“HeroClix Online”

[NOTE: This post has nothing to do with the attempt by WizKids to turn HeroClix into a 3D computer game years ago. I’m just co-opting the name.]

Another attempt….

So, a rickety, strained Analogy:

  • “Operating System” of the game: the HeroClix “Core Rules” (the basline rulebook and the companion “Powers & Abilities Card”
  • ‘Hardware’ of the game: {a} The ‘clix figure’, consisting of the character’s sculpt, the ‘base’ the sculpt is afixed to (which also happens to display information related to the game), and the ‘dial’, which contains the ‘clicks of life’ stats/game info. {b} Maps. {c} All necessary ‘peripherals’ (dice, terrain markers, object and/or character tokens, etc.)
  • ‘Applications’: This is how I think of “Character Cards”.

WizKids currently has a blog at heroclix.com for articles about figure previews, rules and rules changes, and tournament news. They also have the WizKids Info Network (for organized play activities for all of its games), and the WizKids’ Rules Forum (providing errata, clarification, et cetera, for many WizKids games).

What I keep hoping for — and have posted requests to this blog for — is some sort of ‘subscription service’ for the game of HeroClix that would help support upkeep of rules and characters cards. Something that combines the rules forum and a ‘figure gallery’ (and map gallery, and objects and tokens, etc.), with better utility and presentation.

I’d heard rumors that WizKids was no longer going to add the character cards for figures from recent HeroClix sets to its “Print and Play” section of it’s HeroClix blog. Had to do with licensing from the intellectual property owners, like DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and all the other video game licenses. Something about the way WizKids’ PDF copies of character cards — an element of the game — crossed some sort of ‘publishing line’. As an outsider looking in, I still don’t understand the whats and wherefores.

I believe they should start hammering those licensers. Say, hey, we need keep the game evolving. That means making and upgrading certain elements using the online presence as a resource.

I’ve often wanted to see WizKids crowd-source some character card ideas for figures originally produced and push out prior to the ‘character card era’. It’s not like WizKids is making any more physical product for INFINITY CHALLENGE or COLLATERAL DAMAGE or CLOBBERIN’ TIME; the figures already exist, out there being played and changing hands in the ‘secondary market’.

Designing and issuing character cards for them would open up opportunities for players. Yes, those are old, old designs. Many are not very ‘useable’ stats-wise in modern play, considered ‘weak’. Character cards, though, could be used to introduce other gameplay effects, useable only when playing the figure along with the card. From as simple as tacking on another standard power or ability, to more elaborate, thematic effects.

I’m to the point where I’m slowing my collecting of physical figures (but still buying), and want my older stuff to still be playable, but in a way that’s ‘official’ somehow. Has WizKids’ “approval”.

If done right, with frequent updates, with plenty of interaction via the official forums with fans, I’m willing to pony up $9.99 per month for that. It’d have to be *open* to everyone, but ask for ‘subscriptions/donations’.

(Can you tell that I’m both a public radio listened and a fan of D3Go’s “Marvel Puzzle Quest”?)

I used to think an app for smartphones or tablets was the way to go, but now I think it needs to be a curated website. Players/Collectors need access to original character card docs as well as later revisions.

Trying to do it while making it clear to licensers that they can’t kill it by trying to extract huge licensing fees is the hingepoint, I think.