Building a Game - VIII

And we´re back.

This time let´s talk about card design. Now this is not really a neccessary step for every design, but as you are surely aware, the design I use as an example here goes for using cards to forgo using dice. And this can be drawn up as some part of general something that one could say about designing cards, whether for use in a card-driven or a cards-supported game enviroment.

See, there are some very basic things about card design we can talk about right now, the first of which is what amount of space to devote to what part of information and design itself and the size of the cards itself.

You see, an important part of design is the question of both size and allocation. I´ve boldened those two words because I cannot overstate how important they are in doing this. Size matters to every little part of game design, from the size of the game, to size of game components, to size of the game box later, once you are trying to actually sell the game. 

And allocation of information is important because it focuses on how you divide up the space given and what kind of impression you give the player. See, to allocate a lot of space towards information can be both a good game, depending on your target audience, because let´s face it, you won´t be able to sell your game to everyone, and the sooner you realize this, the better. 

It´s nothing to be ashamed about, it´s simply personal preference and we can´t really go about and tell our fellow man to play just because we want him to. And while a wargamer might like a game with tightly allocated space and a whole slew of information, a casual gamer, one who only wants to enjoy and not think that much about it, would abhor it, or might, on a very slim offchance, discover his passion for such games. That is not meant to condemn either of them, but it shows how much of a difference it can make.

Finally, there is a very real difference in the way one designs for either of them. You see, the hardcore wargamer doesn´t really care so much about appearance as he does about depth and possibly complexity, while a casual game will take far more part in something that appeals to him visually, allowing for a very different process to get into the game.

So, let´s talk about card size first. Most game I know nowadays use a card format equal to common poker cards, a size similar to the general Magic:The Gathering-Card and thus is sleevable to protect them from the worst harm. Of course you can use a different size, but it isn´t usually that advisable, as differeing card sizes can hamper the enjoyment of yor players and are rather often misused. Basically, use a standard size and adjust your expectations towards it.

How such a card might look and how we allocate space on it is something we will talk about next time.

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