If you'd like to make a new card for Collective, you can submit a [Card] post to the Subreddit made with the in-game or website version of the Card Creator. You need an account and a certain amount of progress in game to access the Card Creator.
The top 10 voted card submissions each week are accepted into the game.
Developers do not have special privileges
The developers of this game, should they wish to add a card to the game, do not get any kind of special treatment.
/u/NickCollective (one of the developers) occasionally submits cards and still has to follow the rules and get in the top 10 cards of the week like everyone else. (Another developer submitted this card which broke rule #1 the week he joined and although it was pretty funny, it was disqualified.)
Section 1: Don't be a troll
1. No copyright infringement
- No cards which mention someone else’s intellectual property, for example a "batman" card.
- No clever use of the art editor to visually represent someone else’s intellectual property.
- No cards which are too close to a card from another game, for example a card with the exact same name and effect (or suspiciously similar name + effect, or a "parody")
- This is a grey area and there is no clear line like many copyright issues, but we’re a very small team and not going to take any chances with this.
2. No 'inappropriate content'
Collective will be submitted to app stores at a 12+ or "Teen" rating. Examples of content this excludes:
- Pornography. 12+ rating allows only for mild suggestive content
- Excessive profanity
- Extreme violence
- Basically if it wouldn't show up in other popular mobile games, it’s maybe not suitable for Collective.
3. No malicious posting of someone else's card
We have not yet encountered a situation where someone posts their own alternate version of someone else's card maliciously and gets more upvotes. This could get ugly, especially if they remove the original creators as contributors. The fact this hasn't happened is due to us being a small community of nice people that are friendly with one another. We (the developers) don't know what we'll do when this inevitably happens but it will definitely not just be "the person who posted someone else's card gets all the gold."
4. No explicitly prejudiced posts
Nothing racist, homophobic, misogynistic, transphobic, etc. Nothing containing or referencing sexual harassment or assault. We'll add to this list if issues come up. Please don't make us do that.
5. No cards about modern politics
LGBT+ representation is OK.
6. No cards which are intentionally designed around surfacing a bug
This means a bug either in the rules engine or in the UI.
For example, cards which multiply a unit's ATK, when used repeatedly, can raise it to very high levels, causing visual bugs, and that's OK. However creating a card which immediately gives a unit 3072 ATK is not allowed because it is designed around an idea that will always cause a UI bug.
Section 2: Don't destroy the game
7. No new cards which nullify core Collective mechanics
No new cards which seek to negate the effects of things unique to collective, including Heroes or the affinity system.
- No cards which by design seek to nullify the passives, rewards and other aspects of a specific Hero design or designs. An example card like this: "Whenever Cassiel comes into play, banish her."
- No new cards which change the affinity of cards en masse. Penumbra is the last one.
- No new cards which effectively do this without technically changing affinity, for example, by reducing the cost of a card equal to its ticks, or by reducing the costs of all cards in an affinity (Such as Rainbow Prism.)
- Updates to existing cards which do things like this will be heavily scrutinized, and rejected if they clearly go beyond their current power level, or are "sidegrades" or other reworks. TL;DR don't buff penumbra.
8. No cards which violate lore
There are a couple lore limitations based on the setting of Collective which may require your card's background to be changed. This has not happened yet in our first several hundred cards. The big ones are:
- Your card can't represent travelling backwards in time
- Your card can't canonically have species-, planet- or dimension-destroying abilities or similar abilities of such a power level that they could theoretically destroy the setting of the game.
- More information on lore can be found here
Additionally, your cards cannot reference the subreddit explicitly. This includes mentions of "upvotes," "karma," "meta," "reposts," "OC," etc. This one still counts as "don't destroy the game" because metacommentary on niche subreddits only encourages more metacommentary and makes them more niche.
9. No cards which create infinite loops
If an infinite loop is created somehow, the game will draw. Cards which intentionally create infinite loops will not be allowed, and if cards can create infinite loops in combination with each other, we may have to change them if they become a meta staple (very plausible, as a forced draw can be a backup plan if it looks like losing is inevitable).
The main reason not to allow infinite loops is actually because they will impact the performance of the game for all players.
Section 3: Voters need to understand what they vote on at a glance
10. No cards with intentionally misleading text
For example, a unit which says "does nothing" but wins the game if unblocked.
11. No cards using existing art
You cannot submit cards with identical or nearly identical art to already existing cards.
12. No cards that are designed around a feature that you'd like us to make
If accepted, a card based around a feature which isn't implemented yet will look essentially the same as a bug to any user who doesn't know the story behind the card. So far there has been one exception, and it was allowed because the new feature was approved by us on Discord and planned to be released shortly after the card was made. (The new feature was the keyword Agile, which we mentioned before the card was created.)
13. Your card can't reference any new non-'token' cards
This rule refers to "token" cards, which are a colloquial term for cards which are generally made as an effect by another card and cannot be collected or added to your deck via normal means. The "token" term comes from games like Magic: the Gathering, which has cards which make "1/1 soldier tokens," for example. If you reference new non-token cards in this way, it would count as getting multiple cards in with one post and exceeding the top 10 cards for each week.
- It's fine to make cards which reference existing cards which are not Token rarity (example), but if someone made a card that referenced another card of a rarity other than Undraftable before it had gotten into the game, it would be equivalent to the card and the new card it's referencing being added to the game at the same time.
- Updating a single card which was a Token to have a different rarity, making it able to be added to a deck via normal means, is fine. This should be marked as an Update, not a Cosmetic Update.
Section 4: Rules actually designed to influence gameplay
This section of rules is the only one created not to protect us from malicious or inexperienced players, but actually to affect game balance.
Right now there is only one rule in this section, which was created after months and months of players making cards that were overall high quality, well designed, well balanced, flavorful, and beautiful, especially given the community creation and voting aspects, as well as the state of comparable games during this time. This rule (or a rule somewhat like it) was requested by the players themselves, due to a general pattern of complexity creep over time.
14. At most, players can add one rare and four uncommons each week
Ten cards will be added each week, but there are restrictions on the number of cards per rarity which can be added. At most, one Rare and four Uncommons will be accepted.
Details for Rule #14
This rule was introduced along with a patch which made font sizes smaller as rarity increased. Along with rule #10, this rule effectively creates hard limits on complexity added to the card pool each week.
If these limits are exceeded, ten cards will still be added each week – a second rare or a fifth uncommon will just not be one of them.
There is no limit on the number of commons which can be added per week; this means that theoretically, ten different common rarity cards could be added in one week.
There is no limit of this type to the number of Legendary rarity cards, because their submission is already limited by the Realms processes, specifically, the number of Ages your Realm has completed.
Designing for upcoming features
1. Mechanics which have not been implemented yet
Attempts at mechanics in this section will likely fail for technical reasons:
- Replacement effects
- No effects like "if you would draw a card, instead discard a card"
- No effects like "if you would take damage, instead you…" (Including "instead nothing happens")
- Preventing or partially reducing damage also falls under this category.
- Change of control effects
- Example: "gain control of a unit" or "move a unit from your opponent's discard to your in play."
- Some cards are worded like this but it's actually shorthand for "make a copy of one player's cards under the other player's control."
Other than these, most effects found in most card games (Hearthstone, Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh) are possible in Collective.
2. Use upcoming terminology for 'remove from the game'
We are eventually separating "remove from the game" effects into two terms: "bind" (which removes a card from the game with the intention of it being able to come back – these will show up on hover) and "banish" (completely removed from the game forever). You can assume that effects like Dust to Dust would use "banish," and as a result you should not make cards which can "choose" and return cards from the entire "removed from game" zone to play. This is because we really want to avoid the "removed from game" zone becoming a "second graveyard" like it is in Magic: the Gathering, leading them to make this self-deprecating joke.
Making last-minute changes
If you don’t like your card, just delete your reddit post before we add it into the game at the end of the week and it will not be added. (If you want to resubmit it, just resubmit it with the [Card] tag as if you were submitting it for the first time). Please do not submit a card as an [Update] if it is not in the game already.
If you want to make a non-bug-related gameplay change to your card after it’s been voted into the game (such as making it cost 1 more) we will not accept your change. You have to submit an [Update] to the card to fix it instead.
If you realize that a card you've submitted has a bug, please notify us ahead of time. The most reliable way to do this is via a direct message to Nick in our Discord. The process around this has caused occasional issues with our community, and we may look to change or formalize it in the future.
Have fun making those cards!