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Collectible versus "Collection"

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questccg
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I know almost everyone will understand if I use the acronym "CCG". Well for those who don't, it means "Collectible Card Game". And to explain briefly it means a "Card Game" which player "Collect" the cards for their personal collection.

My question to all you designers IS:

"Would you collect cards for a game that has NO ARTWORK?"

Yes they will have a pretty card design (Graphic Art) but the card will only contain "FUNCTIONS" (or rules) used for play. And since this is a "Engine Builder" with all kinds of "wooden cubes", it means cards will have a bunch of RULES for different contexts.

What do you think, could this SELL as "Collectible"?

My reasons are two-fold:

A> Art costs a lot of money. If I could cut it (and I might), that would mean LESS time to produce/make the game.

B> There really isn't going to be much space left over for artwork.

So would you be interested in "Collecting" "Engine Cards" that allow you to play the game more optimally and/or using custom "Deck Construction"?

jedite1000
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I collect cards because of

I collect cards because of the artwork, its the reason i like collecting them, take magic for example, i dont like the artwork much so i dont collect magic cards, same as yugioh. Pokemon and the new Dragonball super cards, amazing artwork so i like to collect them

questccg
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Ok I get where you are coming from...

jedite1000 wrote:
I collect cards because of the artwork... Pokemon and the new Dragonball super cards, amazing artwork so i like to collect them

I understood... BUT would you COLLECT cards if they allowed you to ONLY "Customize" your Deck for playing???

I know people collect things because they like the artwork. "TradeWorlds" is a BIG example of that too...

But I'm freaken tired of pouring most of the money on Illustrations, ESPECIALLY when there will be little room for them on "Square" Cards (2.5" x 2.5"). Plus it takes SO LONG to do all the artwork. If I just had "Functional" Cards ... They could be made much more easily and I could expand on the number of cards (like in Stretch Goals)!

My ANGLE is "If you LIKE the Game... Consider buying MORE cards 'that do different stuff'"... And because the game is an "Engine Builder", you'll be able to construct a Mini-Deck to your liking (30 cards).

Does any of that make sense???

let-off studios
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Nope

A game without artwork requires some other kind of hook to interest the audience enough to consider playing. Blocks of text instead of artwork would not personally interest me, unless a good friend taught me how to play (for example).

questccg
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Tough sell I guess

let-off studios wrote:
...Blocks of text instead of artwork would not personally interest me, unless a good friend taught me how to play (for example).

No "blocks of text", Rule sets.

For Example: The Blacksmith.

Build (Gear): +1 Income (Yellow Cube) & +1 Renown (Blue Cube)
Explore (Flag): N/A
Conquest (Sword): N/A
Scoring (V): Each Noble (Orange) converts to +3 Victory Points (VPs)

Now this is "written", there would mostly be symbols and cubes... But your balanced deck can ONLY have TEN (10) Nobles/Characters. So you need to figure out what is best for your deck.

And it's not like I haven't seen something SIMILAR – On BGG I often see people selling these kinds of cards for games I've never played. I think they are mostly for "Collectors" (because of rarity) but they could also be for gameplay reasons too (not sure).

Really the space on the cards is too little to "describe" each card's function and have artwork. Granted the Graphic Design will be "killer" and the cards will look graphically nice.

But I'm leaning towards "no illustrations" because of space restrictions.

This is how I am designing my "engine"...

Note: "The Blacksmith" is an interesting CARD because it allows you to produce EQUIPMENT on a single turn: Yellow + Blue = Green. See how the "engine" is going to work?!

Combine this with "The King" (another Noble) which is +2 Influence (Red) and then on ONE TURN you can produce: Yellow + Blue + Red = One White token (a guard). There are other combination worthwhile too...

But it's just too COMPLEX to describe. You would need to have the cards in front of you... And of course you would need to analyze what are the better COMBOS for your cities. It's really a freaken COOL "Deck-Construction" off-line.

I'm working real hard to ensure that the game offers a lot of unique PLAY.

That's why I'm saying I NEED ROOM for the rules on the cards...

Note #2: The BACKSIDE of each card will be CUSTOM. It will have "special" artwork... Keeping that a surprise. But each card will have custom artwork on the cardback (not a unique cardback).

Jay103
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Personally I'm a

Personally I'm a function-over-form guy.. I don't really care what the art looks like.

HOWEVER

If I'm playing a card game, the art is the first and most obvious differentiator of WHAT CARD it is, at least after the first few games when I'd be reading cards a lot. With no art.. much harder to tell what each card is.

At the very least you'd need some very clear graphical representations of category, mostly very chunky colors and shapes. Sounds like you already have that.

If this is just a space issue, maybe you can have a 1/4-card image in the top left corner, rather than the more traditional 1/3 or 1/2 or whatever it is.

Corsaire
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Collect is an awkard concept.

Collect is an awkard concept. Back when I played and had a ton of Magic cards, I only got more cards for the possibility of new play effects. I collected the possibilities of dck designs. However, that psychological moment of opening a pack and looking at cards was heavily influencd by the presentation and particularly the artwork of the cards.

Would I even start playing a new game with the same marketing scheme that did not have art? No. It is at core a functional problem of perceived value. Without the art, the idea of a pack of cards with various rules where maybe one in ten or twenty cards I get are useful would emphasize just how much waste the common card distributions are. Even increasing card quantities to work against the perceived value problem would only increase the sense of waste.

jonathanflike
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Perceived value is key

Corsaire wrote:
Collect is an awkard concept. Back when I played and had a ton of Magic cards, I only got more cards for the possibility of new play effects. I collected the possibilities of dck designs. However, that psychological moment of opening a pack and looking at cards was heavily influencd by the presentation and particularly the artwork of the cards.

Would I even start playing a new game with the same marketing scheme that did not have art? No. It is at core a functional problem of perceived value. Without the art, the idea of a pack of cards with various rules where maybe one in ten or twenty cards I get are useful would emphasize just how much waste the common card distributions are. Even increasing card quantities to work against the perceived value problem would only increase the sense of waste.


^this

questccg
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Adding some clarity

jonathanflike wrote:
^this

I'm NOT proposing to sell "Randomized Boosters". I dislike the play on emotions that occurs when spending money on booster.

Instead what I propose is an OPEN "Aftermarket". Basically you can BUY "Brand New" SINGLES off the Internet only. The "core" (Starter Kit) could be sold in stores with the Original "Adventure Pack".

Future "Adventure Packs" may be bought online – I'm still in the process of figuring things out. Those would be like "Fixed Booster": 20(?) cards used by the adventure in question.

So with SINGLE you can decide what cards you WANT and which ones are valuable to you. It works with a Supply/Demand model with pricing depending on the popularity of cards. So there is NO "rare" chasing but there could be cards with "HIGH DEMAND" that are more expensive and often sold-out. That's how the aftermarket works.

Therefore the model is NOT that of a CCG. With "Fixed Boosters" for Adventure Packs, that's more like XTG3. But the Singles Aftermarket is another source of cards that may be useful and/or popular. That aspect is borrowed from the "after-effect" of booster – but in this case would be the primary source of NEW cards available to players.

Does any of this make any sense???

X3M
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How I first experienced MtG

Sometimes the art can be beautiful enough to collect the cards.
I even had this with some flavour text on MtG.
I also collected all spider cards, just for fun. It was my itchy bitchy deck.

It really depends how you arrange the art, flavour text and "types" of cards. For people to gather.

I can still remember that one elve that makes a fighting scene with some little enemies. Can't remember though, which card it was. But I really liked the art that was put in.
Also, the terrain cards. I believe, there was a set, where you could combine 4 or 5 to have the full view picture.

***

What I dislike is that cards have no function in the game.

So I guess, they need both.
Function.
And one of the above mentioned properties.

Later on, most cards lost function in my eye's. Why even spend money on 20, if only 1 is going to be usefull. That was a downer for me. I rather spend the same amount of money on just 5 cards. If all 5 are usefull.

Corsaire
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Are you describing an after

Are you describing an after market style pricing with the prices controlled by the publisher?

jonathanflike
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Makes Sense :)

questccg wrote:
jonathanflike wrote:
^this

I'm NOT proposing to sell "Randomized Boosters". I dislike the play on emotions that occurs when spending money on booster.

Instead what I propose is an OPEN "Aftermarket". Basically you can BUY "Brand New" SINGLES off the Internet only. The "core" (Starter Kit) could be sold in stores with the Original "Adventure Pack".

Future "Adventure Packs" may be bought online – I'm still in the process of figuring things out. Those would be like "Fixed Booster": 20(?) cards used by the adventure in question.

So with SINGLE you can decide what cards you WANT and which ones are valuable to you. It works with a Supply/Demand model with pricing depending on the popularity of cards. So there is NO "rare" chasing but there could be cards with "HIGH DEMAND" that are more expensive and often sold-out. That's how the aftermarket works.

Therefore the model is NOT that of a CCG. With "Fixed Boosters" for Adventure Packs, that's more like XTG3. But the Singles Aftermarket is another source of cards that may be useful and/or popular. That aspect is borrowed from the "after-effect" of booster – but in this case would be the primary source of NEW cards available to players.

Does any of this make any sense???

Oh yeah it definitely makes sense, and I have been looking into fixed boosters for my game as well, and a singles aftermarket is a good idea in a lot of ways. The problem that I see is the urge to proxy something if it isn't this gorgeous amalgamation of graphic design and digital art. If the card is just a graphic designed piece with text, I'm not sure what drives the player to look at it and not say to themselves, let's just proxy these since it's just text and serves a utilitarian function. Of course there are people that will buy the cards because they want the fancy cardboard and nice ink, but if you treat these cards like means to an end, I'm betting some players may do the same. Even if the space is small for art, if you put anything in there that made the card feel special or unique, it may break this perceived value barrier Corsaire was talking about and people will gobble them up on the aftermarket store. I have been playing with an idea of a quest mode, and with that mode, the quests are just text-heavy criteria for completing the quest, but I figured I would do that mode print and play and not charge because the cards are so text heavy, but let me know how you feel about this moving forward, I'm curious how it'll turn out.

Best,
-Jonathan Flike

questccg
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Death by proxy

Ahhh... now I see what you mean!

Well I did state that the "backside" will contain CUSTOM artwork. And it is related to the game too! So there will be "artwork", just not on the facing side of the cards.

I guess you could "proxy" the facing-side, but that would leave the opposite sides "blank". And obvious. So you could do a version with both sides too.

But that might be more complex and aligning everything might be rather difficult too... So I guess the REAL cards would look nicer than "proxied" cards because of the two-sided nature of the cards.

MOREOVER you've really helped me with the "sale" of these cards. I think what I can do is "display" the "functional" side of the card on the online store – but NOT display the "cardback" side which is artistically rendered. There still might be "proxying" but I guess that could be the same for "Magic" cards too...

The trouble is figuring out who is using illegal cards and who is using legitimate cards! That brings up a whole new can of worms!!!

Hmm... I'm going to think about it some more.

And if some other Authors decide to use a service like "The Game Crafter" well it means that "proxies" might take over the whole "Aftermarket" side of things... Which is wrong, illegal (subject to copyright) and hard to police too! It's the last part that I'm struggling with...

Note: I plan to identify each card with a "serial number" but I would need a way to determine the validity of each number. Like an ONLINE "form" where you submit the number and appears the card and the related information. So that's one way to combat "proxies".

questccg
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I would run it...

Corsaire wrote:
Are you describing an after market style pricing with the prices controlled by the publisher?

Well the idea that I had was to run/operate the "Aftermarket" style store myself. Like a second job (or third)... I would set the pricing and see how the market reacts.

Cards that are popular and sold often can become "sold-out" meaning "re-stocking" that inventory costs more and therefore the price of those cards will be higher.

Most cards I believe will stay at their price points considering an average demand when new players are initiated to the game. They might want to buy and customize their "Starter Kit" to give them the FULL EXPERIENCE of the game...

I see this as something rather EASY to Administer and run. And if I can collect some "money" on the side, I can re-invest it into the game and design more cards. And maybe make some pocket change after paying for hosting and administration of the online store.

But at this point in time, everything is pure speculation...

questccg
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Online Database too!

X3M wrote:
...What I dislike is that cards have no function in the game...

The Aftermarket SINGLE online store would allow you to BUY any ONE (1) card for the game... The buyer pays shipping and it's sent in bubble wrap envelopes (part of the cost of shipping).

All the cards would have SOME "Function". Just you could decide while shopping what your "Deck" would look like and only choose to buy the EXACT cards you want.

So you can spend hours pouring through the online store when building your Decks. This is kind of what one other Designer was saying "Building a Database"... Well this is an online "Database" + Store Front for purchasing. Effectively killing to birds with ONE (1) stone!

X3M
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What will you do about cards

What will you do about cards that eventually show that they are obsolete to the game?

You already spend money, time and effort in those cards.

Do you have a plan B? Like new cards that can enforce the old ones again?

polyobsessive
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Retailers

questccg wrote:
Instead what I propose is an OPEN "Aftermarket". Basically you can BUY "Brand New" SINGLES off the Internet only. The "core" (Starter Kit) could be sold in stores with the Original "Adventure Pack".

I know this is moving away from your question, but what is the incentive for a retailer to carry your starter kits? It seems to me that your proposal to retailers is, "Hey, please sell my starter kits, then you will get no further business from my products."

History has shown that collectable games (and similar) largely live and die (mostly die) by the community that is built around organised play, and most often the grass roots of this organised play is based around FLGSs. There is a lot of competition from other products to get the organisational attention of retailers, so anything you do to disincentivise them is likely to hurt badly.

Of course, you might be able to arrange organised play away from retailers, but that will require a lot more effort on your part.

Jay103
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Quote:And if some other

Quote:
And if some other Authors decide to use a service like "The Game Crafter" well it means that "proxies" might take over the whole "Aftermarket" side of things... Which is wrong, illegal (subject to copyright) and hard to police too! It's the last part that I'm struggling with...

You should be so lucky :)

questccg
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From what I hear...

polyobsessive wrote:
I know this is moving away from your question, but what is the incentive for a retailer to carry your starter kits? It seems to me that your proposal to retailers is, "Hey, please sell my starter kits, then you will get no further business from my products."

Well for one thing, you should know that I have already talked with some store owners (FLGSs) and they absolutely HATE the CCG business model. I'll explain further...

Basically they are forced to purchase a CASE of "Random Boosters" which retails at upwards of $200+ dollars and only make any profit if 60% or more of that box is sold.

Store owners have told me they would "rather sell A GAME". A game comes with a box and everything together. Each time they SELL a "GAME" they instantly make PROFIT (50% markup or lower sometimes). They don't need to invest in buying $100+ dollars worth of merchandise and they make money on each sale of the game.

That's what FLGSs store owners tell me. So my goal would be to OFFER "Starter Kits" to stores (the GAME) and also sell "Adventure Packs" which are Fixed Boosters in stores. But realistically the problem lies in the distribution and resale of games.

See ONLINE I can easily market the game to players. There would be a central website with a store front from which players can buy the game. And obviously SINGLES would be a big part of that online store.

I guess I haven't thought my way through it ... because A> I don't think stores will be carrying my game B> The only place to buy the game and cards would be online.

Knowing what I know NOW about retailing and what distributors carry, I'm not certain this game fits into their catalog. Obviously there is nothing that will replace Magic (and that's not my goal anyways).

My goal is to offer something different than other collectible games. How BIG of a community I get is well... debatable.

Jay103
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questccg wrote:Basically they

questccg wrote:
Basically they are forced to purchase a CASE of "Random Boosters" which costs them upwards of $200+ dollars and only make any profit if 60% or more of that box is sold.

It sounds like that's more an issue with the way the publisher is selling to the store, rather than with the booster pack model. If the store bought boosters in a "case" of 10 that cost them $20, they probably wouldn't have a problem.

questccg
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Not obvious

Jay103 wrote:
It sounds like that's more an issue with the way the publisher is selling to the store, rather than with the booster pack model. If the store bought boosters in a "case" of 10 that cost them $20, they probably wouldn't have a problem.

Well you see that's not how it works. There are economies of scale. Remember you need to be able to "manufacture" the product. My guess is that the $299 (retail) which has 36 or so boosters may indeed allow the Publisher to sell a booster at about $5 each.

So that means 21 booster must be sold to break even (21 x 5 = $105). Which is close to $120 (60% markup). So it's between 21 and 24 booster to break even (FLGSs/retailers).

That's still a lot.

I understand your point, make smaller CASES (less than 36 boosters).

My guess the Publisher has figured out the "sweet spot" in terms of how many booster they can "profit" from. That's something else one of the store owners told me: "YOU (the guy making/selling the boosters) are the one who is 'profiting' from this format."

And I understand what he means: the publisher gets his money UPFRONT. Meaning the FLGSs (retailer) pays the $105-$120 per case UPFRONT. You've MADE your money already. Now it's up to the STORES (and owners) to promote the crap out of the game to break even.

Distributors love it too. They get their money up-front too! So there is some weird "role reversal" that occurs where the stores (the riskiest business with the toughest margins) is taking most of the risk selling the product.

In the case of Magic, it sells. How well, that I don't know.

But if stores (FLGSs) say that the business model is not "fair" well it must be because they have REAL experience SELLING Magic and its booster format.

Note: That's not to say that Magic booster don't sell, they do... But there seems to be a certain "peck-ishness" that FLGSs dislike. If you know what I mean...

questccg
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And I guess...

If the FLGS owners look at the "space" filled by a Booster Case, they could probably SELL three (3) Games in place of that one case. Again making their money the minute that the game sells.

From what I gather it's a "Love/Hate" relationship FLGSs have with CCGs and TCGs (Magic, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, etc.)

And they are VERY, VERY hesitant to open the door to another such product. The competition even if you can "manufacture" the product, it's going to be a real "HARD SELL". Because most FLGSs aren't interested in selling more CCGs or TCGs (for some of the reasons stated in my previous comment).

So I guess that is why many people give advice and WARN people NOT to go into the CCG/TCG business because A> You cannot afford it B> Nobody is going to want to sell your game.

Sure do it for FUN. And maybe print out some copies and play it around. You may have a good time doing this. But this is purely a hobby. This is not a serious product you can sell and market (again for some of the reasons above in my previous comment)...

questccg
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I think I'm going to stick with my "original" idea

As I said above in the OP, both sides of the cards will fill a "Feature" of the cards themselves. The "Back-side" will demonstrate which deck a card belongs to (Heroisms or Terrors) and the "Front-side" will state the various rule sets used by that card.

I've since reconsidered that each card should have four (4) functions. Some may only have two (2) for example.

This will cost some money to put together the artwork, but LESS EXPENSIVE than highly sought after artwork. Something like Sepia for the Heroisms and Mauve for Terrors.

So therefore there will be ART – But not the kind like Magic cards have... Again something much less expensive to produce that has a "function" rather than general "eye-candy".

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