We focused on analysing the underlying grouping of the decks created by players of popular deck building games: Android: Netrunner and Magic: The Gathering to allow us to identify play styles and synergies that can be used to inform game design and game play. The value generated by those games is captured via two distinct business models: Netrunner is a living card game (the same card packs contain the same cards) while Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game where the pack contents is pot luck randomly distributed and players need to trade to obtain specific cards or play with what they have. We discovered different deck building strategies in the two games which we hypothesise is caused by the different business models. The decks built are clustered into prototypes in Magic: The Gathering but are separate in Android: Netrunner. The different methods of card circulation in the two games are likely to affect the distribution of decks built due to card availability. Our future research will focus on developing a technique amenable to analysing a broad range of games and their data to allow us to compare business models and strategies within games and their associated meta-games.
We have also analysed how deck building changes over time and is affected by events such as the release of new cards. We found that when powerful new sets of cards are released then deck building shifts to that area of the data space immediately and that new card sets can also shift the focus of deck building slowly over time. Deck building shifts and evolves according to the rules of these game, events within the meta-game and the availability of powerful cards.