Story Collaboration With Penny Arcade
Minecraft hasn't even reached the full retail stage yet, but its creators are hard at work on their next project. Mojang have revealed that Scrolls will be a downloadable collectible trading card game that will offer a strong singleplayer campaign and competitive multiplayer options, along with a continually-updated roster of new decks. More details after the break.
According to the official site, Scrolls will be an online CCG with board game elements, set in (you guessed it) a dark fantasy universe. Players will use their painstakingly-collected decks to summon monsters and deploy powerful spells courtesy of the titular magic scrolls. The play field will resemble a chess board and allow room for tactical manoeuvres, with the objective being to deplete your opponent's health with your armies and direct magical attacks.
Tear your opponent limb from limb with the might of your summoned armies, lay waste to the defenses with the obliterating power of your siege weapons or open up the very skies and let bolts of lightning shower his minions until only ash remains.
The road to victory is yours to choose. Obtain the powerful scrolls and decide which ones you will take to battle as you fight to become the mightiest Magician of all.
Whilst a singleplayer campaign will preface the action and help new players learn the ropes, the main focus will be on multiplayer battles. Massive tournaments and an annual world championship are currently in the planning stages, though Mojang will need to find a sponsor first. Online auction houses and trading functionality will naturally be included, though these features will need to be implemented very carefully if real money will be changing hands.
Speaking of real money, there's no hint of pricing structures as yet. We suspect that the game may be free to download along with a basic deck, but subsequent booster packs will almost certainly require microtransactions. Mojang plan to trickle a steady stream of new cards onto the marketplace in order to avoid locked power decks dominating the online scene.
In an interesting move, Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins (better known by his alias Tycho) has been drafted on to create the backstory. The veteran writer explained to Gamasutra that he was simply better off joining the new title on the ground floor... rather than having to deal with another addiction at a later date.
Ever since Minecraft took root in the offices, it's transformed once vital staffers into shambling hulks, concerned only with the construction of monolithic structures. When Notch said the Mojang guys had an idea for another game, I decided it would probably be safest just to join them.
Scrolls is shaping up nicely, but we'll keep an eye on how much it's going to cost. Expect more details by the wire.