A little card game prototype

 Posted by (Visited 8073 times)  Gamemaking  Tagged with: , ,
Sep 052013

I have been working on four or five 20130905-144728.jpggame projects at once for the last few months, and they are all at various stages of completion. I had been waiting to do an announcement once I had things like, oh, a company name… but this just arrived in the mail today and I couldn’t wait to share it. Shame on me for blowing the “proper” social media marketing plan, but oh well…

This here is a nicely printed copy of a prototype I have been working on. Given the photo, I can’t keep the name secret, so… it’s currently named Rainbow, obviously.

What are my plans for it? I have no idea! I have never done anything professional with tabletop games! All advice is welcome. If it turns out to be fun enough, I might make a digital version of it as well as the card game. As it is, it’s madcircle_logoe it past the handmade card stage, and the printed-at-Kinko’s stage.

This version was done at The Game Crafter, a print-on-demand service for game designers. I am pretty happy with the result, though it’s not perfect. As you can see from the close-up, there’s a bit of a registration issue and the top edge of the cards is cut with a little bit of an arc. They do warn that registration is always a problem with POD, and to be very cautious about using borders for that reason. I threw caution to the wind.

20130905-150010.jpgThe cards feel nicely coated, and deal and shuffle pretty well. Much better than the Kinko’s run, which I did on the punch-out cards available from PlainCards. Those aren’t bad, but they’re just thick enough that I can’t run them through my home printer, and the micro-perforated edges just don’t come out cleanly, leaving cruft on the card edges. I used about half my supply on the the previous prototype, and may end up getting more if I do a card game again as they are handy for interim steps — but printing the full deck at Kinko’s would cost a dollar a card! And no box. In contrast, The Game Crafter version is around $10 for the 71 card deck and box.

They do the tuck box too; it’s the same quality card stock as the cards themselves. I used the 72 card tuck box, and the 71 cards I have are kinda rattling around in there — so it sure feels like the 72 card box holds more like 90. The boxes come shrink-wrapped, too.

I am not going to write anything about the game here right now, because it’s very much in an alpha play testing stage, so you can pretty much assume the rules are going to change. But basically, it’s a very easy to learn set packing game, and you can play it in groups of up to 8, or solitaire. I’ve got rules for both a simple and a trickier version. I also worked up a Blitz mode that I haven’t playtested yet. My wife Kristen can destroy me at the standard game, shaking her head at my boneheaded choices, so that may indicate that there is some strategy to it! We’ll see.


  7 Responses to “A little card game prototype”

  1. Party? Ah hell, my invite must have got lost in the mail again. Should I bring nachos?

  2. Hey Raph, I’m glad we (TGC) were able to help you with your game! Registration isn’t perfect with any production equipment and so we provide those recommendations so that the design can mask or minimize visibility of registration. When you use thin borders this just increases the chances of registration variations to be amplified and more noticeable. That’s why we provide best practices for design at https://community.thegamecrafter.com/publish/production. However, the top of the cards being cut with a slight arc sounds like it could be related to a production problem on our end. Feel free to post this on our Shop Support forum and include several photos so we can see the issue. If it’s a problem on our end we’ll definitely be happy to issue shop credit or replace your decks.

    I would also encourage you to remove the thin borders on the backs of your cards and instead use the texture/color with full bleed. πŸ™‚ You’ll be much happier with the results. Thanks for the honest review of our products and we appreciate you sharing the love on twitter and elsewhere! -Tavis

  3. I am very happy with the quality overall! The registration thing is something I was fairly warned on. πŸ™‚

    I have a graphic redesign I just completed based on play test feedback so I will explore full bleed or a thicker border with the new version. I don’t want to compromise the look TOO much though…

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