Welcome to what I hope to be the first of many Gem Blenders yearly updates. It’s been a little over a year since we received our first shipment of cards and it’s crazy to consider all that has happened since then. As we continue to persevere through the effects of COVID-19, we’re excited to continue to grow our community, host events, and add to the world of Gemlandia.
Seeing Gem Blenders on the shelves of game shops and in the hands of players has been incredible. Even more rewarding has been getting to know the community. Through both our online and in-person play sessions, we’ve learned a lot about the game and how we can continue to shape Gem Blenders moving forward. In many ways, this first edition set was an experiment — one meant to explore the depths of our gameplay and lay the foundation for the community. Now that we’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t, we have a clearer sense of how to envision a more comprehensive future for Gem Blenders.
It’s with great pleasure that I announce our goal to print a new set of Gem Blenders cards with a variety of improvements – from new card design and updated art, to some exciting new additions to our product offerings. Keep reading to learn about what we have in store for 2022!
It’s no secret that our team has been developing a sizable addition to the roster of Gem Blenders cards, focusing on many new blends and heroes. In fact, we’ve relied on our community to playtest these cards through online game testing sessions and monthly tournaments since March 2021. After long consideration, we’ve decided to incorporate these new cards into an updated version of the base collection, which will include the original cards along with the new ones.
Before the Kickstarter, my intention with Gem Blenders was to create a collectible card game in the same style as Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh!. However, given the early stage of the company and the amount of resources we had access to, some sacrifices were necessary to create our first physical product and fulfill the Kickstarter.
We decided to offer the entire collection of cards between the Starter Set and the Master Set, eliminating collectibility, but allowing for the core gameplay and deck-building features to remain intact. A pro to this decision is that it made Gem Blenders more accessible to players, giving them access to all the cards without a huge investment. A major con is that it removed a beloved feature that is shared by practically every card game in the genre: testing your luck with randomized booster packs.
Our goal is to introduce booster packs in the next set. We believe that collectibility is core to the TCG genre and we hope that this will enhance the Gem Blenders experience in a variety of ways.
full art cards
Going hand in hand with the addition of booster packs and collectibility, we’d like to enhance the template design of our cards by making all cards full art. The style of Gem Blenders cards stands out from other card games in the genre; we rely heavily on black and white in conjunction with a variety of lo-fi references and textures. Our goal in redesigning these cards is to maintain everything that makes Gem Blenders unique, while also making it more enticing as a collectible.
Below are some mock-ups for what we have in mind for the full art cards. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re very excited about the possibilities moving forward as we continue to reimagine the look of the next print run.
Unlike many card games, card rarity in Gem Blenders will be strictly tied to a clearly defined parameters, where the most powerful cards (LV. 5 blends and 3-star actions) are the most rare, and the weaker cards (LV. 2 blends and 0-star actions) are the most common. In addition, we plan to incorporate even rarer cards in the form of holofoils and cards with alternate artwork by guest artists.
The last major feature we plan to implement is drafting. Drafting is a beloved format popularized by Magic: The Gathering, in which players build decks from a limited pool of cards and then compete against each other. Because each player only has access to a select number of booster packs, it forces players to think creatively and compete with a randomized set of restrictions.
While we are only in the early stages of testing drafting, we are excited by the possibility of incorporating a new format into our product offerings. As we continue to playtest this feature, we’ll be sure to share updates as well!
Thanks so much to the Gem Blenders community for enabling us to keep growing. We are very excited for the future and we can’t wait to keep delivering high-quality gaming experiences to our players.
Have a happy new year — see you in 2022!