What Makes SkyWeaver So Good?
SkyWeaver is one of the new kids on the block in the world of digital trading card games using Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) as cards in the game. There are a lot of tutorials on youtube and within the game to teach you how to play, but if anyone wants to know more please leave a comment below and I'll post some information about how the game plays and it's mechanics. For now, I want to share some unique parts of the game that improve on other TCGs I've played and sets it apart.
In-Game Items That Belong To You, Not The Developers
Typically an in-game asset such as skins or digital items that are purchased by a player never truly belong to the player, they belong to the developer, you pay for it's use within the game. NFTs shift the power of ownership and control to the player. In the scope of a trading card game, each card you earn or purchase in the game is a token tied to your account (an Ethereum wallet address). This gives you, the player, full control over the in-game asset, to do what you want. Trade them, sell them, lend them to a friend, just as you would with physical cards, anywhere on the internet.
This process of trading cards and managing an Ethereum wallet address is complex, but Horizon, the team behind SkyWeaver, has taken the NetScape approach and made it so easy to create an Ethereum wallet address and manage your cards you don't even know you're using crypto or NFTs. You still get the benefits of NFTs without needing to understand any of the technology. This reminds me of the early days of the internet with DNS and web browsers bringing the practical use of the internet to the masses by abstracting the technology and making it a simple, seamless experience. Kudos to the Horizon team for executing so elegantly.
The ease of NFT management and tight crypto wallet integration alone sets it apart from other digital TCGs I've played, but let's talk about some in-game mechanics that takes this game to a new level of card games I'm convinced other developers will envy. The SkyWeaver mulligan system is one of the best I've seen. At the start of a match you're presented with 7 cards and you select 4 cards to use at the start the match. That's it. Simple and effective. No gambling or unnecessary randomness. I love it.
Going First or Second, Doesn't Matter
One of the pain points of some popular TCGs like Hearthstone, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Magic The Gathering is going first versus going second. From my experience, and in my opinion, SkyWeaver has the best solution to this conundrum. Mana is the resource you use to cast spells and summon units in SkyWeaver. First player begins with 1 mana and a potion that grants the player 2 mana at no cost. Second player begins with 2 mana and a potion that grants the player 1 mana at no cost. This, is balance. Each player is granted an opportunity to play cards up to 3 mana cost on their first turn or play on curve and hold the potions for later use.
Digital TCGs have an advantage over physical TCGs when it comes to card management. It's easy to find what you need with search engines and you can fit your entire collection in your pocket. However deck management is still a challenge. Managing and sharing decks in SkyWeaver is, again, simple and effective. Each deck you create has a unique hash code associated that you can share anywhere (even a text message to a friend). Anyone can then paste or type in the hash code and the game will automatically create the deck with the appropriate cards. If any cards are missing from your collection it will identify those cards and allow you to either purchase them or replace it with a different card in your collection. Simple.
Graveyard and Deck List
This is a feature that most TCGs are modded to do. Again, simple and easy. While in a match you're able to get a list of cards in both your graveyard, and your deck. When playing your deck in a match, you can see what you've played and what cards are left to draw. You can also see your graveyard as a list of previously played cards in the order they were played.
Gamers are everywhere, across all platforms. It's difficult as a developer to appeal to the broad spectrum, so I can appreciate when a team delivers cross platform across the major and minor groups. Linux users are often alienated and miss out on some amazing titles, but SkyWeaver being available for Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows and Linux in closed beta is incredible. I've tried every platform, and even in this stage of development the game plays well with so few bugs or interruptions I forget sometimes it's not publicly available yet.
I'm really excited to see this game hit the public because even in it's current state it can easily contend with some titans in the TCG industry. There are other mechanics and features to the game that may be a big impact on your style of play that I did not write about here. I encourage you to check out their website for more information. If you want to try the game out jump onto their discord, there's a beta code request channel. For now, I wait patiently until its release.