As the start to a new interview series titled “Six Questions,” I decided to have a chat with forum user axpendix about TCG ONE, a Pokémon TCG simulator they created and released this summer.
With PTCGO and PlayTCG already on the scene (along with RedShark and OCTGN), it would seem the digitized PTCG realm is saturated, but TCG ONE has high hopes from at least one noteable Pokémon enthusiast.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy this short Q&A!
1. Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
I am Gary, a computer programmer.
2. How did you first get involved with the Pokémon TCG and how long have you been playing? Have you been involved with the competitive scene or are you a casual player?
Back in the Base Set days, I bought a Blackout theme deck from a store and it all began. I’ve never played competitively, though.
3. What is TCG ONE and why did you decide to create it?
I was playing with my cousin after all those years, and I wanted to play with more cards. I thought, well I’m a programmer, why don’t I make something to play with all the cards out there?
Some people might know of a project named TCGWars, announced in 2009. It was like the desktop version of TCG ONE, but the design had flaws and it didn’t work out; I’ve never released it publicly. After some time, I had graduated college and had more skill in programming, so I made a good design and started implementing it in my spare time last year, and now we have a fully working game.
What is TCG ONE exactly? Well, back in 2009, there was no PTCGO or any automated simulators out there. Now we have two.
TCG ONE is a fully featured Pokémon TCG simulator where players only interact with what they are allowed by game rules and game rule magic happens autonomously. There is an action list that lists the actions you can perform at that moment like: Attack with Move X, Retreat, Use Poké-Power Y, Use Z Stadium, Discard Mysterious Fossil, End Turn, etc. The game does all the placing, damaging, and coin-flipping stuff for you.
It also has a deck builder so you can create your decks with any cards and play. Lobby feature for users to gather, chat, build, and play together. You can also see actual card images while playing. Oh, and it is totally free.
As I like old cards, I started adding cards into the game chronologically (well, mostly) starting with Base Set, and I have implemented a total of 8 expansions so there are 836 cards available to play at the moment.
It went live at July 18th, 2013 and has 400+ players who’ve played 1000+ games. It awaits more players at: http://tcgone.net
4. What are your short-term and long-term plans for TCG ONE?
Short-term plans include to reach out for more people and let them play many games while I update the game frequently with new sets, bug fixes, and new features.
In the long-term, I plan to have some interesting features:
- All cards ever released through history should be implemented with their respective formats.
- Campaign mode, in which players start with a set of cards and play games to expand their collection, like in the Pokémon TCG Game Boy version.
- In-game tournament and league support.
- Rankings and top player charts.
- Players should be able to make custom cards and formats.
5. How can readers get involved and help support the project?
Players can help out the project by…
- Playing it and testing it through with different decks and setups.
- Reporting bugs they’ve found to me using the in-game function.
- Suggesting new features or improvements on the community forums.
- Donating for the project to help out server costs.
- Spreading the word to other players.
- Recording some videos while playing and put them up on YouTube.
6. Chespin, Fennekin, or Froakie?
I’ve never got used to new generation stuff, so it’d be wise to stick with Jigglypuff.
Thanks for the interview Gary! I personally am very excited about TCG ONE and I wish you the best of luck with it.
Readers out there, please do what you can to help support this project! I know what it’s like to try and create tools for the Pokémon TCG and nothing is a better motivator to keep working and add new features than seeing an increasing number of people get value out of what you’ve built. The more people using TCG ONE, the faster it will be developed.
I know many of you probably want to see NXD-on implemented ASAP, but Gary has stated the current format will be the last to be added, so hopefully we’ll have all the cards available for some of the older formats soon and can play around with past meta decks. I have a ton of old decklists saved from 2004-2007 on Apprentice (a now defunct desktop simulator) and would be happy to publish them for use.