Category Archives: Game Design

  • Duel Deck Development

    As an LCG, opening a set of Laboratory Mayhem can be a daunting experience, as you are greeted by 252 unique cards all wanting to be played. To ease new players into the game and give them a sense of the possibilities, we came up with two duel deck products, each designed to provide a fun, fair matchup. These duel … Keep reading
  • A Godly General

    Introducing Kam-Sala General               aka God of Goblins! The idea for the Kam-Sala General came from an issue with early game play. Low drops just weren't as good as more expensive cards. There were a variety of reasons for that. A single 3-cost card tended to be more powerful in battle than any 1- … Keep reading
  • Lab Mayhem’s First Cycle

    Five fresh cards incoming! Behold:     These five servants are here to help your team. They temporarily give their ability to a different servant, which can result in potent synergies. In fact, given their generally frail bodies, they really want to be helping another servant. We referred to these guys as the sharer cycle in design. A cycle is … Keep reading
  • Nat v Tox Rares Revealed

    All the commons and uncommons for the preconstructed Naturalism and Toxicology decks have been revealed previously. Now it's time to see each decks powerhouse rares... and these are definitely cards with exciting potential. Additionally, this is a chance to reveal TWO fresh pieces of awesome art work, by Fajar Kurnaiwan and Steve Celiceo! Symbiosis / Naturalism 101 This guy stemmed … Keep reading
  • Evolution of the Nexus

    Nexuses didn't always look like this: They used to look like this: Spot the difference? This change was a pretty big deal. Nexuses were originally concepted as Spells, and represented the player (as an alchemist) turning one of the rooms in the laboratory into an arcane source of power. In fact, you actually played spells and early iterations of nexuses on … Keep reading
  • Making a Mechanic (pt 4)

    Results by David Pruess (continued from part 3) We tested the abilities, together and separately. On big and small servants, and on transmutations. Both abilities were successes: they worked on big and small servants, while operating differently on them. They each had great value, but could also be balanced. The counterplay against them varied. I would have been very happy … Keep reading
  • Making a Mechanic (pt 3)

    Refining by David Pruess (continued from part 2) Next some of these abilities got rejected. Being too strong is a common reason to get rejected. "All the opponent's servants must attack this servant--" a kind of reversed lure is so overwhelmingly powerful, that it closes strategic space instead of opening it. The ability could never really exist on a powerful … Keep reading
  • Making a Mechanic (pt 2)

    Brainstorm by David Pruess (continued from part 1) We had an ability from an earlier version of the game, before Naturalism even existed, which had been called Guardian: "As long as this servant is in its controller's entourage, whenever a servant would damage another servant that player controls, that player may redirect that damage to this servant." The idea being … Keep reading
  • Making a Mechanic (pt 1)

    Starting Point by David Pruess There are many things to love about original mechanics, but for me there are two things, above all, that I want in a mechanic: a cool tie to flavor, and the opening up of new strategic space. I imagine a lot of people would not rate the tie to flavor as highly as I do; … Keep reading
  • Reagents: No More Dead Turns

    In my head, there’s this scenario where I meet an important person, let’s say the President, and I have to tell him what makes Laboratory Mayhem unique. It could totally happen. This is one of the biggest questions whenever you make a game, especially in a genre like strategy CCG. “How are you different from what’s already out there?” Lab … Keep reading