Mojang, the game company that brought us the much beloved Minecraft, has overhauled the website for their forthcoming game Scrolls and revealed more about the digital collectable card game than ever before. They have announced how the game will be rolling out, including a closed Alpha starting this month.
Keeping true to the successful release strategy for Minecraft, Mojang will be releasing the game incrementally. The company writes on the Scrolls website that a closed Alpha will begin this month, with players who signed up at the game’s announcement serving as playtesters. Once the game reaches a stable release, Mojang will begin an open Beta where users will be able to purchase the game at a reduced price but with initially limited features.
Designer Jakob Porser writes on the Scrolls site:
Keep in mind, that the beta will not be feature complete. We will still have a big bag of goodies that we plan to include over time, such as an auction house where you may buy or sell scrolls from each other and additional features in the world such as character customization, items, quests and so on. If you’re wondering why we would release a game that’s obviously not finished, the reason is simple: We want your feedback in good time to help us shape Scrolls to be the next big online Collectible Card Game!
The revamped site also gives people outside Mojang a look at how the game will actually be played. Some of the information has been hinted at in previous interviews, but this is a far more concrete look at Scrolls. The goal of the game is to destroy three of the opponent’s five idols at the end of the game board. Playing “cards” from your “hand” places avatars onto the board, which do animated battle at your whim. Sort of like Magic: The Gathering meets Hero Academy.
As stated above and in previous interviews, the game will also include an auction house where players can swap scrolls. However, purchasing the digital cards from other players isn’t the only way users can get their mitts on digital cards. Again, from Scrolls:
As you explore the world and win your battles, you will earn gold. Gold which in turn can be used to obtain new scrolls or gear.
On top of this, buying Scrolls will give you a free subscription of a new scroll every week.
While a digital CCG board game might seem weirdly anachronistic, the auction house and subscription model make Scrolls seem not only modern but an extremely interesting exercise in online economies.
With the closed Alpha beginning this month (or, quite possibly, already underway) we’re likely to see a lot more of this forthcoming game very soon. With any luck it will swiftly move to Beta so that all of us can take it for a spin.
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