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plastic cards & other fancy stuff

6 replies [Last post]
Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009

hey guys,
a spontaneous idea regarding components, nothing serious. would like to hear your thoughts:

imagine a game with just a few cards, not a whole deck. its a portable game and als uses other components (like glass stones etc.) that are frequently put on and removed from the cards again.

the idea is to use "plastic cards" or "laminated cards" instead of standard poker cards. to further enhance the idea, there could be "gold" or "silver" reflective material added to the card as well (being protected by the plastic coating).

what do you think about this?

when designing business cards you usually try to stay away from plastic cards or laminated cards because they have a really ICKY feel to them.

but what about games?

A Round Tuit
A Round Tuit's picture
Joined: 01/21/2016
Games with plastic cards

Would they need to be plastic/laminated because of counters being placed and removed from them?

I personally know of three games with plastic cards: The Agents, Gloom, and The Builders: Antiquity.
-Agents was a kickstarter that unlocked a stretch goal for plastic cards. I actually have it. They feel like normally thick cards (0.016" by my measurement) with a matte dithered finish (as opposed to linen) and they don't feel "icky" like a glossier card might. They have four tiny marks/bumps on the sides where they were punched from a sheet. I assume they're durable, but we only ever played it once.
-Gloom and The Builders: Antiquity use mostly transparent plastic cards as a way to modify/replace information on cards underneath.

Moral of the story: It can be done.

northgun's picture
Joined: 05/21/2014
What is the point of the

What is the point of the plastic cards? Is it because you want more durability to make the game more portable?

Would just going to a better card stock solve the issue?

How frequent do you think players will play the game as well as take it places?

Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009
there is no real reason

there is no real reason behind that idea, standard cardstock would work exactly the same way

it's just a fancy extra that does not really add anything to the production cost

i just want to hear some thoughts on this - would you like it for 0 $ extra? or do you think it does not fit a game?

some pro's:

+ you do not have to sleeve your cards
+ water and humidity does not harm them
+ much more durable and scratch resistant
+ you can still sleeve the cards if you want
+ almost unbreakable, you can twist and bend them but they do not break or fold
+ child friendly because it would be printed on special plastic (my manufacturer even gave me a zertificate on this)
+ colors look even more shiny and the cards feel nice

some con's:

- brah, is this really required?
- can't think of any other drawbacks

well, the colors might rub off after felt 25,000 uses (im constantly chewing on my sample cards to prove that...NOT)

northgun's picture
Joined: 05/21/2014
The only major drawback I can

The only major drawback I can think off is cost and if you have found a manufacture that offers it at the same price as paper 300 gsm (305 gsm), then I'd say go for it. The manufacturers I've talk to have charged just under triple to upgrade to plastic. Even when you go to 330 gsm or linen, the plastic has been at least double the price.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Let me weigh in...

Personally IF it is a SMALL, Filler-Type game - with at most 18 cards, I say GO FOR PLASTIC CARDS! :)

If it's a larger deck 40+ cards, I say stick to card stock.

As far as COST goes, I priced it and I have found plastic cards at $0.175 a card. Now The Game Crafter (TGC) charges $0.09 a poker card. It's almost double as said.

But still in LOW volume - this would be an EXCELLENT option!

Just my 2 cents.

Update: Don't forget that plastic sleeves cost $1.99 for 100 sleeves. But if you have a smaller game and don't want to worry about plastic sleeves - plastic cards might be a valid alternative!

I was really looking into this - because I wanted to design a filler-type game that would use plastic cards. Unfortunately the game that I was working on just "sucked" and I did not find any other ideas that could be used (for plastic cards).

Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009
it only works out because my

it only works out because my game concept uses 1-3 cards per player

they charge me ca. 5 USD per deck of 55 cards.

the cards are 305 gsm i think, they are really thin (got some examples here) but very durable

think i give it a whirl!

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