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Back to the Drawing Board (design re-iteration)

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questccg
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Well it seemed like I had a COOL concept for "Monster Keep" (MK). But it's not "coming together"... The concept was that I planned to use Plastic White Cards for the Monsters and apply "enhancements" with transparent cards (think Clear Cards) with the various upgrades.

While that is COOL. And would have been cool... There are some logistics that are not working:

1> The White cards cannot be written on with Dry Erase Markers. They smudge the white cards. Not good.

2> The thickness of the Plastic cards makes clips you would use on cards not practical either because they move too easily. You can lose track of where you are (stat-wise). Again no good.

3> The Clear cards don't have white. The lighter the shade or color, the more TRANSPARENT the color is. Not very appealing.

Some things that are COOL:

A> The Clear cards are one-sided and since they are clear you can see both sides. The sides may be inverted and this means the CLEAR side (no ink) is GREAT for Dry Erase Markers! This is good news.

B> The cards are super-durable and super-thin making shuffling even easier that traditional paper cards (which rely on oils or varnishes to have a similar easy of shuffling). This is also positive.

I have an OPTION which is Colors + White which would be of tremendous value if I used "Dark" colors which are LESS transparent. For the ability areas (rectangular areas on the cards) it would be possible to BLEND dark colors and WHITE to look better. It's slightly MORE expensive ... but it would make for clearer "visibility". HOWEVER it's NOT INVERTIBLE... So again this is bad news.

And so I have to think more about this... How am I going to do this???

What are my other OPTIONS??? Are there ANY (for that matter)?? And is there a way of making something that actually WORKS? TBD.

questccg
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Some additional thoughts

Dark colors are good for layering ON TOP of each other. And WHITE can be used for "transparency" on the primary "design" file. So wherever I put WHITE it will become CLEAR and therefore SEE-THRU. Then using the secondary "design" file, I can apply BLACK which will become white during the 2nd pass which is the "Colors + White" option.

So what this will DO (given the 2 step process) is create a CLEAR and TRANSPARENT area (1st pass) and then a WHITE area (2nd pass).

And these cards are STILL "single-sided" which means that you can use Dry Erase Markers on the opposite side (clear side) and there are no problems with smudging and defacing the cards. The clear side allows you to write on the surface no problem ... And I was assured that the "Clear + White" was still a "single-sided" product with 2 passes.

Therefore... There might still be a possibility... More thinking is required. However IF done smart, it might look pretty nice! TBD. More thinking to be done...

questccg
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Other alternatives

If I'm going with the INVERSION strategy where I make CLEAR areas for the WHITE to come through... Well I can use it to SOLIDIFY and REMOVE the transparency from the CMYK ink by adding a SOLID WHITE layer ON TOP of the area.

Of course this needs to be TESTED... But functionally what it means is that because the 1st pass is COLOR and the 2nd pass is WHITE, when you INVERT the card you'll only SEE-THROUGH the areas marked as "transparent". And the content of those areas will be ... WHITE!

This is super-freaky.

And I've got to THINK about how to do it... With another Card Prototype. The first batch was Card Covers. Those are okay, they are on White plastic and smudge on either side... Basically NO Dry Ink Markers on those cards.

The next batch was the Transparent Swatch Card. This was because I needed to SEE how colors like Pastels and Darks or even CMYK Colors would look on these cards. Obviously they look OKAY... But the lighter the color, the more likely you see through the card to the next (or previous) card. With this sample, I also learned about the INVERTING which led to the FREE use of Dry Ink Markers WITHOUT any consequence. You can write all over the card and wipe dry/off and there is no residue.

That brings me to the "Clear + White" Inversion Card. This will be the sample that will "teach me" how to use the 2 pass system. It's a bit tricky... Because the normal side will have a bunch of white on it ONLY. And the inverted side (which you can use Dry Ink Markers on) will reveal the "actual" card. And it should do a good job of making the colors appear "as-they-are-meant-to-be". What I mean is that pastel colors will have a WHITE background... And should appear LIGHTER.

Of course, all this needs and warrants TESTING! It may NOT work.

This is all THEORY at this point. And the whole inversion part is tricky to work with things like TEXT and proper positioning. So it will require some "experimentation" much like the Transparent Swatch Card.

Yes it's costing monies to produce a bunch of SAMPLE cards when all I need is ONE (1)... But hey that's the nature of this project: very experimental!

So I'll be working on this tomorrow! Well see how to get it to work. It may require things like writing BACKWARDS... Or transforming text layers to raster equivalent and then using mirroring to get the right text... Like I said, it's going to be tricky. And I'm not 100% sure of the results EITHER. There are no guarantees here... This is major experimentation...

questccg
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Further analysis...

And it may be simpler than I thought. So after some ANALYSIS ... It turns out that when the cards ARE printed, they are printed on the BACKSIDE and you view the card THROUGH the transparent side (Front Side).

Why is this significant?

Well it means that I only need to design the cards AS-IS but then ADD a 2nd file for the White Layer.

Again this is PURE theory. And the "Clear + White" side may be DIFFERENT than the 100% Clear version. So again, I will need to TEST a couple versions and see what works (if it works at all...)

I may not resolve all of this tomorrow... But I'm still thinking and looking at what I have to SEE if I can PREDICT "how" to make work.

questccg
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Got some samples for Clear + White

And it turns out that my ideas are exactly what those cards are designed to do. I don't even need to order more samples for testing purposes... It works as intended.

Again I confirmed with the Sales Agent that these cards are also printed on the reversed side... And so using Dry Ink Markers will work no problemo.

I have also devised a solution for the Monster card (which are white): I will ship each 3 monsters with sleeves. I have 2 formats to experiment with. A normal sleeve and a 125% thicker version.

I should be getting those sleeves next week sometime. From there I can do some tests... It's precautionary... You don't want to ruin perfectly nice cards. So just in case, I will include the sleeves once I figure out the best product.

Cheers!

questccg
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I am super excited that this will ACTUALLY work!

I needed to re-evaluate what WORKS and what doesn't. And whatever doesn't work needs a "solution" (or some kind of fix). So those "precautionary" sleeves are more than a "good thing", they actually ensure that when you do write on those sleeves, you will be able to wipe off the Dry Erase Marker's ink. I just want to ensure I eliminate any "accidental" problems. So that solves point #1.

For point #2 (the clips), well with the Dry Erase Marker (using that instead of the clips) that eliminates the need for "clunky" components. I know they work great with traditional cards... But these Plastic card are SUPER THIN and the clips just don't hold. So Dry Erase Markers instead of clips. That solves point #2.

It stands to reason that for point #3 (no white), the solution is the "Clear + White" 2 step process. I have a sample and it WILL work. Super excited about this since the sample I have clearly explains or demonstrates HOW to use these specialized cards for maximum efficiency. I have no doubt that this will solve point #3.

The "Clear + White" cards are also printed on the "back-side". So this ensures that Dry Erase Markers CAN be used no problemo. There will be no error in knowing which side is the correct side to place ON TOP. And since they are inverted, that gives extra security that only one (1) layer makes it possible to ensure no "smudging" WITHOUT any sleeves.

Another important point is the "Upgrade" cards require shuffling. Having those cards in sleeves would be "overkill" and make them "clunky". This way the shuffling stays clean and ONLY the "Monster" cards will require an extra layer of protection.

All cards are still super durable and tear-proof. In addition (as before) the super thin cards are very easy to shuffle too.

Looks like we've solved all the "outstanding" issues... Fantastic... The game continues on forwards!

Fri
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Gloom

You may want to look at gloom. This games makes extensive use of clear cards. It allows players to stack the clear cards to cover usually two of three modifiers of the card or cards already in the stack.

Good luck with your game.

questccg
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Thanks for the suggestion

I took a look and ... While indeed there are a lot of transparent cards with printing on them, there is no similitude between the two (2) designs. Doing a bit of research into "Gloom", it has mixed reviews... Some people quoting it as being a "mediocre" game.

I've never played, nor have I read the rules, so I can't comment as to the exactitude of the feedback. But from what I gather BGGs comments are usually pretty spot on... Unless your game is "TradeWorlds", then the rating is mixed because some people are "understandably" upset that the game has not been made yet... So they are giving us 1 or 2 ratings.

However, no the concept for "Monster Keep" (MK) is very different. I am still waiting on Card Sleeves to prototype the game. The rules have been sort of penned down with the general concept. But not an official rulebook or anything like that.

It was interesting to see the different approach... Because I have my own design in mind, so I know how different the design is compared to what most people may have seen already.

Fri
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Gloom

Yeah I could see the game getting mediocre reviews. I have played it and it does have a take that element to it.

I was not specific enough. The key thing that I thought you may be able to apply to your game is the way that players can combine cards and modify their attributes by stacking them. This is a good picture of what I mean (it has a little glare in the pic, but it looks better in real life. )

If you look very carefully you on the right most stack the top card has two -5 icons that covering the icons from the cards below it and there is one -15 icon that is visible from the below cards.

Good luck with your game.

AdamRobinGames-ARG
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Hecatomb

There is a game out there that a friend of mine purchased and we played a few rounds called Hecatomb. This game uses stacking and clear portions of the card to "enhance" the card.

One thing I noticed with plastic cards is instead of a crease, the cards would get a chip out of the corner. You may be using a different plastic, but this is a concern for cards that may be subjected to sliding markers.

ceethreepio
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Questccg, do you have any

Questccg, do you have any images of what your cards will/do look like? I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how your cards will function. I was rather imagining something like the GLOOM thing above, so if it's not that I'd love to see a picture!

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