Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Building a truly digital card game

There are two ways that those skills can come into play, so to speak. On the one hand, succeeding at video games can require some of the same teamwork, real time analytics and composure under pressure that many jobs also require. Reigning supreme in a fantasy sports league requires statistical analysis, trading acumen and focus.

But there’s also the business leisure aspect — sales people who bond with customers over golf or drinks might add some new pursuits. It’s even more likely to become common as a team-building exercise in fields that are closely related to digital play, such as IT or finance.

Both reasons resonate with people who list card games on their profiles. “Poker and Bridge are two card games many people associate with as mathematical, strategic and intelligent,” says Paul Howe, head of quantitative research at Oxbridge Capital who lists both on his LinkedIn profile. “Moreover, I have played poker and bridge for a few years and consider them as a sports, much like my other interests in baseball (and) golf.”

For now, though, most video game players may have to just wait until the millennials start taking control as hiring managers — winning your fantasy football league will be worth that much more.
Blizzard, makers of wildly successful video games World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo, shifted speeds earlier this year when it released its own free-to-play digital card game, Hearthstone. Based on the lore of its Warcraft universe, the game is available on Windows, Mac, and iPad.

Last week saw Blizzard wrap up the launch of Curse of Naxxramas, an elaborate solo adventure expansion for Hearthstone giving players a chance to step away from the standard multiplayer focus and into a themed series of battles to test their skills and reward the successful with powerful new cards.

As the launch event drew to a close, CNET had the chance to speak to Hearthstone Senior Game Designer Ben Brode and Lead Artist Ben Thompson, about both the experiences found in the expansion and the wider effort to build a card game that takes full advantage of what you can do when you’ve created a truly digital deck of cards.
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