Silicon Spirits - Design Notes

Silicon Spirits - Design Notes

Hello Lads! Welcome to the first Design Notes series, for Kai Berserk's Silicon Spirits KS set! The Design Notes series will become a routine publication for new sets, as we want to detail and share with the community the things and decisions that end up creating the product they enjoy. In this article, we will be going over the implementation of the new symbol systems, the newer Lad type cards, the core gameplay loop, and how effect synergies are crafted to not fall victim to Powercreep. 


Overall design of Kai's Gameplay:
The number one principle the team wanted to keep in mind, while beginning to design gameplay, was to keep it as fun and as engaging as possible, while not overcomplicating any one system. We wanted Kai Berserk to be able to be learned by someone not overly familiar with TCG's in less than 10 minutes. Additionally, we also wanted to reward and engage the more hardcore competitive player. To accomplish this, we designed Kai Berserk as a sandbox experience. Players can lean to the format that most fits there play type, whether strictly casual party game style over some pizza or competing in a fast paced 1v1 tournament. The best part, almost every card works in every format. 


In the Silicon Spirits set(Hereafter referred to as SS) the team decided to make some much needed changes to how card attribution worked. If you are not already familiar Kai Berserk does not currently use an attribute system like you'd find in other TCGs (think Black, Red, Blue in Magic: The gathering).
Instead Kai Berserk has primary card types, and Effect types.
Your Primary card types are Normal, Active, Instant, and Lad.
Your Effect Type is dynamic(determined upon use) these are Restore, Steal, Attack, Destroy, Cancel.

Designing a system like this allowed us to truly make Kai Berserk a dynamic and malleable sandbox system, this list of effects and types can and will be added onto into the future, creating even more ways to interact with cards.

Back on track, Prior to SS, cards had no quick identifier to tell what card type they belong to, so we added a symbol to every card. On the left-middle of the card you'll have a quick identifier to know what card your playing. If a location requirement is also needed it'll be displayed right under the symbol. Quick and easy.

3 Kai Berserk Card examples

The Rise of the Lad:

Starting with our beta sets - Golden sunset, Green Sunder, and Silicon Victory we had no idea that the game would expand its playability so quickly. It was decided that Kai needed to introduce some kind of monster type cards, that could stay on the field and help to defend or even attack. Then came the Lads! 
Lads are essentially the monsters, heroes, villains, and beasts of the Ancient Mars universe. These powerful cards are placed on the field and have their own varying health pool and effects. Some lads attack, some lads boost your defense, some lads steal cards from your opponent or even freeze time! Since Lads are a newer system we made the conscious decision to keep the total pool of Lad cards at just 12 for the SS set. However, post-kickstarter in our Era-1 set you can expect the total number of Lad cards to increase dramatically.

Lads help to really increase the diversity of play styles in Kai Berserk. As an example, for competitive play you're allowed 4 lads in your Bag. You could build a deck based around theft by running a Lad like O'leer and utilizing his "exhaust to steal a card" effect while also gaining his protection against theft from your opponent. The possibilities will only grow greater! 

For an in-depth look at gameplay be sure to check out the Rulebook


Rarities & Collectability:

SS which is our kickstarter set, is Kai Berserk's first official mass market product line, albeit more exclusive than the sets that will follow. 
Something that is very important to us with Kai, is putting gameplay first even with more rare & collectable cards. There will be no cards, no matter the rarity level in Kai that don't have a function in gameplay. Even our most elusive Silent Rares, will be playable. We aim to keep a balance in power level when we design these, so that if a player is unable to pull a very rare card, it won't stop them from being able to build a competitive Bag.
Let's take a look at the rarities you'll find in SS.

Common: Base version of a card, non-holo, most are still powerful cards that'll find a place in your decks.

Silicon Rare: Silicon Rares will be unique to the KS set, they essentially replace Holo Rares. These are all Alt Art cards featuring Mesogenic Technology related to the lore of this set. There will be 16 total Silicon Rares to hunt for!

Transformative Rare: A Transformative rare is an upgraded form a common card. These cards feature a modifier in their name and come with more powerful effects than their common counterpart. This rarity tier is also holo-exclusive and there will be 8 to find. Take a look below to compare a Base to it's Transformative rare counterpart.

Kai Berserk Transformative Rare
RGB Rare: RGB's are Alt Art recolor and remasters to match a theme. These cards have a different holo pattern than the last two holo tiers, and are more rare. Some cards may even get multiple RBG colors in one set. Take the Tactical Theft RGB Yellow in our store, for example. It not only changes the color scheme but adds little details and more depth to the image. 

Silent Rare: Silent's are at the top of the rarity totem pole in Kai Berserk. We don't want to give away their design quite yet but they are very alluring to say the least. There will be 2 Silent Rares in the SS set and 1 Silent Signature Rare for the luckiest of players to find. Pull rates and pops for these cards will be revealed at Kickstarter launch.

Remember! A lot of players share cards in the game of Kai Berserk! We always recommend double sleeving your Kai cards for maximum protection!

If your new to Kai Berserk and the World of Ancient Mars, you probably wondering why you've been seeing a lot of futuristic themed arts lately. Silicon Spirits recounts an alternate timeline in which Ghal succeeded in taking over mars and waxing the Hexagrammadon. Ghal's armies only grew stronger and stronger and the influence of the primordial Mesonon spread across all the Tempe Mensa region. However, all hope is not lost. Some of our heroes like Jod, Arciese, and even Raisak have banded together and created a group known as the MPD so they could continue to fight the good fight against Ghal and his army. 

The world of Ancient Mars is a vast universe that the creator & primary artist Cicero J Faraday has been building for almost 7 years now. From time to time you'll experience strange sets taking us into alternate realities, dimensions and timelines. However, the main timeline story of Mars will always be at the forefront.

For more Ancient Mars Lore and stories you can head to the Hexotheseum section of our Discord!

Print Run Info: Estimation
We are currently looking at a print run for the Silicon Spirits Set of 1500 Booster Boxes & 1500 blister Packs, along with a 1000 Starter Decks.
We feel as though this is an appropriate amount of product for our current pre-kickstarter audience size. We do understand that to many fans/customers they hope that the product they buy will not lose value, and the Kai Berserk team will always make a conscious effort to match print runs tightly with demand. 

A special thank you for everyone who took the time to read through all of this! How far we've come designing Kai wouldn't have been possible without the communities support! If you like this type of design notes content we'd love to make it a regular occurrence.  

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