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Function vs. Aesthetics

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questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

I had an interesting question about "Function vs. Aesthetics".

One of my WIPs ("SpellMasters") was using "Lore" and "Quest" card to define the adventure. This is pretty functional and given some extra cards, leads to a replayable game with randomness from shuffling and drawing cards.

But at the same time I am thinking about aesthetics of have a 8" x 10" story book much like an RPG and include 20 pages with B&W illustrations (like the old AD&D RPG books) and some storytelling and lore. Each encounter would tell of the "Loot" that you pillage once you defeat the monster on that specific level.

I had planned to expand the game with a new 50 card deck which would comprise an entire "Chapter". You would get 25 "Lore" cards and 25 "Loot" cards... However with the book-like factor, I could simply add another "book" to the collection and there you have it.

Now comes my QUESTION.

Which of these two (2) would you prefer?

The reason I scaled down to 20 Pages for the book-version is because to play randomized play, you could roll 1d20 to figure out what "page" of the book is your level. Standard play would mean pages 1 to 10 in sequence. And that would leave 10 more pages of adventure to explore in future games (replayability).

So I like both of these. But the BOOK-version is sort of making me think that hmmm... This could be more RPG-like with a book and "lore" and more content regarding the adventure.

The cards are really "more functional" but the book is more "intricate".


The Odd Fox
The Odd Fox's picture
Joined: 01/19/2017
Both ideas seem excellent,

Both ideas seem excellent, though the book feels more immersive to me, and I think I'd enjoy the book more. I think the best way to know for sure is to do an A/B analysis with people. Whether via the Gamecrafter, or someone else, you could create some decent prototypes and allow people to handle both and select A) Cards or B) Book. The reason I suggest this is that sometimes I think an idea is great until I actually get my hands on it then I start to see the flaws in a way I didn't envision it initially.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Add-On "Stretch Goal"

I think I will reserve the popularity of the "Book-version" for the people who want to ADD the "Book" once a certain amount of backers is achieved.

While this requires more work (Creative Writing, inked illustrations, etc.) since it would be a ADD-ON, people who want the book can add to their pledge this component and it would be shipped with the game box -- but OUTSIDE the contents of the game box.

I am trying to get some information from another BGDF member who operates in the Book Publishing sector and specializes in small print runs... Hopefully 250 to 1,000 backers would be in his range...

As such the book would contain more "Lore" about the game and enrich the adventure by providing more insight into what the cards bring to the table.

Still waiting to hear back... So we'll see. Maybe players will have the choice of having BOTH...

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