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Uncertain Shades


A while back, I had posed a question about using different shades of card backs to indicate risk for a game. seen on this thread:

I've actually followed through with testing and refining it, and am so excited to say it is both the simplest and most fun game I think I have made yet.

The setup is easy: give a starting hand of three specific cards to each player, and shuffle the remaining of the 104 card deck in the center.

Each turn players
1. RESERVE CARDS: slide off cards from the top of the deck until you start to feel uncomfortable. Take note of how dark and thus how risky (and how rewardy) the backs of the cards are.

2. PLAY CARDS: Discard any cards you have in your hand to use their power to mitigate encountering a monster:

Torch - Flip a reserved card face up.
Knife - Discard a reserved card.
Bag - Immediately take a reserved card into your hand.
Portal - Add a card in another player’s hand to your reserved cards.

3. REVEAL RESERVED CARDS - flip over all the reserved cards, and take them into your hand. If there is one monster showing, it takes the darkest (and most valuable) card from the reserved cards. If there are two, they take ALL the reserved cards. Three or more start taking cards from your hand.

End: The game ends when the draw deck is depleted, and whoever is holding the most treasure cards in their hand wins.

The most important part is understanding that there are 104 different shades of red (more practically, probably 80, but it doesn't matter too much) and that at different "depths" of color shade, different types of cards are more likely to be encountered. See the chart, where the further right the line is, the more likely you are to encounter it.

I have had about 20 play tests with others so far, and have had no changes in the last 15. Additionally, it has a solo mode which I think delivers the same levels of decision making as a competitive play.

Discussions with Print Ninja revealed some concerns with precise or consistent colors within the same print run, but the way the colors are only supposed to give a vague sense of risk, I think will mitigate that issue. Players never have to directly compare two cards colors.

Anyway, I'm excited, and I think this will be the first game of mine to try out crowdfunding.

Of course I don't have any sort of following to bring to Kickstarter, but I'm going to start researching that sort of thing.

I just thought I would more publicly develop this and give updates in case someone else benefits from this game's story.


Here's To Your Success!

Very cool to see that you're moving forward on this idea...! I remember thinking on it when you first posted about it, some time ago. To hear that your playtests are going well and that you're going to create a campaign for it is a pleasant surprise.

Best of success to you and this project. :)

One thing to worry about...

Is once you reach a certain LOWER "spectrum" of ANY color, it looks BLACK. Even if the basic RGB values indicate a higher presence of RED (for example), to the eye it looks BLACK.

Might I offer a suggestion??? Something simple and elegant that could mitigate this very issue and be very helpful to the players in understanding the color more precisely?!

My suggestion is this: Add a VALUE from 00 to 99. Giving you a hundred (100) different colors and you don't need to worry about the color. Moreover, you could have a RULE which says +10/-10 or +25/-25 meaning that the colors are within RANGE of each other. Perhaps the RANGE can vary per color and you would have something like this:

VALUE 50 (RED): +10/-10 = 40 to 60. RGB (128, 0, 0).

This gives you a sequence of COMPATIBLE VALUE To work with. Given a COLOR and a RANGE allows you to have all kinds of COOL colors while preserving the simplicity of the colors to a simple value.

It can also allow for melds like all card 40 to 60 in value can be played together due to their tonal compatibility. Again I didn't read the entire OP. I was a bit distracted. I did read about the colors and wanted to share some of my early thoughts on the matter since that SEEMED (to me) to be the more important part of the thread.

Something like this might prove to be useful in making the game work without too much effort (Just a value and a range).

Again this is just feedback, if you want to use, adapt or ignore that is entirely up to you. I offer this feedback as a sharing of thoughts on your color conundrum. Cheers.

And just in case you were wondering...?

I suggested 00 to 99 for 100 values because 104 is not 2 Digits. My focus was to ensure all color values have 2 digits. Given that 00 is Black on ANY card, this could be some kind of "Power Play" or a "Super Meld" like 3 Black cards together. Or maybe more... Like 5 Black cards. Given a RANGE (+/-), you could have more cards that are passable as being Black too.

Just some extra thoughts. Best.


My wife did some artwork for me!
I am getting a better deck from TGC, and hopefully be able to use it for demos, videos, and promotional stuff.

Just a question to you all, does the following player aid communicate card likelihood in a given shade well?

Yes it does... Make much more sense seeing it!

A lot more clear than the first attempt with the "waves". Now I understand what you meant by the FIRST image! This player's aid communicates the likelihood much better. Your "waves" version was hard to comprehend.

However now that I see this 2nd Version, I helps to better understand what it was that you were targeting before!


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blog | by Dr. Radut