Skip to Content

Variation on cards, do they exist?

8 replies [Last post]
Axe
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969

I am very interested in doing a card game, but was wondering if there might be some new ways of presenting this kind of format floating around out there. Some ideas I've thought of are: standard cards but round, card information printed on plastic (like credit cards) metal cards (yep they have those too) and fixed to wood or heavy plastic (whatever they make backgamon pieces out of). Anyway, I'd appreciate any information you might have.

Axe

jwarrend
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
Variation on cards, do they exist?

I think the right way to go about this is to ask what about normal cards is deficient, and then utilize a new type of card as the solution to that. Novelty for novelty's sake will lead to a game that could feel like a gimmick with a game attached.

-Jeff

Axe
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Variation on cards, do they exist?

Well, there is nothing wrong with normal cards of course. And I understand what your saying about coming off as a gimic. That said, there seems to be some pre-concieved notions that buyers have for card games. Some of those notions come from the types of themes and illustrations buyers expect to find on them. If I was going to produce a card game related to romance, for instance, I think a round card could be kind of neat (even heart shaped). Round might allow the cards to be sold in a neat container as well. Now, if I used round cards, I'd hate for the buyer to be thinking "Magic the Gathering" subconsiously.

Also, the wieght associated with plastic might be better for a card like game, where cards are thrown around like poker chips. Metal cards I could see working well with a financial board room type game. Sure all three could be done with normal cards, and for less. But why not try to investigate a broader look, esp. if it already exists in other venues.

And remember the old saying "we buy with our eyes first". There is nothing wrong with gimmic as long as the game is solid and the gimmic appropriate to the target.

Hedge-o-Matic
Hedge-o-Matic's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2008
Variation on cards, do they exist?

Axe wrote:
Now, if I used round cards, I'd hate for the buyer to be thinking "Magic the Gathering" subconsiously.

You lost me with this statement. Round cards evoking MtG? How so?

Anyway, I think you'd be better off thinking of why you'd need more corners, angles, edges, or what had you, or why no corners is the the way to go. How does this or that shape aid the game? Same with materials. If it's just about being cool, the game will have to be something spectacular to justify the cost.

Also, there are downsides to each of your ideas apart from production costs. Heart-shaped cards have an angle greater than 90 degrees and two semi-circular protrusions, just begging to be bent. How are these alternate shapes held in the hand? Few shapes reveal as much information as rectangles when fanned out. Circles would be nearly useless, as they could be held in any orientation, and so the arc revealed would likely not hold the bit you need.

Materials such as inflexible plastic are more acurately called tiles, and have an entire genre of game devoted to them. Thin cards of plastic would have slickness and thickness issues. Fan out a handful of just seven credit cards to see what I mean. Also, very hard materials would pose other dangers. I wouldn't want to be the one shuffling the metal cards!

I'm all for innovation, but, as jwarren points out, the innovation should support a concept, not the other way around.

Axe
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Variation on cards, do they exist?

Now, if I used round cards, I'd hate for the buyer to be thinking "Magic the Gathering" subconsiously.

You lost me with this statement. Round cards evoking MtG? How so?

Sorry that was standard rectangle cards not round reminding people of that genre of game. I was considering a while back, a card game that "had adult elements to it" nothing super tacky, but not for kids...for Valentines day, that sort of thing. I remember at the time though, thinking it would be nice if I could package (in a foil wrap similar to Magic etc. cards) hearts or something a little different then the typical card shape.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Variation on cards, do they exist?

I have played hecatomb. It has pentagonal plastic cards. It's a bit weird and makes card tapping a bit hard to track. Still the platic card make sure you card stay "mint" much more longer but it does not mean that there are indestructable. There is also nothing to hold these kind of cards ( box, plastic sheets, etc ).

Axe
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Variation on cards, do they exist?

There doesn't seem to be alot of variety in package design or variation in board shapes, card shapes, etc. in this field. I come from PD in the suncare industry, and half the attention goes to, not how your product is different (as there really isn't that much you can do to make a suncare product distinct from another) but rather, how is your product packaged to be either easier to use, more noticable or more clear then the competitor. Massive attention goes into: bottle shape, colors, fonts, image, etc. to the point that the functionality of the product is secondary (its just good enough if it works). I wonder why game designers don't demand these same things to make their game stick out that much more. Perhaps its because games are unique enough to stand out enough on their own. Or maybe its a word of mouth thing, were players of games demand good mechanics first, the look is secondary.

This industry does seem to buck the trend in the general consumer market. (the whole idea you sell the experiance and brand rather then the product). One quick example is we think nothing of paying a $1.25 for an ice cold water at a park, (while the entire bottle cost 20 cents to get it to the consumer), yet we refuse to pay 2.50 a gallon of gas (yet pay $11 for the same gallon in water. And to top it all, the water taste no different then what comes out of your sink (as long as you let it sit 24 hours in the fridge). The point being, its not good enough to have a great game. And games can sell that are very similar to other games if sold in a new way (different artwork, same mechanics etc.)

jwarrend
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
Variation on cards, do they exist?

Axe wrote:
There doesn't seem to be alot of variety in package design or variation in board shapes, card shapes, etc. in this field.

Are you sure that there needs to be? Standard cards have advantages of ease of shuffling, ease of handling, and an existing infrastructure for cost-efficient printing, cutting, and assembling. Think about it from the perspective of a game player rather than from a marketing standpoint -- would you honestly want to pay more for a game that used heart-shaped cards, which were a complete pain to shuffle and hold in a hand, just because it was different? Novelty only takes you so far.

Quote:
I wonder why game designers don't demand these same things to make their game stick out that much more. Perhaps its because games are unique enough to stand out enough on their own. Or maybe its a word of mouth thing, were players of games demand good mechanics first, the look is secondary.

This is exactly it -- playability matters way more than a novel presentation. Of course, a game that is visually pleasing could do better, but nice presentation is NOT the same thing as gimmicky card shape or design. If a game is going to have cards made of a different material, or a different shape, there had better be something in the gameplay that demands this.

Quote:
Now, if I used [rectangular] cards, I'd hate for the buyer to be thinking "Magic the Gathering" subconsiously.

There's a whole world of card games out there that you are apparently unaware of. Go here: boardgamegeek.com for a database of more games than you can imagine existing. Some particular games to look at include Lost Cities, Verrater, Citadels, and Bang!, for examples of the tremendous variety of play experiences you can create with little more than a deck of cards. Suffice it to say, there's a lot more out there than MtG!

I believe that there is a game with round cards called "Snowball Fight", which you might look up.

Quote:

This industry does seem to buck the trend in the general consumer market. (the whole idea you sell the experiance and brand rather then the product).

The product and the experience are pretty much one and the same, from my point of view. The brand matters somewhat, but the designer's name is a bigger selling point. (again, talking about the hobby games market than the mass market).

Quote:
The point being, its not good enough to have a great game. And games can sell that are very similar to other games if sold in a new way (different artwork, same mechanics etc.)

It's my personal opinion that you're shaking a tree that's not really likely to yield any fruit. I think that your time would be much better spent learning about and playing the games that are out there and trying your hand at designing some yourself. This will help you to gain understanding about how the game market works, and how games in general work. It will also help you understand why unusual-shaped cards probably wouldn't be a selling point in the hobby market, and would be competing with established games like Uno, Rook, and Pit in the mass market, which is a whole different ball game.

-Jeff

Axe
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Variation on cards, do they exist?

jw: "Are you sure that there needs to be? "

No, I actually find it refreshing that their is a product field that isn't saturated with gimmic. Inovation to make your product better is one thing, but only to make it sell better is something else. Not that I'm anti-capitalist, but I hate to see all the attention going toward something that really doesn't matter. Put that money in making a better product, not better graphics. But then I'm not a marketer. so...

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut