While writing my first post about technology in games, I realised that card drafting has been used a lot less than I thought.

Drafting Today

The first time I drafted cards was to build a deck for Magic: The Gathering. The draft is such an important part of the game and is, in itself, a very fun part of the experience.

Designers have caught on to this and are using card drafting as the main mechanism in their designs. The two card drafting games I know the best that are 7 Wonders and Among the Stars. Although Among the Stars does add a special building aspect, both games are all about the drafting. The cards are used to as a means to directly generate points.


7 Wonders


Among the Stars

I think they are both great games, but I feel like there is a lot of space to work with here.

Drafting Tomorrow

So, I’m going to explore drafting as a mechanism for a new design. A design that would use the drafting as a means to an end.

What could the end be? Well, a genre that I really like is space empire building. However, the games are usually very long. I think card drafting could be used to simplify the ‘building’ part of the space empire experience and let players focus on using their empires to do what’s best: destroying other space empires. I could use this to make play time shorter. I now have some goals to keep in mind while designing:

  • Theme: Space Empire Building
  • Play time: 1-2 hours
  • Use card drafting to simulate the ‘building’ of economy, technology, … (the means)
  • Focus the rest of the game frantic space combat (the end)

What do you think? Are there any other games using card drafting that you enjoy (or not) and would be worth looking into?