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card size

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wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017

hello.
i am looking for opinions on card sizes. specifically how small is too small?.
my latest wip involves a meeple traversing a dungeon made of cards. in my prototyping i have been using standard poker cards but the smaller the card the cheaper the game.
each of my cards will have a number, suit and an arrow, (so minimum info) or a basic icon and will need to be shuffled fairly often. i have been looking at "micro cards" (32mm by 45mm) they work out a lot cheaper than standard cards (even with postage i can pretty much half my costs).
i am looking for opinions on whether to go small or not.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Certainly seems like a good

Certainly seems like a good idea.

I mean, if you can see all the info and the meeples fit, what would the problem be?

wob
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im just canvassing opinions

im just canvassing opinions really. my main concern is they're just fiddly and a bit of a pain to shuffle, im also not sure how they're percieved (cute or just cheap?). im trying to work out if the pros outweigh the cons. my gut says they do, for this game at least, but if anyone has any experience with them...

questccg
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Card Protection

wob wrote:
... and will need to be shuffled fairly often. i have been looking at "micro cards" (32mm by 45mm) they work out a lot cheaper than standard cards (even with postage i can pretty much half my costs).
i am looking for opinions on whether to go small or not.

The problem is the shuffling. Ideally you'll want UV Coating to protect the "micro" cards. Otherwise it is going to be DIFFICULT to find "card sleeves" to protect the cards in your game. And most people prefer to sleeve their games EVEN IF they are UV Coated.

I would Google around to see what kind of SLEEVES you can find (smaller than Poker sized cards) ... And base my decision on the availability of "card sleeves".

I don't see anything more "prohibitive" other than properly protecting the cards themselves.

Cheers!

Note #1: I would start with Mayday Games (https://www.maydaygames.com/collections/card-sleeves) because they are known for ALL kinds of "card sleeves" and then maybe check Amazon and Google around to see if you can find other sources for "card sleeves".

Note #2: Even IF you find something on Mayday Games but cannot find something nearly identical ELSEWHERE, I would consider using another format...

Note #3: Wow ... the amount of sleeves available from Mayday Games is much lower! Geez... They used to have a TON of different formats. My apologies for suggesting their website. As I remember then used to have over 100 different formats. Now they probably got only like about 20 to 25 different formats. What a "bummer"!

Note #4: I would recommend using The Game Crafter (TGC) size since they have "Mini" Sleeves for sale (44.45mm x 63.5mm) which can be used with TGC "Mini" Decks (44mm x 64mm). At least TGC has custom sleeves for those cards. That's probably as small as you will find. Try some Googling to see if you can find a similar format ELSEWHERE. This is not a 100% definite choice. Just IF you were planning on using TGC, this would probably be your BEST format.

questccg
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Fantasy Flight Games (FFG)

I found these MINI American sleeves:

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/fantasy-flight-supply/pro...

FFG's products are usually SUPERIOR "quality", I bought some 70mm x 70mm Square Cards from them and the quality is AMAZING! They're not flimsy like most inexpensive sleeves from Ultra Pro (the 100 count for Poker cards).

Again the problem is "availability". If you go OUTSIDE the "Poker" Card domain, the availability of sleeves is radically limited. One site has THIS and another site has THAT. No universal options...

Maybe your search will turn out more fruitful than mine...

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Dunno if I would fret too

Dunno if I would fret too much about sleeves (particularly if you're trying to save cost and weight), but at least the EXISTENCE of sleeves is nice, if people want to get them themselves later.

If the cards are always face up (i.e. they're never hidden to the players), then sleeves are completely unnecessary.

I've seen other card games on store shelves that use mini cards held in your hand, so I wouldn't worry too much about shuffling difficulty. I think people generally get that it keeps costs lower, shipping cheaper, and lets your "dungeon" fit on their table better.

questccg
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Choose a format that HAS sleeves SOMEWHERE!

Jay103 wrote:
Dunno if I would fret too much about sleeves (particularly if you're trying to save cost and weight), but at least the EXISTENCE of sleeves is nice, if people want to get them themselves later...

My point exactly: you don't want to choose a "CUSTOM" format that offers the customers NO OPTIONS to buy (at a later date) card sleeves for their cards.

That's why I suggested Googling around and finding various suppliers of sleeves and the formats (outside of "poker" cards) that are available.

I was NOT suggesting to "bundle" them either... Just have several OPTIONS to buy later. You may save money on a format of cards and then when people play the game and shuffle the cards, they chip or crack ... making the product sub-standard. Most (not all) gamers will choose to SLEEVE their product/game. I'd say it's probably around 90% (IMHO). People like to protect their investment and don't want to ruin the game... especially if it is limited print/availability.

Jay103
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Yep.. I was just noting that

Yep.. I was just noting that if the way the game works is that you mix the cards up and then deal out a 10x10 face-up grid of them, you probably don't need to worry too much about sleeves, which are best at making sure that nothing happens to your cards that lets other people know what a face down or hidden-in-your-hand card is.

If they do get a lot of heavy use, cardboard tiles might be the way to go instead, even though they're a lot heavier.

questccg
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Also ...

If you want to "EXTEND" the life of your cards, ensure that the corners are ROUNDED. Rectangular cards may be EASIER to "design" ... but are more prone to get damaged during shuffling, especially in the corners. I've noticed this with some prototypes that I had made. Obviously IF you "sleeve" RECTANGULAR cards, that goes a LONG way in "protecting" the corners.

That's from pure observation...

I'll let the other designers "chime-in" to get a more broad opinion concerning the size issue.

Cheers!

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
thanks for the input guys. i

thanks for the input guys. i am not that worried about sleeves, i know you can get them so the option is there if people want to do it. the shuffling is still a bit of a concern, but i think thats more to do with my cack handedness than anything else. players do have a hand of cards, but its a solo puzzle so the hand can be on the table.
over all i think i will make at least 1 micro card set as its almost as cheap buying playing cards and sleeves to make prototypes (well, i still have to pay postage but it looks nicer for my play testers)

let-off studios
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Scale Down

Personally, I think that unless you're making an epic 4X tabletop dominator a la Twilight Imperium then scaling down is never a bad choice.

You've noted already that it's more affordable for you, and that it's a solo game. Those are two reasons that a smaller form factor is an effective choice for you. As Jay103 noted already: if your meeples fit, and the information on the cards is still visible/legible, then I don't see a reason to go bigger.

If a publisher picks up your design, let them be the ones to decide on a larger size for anything.

I Will Never Gr...
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Mini over Micro

Micro size cards would be fine, except for the shuffling part, in my opinion.

Because of that alone I would go with Mini size (US mini size is 41mm x 63mm, Euro mini size is 44 x 67mm and either would work fine).

Micro cards are tiny and harder to shuffle (beyond tossing them in a pile and shoving them around) than Mini size.

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