Though Star Wars CCG is now long past its peak popularity, a tenacious player-led community, organized via the internet and shepherded in part by the denizens of Conference Room C, has helped it outlast its life expectancy, setting an example for fans of other endangered properties who hope to keep the things they care about from dying. Operation and oversight of the game was then taken over by a Decipher-created volunteer group called the Star Wars Customizable Card Game Players Committee. Games/Toys. During several … “Because the minute we lose it, our site’s gone.”, Thus far, the community has steered clear of copyright infringement, but continued creation eventually led to a different problem: an unmanageable number of cards. “But it worked out for the best. Bldg.KSuffern, NY 10901. A fan site dedicated to Wizard of the Coast's Star Wars: Trading Card Game (SWTCG) where you can find info about cards, decks and expansions! “The fans were like a surrogate family in some respects,” Holland says. Fast & Free shipping on many items! Get the best deal for Star Wars CCG (Decipher) Trading Card Games from the largest online selection at eBay.com. Those Decipher-designated “player advocates” would work with the company to shift responsibility for the game’s administration from Decipher to the fans, setting up communication channels, organizing tournaments, settling rules disputes and, as Holland wrote in January 2002, “keeping Star Wars CCG in the limelight for a long time to come.” It was an unprecedented idea born of a desperate situation. When they were finished, Braunlich says, he knew that the game would have “a huge amount of repeat-play value,” but even he underestimated its depths. The process starts with designers, who create the cards’ text, mechanics, and stats. ... Star Wars Trading Card Game Independent Development Committee. 99. GEMP is a labor of love by Troy Biesterfeld, a software engineer who estimates that he’s sunk about 3,000 hours into the project over the past four years (an average of more than 14 hours per week). $5.79 New. But in 2001, a Lucasfilm licensing crisis orphaned the game from its designer, nearly ending its existence. “Sometimes an image that’s fleeting in the movie, just in the background, we’d want to make a card out of it. Each card confers one unit of “Force,” the game’s central resource and SWCCG’s closest analog to “Mana” from Magic. “The complexity of Star Wars CCG is orders of magnitude greater than that of poker, and with that complexity comes a much higher skill ceiling,” Cellucci says. Overseeing a large team of testers, they tweaked each card’s attributes until they were confident that the game would be in balance, with no one card or combination of cards from the CCG’s hundreds-deep library lending its owner an unfair advantage. Pages Liked by This Page. “And then it was also a barrier for entry, because anybody new or wanting to come back into the game, it’s like, ‘I have all my Decipher cards—Oh, but there’s these other [1,100] that I gotta go cut out all the slips and figure out what they do.’”, That effort temporarily trimmed the virtual-card count to 200—enough to make the game feel substantially different from its 2002 incarnation, but not enough to be overwhelming. Fast & Free shipping on many items! The Star Wars Customizable Card Game was first released in December, 1995 by a company called Decipher, Inc. Over the next six years, the game’s following grew, and with a player base of over 40,000 strong, it became the second most popular trading card game in the world, after Magic: The Gathering. The MPC entrants—a small subset of the 2,000 to 3,000 people whom community organizers estimate are still seriously playing the game in person or online—included a cohort of experienced competitors (and past MPC and other tournament champions) who’ve stuck with the game since its heyday, as well as a contingent of less seasoned participants whom the lifers label “NARPs,” or “new and returning players.” Some NARPs have only recently discovered the game, while others played it decades ago and later let their participation subside before being lured back by resurgent Star Wars fandom or interest in the game’s ongoing evolution. Expand your options of fun home activities with the largest online selection at eBay.com. The Star Wars Players Committee’s customizable card game was first released in December 1995 by a company called Decipher, Inc. “His pick this year meant more than any, ever,” Smith says. Casey Anis, a New York lawyer who got a deck from his dad as a second-grader in 1995 and never stopped playing, now serves as a member of a player-organized SWCCG marketing team. It is a two player game where one player is the Light Side of the Force, and the other is the Dark Side. ... Star Wars Customizable Card Game: A New Hope Limited Edition 15 Card Expansion Set. “A game with less complexity of mechanics/rules (i.e., any other card game), and no new cards/rules still actively being added, would have been completely implemented in much less time,” Biesterfeld explains via email. Decipher, Inc. is an American company that produces several collectible card games. Over the years, Decipher added eleven full expansions to the original card base, as well as numerous smaller expansions, special-purpose sets, and promotional releases. Great deals on Star Wars Star Wars CCG (Decipher) Trading Card Games. “It’s basically guiding you through the game; it’s only letting you do things that are legal,” Zinn says. Avg. Some virtual cards change the abilities of existing cards, while others add objects and characters that weren’t already in the game. WARS (Decipher, Inc.) Product/Service. The 51 participants—all male, reflecting a gender skew that’s plagued the player pool since the beginning—had flocked from all over the country for the 11th annual Match Play Championship, a head-to-head battle of brackets and seeds that differs from the Swiss-system tournaments held at most major and regional SWCCG gatherings. Two expansion packs, titled Scum and Villainy and Masters of the Force, were produced before the end of 2001. CCGs—which exist today in digital form as well as in games featuring physical cards—couple the compulsive appeal of traditional trading cards with the strategy of tabletop games, allowing players to buy booster packs of randomly drawn cards that can be combined into decks and used to battle opposing players. “We owe everything in our lives to Star Wars and to the Star Wars CCG,” Keefer says today. “We lost the license for reasons that had nothing to do with the popularity of the game,” Braunlich says. “It’s cool to see people come and go,” Lingrell says. “You prefer to be in person because of the externalities of attending the event, the people that you see,” Kelly says. The community’s most indispensable member is Scott Lingrell, a 42-year-old financial planner who started playing SWCCG in 1997. Giving players easy access to the cards and opponents to play against, while easing the rules learning curve, needs to be there.” Also, he says, he “was confident nobody else on the planet was going to volunteer to build it.”, Although there has been some dispute about whether online matches—in which there’s no way to tell whether a player is seeking assistance from a friend or a rulebook—should count toward yearly competitive points totals, the PC’s tournament organizers just began offering an online championship series, reflecting online play’s importance and popularity. ], LOL Surprise #HairGoals Makeover Series 1 Mystery Capsule Pack [Wave 2], Funko Disney Kingdom Hearts III Donald 1/12 Mystery Mini [Monsters Inc. Loose], Marvel vs Capcom 3 Minimates Series 3 She Hulk Vs. Chun Li Minifigure 2-Pack, Hot Wheels Avengers Infinity War Character Cars Thor Die-Cast Car, Funko Marvel Studios 10 POP! “I don’t want to say that on the record,” he says, laughing. “And sometimes, if things are really insane, they might keep track of where a card is in the opponent’s deck, and that’s like the ultimate crazy thing that you can try to do.”. All Rights Reserved. “You realize when you play other games just how much better the mechanics of this one are, and just how much more enjoyable it is to feel like you have more control over it,” Gogolen says. A playtesting team then incorporates the cards into matches to make sure that they play well in practice; finally, proofers and graphical artists polish the wording and look of the cards. Per Decipher, WARS TCG is … As its name implies, the Star Wars Customizable Card Game is a trading card game, like Magic: The Gathering, set in the Star Wars universe. “Location” cards, which also lean either light or dark, determine where in the Star Wars universe the action takes place, which may favor one player over the other; players compete for control of those locations by taking turns using cards that represent Star Wars characters, vehicles, and weapons. In addition to lending the Players Committee the legitimacy of being officially sanctioned by Decipher, the company met with the advocates to discuss the details of the handover, shared the names and email addresses of everyone who’d inquired about positions on the Players Committee, helped the committee set up a website, and, most meaningfully, donated $1 million of Star Wars CCG inventory—with royalties to Lucasfilm prepaid—that the committee could distribute as prizes. Another crucial development in the pursuit of new players has been the advent and refinement of online play. I don’t know if there’s anyone who’s said, ‘I like the new games better, I’m done with this.’”. Star Wars Jedi Knights Masters of The Force 11 Card Booster Pack X2. “It stressed everybody out,” Lingrell recalls. This article is about Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars card game. There’s more than one way to the top of an SWCCG tournament. This game was distinct from the others because all of the card images were entirely computer generated. 1995 decipher star wars ccg premiere death star:docking bay 327 limited-light side (12) 1995 DECIPHER STAR WARS CCG PREMIERE ELLORRS MADAK LIMITED-LIGHT SIDE (15) 1995 DECIPHER STAR WARS CCG PREMIERE HEAR ME BABY, HOLD TOGETHER LIMITED-LIGHT SIDE (17) Although the original six player advocates appointed by Decipher have given way to successors and mostly moved on from the game, Lingrell’s involvement in organizing fan efforts dates back almost to the beginning of the post-Decipher period. The company had no choice but to cancel an upcoming expansion set and cease production of Star Wars CCG. “We’re not allowed to create any kind of new material,” Carulli says. (One Walseth alum, Bryan Mischke, was the second-place finisher at MPC.) December 23 at 7:15 PM. At its core, a latter-day SWCCG tournament is a social event; as Zinn says, “Some of these people can say, ‘I’ve known that guy since the ’90s.’” During the Decipher era, it was possible for players to find multiple tournaments on one weekend, or even one day; Gogolen recalls times when he would “play in one store from 11-4, drive to the other store and play from there from 5-9, and then grab a slice of pizza somewhere in the middle of that.” Now, tournaments are more akin to class reunions, providing periodic opportunities to reconnect with SWCCG friends one needs an excuse to see in real life. Star Wars CCG’s higher skill ceiling and deck customization leave less room for luck. “Hasbro was a $500 million account, and when they acquired Wizards of the Coast, they put a lot of pressure on Lucas to move the license to Wizards,” Holland recalls. To kill enemy cards, thus removing them from the arena they were in and placing … Need your order delivered in time for the Holidays? The last set, Theed Palace, was offered in the fall of 2001. Upsets aren’t unheard of in Star Wars CCG, but given the edge that skilled players possess, Zinn, among others, expresses skepticism that anyone other than a highly seeded entrant would win the weekend event. John Howe (of the LOTR movie fame) will develop the art concept. Like a vintage Kenley Jansen cutter, he’s predictable but almost unbeatable. So there’s not as many people back from ’02, but there’s [still] more than you would think there would be.” Gogolen mentioned a matchup at last year’s world championship between Vince Hutchins—son of veteran player Grady Hutchins—and Matt Sokol, who won the 2000 world championship, the last one administered by Decipher. … But the internal pressure from their largest licensor eventually became overwhelming.” In 2001, Lucasfilm altered the deal, and Decipher (which, unbeknownst to Holland, was also losing millions of dollars embezzled by his brother-in-law) lost the license. Those black-bordered cards—bearing descriptions, instructions, symbols, stats, and, most eye-catching of all, stills from the Star Wars original trilogy—were the currency that sustained the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, which became a ’90s phenomenon long before The Phantom Menace, let alone the recent string of Disney releases that continues this week with Solo: A Star Wars Story. A newer, more advanced platform called GEMP—whose name, fittingly, refers to a coming-of-age ceremony—requires less expertise. The small sums of money at stake in latter-day SWCCG tournaments helps filter out anyone who isn’t in it for fun: While the winner of last year’s Magic world championship took home $100,000, the prize for the MPC champion was only $600. Go to next slide - Best Selling. Expand your options of fun home activities with the largest online selection at eBay.com. Star Wars CCG was first released in December 1995. CategoryOneGames.com. To control an arena, one of the two sides (Light or Dark Side) must be the only one with a unit(s) in that arena, if either side has cards in an arena while the other side does not, they control that arena. Lingrell, who earned only a 7-seed in the MPC bracket, isn’t a top player. In its early years, Decipher made puzzles, party games, and Pente sets, but its business changed soon after a competing company, Wizards of the Coast, released Magic in 1993, starting the customizable/collectible card game craze. Although one MPC player repeatedly requested that Zinn make victors leave the room after their first match to prevent them from spying on potential upcoming opponents, the players were always polite. One byproduct of SWCCG’s obsessive attention to detail is that even if longtime players can’t remember every rule, they have near-perfect recall of Star Wars minutiae. 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