Android.
  • Flowfab runs in the browser, there, you don’t need to download any tool.
  • There is a flow-based visual logic builder.

You can access various learning resources, including video tutorials, user guides, examples, ’getting started‘ guides, etc. There is a range of pricing plans, which you can view here.

Option #4: GameMaker from YoYo Games

GameMaker from YoYo Games” is another option with which you can build your online trading card game. The following are its‘ features:

  • It‘s an easy tool to use since there is a drag-and-drop development environment.
  • You can use the same game on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Other platforms like fireTV, Android TV, etc. are also supported.
  • There are editors for objects and scripts.
  • You have access to an extensive library of events and actions.
  • The tool also lets you control how objects are ordered, use inheritance, etc.

The “GameMaker Language” (GML) they use in the background is modeled on C. Access their pricing plans here.

Option #5: Stencyl

Stencyl offers easy-to-use tools to create online games. You have the following advantages with Stencyl:

  • You can create games for iPhone, iPad, and Android, macOS, Windows, etc.
  • It‘s an intuitive set of tools, therefore, it‘s easy to learn.
  • Their ’drag-and-drop‘ interface lets you develop games without coding.
  • There are extensive learning resources, for e.g., courses, guides, video tutorials, books, sample games, and a developer center.

Check out their pricing plans here.

Step #6: Use the right programming language and tools for the web app

By now, your game designers/developers have created the online trading card game assets. For players using a desktop, you now need to build the web app. I recommend the following:

Step #7: Use appropriate programming language and tools for the mobile app

You should create both an iOS and Android app, therefore, you will need a variety of languages and app development software. I recommend the following:

Step #8: Use the right guidelines for publishing a mobile app

After you develop and test your mobile apps, you will need to publish them in the various app stores used by the leading operating systems. Check the following guidelines:

Step #9: Manage your project using the “Scrum technique”

Use the “Scrum” technique to manage this Agile software development project. This involves the following:

  • You build a cross-functional “Scrum team” where designers, developers, and testers work together, with your PM as the “Scrum master”.
  • “Product owners” provide the requirements as features in a “Product Backlog”.
  • The team estimates the features and plans them in “Sprints”, i.e., iterations, based on their priority.
  • The project team conducts a “Daily stand-up meeting” to discuss the project status during a sprint.
  • Project stakeholders approve a sprint in a “Sprint review meeting”, after a thorough demonstration of where all features are working as desired.
  • There is a “Sprint retrospective” meeting after the sprint, to learn the lessons from the just-concluded sprint.

Read our guide “How to build a Scrum development team?” for more details.

Planning the next killer online trading card game?

Are you hoping of taking the online trading card game market by storm?

While it is important to dream big, don’t forget that it will be a large, complex project. Designing attractive digital game assets, developing it for multiple platforms, and the end-to-end project management required to manage the large teams that it will take to do all this, will likely make it very time consuming and expensive project.

Consider engaging a professional software development company if you don’t have the required in-house skills to do it right. Check our guide “How to find the best software development company?” before you start your search for such a development partner.

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