Building a Game - IX

And thus we come to the final part of our little series, about creating a game of your own, specifically a board game.

Today, we take a look at the cards you might want to design. For this I´m going to give you 2 examples from my own current project, and we will compare that with one of the most successful card designs of man´s history.

My own designs are rather unfit for showing, but in the interest of a good lesson I will share them with you. Be aware, that these are only prototypes.

Now the important thing here is to take a close and to gather whether these are functional in what they are trying to achieve. 

The left is a character card, which serves to inform the player of his abilities during the game. To do this, we have a bolded title, a list of actions and costs and a passive effect, depending on the character card chosen/given.

The card on the right however simply marks down the more important info by having a big bolded number and a letter with a much smaller title, big space for an image and a description of both effect of the card as well as some flavour text to really bring home the idea of what it does. Now, of course, seeing as these are prototypes, they are necessarily not that nice to look at, but they succeed in giving us an idea of what they are trying to do.

Now let us compare these with two of the sexiest examples we can find around.
On the left we have the epitome of simplicity with a poker card. You almost can´t be much more basic than this. On the other hand we have a Magic:The Gathering-playing card with the Benalish Veteran. As you can see both achieve what they set out to do, that is give the greatest amount of information necessary for their respective game to the player. Of course the amount of information varies greatly between them, but that is a topic for another day. 

For now, what we want to look at is the fact, that both of them are more or less crib sheets for your own card design. You see, this is successful. Some information in the corners, and the biggest part of it in the middle or some central part of it.

Of course you can deviate from this, for it is by far not a holy mans book here. All of these started out weaker than they are today and who knows, perhaps you can create something that will completely revolutionize the standards of design.

But for today, the lesson is this. Creating a card necessitates a low number of words and symbols to achieve the maximum effect because the more you say with the less you use, the better your card becomes.

There is a lot to tell you, but I´m not necessarily the person to tell you, just like life, there are some experiences one can only make by him- or herself. That I cannot teach you. So go out, and design!

And that concludes our current programme, we will commence with regular shenanigans with the next post.

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