Skip to Content

Including a pencil and pad for scoring

7 replies [Last post]
vtbassmatt
Offline
Joined: 04/28/2009

I'm building a tile-laying game where scoring happens each round. This means you've got to keep a running total of your score (or record each score individually and tally up at the end). Must my game include a piece of paper and a mini-golf pencil for keeping score? [Read on for my thought process.]

I'll be publishing through thegamecrafter.com, so I bump the price (or take a hit to profit) for each extraneous component I add. If my game needed dices or minis, I'd never dream of saying "find those on your own, they aren't included". But a simple tally sheet and pencil seem like they can be left out, since everyone has SOMETHING they can record score with (pencil and paper, smart phone, tablet, etc.). Will this come across as extremely cheesy, or will gamers appreciate that I didn't needlessly add another $.50 of components they already possess in abundance?

Stormyknight1976
Offline
Joined: 04/08/2012
IMO

There are many games on the market that add pencil and pad to score and the end of each play round. Yahtzee, Play Nine, Boggle, Scrabble. I don't think its cheesy, I think its just a convenience.

vtbassmatt
Offline
Joined: 04/28/2009
Thanks

Thanks Stormyknight! I got a pretty similar response over on TGC's game design forum - a few people (especially designers) don't think it's necessary, but most consumers/players expect the box to contain everything they need. I'm going to see if I can create something that fits my theme - a score track, counters, etc. - rather than a pencil + paper. But worst case, there'll be a pencil + paper :)

silasmolino
Offline
Joined: 02/01/2013
On the other side..

I prefer having a score track and counters. While play testing one game, I spent a minute or two tallying up the score. It's less elegant than a score track and more cumbersome.

Stormyknight1976
Offline
Joined: 04/08/2012
Your Welcome.

Hope you find your solution.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Not always obvious...

The use of a track requires some form of PAPER (track has to be printed on something) and tokens (1 for each player). If you tell players to use a sheet of paper and a pencil (or pen), well that will save more than 0.50 cents.

The problem is the track you print on: 4" x 4" is the smallest mat. And it will cost you $1.56 to print on this size of mat. You could make 8 of these but then you need to package the game in a box that ALLOWS for mats. That could make the price of your game go even higher (bigger box, more costly).

You can use winks of different colors and those come cheap (6 cents each).

Again you'll find it's harder to include mats that saying: "Please use a sheet of paper and a pencil to keep record of the score."

Note: This is why I also am *struggling* with my current game. It also includes a 5"x8" tracking sheet to keep track of the amount of money you have earned. The sheet allows for values up to 99,999. It uses 5 tracks and therefore 5 different colored wooden cubes. The cubes aren't the problem, the MAT is... I want the card game to fit into a small pro box. Mats cannot be included in such a box. The pro box is cool BUT when you add card sleeves to the cards, they no longer fit in the nifty pro box! Still unsure of what I will do...

I may have to have a larger box and figure out how cards can be stored in it without getting them all mixed up! Card sleeves make the game possible - BUT they make packaging a real headache!

SLiV
SLiV's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/21/2011
Not necessary

I personally don't think supplying pen and paper is really necessary, and a bit of a waste since it comes to an extra cost. Unless there is useful information that can/must be added to the scoring sheets - such as the scoring sheets for yahtzee - I don't see a reason to add it.

Also, I can see why pen and paper would actually be *better* than a scoring track; I'd rather add 25 and 43 on paper than by counting squares with a token. Scoring tracks are very useful when scoring isn't done "in bulk" but rather in short asynchronous bursts of 1 to 10 points.

By the way, scores running up to 99,999 sounds like bad game design to me; is the difference between 21,145 and 21,146 a big deal in that game?

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
99,999 (My answer to players playing a LONG game...)

SLiV wrote:
By the way, scores running up to 99,999 sounds like bad game design to me; is the difference between 21,145 and 21,146 a big deal in that game?

@SLiV: Well I have 5 tracks: one for single digits (0-9), one for double digits (10-90), one for triple digits (100-900), one for quadruple digits (1000-9000) and lastly one with quintuple digits (10,000-90,000). I guess I could get rid of the 5th track, but you never know... I thought 9,999 might not be sufficient enough. It should be...

And the tracks are a little like an abacus: you slide your block along the track, if it goes past the 9th digit, you add 1 to next track. If it goes below the 1st digit, you subtract 1 from the next track and so on... It's real simple to use and at a glance you can know how much money you have earned.

But like I said earlier, if players play a long game - I'm not really sure how far they can go in terms of money. I will playtest this and see if I can rid myself of the 5th track.

The difference between 21,145 and 21,146 is only 1 - but if you have that much money since the game is a Deck-Building Game, you can probably buy up ALL the cards you want! Most games have a cap on the End-Game amount (1,500 in two scenarios). The other is a solitaire or cooperative game (where money doesn't really have a big impact). And the last is an all out battle. This is the one that could take longer to complete - not sure how much money players will earn...

Note: I calculated how much it would cost to buy up ALL cards (in the current version) = 2,780 qS. So that is ALMOST double the 1,500 (appx. 3,000). I think 9,999 should be enough... In a 4 player game, the "Spacewars" scenario's goal is "to be the last one standing". I'm not sure how much money players will accumulate. BUT after you buy up all the cards, earning more money is *useless*. Maybe only for bragging rights. The winner is the one that destroys all of his opponents. Money doesn't matter in the end - only survival.

In the NEWEST version the total to buy up ALL cards = 3,200 qS. Still far below 9,999. In the "Days of Glory" scenario, you buy up 1,500 worth of cultural achievements + startship for defense and warfare. So maybe that one could go to 4,700 at max...

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut