When you compare them to their tabletop predecessors, digital card games are almost impossibly complex. The RNG and ever-changing stats attached to games like Hearthstone and Artifact means that creating a physical experience that’s faithful to the digital version is almost impossible.
I say almost impossible, because with a little imagination (and a lot of printer ink) one Hearthstone player has put together a physical collection of more than 2,000 cards. Player Albinosape21 posted a photo of their project to the Hearthstone subreddit last night – but it’s more than just a bunch of cards.
The collection has taken eight months to put together, and is still two expansions behind the digital version of the game – but it works. Getting the game working properly requires the inclusion of dozens of tokens – cards not included as part of the official Hearthstone set, but which are summoned directly into play by the effects from other cards. While that’s quite an undertaking, Albinosape21 says that creating all of those extra cards is just one of the imaginative solutions they’ve had to create to transform Hearthstone into a physical experience.
They say that “most things in Hearthstone can be recreated, with a little imagination.” Discover effects, for example, have been reimagined to borrow cards from your deck. Mana is tracked on a separate board, and “the RNG stuff just needs some creativity and patience” – usually relying on shuffling and dice rolls to remain fair.
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Building the collection has proved quite the challenge, however. Albinosape21 estimates that they’ve spent more than $1,000 in card stock, printer ink, and protectors, and it’s taken months to bring the whole project together.
That said, so far it seems to have been worth it. When asked what motivated them to create the collection, Albinosape21 said that “it’s a passion project. To me, projects are my way to stay motivated. And when I mix in game that I love, and that I would love to play face to face, with the feeling of all of my cards in hand. That for me, that feeling? Thats why I made this.”