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Crystal Heroes: Cardback Preview (WIP)

Hello all,

I wanted to share with you all this PREVIEW of the "Crystal Heroes" (CH) cardback for the game. This is very much a Work-In-Progress (WIP), there are still some final touches to improve visibility once printed (some elements in the picture get lost due to color filtering). Without further delay, here is it:

As you can see we are using Barcodes to "identify" Game Tiles for future usage such as in Tournaments, where you need to figure out the Micro Deck of each player. Even though twelve (12) Game Tiles is less than say 60 cards (Wow!) the process is the same and the Barcodes let the Game Tiles be quickly scanned and reveal which Game Tiles are being used. It also allows any configuration to be validated quickly (to ensure that the Micro Deck is valid too...)

The other reason for using Barcodes is that it is HARD to understand which Game Tiles are on the TOP of a player Micro Deck or in a Player's Hand (to the opponent). Clearly had I simply put the CODES instead of the Barcodes... It would be easy to know what Game Tile it is.

So it's a bit of confirmation acceleration and some added security for players. It's not really mean to be a "copy-protection" mechanic. We're using standard Barcodes ... There is nothing to "crack" or "solve". While it does make it harder for invalid Game Tiles to be created, the process of reverse engineering is still plausible and "knock-offs" could bypass the Barcodes even though they are providing some "basic" security.

Cheers all!


BTW if you have barcode Scanning Software or App

You should be able to Scan the Barcode to reveal the 12-Digit Code. I use a real SIMPLE program (App) on my SmartPhone which allows me to SCAN a Barcode and produce the input as if it were entered via the Keyboard. While it cost me $5+ to buy this App ... I'm really satisfied with it.

It means that I don't need SPECIAL "Scanning Hardware", I can do it directly from my SmartPhone and indeed it works on the PC Screen too! (Note: to scan in most cases it's better if you CLICK the image and scan the 100% version). The PC does some approximation at 72 DPI and the Barcodes are generated at 96 DPI.

I will say that I plan to bring a few samples to Staples and do color prints. Just to see if MY APP works on printouts which are 300 DPI. That should be the last confirmation that I need concerning the application of these Barcodes.

If it WORKS on the PC Screen... I think it should be EASIER on physical print media (white paper) ... There is a uniform gradient which is used by all of the Barcodes. Just need to confirm this... Some time next week.

That's all for now from me. Feel free to comment and react to this Cardback. Let me know your thoughts and impressions (and concerns, if you have any)!

A comment on the logo...

I can clearly see the C and H, but for some reason when I glance at this an "E" comes to mind as well.

I think the card back is a simple enough design and looks decent. The stain on the right side of the card stands out though. I would like to compare this to the card's front design to see how much of the overall aesthetic is retained (or if the card front is covered in designs or illusrations not similar to the card back, what other board game components share a similar visual motif - box, board, book, etc).

The barcode feature reminds me of QR codes. I think a barcode's horizontal alignment suits the layout of elements on your card back. A square QR code wouldn't hold up as well visually.

Funny I told my illustrator to...

Make the "stain" on the right hand side MORE APPARENT. It's not really visible when I apply the "Print Filter" on TGC. Dark colors tend to get blended away as the filter is applied. Generally speaking there is a LOSS in COLOR DEPTH.

There is no BOARD, only Game Tiles which vary from 2-Player Duels to 4-Player Battles. Here is a preview of a Game Tile:

That is the Game Tile for the "Duke" the Warlord for the Human Race... The game name was changed from "Monster Keep" to "Crystal Heroes". Sorry for any of that confusion.


Note #1: That preview is now "outdated". And it SHOWS the "code" on the LHS which is deprecated with the the Barcode on the backside. Each card has it's OWN Barcode... Which is pretty neat TBH. And the Barcode Scanner that I have on my SmartPhone acts like a Keyboard (meaning the scan reads and converts the Barcode to the unique "Code").

Looks good so far. The stain

Looks good so far. The stain is to give it a distressed look? The rest is so pristine.

To serve (pun intended) like a coaster

Due to the square shape of the Game Tiles ... I figured that if they had some kind of marking for use (meaning that the Game Tiles are used often) ... I figured that the stain would give that effect. If you guys think I should exclude the stain... I could do that too...!

Please feel free to share and voice your opinion. Thanks for your feedback!

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blog | by Dr. Radut