Listen to our Jon Chey Talks Card Hunter interview


You’ve probably noticed our terrifyingly gargantuan interview with Jon Chey of Blue Manchu, which has dominated our content for the past couple of days. It’s interesting for oh-so-many reasons, even if you don’t know what his latest title – Card Hunter – actually is, but we understand that some of you may not want to read through the transcript of an hour-long interview. Or perhaps you’re the opposite, and you’re so interested that you want to hear the full thing, curious as to the little bits we took out of the written interview to save space!

Well, we’re sufficiently happy for you to do so that – with Jon Chey’s kind permission – we’ve uploaded the full audio of the interview as a special pseudo-podcast. If you want to listen to this while on your way to work, or playing Bejewelled, or going for a romantic drive with a loved one, you’re more than welcome to do so. I strongly recommend the latter. Strong relationships are built on bemusement.

As such, if you’re interested in hearing an exhausted journo quiz an ex-Looking Glass, ex-Irrational developer about Card Hunter, general game design, System Shock 2, the problems with doing multiplayer, dealing with publishers, and a whole host of other bits and bobs, just have a click of the link below.

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  • Tim McDonald

    Tim has been playing PC games for longer than he’s willing to admit. He’s written for a number of publications, but has been with PC Invasion – in all its various incarnations – for over a decade. When not writing things about games, Tim can occasionally be found speedrunning some really terrible ones, making people angry in Dota 2, or playing something obscure and random. He’s also weirdly proud of his status as (probably) the Isle of Man’s only professional games journalist.

    • nasarius

      Finally got around to listening to this, and it really is an excellent interview. Good questions, some fascinating answers, and it made me go sign up for the Card Hunter beta just because I want to see how it works.

      The idea that an item = a set of cards, if I understood it correctly, sounds like a more clever version of a similar mechanic in Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars LCG, where you have to build your deck using predefined sets of cards.

      • Tim McDonald

        Thank you! I genuinely think it’s a pretty interesting interview, so I’m glad someone shares my opinion. I’m also pleased you’ve signed up to try out Card Hunter, if only because it really deserves some attention.

        I haven’t played that particular Star Wars card game, but it does sound fairly similar. You stick typical RPG equipment onto your characters – a helmet goes in head slots, armour goes in armour slots, weapons go in weapon slots, etc – and each of those pieces of equipment has a set of cards, positive and negative, associated. That character’s “deck” is basically composed of all the cards on the equipment they’re wearing.

        It’s staggeringly simple (and the equipment system is familiar to anyone who’s ever played an RPG), but makes a good deal of sense and works really well. It’s just kind of hard to explain, much like the rest of Card Hunter.

    • nasarius

      I got accepted into the beta very quickly, so a few brief comments.

      The art style is beautiful. It’s the perfect level of simple and stylized without being overly cartoony and silly. The GUI, the board, everything looks wonderful.

      A lot of the theming is heavily borrowed from basic D&D of the late 70s and early 80s. At least two of the adventure names are direct references to “The Village of Hommlet” and “Keep on the Borderlands”, famous D&D modules written by Gygax. Oh yeah, and the GM’s name is Gary. Nice tribute.

      The game itself is remarkably well-designed. The randomness of the card draw can be a little unfortunate, but otherwise it’s a superb tactical combat game. It plays out much more like a tactical RPG than a card game.

      My only disappointment is that the F2P offerings aren’t more attractive. Their subscription program that gives you a little extra reward for each fight costs something like $75/year.

      • Tim McDonald

        I remember Hommlet from Temple of Elemental Evil, though I don’t *think* I spotted that one myself. There are loads of references throughout to all sorts of things – I’m pretty sure I’ve spotted one or two nods to Thief, but I’m damned if I can remember the specifics.

        I hadn’t actually done the maths on the subscription thing. That does seem a bit steep, but it is (thankfully) entirely optional. Kinda tempting when a legendary item pops up in that box, but… I dunno. I’m probably going to drop money on this, but I don’t know whether it’ll be to unlock all of the bonus dungeon-y bits, or whether I’ll occasionally subscribe for a few months, or what.

        But yes: the game itself is really, really good. I’ve been shouting about this as much as I can because a lot of people seem to have passed over it, which is a real shame – anyone who’s ever really enjoyed a turn-based tactics game should be able to get some pleasure out of this, and the card system actually makes it rather unique.

    • DavidTheSlayer

      Thanks for the comments Nasarius, does that mean that Card Hunter isn’t a one cost? I wasn’t aware of a subscription fee which is making me second think if I should splash out.

      • Tim McDonald

        It’s pretty much a no-cost – it’s free-to-play (and is actually pretty good about it, as I haven’t paid anything yet) with optional microtransactions and a subscription, if you fancy them.