Android: Netrunner on OCTGN really picking up speed

I haven’t been blogging much lately because my interest has been mostly consumed in my development of the Android:Netrunner OCTGN game definition and its peripheral activities, mainly casting games, streaming, promoting and of course playing it πŸ™‚

Just recently we finished the biggest tournament in the world with 128 international participants playing over almost 3 months (1 matchup per week), and as part of promoting the event and the game, I took to casting the matches so that we can later post them online for other to watch. Many many cumulative hours of recording later, and I’ve created a youtube playlist of a significant number of the top matches from the tournament, mostly casted by yours truly, along with my personal NBN of co-casters and video editors. Take a peek if you want πŸ˜‰

Not only that,but once the tournament was about to finish, I decided to take it even further and livestream the final four matches, just to bring some extra excitement. About 20 people tuned in to watch the final matches and we had quite a bit of commentary and all around fun. Take a look how it turned out.

But other than that, I now regularly stream my games online as I play them, just so that I may raise interest in this great game and also inspire others to do the same. And in fact I’m glad to say it has worked brilliantly. Already we have almost half a dozen players who stream their games regularly, and we even had some cultural complaints about the practice. All this is great news, as it shows a healthy community that will only keep getting larger and more active.

And we already have plans for new leagues and tournaments and people keep inventing more ways to enjoy this game and spead the joy around. The more interest all these generate, the better the actual game will do in sales, which is just great for everyone involved. The future looks bright!

PS: Feel free to follow me on or youtube. My games might not be as well commented or edited as some others, but I make up for it in quantity. πŸ™‚

Making Android:Netrunner videos

Just thought I’d throw this out there. I’ve recently started recording my Android:Netrunner games played with on OCTGN in the very vibrant community that has formed around it. To make things easier for me, I’ve been streaming directly to and afterwards, for the more interesting games, also exporting them to youtube.

This is what it looks like for now

If you’re interested in catching a look when I’m playing, my channel is here, and if you just can’t get enough A:NR from me only, do a search for “Netrunner” and you’ll find that a few others are starting to do the same as well. I do hope this catches on πŸ˜€

If you are interested in doing the same thing yourself, it really quite easy. Simply download and install the Open Broadcast Software which is free software and thus has no limitations on streaming (I initially tried with some of the things they suggest on, but all of them cost or are limited in some way). To stream OCTGN correctly, make sure you record the whole monitor (trying to record just the OCTGN window doesn’t work in my experience) and also set it so that it catches layered windows. Record at exactly your monitor’s resolution to avoid resizing artifacts.

If on the other hand you’re interested in just seeing the more interesting of my games, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.

Apropos youtube channel: In case you haven’t yet gotten into Android:Netrunner on OCTGN, I’ve also made a tutorial video on how to use OCTGN to play, which should take you through all the basics you’ll need to use the engine efficiently and comfortably to play. If you take a look at my games, you’ll notice that there is very little fiddling around the engine, which makes playing online very pleasant compared to the usual card game experience.

Now go forth an run streaming!

Star Wars: The Card Game LCG on OCTGN

SW:LCG BoxFor the last month or so, I’ve been feverishly working on a OCTGN Plugin for Star Wars: The Card Game, by Fantasy Flight Games and I’ve finally released a polished version that I’m comfortable sharing with the world. So it’s now time to share the news and help people get started in the usual way.

So, Star Wars: The Card Game, is a “Living Card Game” release, much like Android:Netrunner or Warhamer:Invasion and it’s obvious on which theme it’s based on. The game has only gone out to stores this week if I am not mistaken so it’s brand new.

As a game, it is a somewhat asymmetric game, where each side (Light or Dark) has slightly different victory conditions, albeit their core gameplay does not differ all that much. Most of the differentiation happens in the kind of effects each Affiliation focuses on, much like the colours of Magic:The Gathering. I won’t go into much detail here as I’m sure you can find a lot of reviews online if you happen to need them.

I’ve played a dozen games or so by now, and I’m quite liking it. It may not be as deep or thematic as Android:Netrunner, but it has a lot of tough decisions to make and it’s the kind of game that you canot not see its depth of strategy from reading the rulebook and the spoilers, but rather you need to actually get down to the table and get your hands dirty. Even though I seem to completely suck at it (I’ve won 2 games only), it does show a lot of promise.

Game at v1.0.0

So for anyone interested in trying it out, you can now use my polished OCTGN plugin to do so.

EDIT @ 02/07/2013 : I’ve moved the installation instructions on to the dedicated page for this game definition. Please follow the step-by-step installation instructions for Star Wars: The Card Game there.

Once everything is set up, you need to find someone to play with. You can go to the Host/Join tab to see if anyone has a game waiting. If nobody does, host your own and put in the title that you’re a new player.

Once you find someone, one of you hosts and game and the other joins. Leave the two-sided checkbox checked and once the game is started, load your starter decks. Things should be fairly intuitive but keep in mind these basic things in relation to the OCTGN engine plugin.

  • First thing you do after you load a deck is Setup (Ctrl+Shift+S). This will check if your version is up to date, show you the Message of the Day, and also give you some Tips on playing the game.
  • The setup will put 4 objectives in your hand. You need to select one to put to the bottom of your deck. Once you’ve decided which one, simply mouse over it and press “Del”. Now that you have just three objectives in your hand, press Ctrl+Shift+S once more to place them on the table
  • Wait until your opponent has placed their objectives on the table as well and communicate if any of you wants to take a Mulligan. If not, then double-click on your objectives to reveal them and start the game.
  • To move from Phase to Phase and to start/end your turn, simply press Ctrl+Enter. This will automatically trigger any card effects that happen after that phase.
  • To attack an objective, target it and press Ctrl+A (or use the context menu on the table). Now you can assign attackers/defenders.
  • Most actions that you want to do, you can do by double-clicking on a card. The game will intuitively understand what you most likely want to achieve and do it. If you’re in an engagement, double-clicking on a non-participating unit will make it participate (turn it 90 degrees sideways). If a unit is participating, double clicking with it will perform a strike. If you’re trying to pay for a card, double clicking on a resource generating card will focus it to generate resources and so on. Double-Click is your friend.
  • If a card needs a target for its ability, simply use shift+click to target another card before you use it. Shift+Click again to clear a target.

I’ve made a video on how to play. It’s a bit outdated now that the new version is out, but I’ll update it in the near future


What keeps me going

Sometimes I find littleΒ  nuggets of happy when I check online to see what people are saying about my OCTGN plugins. I found the following in a french forum about A:NR

by Skychapon “December 13, 2012 4:58 p.m.

7Tigers wrote: ANR module is solely to Konstantinos Thoukydidis (db0).
NB: also he made a plugin for Star Wars LCG …

This guy is good! And it does not get much sleep also saw how quickly he pulled the plug SW LCG!
Thank you to him in any case, I never played as much Netrunner without OCTGN.

For db0, hip hip hip

Put a smile on my face.

Combo Strategy video of Android:Netrunner (on OCTGN)

Two videos showing the strategy of the new Card Game Android:Netrunner, playing digitally on OCTGN.

So my work on the ANR plugin for OCTGN is continuing at a good pace, having reached version at the time of writing this post. As fortune would have it, the plugin has already gained in popularity at the BoardGameGeek, so much so that the first online tournament organized for ANR has managed to fill its 64 positions in less than a week! Since the 12th of September there’s been almost 700 matches concluded on OCTGN!

There are many benefits for having a digital version of the Card Game other than the obvious, and one of them I decided to explore with the help of the player and great video-maker Tragic. The idea I had was this, we were going to play a match of ANR, and both of us were going to record our side of the match, and while doing that, we were going to be providing commentary on our actions and strategy. This way we hit three birds with one stone. 1. We can show the gameplay and deep through required to play Android:Netrunner. 2. We can visually advertise the existence of the OCTGN plugin for ANR and get people to try it out. 3. We can show the proper way to use the OCTGN plugin to play ANR efficiently and fast.

So after a few unsuccessful attempts (1st time, the matchup was completely lopsided. 2nd game the recording b0rked), we managed to get it running as we wanted, and now Tragic has released the results on Youtube. And they are looking really good. Take a look at the videos below to see what a game of Android:Netrunner looks and plays like, how the OCTGN plugin for it works and how I sound like in real life πŸ™‚

1st game is the pre-built matchup as instructed by the manual of the core set. Jinteki VS Shaper. This is just the cards included in the core set for each faction + the neutral cards for that side (corp or runner). Unfortunately, this game ended up being completely lopsided against me, as I had a horrible draw, while Tragic had an almost perfect one. Still, you can see how I tried to fight the inenvitable and what kind of tactics I attempted in such a very unlucky situation.

I had no chance really.

The 2nd video went better for me, even though I didn’t have a very good hand, but I still ended up losing due to a bad call at the mid of the game. Just a completely wrong decision on my end that ended up biting me in the ass. Watch and see:

I hope you enjoyed these, do let us know what to improve about them.As this is the first attempt at this kind of video and both me and Tragic were attempting this for the first time, there may not be as much commentary as there could be, or we may have just played too fast, used shortcuts which are not obvious etc. In the future we plan to start using constructed decks, and hopefully get far more interesting matches out there.


Android:Netrunner on OCTGN

A short introduction to Android:Netrunner, it’s OCTGN plugin and a short step-by-step guide to get it up and running.

Android:Netrunner logo. A woman under a blue light, wielding virtual interfaces with both handsI mentioned a while ago that the first and most basic version of Android:Netrunner has been released on OCTGN, and you haven’t really heard from me since. Well the reason is that I was too busy coding improvements for it. I think it’s time to give my latest creation the usual treatment and announce it here.

So Android:Netrunner is a new reimplementation of the Classic Netrunner, but given a really good polishing in the rules and art by Fantasy Flight Games. The game has not been released yet ((Release Date is mid September 2012)) and it already seems like it’s going to be a runaway success! There an absurd amount of excitement for the new version online and the game has been sitting in the hottest games of Board Game Geek for weeks now. It’s sitting in the second rank for customizable games, even before people has a chance to really make decks with it.

The game is a unique blend of asymmetric gameplay combined with a significant element of bluff. This combination, along with the Cyberpunk setting and the (now) Noir flair of the Android universe, makes it a very interesting and exciting game to play.

At the moment of release there’s going to beΒ  7 factions to play with. 4 Corporations, and 3 Runners. One of the runners is even going to be an anarchist ((Supposedly. I’m not convinced FFG understand anarchism enough to do it justice. Noise, the first Anarch runner seems more bent on mindless destruction rather than anything else. Lets hope future expansions show us a better aspect of the movement.)) playing around with computer viruses. The game comes out with 113 unique cards which is light for a first expansion, but not particularly limiting. You can check out this thread for some in-depth and in-flavor analysis on the runner factions.

I’ve played about 8 games on OCTGN until now, just with the starter decks, and I’m really liking what I see. The feeling I get when I play this game is that it has more cohesion within each faction. They each have a specific style of play that they favor and their faction cards complement it. In deck construction you can use cards from other factions to complement your strength and perhaps even do something completely uncharacteristic and throw your opponent off. I think this cohesion is good because it allows some natural balance as it’s impossible to defend from all angles, so it comes down more to whoever can use their limited tools and some good bluffing to avoid exposing their weak points and hit their opponent where they can defend the least.

So, for anyone interested in trying it out, here’s some instructions on how to get it to work with OCTGN

A Game of Android:Netrunner on OCTGN in progress
The Jinteki Corporation VS a Shaper runner. The runner has just stolen an agenda and the Jinteki is punishing her by doing net damage.

Once everything is set up, you need to find someone to play with. You can go to the Host/Join tab to see if anyone has a game waiting. If nobody does, host your own and put in the title that you’re a new player. There’s a lot of people who will help you learn

Once you find someone, one of you hosts and game and the other joins. Leave the two-sided checkbox checked and make sure that whoever is going to play the Corp is set as player [A] (the host can click on the letter to switch it) and once the game is started, load your starter decks. Things should be fairly intuitive but keep in mind these basic things in relation to the OCTGN engine plugin.

  • First thing you do after you load a deck is Setup (Ctrl+Shift+S). This will check if your version is up to date, show you the Message of the Day, and also give you some Tips on playing the game.
  • At the start of your turn, declare it with F1.
  • At the end of your turn, declare it with F12. Make sure the game announces that your turn has ended and is not expecting you to discard down to your max hand size πŸ˜‰
  • If you’re a runner, start a run with [F5] – [F8], or by playing cards. Once your run has ended, finish it with [Esc] is unsuccessful, or with [F3] if successful.
  • Double-clicking is your friends. Almost everything you want to do, you do it by double-clicking on the card in question.

The below video will take you through a step-by-step tutorial on using OCTGN to play Android:Netrunner

There’s a lot of other tricks you can use in the engine and most of them have been put into the “Did you Know” starting tips. So pay attention and you’ll be flying through the controls in no-time. Any new innovations I add to it, are also going to appear in the changelog and future MotDs, so you’ll know when good stuff has arrived. In fact I’ve been coding like crazy for the last few weeks, much to the annoyingment of the wifey. So much so that I’m starting to feel like this.

A card from Android:Netrunner. A hacker jacked into his interface is using powerful drugs to focus and bypass corporate defenses
Coding an ANR plugin is kinda like this.

There’s already a large group of players using the Android:Netrunner OCTGN plugin daily, since unlike my other plugins, this game is hot stuff. You’ll find a lot of potential opponents to test your deck-building and bluffing mettle.

If you’ve enjoyed this plugin, feel free to give a diesel tip, to fund further caffeine-fueled development πŸ˜‰

Good Running!