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Need your opinion: Which is "better"?

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questccg
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Here are two (2) different cards:

What I want your opinion for the VALUES in the 9x9 Table:

  1. LEFT side = Pre-Computed
  2. RIGHT side = Have to do math

Which is BETTER (1. Left) or (2. Right)

Thank you very much for voicing your opinion.

Cheers!

MAR
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Which is Better?

Alright, I took a look at both. Both seem fine (displaying the attributes/ abilities) and both show a resulting number or value. I think that a side by side of the same card would be more effective to compare the two. Since these are different cards with different values, it is more difficult to compare them since I am instantly attempting to compare the card/character's values to see which is better. Personally, I like the one on the right, it shows the specific bonus that the card has towards a specific item. I don;t know if that will be important or not, but I do like that. But, that may deter players who are lazier or who want a less involved game experience. Either way, I would be happy with it :)

-Austin

questccg
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To compare (9x9 values)

On the LEFT (we have pre-computed values). Here are the "bonuses":

Top row = +2, +2, +2, Middle row = +1, +1, +1, Bottom row = 0, 0, 0

On the RIGHT (we have bonuses only). Here are the "computed values":

Top row = 6, 5, 4, Middle row = 5, 4, 3, Bottom row = 4, 3, 2

It all works out to about the same. But with the "pre-computed" values you see the Power as a number. With the "bonuses", you have to do the math in your head... So I was concerned people may prefer "pre-computed" values if in the end, it comes out to the same.

The other thing that I thought of was EASE of seeing values at a glance. In the mathematical side, you have to compute each value giving you no "overview" of what the value are... Unless you have real good memory. Yes the math is simple - but is it TOO MUCH???

That's a perhaps more explicit question for comparison.

WinsmithGames
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Although Duke and Wizard are

Although Duke and Wizard are both units, heroes, characters, whatever you want to call them, the Values have two very different meanings:

1. The Left has base values, like you would expect a hero or unit to have.
2. The Right has modifiers (ie +'s, -'s), which is what you would expect equipment or magic items to have.

So without much context, they seem like two different things. Why would you have modifiers, unless you also have base values?

questccg
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9x9 Table = Weight of race in combat

So the "Champions" (as I call them), ALTER the POWER of each "race" according to the rules (think values) in the 9x9 table.

If you look at the Duke, he has a "6" in the circle. That's the Champion's Power. Now if you compare in the Chart, you see an "8" (6 +2 = 8 Power). That is the Power of that Follower.

So in COMBAT, if you were attacking with the Duke's Party/Army and you randomly drew a BLUE (Order - Humans) cube, then your attack Power would be "8"... Battles are determined by the HIGHER of two (2) Powers. Ties result in the death of both players.

Now if you look at the Wizard, he has a "4" in the circle. Again that's his Power. Now if you look for "Order - Humans", you se a "+2" (4 +2 = 6 Power). That is the BONUS (can also be a penalty) for that Follower.

From @David's perspective, I think he is leaning towards "Pre-computed" because as he says "Items/Equipment" act as MODIFIERS and UNITS may want "Follower" computed values...

I think that's what I understood... Correct me if I am wrong?!

And BTW I think that's an important point-of-view: too much math may be too "heady" even if it is relatively simple. When you are COMPARING cards, would be simpler to see the computed value I believe...

WinsmithGames
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Okay, I understand. You are

Okay, I understand.

You are correct, I would lean towards the pre-computed. That way I don't have to refer to another source of information to know what any given stat is for the champion; it's right there on the champion's card.

I agree with you on the math point, too. Even simple math can be mind boggling in a strategy-heavy game where players are constantly comparing values and already using their brain in other capacities. Any way you can make the game easier for the players, the better.

BUUUUUUT.... There is an advantage to the modifiers. And that is the player can quickly see that champion's strengths/weaknesses quickly. That may not matter so much; I'd have to experience it to get a strong sense one way or the other.

How about this? If the champion is tied directly to the race (which it sounds like they are, if there are pre-computed attributes), why not have both?

You could have the Champions Attributes, with their specific modifier in parenthesis right beside it.

Just a thought, may not be a good one. =P
David

MAR
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9x9 explanation

Thanks for the breakdown of the cards, it makes more sense with a little context. Overall, I agree that it is easier to quickly see the values, but I know that during any strategy game that we play, we always like to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each character/power/option as David pointed out above. Perhaps displaying both wouldn't be a bad idea since you get the quick glance, and also the quick modifier for those who are using that for strategy. Of course, we would need to see the card layout to see if it fits or is too clustered. A question that I have is this: If you are going with pre-calculated values, what is the purpose of displaying the base value of the champion at the bottom of the card? Does it have different meaning besides what the information above is describing? It seems to only be effective is used with the format on the right, unless you do a combination.

-Austin

questccg
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You are very correct...

@Austin: YES, you are right. There is no need for the circular value at the bottom of the card. So I have hidden those layers for the time being.

Adding BOTH values makes the cards look "too busy" and the spacing is too "crammed".

And I still would like to consider adding "Relics & Sorcery" as an expansion which could add "MODIFIERS" like @David mentioned. So it's best to leave the relative bonuses/penalties for those cards.

The modifiers just make it DIFFICULT to make "decisions" while trying to compute all the possibilities: think 9 values x 5 cards = 45 values to compute. That's just too high. If you do it ONCE for like one "battle" between two "Followers" that's okay. But just to PICK/CHOOSE your Champions, it's way to difficult (IMHO).

Thank you all for your input... Pre-computed values it is!

ElKobold
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What are the numbers on the

What are the numbers on the bottom right next to the artist's name?
Unless they are gameplay-relevant, drop them, alongside with the artist's name (it's not a CCG. I doubt that you'll have dozens of different artists working on it. The less meta information on the card, the better it is for the immersion. Rulebook/box mention is more than enough).

Then you will be able to move the circle and square icons to the top right.
That will free-up space that can be used to re-arrange icons or make your image section bigger.

Drop the "=" from the grid. Icon+number is more than enough.

X3M
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I would go with the

I would go with the precomputed values. But maybe, you can change the table layout.

This is what I see at the moment with precomputed values for the wizard:
A6 B5 C4
D5 E4 F3
G4 H3 I2

Is it true to say that 3 types of followers will have the same number as the wizard? If so, I would do the following:
6A 5BD
3FH 2I

A smaller table, but still the same information. The other values are the default values. Is this possible?
However, comparing cards might be harder now.

jonathanflike
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Math!

In my card game, I started with the +/- values like you have in your pre-calculated card, and despite everything getting a little math-y it worked. The problem I found play testing is either people would notate the gains and minuses in various strengths with tokens, which made the board busy, or it slowed the game down as players crunched numbers (even at these low values). Players would also have to do the math for their opponent's units, which seemed like an unnecessary distraction from game play. Even with small values I would go with the calculated card results so players can focus on all the other mechanics and fun things you have going on in the game. The one thing digital games have over physical ones is their ability to automate, so if you find a way to automate in the physical game, I would lean in that direction, but I'm excited you're cranking out these concepts, you'll get to 6+ games a year in no time!

FrankM
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Strengths and Weaknesses

All else equal I'd prefer the pre-computed values as well, and the Champion's own power might be relevant if there is no follower... but in that case I would dial down the Champion power and shift all of the follower modifiers up to at least 0 so that a follower never makes a Champion worse off than being alone.

You can call attention to the highest and lowest power ratings by using color codes, or just the high ones using bold numbers.

questccg
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Ah-hah!

jonathanflike wrote:
...it slowed the game down as players crunched numbers (even at these low values). Players would also have to do the math for their opponent's units, which seemed like an unnecessary distraction from game play...

@Jonathan yeah I didn't even think about having to do math from across the table TOO! So not only would you have to do the math for your own "Champions", you would need to do the same for your opponent's "Champion" too.

And this plays into - WHICH "Champion" should YOU ATTACK!?

Without pre-computed values, you would have to do the math for the opponent too ... to just determine what opponent you should attack first/next.

Thanks for pointing that out - that's another reason for the pre-calculated values...

Very good point!

questccg
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Humans vs. Orcs (or the opposite)

FrankM wrote:
...but in that case I would dial down the Champion power and shift all of the follower modifiers up to at least 0 so that a follower never makes a Champion worse off than being alone...

Well actually some "Followers" have "penalties" when played with a specific "Champion".

For example: Humans vs. Orcs.

When a Human Fighter (Champion) is matched with an Orc (Follower), the penalty is -1 Power. Or 4 Power (5 -1 = 4).

Similarly when an Orc Brawler (Champion) is matched with a Human (Follower), the penalty is -1 Power. Or 5 Power (6 -1 = 5).

So it is POSSIBLE to score LESS than the "Champion" because of a "mismatch" between the Factions where some are mortal enemies and cannot work together (or without a penalty at least).

Does this clarification make sense???

FrankM
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questccg wrote:Well actually

questccg wrote:
Well actually some "Followers" have "penalties" when played with a specific "Champion".

For example: Humans vs. Orcs.

When a Human Fighter (Champion) is matched with an Orc (Follower), the penalty is -1 Power. Or 4 Power (5 -1 = 4).

Similarly when an Orc Brawler (Champion) is matched with a Human (Follower), the penalty is -1 Power. Or 5 Power (6 -1 = 5).

So it is POSSIBLE to score LESS than the "Champion" because of a "mismatch" between the Factions where some are mortal enemies and cannot work together (or without a penalty at least).

Does this clarification make sense???


Oh, that makes sense, though I'd still put it on the card in a pre-computed fashion.

The best follower scores can be highlighted one way (bold, boxed, whatever) and the worse-than-alone ones highlighted another (red, inverted colors, whatever).

MAR
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Cards

@Quest

I think that your final result as described here is best. Precalculated values is better for smoother gameplay, combined with removing the unnecessary information below. This also allows for those possible add-ons that you were considering. Good call.

-Austin

questccg
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New samples

Here's what the new cards samples look like:

I made it simpler for opponent to READ the values (like @Jonathan brought up as a point...) since the opponent's need to be able to determine which "Champion" to target during an attack.

Comments/Feedback/Questions all welcome...

Many thanks.

let-off studios
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Inverted Numbers = No

I don't think having small, inverted numbers is a good idea.

Aesthetically I think it looks terrible, but also from a technical standpoint you'll have to double-check all your 6's and 9's to make sure they won't be confused.

If you're that concerned about someone reading the numbers across the table, I would almost prefer to see larger versions of the icons and numbers along the long edges: one "right side up" and the other "upside down."

questccg
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Hmm...

Here's what the sample split cards look like:

This is based on @Stephen input... I'll admit it takes some getting used to. But I think it may well be more "functional" and less "crowded"...

Comments/Feedback/Questions all welcome...

Many thanks.

questccg
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One thing I like

Is that you can COMPARE "cards" rather easy since all of the important information is to the "LEFT" of the card for the player having the card in his hand.

Okay so the downside is that it will obscure part of the artwork which was not the case in the version on the "right".

Anyone else care to chime in with their input/feedback/comment?

jonathanflike
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How about something like this?

Please ignore my quick butcher of your nice card, but I wonder if you could visually separate the stats for the opponent like so. I know you have more, but this is just to get the formatting juices flowing. I think the upside down numbers can work as long as there is some more visual separation since this is a new way of displaying information. Hope it is somewhat helpful.

idea

questccg
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Won't be the same!

jonathanflike wrote:
...so if you find a way to automate in the physical game, I would lean in that direction, but I'm excited you're cranking out these concepts, you'll get to 6+ games a year in no time!

Yeah - this is my last week "full-time" designing. After that it becomes maybe 2-3 hours per day. No more morning coffee with my notepad and seeing how the spirit moves me on that particular day.

Or no more whole day marathons "re-designing" prototypes... To get the look and feel just right for a game's cards.

Sure I'll be checking in on BGDF regularly... But it won't be the same. I literally could spend my entire day engrossed with some part/activity related to one of my various Works-In-Progress (WIP).

But alas - that is not possible. C'est la vie!

FrankM
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Up and down the sides

I like the idea of the power ratings going up and down the sides, though it makes a rather dramatic change to the portrait's aspect ratio. This is only a problem if you already have artwork in hand. If not, when you get to that point you can let the artist know the "safe zone" for important details.

But this means you decided against the full 9x9 matrix on the card? So a Duke with a human cube always has a power of 8 regardless of which Champion/cube combo it's facing? The original RPS-9 then becomes more of a set of complementarities between Champions and cubes, rather than this-color-kicks-that-color's-butt relationships.

Honestly, I don't see a full 9x9 matrix working at a readable size anyway.

questccg
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Designing first - illustration later!

FrankM wrote:
I like the idea of the power ratings going up and down the sides, though it makes a rather dramatic change to the portrait's aspect ratio. This is only a problem if you already have artwork in hand. If not, when you get to that point you can let the artist know the "safe zone" for important details.

Yes that's why I wanted input BEFORE any art gets done.

FrankM wrote:
But this means you decided against the full 9x9 matrix on the card? So a Duke with a human cube always has a power of 8 regardless of which Champion/cube combo it's facing? The original RPS-9 then becomes more of a set of complementarities between Champions and cubes, rather than this-color-kicks-that-color's-butt relationships.

The drawing of cubes is still RANDOM. So you can play the odds - but remember that according to the "Champions" trying to be "perfect" at everything may make it feel impossible. You'll have to pick your battles and sometimes that means using other cubes to force ties down the middle.

FrankM wrote:
Honestly, I don't see a full 9x9 matrix working at a readable size anyway.

I just did away with the RPS-9, not the 9x9 matrix. The 9x9 is in the form of a line on the LHS for both players. It's also easier to see the difference between the cards themselves. All you need to do is FAN-OUT the cards a BIT and voila, you can instantly compare all cards easily.

FrankM
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Input before acting... what a concept!

questccg wrote:
Yes that's why I wanted input BEFORE any art gets done.

Excellent idea :-)

questccg wrote:
I just did away with the RPS-9, not the 9x9 matrix. The 9x9 is in the form of a line on the LHS for both players. It's also easier to see the difference between the cards themselves. All you need to do is FAN-OUT the cards a BIT and voila, you can instantly compare all cards easily.

Somehow I had the idea that you'd have a 9x9 matrix on each Champion card (so that Wizard with a white cube attacking a red cube has a different power than a Wizard with a white cube attacking a green cube).

But fanning the nine cards to make the "matrix" is a much better plan!

questccg
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9x9 Table = Weight of race in combat

FrankM wrote:
Somehow I had the idea that you'd have a 9x9 matrix on each Champion card (so that Wizard with a white cube attacking a red cube has a different power than a Wizard with a white cube attacking a green cube).

No a Wizard with a white cube is DEFINED by the 9x9 table. What changes is the opponent's cube value. If it's red it may be a 6 or if it's a green it may be a 4. But that is defined by the opponent's Champion.

FrankM wrote:
But fanning the nine cards to make the "matrix" is a much better plan!

It just means that when you have 5 Champions to choose from... It's a bit easier because all the values would be on the LHS along with all of the pertinent information...

So by fanning out those 5 cards, you can make better decisions.

That's what I meant by fanning...

questccg
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Here is a sample card fan

As you notice, it's pretty EASY to SEE and COMPARE cards at a glance while in your hand. That's why I have chosen this format - it makes PLAYING the game easier (since it presents more information at a glance).

This is all still "early" and not too much "balancing" is done with regards to the cards themselves. It's CRAZY how much information is on the cards and how all of it of "strategic" importance to the player.

As always comments/feedback/questions/concerns feel free to respond.

Cheers!

X3M
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You could even switch the

You could even switch the symbol with the number. Making is smaller for players to see. I bet they will get used to the colours of the symbols. That only need to be barely seen after a while.

let-off studios
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Numbers Overlapping Icons

X3M wrote:
You could even switch the symbol with the number. Making is smaller for players to see. I bet they will get used to the colours of the symbols. That only need to be barely seen after a while.
I agree with this. You could even have the numbers overlapping a simple version of the icon, and/or maybe with a different background color, so the player will easily learn how to compare the scores against one another. Here's a quick sketch of what I mean:

https://imgur.com/hC5gc7t

Meanwhile...
EDIT: Never mind. you already compensated for my comment. :)

Fri
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High Numbers on top/Does just top three work?

I would recommend reordering so that the most powerful factions are at the top of each card. I think that this would be easier for players in the recruiting phase to see what factions they should recruit. Then during the fighting phase would probably only be looking at the top three spots in a column. Lastly, I would be unhappy if my thumb covered one of my high powered factions at the bottom, but wouldn't really care if it covered a faction with a power of 2.

I have a hypothesis that you could reduce the number of factions listed to the top three (bottom six would automatically lose) and it would not change the results of combat all that much. (I am assuming that players are able to and will recruit followers in the top three factions of every card they intend to put into play.) So by far the most likely scenario is top 3 vs top 3 fight. In this case the result is the same. In the less likely scenario of top 3 versus bottom 6 the result is the same too. In the least likely scenario of bottom 6 vs bottom 6 the result would probably change, but this maybe like less then 10% of the cases. You can track this on your next play test and see if the hypothesis is correct.

If you really like this idea have different numbers of factions listed for different champions.

FrankM
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Problem is ties

There is a problem with identifying a "top 3" when there are ties. Personally I would keep the icons in a fixed order, but I can also see the logic in sorting them with highest on top.

If the icons are going to be color-coded to the factions regardless of what card they are on, the highest 3 (or more in the event of ties) can be highlighted with some slender tab between the icon and the border. Any that give a penalty from the Champion's base power can have a different indicator (different position and/or shape, don't rely on just a color change).

If the icons will be grayscale as in the illustration, the top ones can be done in green and the bottom ones in red.

In either case, you could also try three slightly different sizes of icons (not likely to work) or different colors for just the numbers (ensure a contrasting border to stand out against any illustration).

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