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Help, Need to way to determine card amounts for scoring

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/24/2010

Hey there everyone,
So I'm developing a card game (my first one) and I need help figuring out how many cards I will need in the deck to make sure the system's balanced. Is there some kind of algorithm or mathematical solution/template I could use?

Here's some more info on what I'm doing: Basically, in the first part of the game you start with 3 cards and you always need to have that amount of cards in your hand (that info is a little off topic, but it might be relevant). You draw cards from the deck which have point values on them (there are others, "specials", as well that are for later in the game, but I don't think they need to be included right now to determine deck size, just the ones with the point values) and place them down by you to start accumulating points or discard. Okay, so you do this until you reach 30 points which takes you to the next part of the game. A reason you would need to discard is that you need exactly 30 points to move on. I don't think that that's entirely relevant for my question, but just in case...

The point values are 1, 2, or 3 (I'm thinking that maybe these are too low, so another possibility might be 1, 3, 5 or something like that. This is probably a really important thing to know, but for the time being let's assume it's 1, 2, and 3).

As part of the second part of the game, points are deducted by "attacks" (just go with it here) off of that 30 that have been collected and when you've been knocked down to 0 points, you're out of the game. There's an option to go back to pulling cards to get back up to 30 to continue with the "attack" part of the game, so there needs to be enough cards in the deck to allow for this.

These cards I've been talking about (the draw deck) can be reshuffled when they've been gone through, so that's something to factor in, too.

Lastly (I think), I'm thinking that this would be for 4-6 people to play.

Okay, so all that being said (and thanks for reading this far), how do I figure out how many cards I would need and in which combos (how many 1's, 2's, 3's in the deck)? If you're instant response is "playtest it", there's gotta be a number to start from, no? Any help in this regard would be really appreciated. I love that this forum exists, so I've got my fingers crossed here for some good feedback!

P.S. In some respects this game might be similar to Milles Borne to think about for figuring out card amounts. How is it done for these types of games?


Joined: 05/25/2010
It seems you are having

It seems you are having everyone draw from the same deck, yes? If so then it really depends on if you want all 4-6 players to have 30 points at the same time, or if one player is suposed to get it while other fight for it.

Basically, you need to make sure the total number of points in the deck is at least [number of players] * 30. Then it just depends on how you want to break down the rarity of each number points. I'm assuming you'll want the 1 point cards to be most common, but i'm not sure. Just start with a normal percentage slide like 50-30-20%.

Then you just put it all together (amusing you do 1, 2, and 3 points)

( [number of cards] * 1 * .5 ) + ( [number of cards] * 2 * .3 ) + ( [number of cards] * 3 * .2 ) = [number of players] * 30

So once you settle on the [number of players], simply solve for [number of cards]. Algebra!

All this was off the top of my head btw, this sort of stuff is really simple. But honestly, don't gloss over the "just playtest." Pick a random point and start from there. That's honestly the simplest way.

Joined: 08/24/2010
Ah, yes, algerbra

Ah, yes, algerbra. I probably should find it simple. :)

Yeah, everyone would be drawing from the same deck and everyone would have to get 30 points to move on to the next part of the game. At various points they might have to go back to drawing from the deck to replenish points that were lost in the second half of the game, so I'm not sure if that effects the formula you laid out I guess I could increase the total number of points for more cards to cover that possibility even with reshuffling the deck. What do you think?

And I intend for there to be a lot of playtesting, I just needed a point to start from, is all.

Anyway, it's a great place to start, so thanks!

Anyone else with ideas?

mdkiehl's picture
Joined: 12/10/2010
It depends

Well, I'm not sure if it is necessary for some of the numbers to be more rare than others. For six players... I might go with 30 of each card, or 90 cards total (180 point value total in the deck, 30 for each of the 6 players)... and 90 is a big deck especially if you are adding attack/other cards too.

I would like to know how the rest of the game works before I add more thoughts.

Matthew Kiehl

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