Blog Post: Spark Forming – Is It Real?

The response that I’ve had since releasing WICK has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am so thankful for that. Now, with CARNIVAL set for release next week, I thought that it would be a good time to address something that comes up a lot with the series.

I love it when fans ask questions. Whether it be here, Twitter or somewhere else, knowing that people care enough about the books to want to understand more about the world that they’re set in is a wonderful feeling for me. The most common question that comes up is: “Is the Spark Forming Card Game real?”

The answer to that is yes … and no. You see, when I started working with the concept of a game being central to the books, I knew that I would need to have an understanding of how the game works. So what would be the best way to deal with that particular problem? Yup, you guessed it, create the game.

Spark Forming went through about six (by my admittedly inconsistent memory) incarnations. The first few were closer to games like Dungeons and Dragons the Board Game and Hero Quest. The rules were set, I created a plain board and some (even more plain) counters. I created almost blank cards and bought tons of different dice and played out a load of test games. Over time, the game evolved and moved away from board based shenanighans and became a purely card based game.

So why the change to CCG? Well, I like both board and card games, so personal enjoyment wasn’t the main reason. In fact, there wasn’t one main reason, but instead a mix of reasons. First up, the rules that I tried out for the game were a little more ‘tight’ in the card versions. The final version that I ended up going with were also such that they, at first, look fairly complex, but are actually deceptively simple. There was also the marketability of it. I want to make some money with this series, and I’m not afraid to admit that. Characters like Carnival would make awesome plushies, right? The card game would be cheaper for someone to produce than a full board game with models and the suchlike. That being the case, I thought that there may be a higher likelihood of that coming to fruition. Finally, it just plain felt right.

But … the game hasn’t been made yet. I had an artless deck on my laptop until a rather unfortunate computing accident, but it is alas no more. What I do have though were the handwritten rules. That rulebook was used throughout my writing of WICK and CARNIVAL, and it is part explained by the commentators during the shows.

I had intended to hold off making the rules available until I sort out the Spark Form Chronicles Compendium, but I figured, what the hey. There’s obviously a want to see how the game works, so I’ve gone ahead and posted them on a separate page. Therefore, if you want to see how the (currently) fiction Spark Forming CCG works, you can! Just click HERE.

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11 comments

  1. This is pretty cool, Matt! It helps make the story that much more authentic in my book (ugh, no pun intended). I am actually doing a very similar thing for the story I’m currently working on called Hell’s Glitch. For that I have to create rules and items and various game mechanics. Its really a labor of love, isn’t it?

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      • Mildly so. I used to dabble with Multimedia Fusion back in high school. I once made a worms inspired game called “Snakes: Coz they’re ‘arder than Worms”, but that was the extent of it. Outside that, I used to make board games as a child so that I could play with my Monster In My Pocket and Mini Boglins. I may yet make more down the road 🙂

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  2. “Snakes: Coz they’re ‘arder than Worms” Had a good laugh at that title. And that’s so cool! Worms is not at all a simple game. I’d like to see Spark Forming in action some day. I’m actually a huge fan of Yugioh. I used to play it way back in high school. I couldn’t help but get attached to my monsters, so I can understand how some competitors in Wick get attached to their favorite monsters.

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    • Alas, it was not near as complex as worms, but it provided a good laugh around the school.
      I think that my inspiration there came from a mix of Yugioh and Digimon. I still play the Yugioh card game at times too, as we as Pokemon. I suck at both, mind you, but it’s fun.
      The plan was always to explore whether Spark Forming could become a real game. I have ideas for how to approach it too, I just need the time to do it

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      • I think that’s why I like this story so much lol. I pretty much lived and breathed for Digimon, Yugioh, Pro Wrestling, and Pokemon. Wick is like my childhood come to life and I’m loving it! I suck at all that too, but I still loved playing. I still have all my old cards locked up in one of my plastic chests filled with the past. No doubt everything I used is obsolete nowadays.
        I really do hope you get Spark Forming in IRL form. My pals over at Flubberknuckle Studios have used a site called The Game Crafter to create a card game called FLIPD for relatively cheap. The draft that they produced for sale used free assets and homebrewed drawings, but it all came out really nice. I imagine you’d want more detailed Spark Form cards from an artist. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be an indie creator! You can count me in as an interested buyer!

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      • Sounds like my childhood too 🙂
        I think it may have been The Game Crafter that I was looking at previously. The Spark Firms themselves are the ones that would need the most detailed art, I think. I have ideas though, so you never know.

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