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What to do with surplus card space?

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Word Nerd
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Card design mock-up

My project involves cards with text, where each card is different. Many cards use less than half the area of the face; only a few cards use most or all the available space.

What can I do with the extra space on a card?

(1) I could add a graphic relating to the text content,
(2) I could add flavour text relating to the text content,
(3) I could add a new play feature of some kind, or
(4) What?

X3M
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Bigger tekst? Putting the

Bigger tekst?
Putting the tekst in the centre?

knightshade
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Larger text and border. And

Larger text and border. And yeah.. center margin the text for sure.

Word Nerd
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Thanks, people

Based on previous advice, I had planned to keep the border and the text size the same on all 1200+ cards in the system, and to leave the option open of adding something to individual card designs down the road. Centering the text might be an option also, but then this leaves *two* empty spaces on many cards, instead of one. I could fill this space by using a white box for the text, centered over the same background on each card (see new image, above). The back and face of each card would then look the same, except that the face also includes text. Thoughts?

Despot9
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There is nothing wrong with a

There is nothing wrong with a bit of white space. It gives the eye a place to rest.

Some Random Dude
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Flavor text, flavor text,

Flavor text, flavor text, flavor text!

Obviously this is dependent on your theme and you're writing ability, but flavor text can go a long way toward making a game come alive!

Definitely do not mess with the borders and text size. Nothing looks worse in my opinion than inconsistent graphic design.

Word Nerd
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The theme of this project

...is words. Each card has instructions for players to follow to complete a language task. If the task involved alphabetization, for example, including the alphabet on the card as flavour text would make the task too easy.

Given this restriction, I`d like to hear your suggestions for a pattern or rubric I can use to govern my choices here.

JewellGames
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Are there categories? Can you

Are there categories? Can you give us an example of exactly what information would be on a card?

Very simple cards with even just text and minimal information can still look sleek and sharp.

Word Nerd
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An example to consider

Antimetabole

Draw a word from the stock and use it in a sentence where the words are repeated in successive clauses, but in transposed grammatical order.

This activity is similar to several others which ask players to demonstrate a particular structure, but I wouldn't call it a "category" as each card works independently in game play. This activity is one of about 200 which I have classified as "difficult" (even for me). The "stock" is a pool of topical terms which players create for their game.

Word Nerd
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Here's another one

Cos Play It

Draw a word from the stock and use it to say something in the manner of comedian and actor Bill Cosby.

JewellGames
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And are these worth different

And are these worth different points based on difficulty or no?

Here is an example of text-based cards where the white space seems fine to me:

Also, look at Cards Against Humanity. There is A LOT of white space on those cards and no one cares because it's a fun game and doesn't detract from the gameplay at all.

Word Nerd
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Holy Ludiful Layouts, Batman!

I see what you mean; and it's true, there are many such examples, aren't there? Pretty post, there.

The default reward for successful completion of a task is one (1) point. The players themselves might wish to handicap their game if there's a wider range of ability in the room, awarding more points to beginners who complete a harder (2 points?) or difficult (3 points?) task. This is why the point values are not indicated on the card (I'm still undecided as to indicating the difficulty level also).

In most situations, though, the crowd will probably be nearly the same level in language skills.

Were I to use some of these in an ESL classroom, I'd probably select the easier cards; among my native English-speaking age mates, however, I'd probably include more of the difficult or culture-bound items.

Jarec
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My vote goes to flavor text also

I'm all in for flavor text.

The easy way would be just to put your word or theme to wikipedia, skip to random spot and read as far as you find something interesting to put there.

Just make sure you'll use a font that makes it apparent at the first glance that the text isn't anything game related.

Word Nerd
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For example...

...some trivial language fact, anecdote, quote, or the like (not directly related to the task on the card)?

The name of the game--Wordstock--is a play on "Woodstock", so maybe I could quote a lyric from the show, or remarks the participants or media made (especially about language). May be a stretch there.

larienna
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I had the same situation with

I had the same situation with my game Fallen Kingdoms.
Rumor Cards gave VP and intimidation, which as already a 2 function card.

But it's only 2 values, that does not take much space. So I added flavor text and a picture. Here is the result of the new edition:

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/uploads/fallen_kingdoms/Main/Pictures/Sam...

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