## Math Wizard(s) needed - Card Game card distribution questions

8 replies [Last post]
Archie
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Joined: 01/05/2012

Howdy:

Hello:
I’m working on a “vanity”, small trading card game. It’s mainly to help people get to know each other within our hobby community – the cards feature pictures of them. My wife and I are going to print them ourselves. We thought people would get a kick out of trading cards of each other and then playing the game, including the whole “collectability” angle.
I did some research here and on other game dev forums, and hope I can get some advice on distribution of “common” vs. “rare” cards, printing of each, etc.

This looks like a good place to ask about this stuff, but if I have the wrong forum, please feel free to move it. I figured I'd better ask before I begin posting a long set of questions and stats. Any takers for the challenge? :)

JaffetC
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Joined: 09/19/2011
depends on the amount of rare levels you want.

If you want to do 3 rare levels. it all depends on how many cards per "pack"

if a pack has 9 cards you might want to do 6 Commons 2 uncommons 1 rare. Or 6:2:1 rare.

your over all set would then reflect these numbers, so a 90 card set would probably have.
60 commons 20 uncommons and 10 rare cards.

thats the easiest way of doing it... :)

Tribalxgecko
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Joined: 01/03/2012
Jaffet is right, it depends

Jaffet is right, it depends on what you are planning for pack size. Or maybe even the total # of cards in the set. I am a fan of the 7:3:1 ratio of Common, Uncommon, and Rare. I like more bang for my buck ;) This would be for a 110 Card Set.

Now if you are trying to figure out how many of X card to print, that will all depend on how many 'packs' you want to create, and how many cards are in each pack. For simplicity reasons we will use Jaffet's layout of a 6:2:1 ratio / 9 card pack here.

If you want to create 100 packs of cards, that will be 900 cards total printed (100 packs x 9 cards = 900). That would break down to 600 commons, 200 uncommons, and 100 rares. To find out how many of each specific card you need, simply divide by the # of rarity total in the set. Sooo:

600 / 60 = 10 of each common card needs to be printed.
200 / 20 = 10 of each uncommon card needs to be printed.
100 / 10 = 10 of each rare card needs to be printed.

This would, in the end, give you a total of 10 full sets.

Your best bet would be to begin with figuring out how many cards you will have total in the set, and then begin breaking it down from there.

Archie
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Joined: 01/05/2012
Game details

Thanks for the input so far, guys!
Okay, here are the particulars. At this point, I'm fine with adjusting according to your suggestions, since I'm creating a dummy series out of marked playing cards at the moment, to simulate distribution:

I’m looking at an 800 card initial printing. I’m trying to design the printing with an 8 card sheet setup.
So, 800 will divide into just over 13 decks of 60 cards. (We may print more later, but this is what we can afford right now).

Taking the Pokemon (and other games) model, the series will be approximately 120 different cards to start.
There are four card categories – I’ll call them “People” (with photos of our friends), “Skills”, “Morale” & “Bad Karma”. The game premise is about things that can happen when performing on stage. I tried to model it after real world experiences and their frequency of occurrence.

Each set cards has a score for adding and subtracting totals. It’s not a complicated game – it’s mainly to amuse people and not take very long.

My starting understanding was that a “common” occurrence is a 50% probability – it either happens, or it doesn’t. So, here is how I first broke down the creation and printing of “Common”, “Less Common”, “Uncommon” and “Rare” cards:
I read on a game creator’s site that about 40% of the card series should be comprised of those that allow the other 60% to be played. I interpret that to be my People cards. I also read one guy recommended the cards break down into 10 Common to 4 Uncommon to 1 Rare card (with some adjustments here and there). With those proportions in mind:

People: 40%= 320 cards total – 48 different people
200 Common – (50%) 24 out of 48
85 Uncommon – (26%) 20 out of 48
10 Rare - (24%) 4 out of 48
One of these cards must be played in the first round – maybe more than one, if they have it. Each card has the same starting score value of 20 points right now.

Skills: 30%= 240 Total Approximately 27 different cards
120 Common (50%) 6 different skills
84 Less Common (35%) 5 different skills
24 Uncommon (10%) 6 different skills
10 Rare (4%) 8 different skills
2 Very Rare (>1%) 2 different skills
More than one can be played at a time, but probably no more than 2 or 3. Points range from 10 to 25, depending on rarity, mostly.

Morale: 15%= 120 Total Approximately 39 different cards (Good things that happen to People)
60 Common (50%) 8 different events
42 Uncommon (35%) 22 different events
16 Rare (13%) 4 different events
2 Very Rare (2%) 5 different events
More than one can be played at a time – not sure how much to limit it yet. Points range from 5 to 20.

Bad Karma: 15%= 120 Total 38 different cards (Mishaps that occur both off & on stage)
60 Common (50%) 7 different mishaps
48 Less Common (40%) 19 different mishaps
10 Rare (8.5 %) 10 different mishaps
2 Very Rare (1.5%) 2 different mishaps
More than one card can be played – again, not sure if there should be a limit. Probably not. Points range from 15 to 35.
Gameplay

Starting play: All players shuffle their 60 card decks, dealing out 40 for playing the game. Each player then draws a 7 card hand.

They lay one or more People cards face up, along with one or more Skills cards. Once these are revealed, if there are more than 2 players, the top two scores square off for the next round while the other(s) sits out the rest of the round. In the second round, the Morale and Bad Karma cards are played against the opposite player. In the final round, more Bad Karma cards can be played. Whoever has the highest score left is the winner of that round.

I’m still fuzzy on how a player wins, but the first likely scenario goes like this: At the end of each round, the winner sets aside their winning Person card as a sort of tally of how many times they’ve won a set of 3 rounds. All the other cards non-People cards played are put into a discard pile. At that time, the players who’ve used cards may draw to complete a 7 card hand again. Then a new set of 3 rounds begins.

I’m concerned that there could be ties, so I’m not sure how to settle those, and I’m not sure how to otherwise end a game, unless it’s sort of a “last man standing” scenario where whoever still has People cards left wins.
Anyway, when that end is reached, the players return their discards back into the remaining 20, shuffle, and start again.

So, from what I've posted, do I need more People, so I don’t repeat so much? My first assumption was that a “balanced” deck would contain rough ratio of 1 People, 1 Skill, 2 – 3 Morale & 1-2 Bad Karma.

JaffetC
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Joined: 09/19/2011
ah, i see where this is going

ah, i see where this is going somewhat. Basically if you are referring to chance or statistics that a player will get a rare, because you are shuffling and not having a specific deal. there will be times where some players will get more "rare" cards than others.

however, based on the distributions, if its 800 cards. then you would probably still do 5:2:1 probably... thats to keeps things simple.

Archie
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Joined: 01/05/2012
Distribution

More or less. We haven't figured out how we're going to give out the cards yet - I had originally thought to have a few placed in each registration packet at the convention where these will debut, but there's too much of a danger of many of them being pitched. So, we'll figure out some other way to put them in the hands of people who really want trading cards (of themselves and their friends, etc.), and then tell them, "By the way, we've devised a game using them, too". Since we're looking at 13 some-odd decks to start, there's a question of how to make sure at least a few people wind up with at least 60 cards. The convention we'll be at is not all that big (200- 300).

What about the breakdown of the People cards? Is there enough variety, or do we need to come of with more "characters" so there's not too much repetition. In the original Pokemon series, I saw there were 69 different monsters - I counted 26 "Commons".

JaffetC
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Joined: 09/19/2011
depending on how many

depending on how many different cards are in the game. If the game is played with mostly "characters" then your set, at least half should be characters. And then divi up the rest of the set for the other card types. If the set doesn't care.

for instance, in magic, you can play without creatures. so it doesnt really matter if a set has less creatures than other permanent types.

likewise, in your game, if you really want to focus on the characters then your set should have at least 60% characters.

Livid Visage sets are 60 cards. no rarity, and still have about 40 characters in set 1, but set 2 has 33 and set 3 35.

that means that out of 180 cards, you will have 108 possible characters to play with. with 62 "other" cards to play with.

Archie
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Joined: 01/05/2012
More characters?

Wow. So, are you saying I need more variety, based on the stats I provided above?

JaffetC
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Joined: 09/19/2011
yeppers, just remember what

yeppers, just remember what the focus is in the game and stick with it while you keep adding more and more alternative pieces.

you will know what works and what doesnt after a few sets. :)