So, I'm adapting KOF into a Card Game (need suggestions)


OK, guys, so this might be off-topic, but I just had the idea of adapting The King of Fighters into a card game. The idea is actually very simple and it wouldn’t actually use “statistics” but a simpler system.

The core of the game is this:
You pick one character, then you have access to all its move cards:

  • Normals (all of their standing, jumping and crouching normals).
  • Command moves (you know, like “forward + C”, “down/forward + B”, etc.).
  • Special moves.
  • Supermoves.

STEP 1, you select your attack card (either a normal, command or special move), your opponent does the same.

You reveal your card and you see what is the move that wins. That’s determined by a priorities chart. For example:

  • Jumping attacks win over crouching attacks.
  • Standing weaks win over jumpings.
  • And so on.
    Some normals might have special priorities like sweeping (your tipically crouching D, wins over any crouching), anti-air (most of the crouching C, wins over jumping moves), or overhead (wins over jumping and crouching, loses against standing), etc.

Every special move has a type. Types of special moves:

  • Projectile. Far-distance moves (example: Athena’s Psycho Ball).
  • Rising. Basically any kind of dragon punch (example: K’s Crow Bite)
  • Expansion. Any attack move with a good range that covers some distance, and it starts attacking rightaway (example: Ryo’s Hien Shippu Kyaku)
  • Dash. Move that starts with the character running, then performing an strike (example: Clark’s Mount Tackle)
  • Throw. Quick grabs (example: Benimaru’s Collider).
  • Reversal. Defeat normals (example: Geese reversals).
  • Stationary. The character doesn’t move, but it performs a powerful attack that takes a little to come out (example: Chang’s Iron Ball)
  • Rekka. Moves with several steps to follow-up. To determinate if you’re able to perform the follow-up, you roll a 6-sides dice. For example, Iori’s 127 Shiki Aoi Hana, your first attack hits, to try the second you roll the dice, you have 4/6 chances for the second part to be performed, 5/6 chances for the third).

The priority is also determined by the type of attack. For example, if you perform

OK, there’s a health gauge and a super gauge. You lose health as you’re getting pummeled, but also a little super gauge. The super gauge fills as you perform special moves and land an amount of hits. After that, you’re able to pull out super cards or use them as standalone moves.
They follow more or less the same rules from the specials but they deal more damage.

Which special move wins over which one is determined by either their type or their kind of attack (for example, Crack Shoot is an expansion and an air attack at the same time, it would hit against Joe’s df+B). Here the basics:

  • Air attacks win over Projectiles.
  • Projectiles and Throws neutralize each other.
  • Projectile wins against Rising and Expansion.
  • Rising wins over Expansion.
  • Expansion wins over Throw
  • Dash wins over Projectile and Reversal.
  • Rising wins over Stationary.
  • Throw wins over Dash and Reversal.
  • Stationary wins over dash.
  • And so on…

Most of the moves have some special priorities. For example, Terry’s Burning Knuckle is a Dash move but it is also invulnerable against crouches and good against air moves, as he jumps from the ground and attacks at an almost mid-air height.

There are some special priorities like “energy”, for example any move charged with energy defeats the same type of move if it is not charged with energy, sometimes negates projectiles and so…

The player who won might be able to perform a combo. You draw two cards from the deck and see if you can combo with them. The combo rules are very logic.
For example, if you’re using Terry and you hit with C, you know you can combo next adding a command move, then any special move; you can also perform almost any special move right after that.

However, you store the cards you couldn’t combo with for a next moment in which you could use it. For example, if I started out with crouching B, and I receive the cards Crack Shoot and Terry’s Backnuckle, I can’t combo out of them. I store them.

Next round, I win with a D attack, I pull the cards and I got Power Charge and Power Geyser. So, I use the Backnuckle (command move) I had stored and then Power Charge, the opponent is in air, then I use Crack Shoot and I juggle it, then I perform Power Geyser and bang! That’s a combo.

After Step 2, just repeat until anyone loses all its health…

So, I have the thing more or less conceived. Probably going to add special actions like Defense, regular Throw or Roll, I really don’t know. For now, my main worry is completing the list of priorities.

Here’s the normal priorities so far:

So, I need your suggestions to complete the list of priorities :smiley:

Terry’s movelist:

  • Back Knuckle [Command]
  • Rising Upper [Command, Anti-Air]
  • Power Wave [Projectile]
  • Burn Knuckle [Expansion, invulnerable to crouching attacks]
  • Crack Shoot [Expansion, aerial]
  • Power Charge [Dash]
  • Power Dunk [Rising, aerial]
  • Rising Tackle [Rising]
  • Power Gesyer [Super Stationary, Anti-Air, Energy]
  • High-Angly Geyser [Super, Expansion, Energy]


It sounds like too much for me


The system itself is extremely simple. The only thing needed would be to define the priorities.


I feel like there needs to be some level of abstraction.
Why do you need 8 grounded normals? The hop/stand/crouch combat triangle is a staple of KoF and if you want your game to feel like KoF, that’s important. But if you trimmed the move list in half, have a “fast” normal to beat out normals of the same type, maybe its not very comboable, older KoFs didn’t give big damage off c.B, and a “strong” normal for when you’re pretty sure you guessed right at rock paper scissors and want straight damage and superior comboability.
Specials and supers could probably stand to be trimmed some as well.


Sure they did. Most of the time it just took meter.


Or be Iori, Chris, Terry, or whoever else does big damage or get damage and hard knockdown. Then stun after two or three mix ups.

What do you mean by older KOFs? Look at 97


It’s a card game! It will never “feel” like KOF.

I believe retaining all the normals is important for the game, and giving every kind of normal attack and advantage.

System’s being extensively reworked currently, but I came to conclussion the priority chart is something that has to go…


I stand corrected, the “older KoFs” I’m referring to would be 98 and 99, which I’d put some hours into back in the day, but that’s before I knew of the FGC so its entirely possible I was playing both games “wrong.”


My idea is actually adapting Xuan Dou Zhi Wang, that is KOF '97 but with KOF XIII-like juggles, LOL. KOF characters could be included too…


Rather than trying to create some sort of simulation of a KOF video game, I think what you need to do is critically examine what exactly at its core makes KOF KOF… and then take that spirit, that soul, and create a stand-alone card game that has that very same thing at its center. This way, your KOF card game should be able to stand on its own as a card game independent of any video game associations, and its mechanics act as metaphors that bring the feeling of video game KOF to life. Two games in completely different mediums, but two games that share the same heart.

So then, what is at the heart of KOF? Running!!! KOF players love running!

If you ask me, what you really should do is to redesign the card game so that it plays entirely from players’ hands, so that no cards are ever played onto the “table,” so that a physical table isn’t even required to play the game. If you do that, then people can actually play KOF while they are running in real life! Discarding cards would simply be a matter of throwing them to the wind. It would be so much fun!

This adds a lot of versatility to the game as well. For example, at KOF card game events, you could have track-and-field hurdles set up around the room so that the running players are forced to perform short hops to clear over them, while they are trying to play the card game! Lots of fun! Very KOF!


The center is the combos. I got a great combo system, only need of some inspiration for the other part of the gameplay.


No, the heart is a dynamic neutral game in which approach and retreat interweave between each other at a fast pace.

What makes KOF to each person is pretty much different and depends on perspective and experience. My KOF isn’t your KOF.


It would be too complex for a card game, maybe for a board game but that’s not what I’m aiming for.


A card game of KoF would basically be boiled down to the most simple elements taking out the neutral. Things like spacing don’t exist in a card game, so it would basically be hop > sweep, st.A > hop, sweep > st.A but for all of the situations in KoF. It’s basically rock paper scissors. You can build upon that like if you land a heavy normal in some situations you can do a combo off of that if you have the cards for it.

The problem is that this system is basically Yomi by David Sirlin, just with a KoF coat of paint.


Gotta investigate about that Yomi game.


There is already an official Universal Fighting System cardgame for KOF13, KOF character are features in the Weiss Schwarz card game, and SNK has made a number of card fighter type games for the wonderswan already; why are you making this when a number of games already exist in an official capacity?


Because I want to.


Wait? UFS has KOFXIII content? It’s still around?


I asked that same question today. I remember hearing they got bought out then the game just disappeared off the face of the planet for a while. Literally found out this afternoon about the KoF XIII set.


Just make K’s card pic a pair of sun glasses.