A Level Playing Field
By Randy Chase
Most of you are
familiar with the concept of trading card games (best represented by Magic: The
that have become so popular in the last couple of years.
While they introduced new design paradigms into the gaming industry, they also ushered in
a new business model that had major ramifications in the playing
As anyone who has seriously attempted to become competitive in any of the
trading card games quickly realized, he who is willing to spend the most money stands the
greatest chance of winning.
As both a player and a parent, that whole concept has always bothered me.
player, I would like to think that my skills and experience (and to a lesser degree, the
luck of the draw) would be the dominant factor in determining success in tournaments.
As a parent, I cringe at the thought of my son getting involved in another playing
experience where a major financial investment is required to even become competitive at
the lowest levels of the playing field.
Yes, as you've already discovered, we are going to charge a membership fee to play the
full version of SpiritWars.
However, I think you'll see after reviewing our entire
program that we are offering a fair and equitable business model.
The emphasis is on the "fair and equitable".
Our belief is that anyone who
membership fee gets to compete and participate on an equal basis.
We don't care if
you're a child on a fixed income (i.e. allowance) or you're a Silicon Forest programmer
with lucrative stock options, the only fee you'll pay is the basic cost of membership.
The keys to success in the land of Valhalla are twofold: participation and playing skill.
To win, you are going to have to increase the spirit population of your kingdom.
The only way to do that is to play, and hopefully, to win.
As you accumulate
new spirits, you will encounter new playing possibilities and discover new strategies.
We will be offering an optional CD containing the full-sized artwork associated with the
This art is not required to play the game.
It is an optional graphic
frill that some players will want to access while others may not care.
This art CD
will be offered at a minimal price point, and is completely optional.
All of the art
contained on the CD will be available for download at our web site, if you don't mind
spending the time downloading over 150 megabytes of files.
All game upgrades and population expansions will be provided free (and automatically) to
We also won't ask anyone to purchase a membership without first trying the
free version of the game, also hosted on the Kellogg Creek servers.
If you like the game, and think that the enhanced features
in our membership version are worth the price we're asking, we'll welcome you to our
And you can relax and enjoy the game, knowing that the next person you play on-line won't
have purchased a winning advantage against which you can't compete.
Magic: The Gathering is a
registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
SpiritWars is a registered trademark of Kellogg Creek Software, Inc.