Auto Academy combines the chaos of auto-battling games with the strategy of collectible card games to create a totally new experience! Players collect cards, construct decks, and play 8-player free-for-all matches where only one player leaves victorious.
I was the lead game and card designer. I programmed the underlying autobattling logic and implemented all cards. I also created and programmed many of the user interfaces. The game was built with Roblox Studio and written in Luau.
Solving a Design Problem
Auto Academy's initial concept faced a cursed problem. Auto battles are simulations. If a minion dies in a simulation, it isn't actually removed from your team. This gives a huge advantage to players that play minions early in the game. This is at odds with a card game—if you don't draw playable minions early, you'll be at a disadvantage for the rest of the game.
My solution to this was twofold:
Copy the draw/discard/reshuffle system used by Dominion, Slay the Spire, and others. Instead of drawing 1 card a turn and keeping unplayed cards between turns, draw 5 cards each turn and discard any unplayed cards. If your draw pile is empty when you try to draw again, reshuffle the discard pile and use that as the new draw pile.
Introduce a player and card level system. Each card has a level (a number from 1 to 12). You start each game at level 1 and with a draw pile composed of only your level 1 cards. Whenever you reshuffle your draw pile, you level up and also shuffle in cards of your new level.
This means that players will always draw their level 1 cards the first time through their draw pile, their level 2 cards the second time through their draw pile, etc. With this system, players will reliably draw cards at around the same time, although the order they draw them will still be random.