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Ruminations about Magical Numbers (and processes) in Card Games

Not long ago I wrote some ruminations about magical numbers and boardgames, ( and Steven Davis suggested I should talk about this in relation to card games, such as card hand size.

"Play as many games as you can?" Maybe not.

For various reasons I am not going to post this hear. You can see it at:

“On the horns of a dilemma”

(In the following I’ll be using quotes gleaned from online discussions, from players and a well-known designer. These are all personal observations, of course, and anecdotal evidence. We simply don’t have the “scientific” evidence about games to “prove” any particular point of view. You’ll have to examine your own experience to make an evaluation.)

Where are board and card games headed?

Where are board (and card) games headed? Predicting the future is fraught with perils. Sometimes a collective group can come up with a little better projection than any individual - and sometimes not. So I'm going to try to peer into a murky crystal ball about the future of boardgames and card games, and see what the collective has to make of it.

October 2013 Miscellany

Thoughts about some game-related topics that are not long enough for separate blog posts.

Competition, direct conflict, wargames, and screwage games

Hard-core gamers are much more inclined to like competition and direct conflict than are casual gamers. Part of this is because casual gamers tend to like short experiences while most games that have direct conflict are longer games, which allows that conflict to “play out”. Another might be

Really Small Games

Complexity and Length vs Development Time

Recently I was designing a couple games that are so small you couldn't even call them microgames. Maybe nano-games would do? At the World Boardgaming Championships in early August I saw yet again the postcard-size wargames that "Against the Odds" magazine gives away as promotional materials. The entire game is on the postcard, board on one side, rules on the other side, 17 to 20 half inch pieces printed along the edge.

What do RPGs amount to, what are you actually designing (if you do the whole thing)?

I debated whether to post this on bgdf, but I think there are enough RPG-oriented boardgames that it may help someone. LP

Ruminations about “Magical Numbers” in boardgame design

In the course of designing “nano-games” that have between 17 and 20 pieces for two sides and very small boards that fit on part of a postcard, I again had occasion to wonder if there is some kind of "sweet spot" or "magical number" of pieces and spaces for a boardgame (or any other kind, for that matter) where pieces occupy locations?

A revolution in card printing capabilities may affect game design

In the OneBlogShelf blog Steve Wieck of DriveThruCards describes what he calls a revolution in card printing capabilities. His company is no longer tied to traditional sheet printing methods and can now print individual cards, though still using ink rather than toner for higher quality. He suggests that this can cause a revolution and how card games are designed:

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by Dr. Radut