I am not sure if my question relates solely to mechanics but here goes;- I am revising a card laying race game . in a nutshell , players draw cards from a pile , turn the card over then compete for the best cards to lay in their own path along which they advance their playing piece. Currently the backs of the cards only have the game logo on them and the instructions/ terrain is all on the face of the card. for various reasons id like to add some simple text on some of the backs of the cards. This text will be will instruct the players to take a chance card from a separate pile. There wont be much text so the backs of the cards that have the text wont look much different from the ones with standard backs.
My questions are 1) is there any problem game wise doing this ( will it confuse?) 2) are there any well know games that do this? any other comments or advise on this ? Many thanks in advance.
super-ape ( games)
Are the cards used in a hand where you are hiding your cards from the other players. In otherwords, will the text on the backs give something away?
Thanks. they will indicate that a chance event is about to occur. there isn't much players can do if they do see it. but it might spoil the surprise i guess
Blockmania and Gargon immediately come to mind as examples. A more complete lists here:
I ran across similar problems in one of my designs. Eventually, I left the instructions off the card backs. instead, I used icons on the "face-down" side. The icons can reference text in the rules or on a handy player quick-reference card that's almost as easy to use as having the instructions on the playing card itself. Additionally, once players learn the rules, the icons become less obtrusive than text instructions.
Overall, I've been happy with the results.
I don't think it would be too confusing (especially if the backs all have the same background and retain perhaps a similar version of the logo).
I haven't done much playtesting with this yet, but I've considered using text on the backs of cards for an auction-based game I'm working on, with the idea being that players would bid on the cards based on the limited information available on the back (i.e. they would know the general type of card, and perhaps a few of the characteristics of the card, but would not be privy to the exact rewards/actions that the card has on it). I think it could be a good way of simulating real-life decisions made on incomplete information (for example, when an established company buys a small start-up, they believe the start-up will be a great asset, but won't actually know until they own it).
So if this was maybe an off-road racing game, you could essentially simulate drivers reacting to what's immediately in front of them based on partial information (which would make it "feel" like they were in the driver's seat, not controlling it by remote with a bird's eye view). Not sure if that example works well for your game, but I'm sure there are a lot of other things you could do with this mechanic. I think for it to be really successful, it would need to perform a function that couldn't easily be done by putting that stuff on the front of the card, and you would want to keep the element of surprise about what the next card might be. One way to do this would be for the player to draw the top card and play it, then do the action on the back side of the next card in the pile (the one immediately below the card the player just drew). That way people won't know what's going to happen before their turn comes.