The Replacement is Coming…

I had sent a tweet and Facebook update to the fan page about a week or two ago to see if there was any interest in the development of a Pokémon social networking site.

You may or may not have seen it…either way there appears to be decent support for said project.

Incase you are wondering, I am way too unskilled to pull off something like that and I am not creative enough come up with such an idea.

The brain behind this idea is my friend James. James had e-mailed me a few times about it and he happened to be in Philadelphia for a few days, so we met up for about an hour to discuss the idea.

The absolute coolest part of his idea is this, which I deem as:

The Replacement

James will be working on interactive software to that will integrate with the social networking site which will allow you to play the Pokémon TCG against anyone online.

It will be software designed around the Pokémon TCG, complete with images and a brain that knows all the rules and functions of the game.

Imagine something like the old Pokémon TCG game for Gameboy but now it’s online and updated.

Bye bye Apprentice and Redshark…

How You Can Help

James is going to be developing this from scratch, so what he needs is some feedback.

What kind of features do you want to see with this brand new gaming software? What improvements would you like to see made where Apprentice and Redshark have failed?

Any features you’d like to see for online play? An online league or tournaments perhaps?

This will be quite an endeavor and will not be completed until a number of months from now, but any suggestions you have are much appreciated, so please comment below!



P.S. James is a really awesome guy and is working on this for the whole Pokémon TCG community, so please give him some support. :)

Reader Interactions

49 replies

  1. TheFresko

    I love the idea, but arent images the reason that OCTGN was shut down? Pokemon sent them a cease and decist letter.

  2. Karol Nowak

    Hmmmm, this idea is certainly looking interesting thus far. I definitely support James for what he will be doing. Oh yeah, and I would definitely like to see an online league and tournaments on that site.

    Well, I definitely can't wait to see this program. It's going to be awesome! =)

  3. Chris Barrieau

    Ooooh….. Shit. That's right, eh? Ah well, we can still have the site anyways, right? =] Just without the images. We could have all the card scans ready, and using them, and if we get the same letter then we replace them with redshark style images, but maybe a little more high qual and detailed. =]

  4. Chris Barrieau

    OMGGG That's amazing! I just like, spazzed in my chair at work! :P Let's see… I don't know how much time and investment you have for this, or how good a programmer this James fellow is. So.. I'm just gonna blurt some ideas out that I think would be cool =]

    -Heavy on the social networking, similar to facebook, with status updates, facebook/twitter style, along with the possibility of comments, and maybe a like AND dislike button. =] (That way we can be like “So, making cursegar variation, these decks are played in my area, I wanna lean in this direction for T/S/S's, any suggestions?” or “Just beat this epic guy!” or something.
    -Ability to friend people
    -Detailed maintainable profiles
    -Chatrooms? That way we can go in and discuss “I have this deck and would like to practice against this deck, anyone up for a game?” or something like that
    -Maybe a newer style look on the gaming program. Whereas the newer style would be to windows 7 as the current redshark would be to say windows2000 or something? I dunno. Basically making it look nice and smooth, and operate smoothly. …While on topic, why not customizable skins for it?
    -Keyboard shortcuts to play cards instead of using the mouse all the time. I think this would be very cool.
    -A section on your profile that lets you post decklists and your own articles for others to read and discuss (So basically like the notes section on facebook, but with a table to fill out for a decklist. Maybe include a Ken Sugimori Artwork Dropdown box of all pokemon to have kind of an avatar for your deck?)

    I think the idea of making tournaments is also great. Same for leagues! =] But I would request games are 2/3? That, or that there's both 2/3 game tournaments AND 1/1 game tournaments. Pokebeach had a multiple-month long tournament online over redshark… But decided to make it a 1/1 tourney… I played Gyarados and tested it for weeks. I got good plays every time while testing… The second I went against someone…. He got a belted Uxie against my lone magikarp and I was eliminated for the tournament. Needless to say I was kinda pissed. But I got over it.


    These are my ideas that I would LOVE to see! =] If you want me to make some visuals, or a bit of sample code (though I'm not pro), email me. My email address is my username @ Or msg me on facebook, Adam. =]

    If I provide any visuals for ideas, I'll post 'em up on my website and share links with everyone to ask people's opinions. :)

    I hope this project gets implemented successfully!! =] I know and acknowledge that it will take a long time… But I think it would DEFINITELY be worth the time, and maybe even money for it. (Since time=money :P)

    Go Adam and James!!! This article made my day!! :D

  5. Jake T

    Why don't we just integrate this into facebook first and see how copyrights, response etc. goes?

  6. Thomas Binghi

    This is an amazing idea. Well I'm guessing that we would use our sixprizes accounts for this right? If thats the case I think that there should be a separate section devoted to this social networking tcg thing. Also if we do get that letter that fresko was talking about we should just switch to the in game sprites of pokemon. If other pokemon websites can use them, i dont see why we cant. So like whenever someone plays a machop for example, machop in game sprite from the ds games will be on the card.

  7. Mike Fouchet

    Basically what we need is something like Shoddy Battle that the Pokemon video game has. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a program where you play people in the video game (you get to choose and customize your Pokemon just as you would for the cards). There are a bunch of different servers that you can go on through, but there is one main one, where 90% of players are. Smogon runs a competitive ladder through it, whether we did that or not doesn't really matter. Either way, though, in the main server there is a button where you just hit battle random and it pits you against a random person. This is a great way to just play as many different people as possible. I would love to have something like this for the card game. You can also individually battle people if you know who you want to play against. Teams can also create their own private servers.

    As for the actual Pokemon-playing part of the program, just make it similar to Apprentice with a little more emphasis on Pokemon. Don't have all the dumb restrictions that Redshark has. Keep the same hotkeys as Apprentice, they're simple and people are used to them. Make it a pretty free-flowing program so people can mess around with their games to experiment with different ideas. That's the worst part about Redshark, if you want to go back and see what would happen if you did X, Y, and Z differently, you can't. Redshark is much too structured.

    I'll post more if I think of more.

  8. Matthew Tidman

    Fantastic! This is great news!

    My biggest concern, Will TCPi allow this?

    I think one of the reasons Apprentice has been able to avoid being the target of a lawsuit is because it's not designed to be a Pokemon Card program, that functionality is added by 3rd-party add-ons that the creators of Apprentice have no control over, so Nintendo can't sue them for using the card art. Redshark avoids this problem nicely by not using the images, though it is annoying to not see the images on the card at all. I guess I'm just worried that this is such a great idea that it will get popular enough that TPCi will send out a cease and desist letter.

    That said, I can't wait to see where you go with this. I'm definitely planning on being a part of it.

  9. Matthew Tidman

    I agree that I'd love to see an iPod/iPhone version of it. There isn't anything out there really yet for the Pokemon TCG and this would be a killer app if it was available.

    That could also cause problems, though if it were a paid app as while Nintendo might overlook something free,they probably wouldn't overlook something someone (not them) was making money off of.

  10. Jason Windham

    Three suggestions.

    1) Will the interface be simple, like Apprentice?

    2) Will I be able to use shortcuts alot of the time, like in Apprentice?

    3) Will it be Ipod/Iphone compatible?

    Thank you.

  11. Chris Clyne

    Yes! Finally a program that knows the rules of the game! and includes pictures! Great idea and good luck making it!

  12. Chris Barrieau

    Once you get the hang of it, Redshark's relatively simple. If you quit redshark a while back and are more used to computers now I'd recommend just giving it another go. =] If you check out pokebeach's page on redshark, you'll have some instructions on how to network using Hamachi. Or if it's just a question of getting used to playing, just practice it a bit. =] I personally think it can be quite a useful program. Of course, I prefer playing cards physically, but it helps if you live far from society like I do. :P

  13. Alex Domini

    I would like to see online leagues tournamnets and A place where only teams can test and public battles if your board

  14. Kenny Wisdom

    Firstly, as I said in the comments section, I don't support the idea of a Pokemon-only social network site. I suppose I would sign up for it but between the numerous message boards, blogs, and actual social networking sites, I think it'd just add clutter to my life.

    However, I totally support this idea. I don't have a whole lot of time, but here's what I'd like to see…

    – Programmable hotkeys
    – Links to errata/the compendium
    – A simple interface

    I have lots more to talk about, but thats the jist of what I'd like to see. Good luck to anyone working on this.

  15. Slowdog

    Sounds great. Make it user friendly at easy to get a match :) I had to quit redshark because it couldn't gifure out how it worked.

  16. Adam Capriola

    Thanks for bringing that up man, I had no idea. That will change plans a little bit, but it's good to know that now.

  17. Joshua Pikka

    a bigger and better redshark designed for Pokemon

    Sounds good to me.

  18. Ann-Marie Thompson

    I'd REALLY like there to be an option to spectate matches, like Shoddy has. I don't know if Apprentice does too, but I think it'd be a pretty cool feature.

  19. mewuk85

    That’s freaking awesome. with this you could probably tech out the whole playing system, as well as fix the tweaks that the other sites have and possibly make it so you can have wireless MIC and Video chat. U know fully interactive, easier way to play.

  20. venny kid

    Epic!!! I will totally use this site (when it makes) for playing. A suggestion with the card images, can you use one of those 'fake Pokemon card makers' ( ) with a Sugimori image and same attacks and stuff to get around the copyright? Sure, it'd be tedious to make EVERY SINGLE CARD, but its better than getting shut down!

  21. Slowdog

    The stupid thing is that if the pokemon ppl just made a new game like the gameboy game but with the new cards and new sets automatically downloaded when they came out and matchmaking, we would all buy it. Why don't they make it :( the only gameboy game was AWESOME.

  22. mewuk85

    I dont know how a legal league would work online. But i have thought of a few ways, its possible, but yeah that sounds fun.

  23. albert knutsen

    If anyone wants, I can whip up the cards with the sugmori artwork with the correct attacks and stuff, this is a project that I've been thinking of starting myself, bt I didn't have the tech knowhow, but now I'm a veteraned photo editor and would be more thaan happy to help make the cards for the in-game

  24. albert knutsen

    Jut FYI also I love the idea of a pokmon networking site, since I tend to keep my pokenerdom a secret

  25. Reed Weichler

    Pretty much everything that Magnechu said. Shoddy battle like player matchups would be AWESOME. Of course you guys would need a server to host it on but you already have this site so it couldn't be that hard. Plus that means no more hamachi!!! :D

    Here are my suggestions:


    1. Add the functionality to set up tournaments online. You can choose between swiss or single elimination and you can restrict certain sets and cards. Maybe even a draft or prerelease mode!! :O

    2. DON'T INTEGRATE WITH FACEBOOK!!!!!!!!! Or if you do, don't have anything post to my wall or anything.

    3. Like in shoddy battle, if you agree to battle with somebody you don't know in a server, program the ability to make restrictions to your deck. (i.e. modified format only, no rares, no commons, best 2/3 etc.)

    4. This could be added later but an in-game rating, kind of like what POP does (like 1600 default and it goes up/down depending on who you play and if you win or lose). That way I know if the person I'm playing against is a scrub or not.


    1. When you're playing against somebody, have the fields flipped. What I mean by this, is when you play a card at the bottom of the screen, your opponent perceives it as the top of the screen. Nothing is more annoying than having to play the top guy in Apprentice.

    2. Have Programmable hotkeys. The more customization the better.
    2.1. Have one of the “hotkeys” be on double clicking something. For example, double clicking your deck could cause the deck to shuffle, do a search or other stuff.

    3. Have the ability to save a game state. If you're playing your friend or something, it would be cool if you could decide to finish the game later and save where all the cards are and stuff in a file so you can pick it up later.

    4. Don't make the program ugly like RedShark.

    5. Add the ability to undo a move on your turn. Of course you can disable this if you're playing against somebody you don't know but yeah that'd be cool.

    6. Make the gameplay like Apprentice and not like the Gameboy TCG game. Programming every single PokéPower, PokéBody and attack into the game will take FOREVER and will probably discourage you guys from even finishing the project, plus it's better to not have limitations.

  26. Chris Barrieau

    Because the coding would have to be facebook compliant unless all we do is a regular group. Whether or not James knows facebook app code would also influence this because facebook has its own language for facebook apps.

    Furthermore, if we integrate it into facebook, there's no pre-built functionality for pokemon-styled or themed profiles to begin with, and we wouldn't even be able to have our own pokemon profiles. It'd just be our regular facebook accounts. Sure, you could say “Oh well, that's a start, right?” But see, the point of building this new website is to attain 2 things:
    A Pokemon-specific social networking site
    A real-time, online replacement for redshark.

    If we do the facebook integration idea, the replacement for redshark honestly would not be all that great, and that's assuming James knows facebook app code, we would not have our own pokemon profiles, would not be able to post anything like our favorite pokemon, or decks, match records, etc. etc… And tournaments would be based off group status updates, facebook messages, or forums.

    By choosing this path, we don't really attain any of our two initial goals. Furthermore, I think that would be a bit of an unorganized strategy to go by.

  27. Chris Barrieau

    We wouldn't be able to have a POP league online. But we could have our own league, in the same style as the POP league, basically with ranking charts if we want, challenges when we fill out our cards, regular gaming, specific meet up dates and times. The only thing is it wouldn't be able to added to out POP profile.

  28. Chris Barrieau

    We wouldn't get shut down for doing it. We'd get a letter telling us to stop using the images. If we don't stop using the images then we get shut down. Another workaround is simply to have regular sprite artwork all over the field. Maybe with an X or the word Prime next to the names above the sprites or something, maybe even with the set symbol to help identify.

  29. Chris Barrieau

    Because it would have limited space and would eventually not be able to accept new cards. Furthermore, new rules get added here and there as new cards come out in order to be able to accommodate for them. For example, they'd have to add code just to have LEGEND cards show up correctly on your field, how to search them, etc. This would cost them more money and would basically almost force them to charge us as they update and we download.

  30. Chris Barrieau

    Btw…. If you add an application on facebook you can configure it to stop posting stuff on you wall…. Just mouse over one of that application's posts on the top right hand cornder, click hide. It will then ask you what exactly you want to hide, giving you two to three choices, and voila, you will never see another post of that group again unless you go reconfigure it yourself in your settings.

  31. Cam Graybill

    I think you should have it play you, so you can have the computer play against you. It would be the ultimate Play-testing resource…

  32. pho o

    What if people are willing to draw custom images for this program, so you guys don't have to use the original artwork? That would be pretty cool to see.

  33. Matthew Tidman

    Yeah, I'd love to see a downloadable game on DSiWare of WiiWare that added sets as they were released. I've said so for years, and if Nintendo would do it, they would make millions. That said, players would have to patch the game every time a set came out with maybe a huge patch every time a new game effect was added– for example: Supporters, EX Pokemon, LV.X Pokemon, LEGENDs, etc– and Nintendo doesn't like to patch it's games mainly because of the limited space on their systems.

    I agree with SkyAoiSora that the space issue would be the biggest concern, though on the flipside if TPCi sticks with the modified format being the last two years of cards, it means they can phase out cards as the format phases out.

    At the very least, it would be cool if they would release a new game every time the format changed that had ROM space set aside for DLC of the new sets. Anyone could download the DLC, but to be able to play the new cards players would be required to shell out a little bit of cash to unlock the packs in a pack store.

    Will Nintendo ever do this? Heck no. No matter how much the fans would like it, releasing a new card game on DS, Wii or 3DS might barely eat into the profits of the card game sales, and programming CPU players to play against would be a nightmare as new sets came out because those CPU players would have to be programed to react to the new cards that were being played.

    I'm not saying it's a bad idea. It's a fantastic idea, but there has to be some reason Nintendo hasn't already done it since Konami does it on a regular basis with their Yu-Gi-Oh! games.

  34. Chris Barrieau

    That would involve SO much programming…. to integrate ALL the combos and how everything's s'posed to work, strategies, etc etc etc… That would be so complicated. :S Remember that this is being coded by one guy.

  35. Chris Barrieau

    It would have to analyze the deck, go through only already-discovered strategies, see how compatible it would be (and with computer code, that's not an easy task!!) And decide how to play the deck… The AI would have to be coded by a genius.. Otherwise, you'd only be able to play against pre-made decks. And I doubt one guy could keep up with all the good decks coming out! :S

  36. Mike Fouchet

    Also, as someone said somewhere, don't program after attack/power/etc, just let the user do the action. Would take much too long to code all that and it's very simple to just do it ourself. In Shoddy you need to program all of it because there is luck in every attack (percentages of damage) but in this it would be superfluous.

  37. Henry Prior

    Yeah, I'd like that too, but I think that it shouldn't just be open, I think the player's should decide if they want to allow spectator's

  38. Marcel Mravec

    Great idea, just don't forget for localization (I can translate english -> czech).

  39. Marie J

    A section for users to comment decks that you have made. It would be way rad to get instant feedback =-) from people you are playing. … ALSO three way play etc. All the league fun ways to play are great for practicing.

  40. Ayla may

    Hey, I just wanted to say what a fantastic website. I really enjoyed it and found it entertaining reading. Awaiting your next post!

  41. Nike dunks

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  42. Nike dunks

    Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

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