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Set collection conundrum

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chris_mancini
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I've got a set collection game I've been developing for the past few years...it's been tested and is working well, but I have this nagging feeling that the card count is too high! 177 cards to be exact. Of the 177, 153 are the set collection cards, with the remaining 24 being the "target" cards.

The reason for the high number of cards is simple...for every set to be collected in the game, I created that number of cards...plus a few extra. I did this simply to help increase the odds of drawing the card(s) you need each turn, and not getting stuck if all of any one type of card is already in the other players' hands. For initial testing purposes, this seemed like the easy way to go to ensure that the game could come to a satisfying completion every playthrough, which it has. But I have to think there is a way to reduce the number of cards.

One point to note, the game calls for sets to be kept by the players rather than discarded. There's no real reason for this, other than to temper the remaining cards by those still required to win the remaining target cards. If cards were to be discarded and re-shuffled, my fear is that it would drag the game out and lead to uncomfortably large player hands.

Has anyone developed a set collection game, and found themselves considering the same possibility? How do you determine the number of collection cards based on the total number of sets required by the game?

let-off studios
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Reusing Cards, Etc.

Might there be a way to re-use cards? For example, to note that a player has collected a set, could they take one card from that set to add to their score pile, then discard the rest (for re-use)?

You may also consider multiple draw piles/locations to make it less difficult for a player to collect the set they're currently seeking.

If I was wrestling with an overabundance of cards, those are two things I would consider.

questccg
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How I "consolidated" my card count

Firstly I structured my cards into 10 card packs (that's for Quest). Then I have "required" cards to collect like 3 to 4 cards, then 2 or 3 "optional" cards to collect (for points/scoring bonuses) and then "Event" cards such as the "Treasure Chest = Draw +2 Cards from the deck" or "Assassin = selected player skips their next turn", etc. Not to mention a "Set Collection" Card which tells players what are the required and optional cards for that "Quest"!

I got a "3/10" from Purple Pawn... But the game isn't really "that stupid". It was designed for kids from age 9+ to play. So I guess it wasn't his cup of tea ... or he took it purely from a design-perspective.

So to play 2 players requires 60 cards, 3 players = 90 and 4 players = 120. But if you group the game into "sets", well then you could re-use the same sets for 4 players as 2 players.

I don't know if you understand what I mean or not... I've done my best to explain it. Maybe it's not clear too... IDK. Anyways that's what I did to lower BOTH "card count" and "number of original pieces of art".

But anyway it may give you ideas how you can maybe "adapt" something like this (multiple sets) and manage the collection a bit differently. IDK.

Cheers!

Tim Edwards
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Could Wild cards make sets

Could Wild cards make sets easier to collect? You might get away with fewer of them than having extra cards in every category.

Fri
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Can you remove some of set

Can you remove some of set types entirely? This will obviously reduce the number of cards. It also increases the probability of being able to draw the remaining set types.

Can you introduce a sliding scale of points depending how may cards in a set where played? Like 2 cards for 3 points, 3 cards for 5 points 4 cards for 8 points ect.

Have you consider and alternate end game condition? Like the game ends when one player has played 7 sets. This could allow players to reshuffle the cards and not make the game drag. If you combined this with a sliding points scale, it could introduce some tension/interesting decisions.

wob
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i would look to overlap

i would look to overlap cards, eg a card can complete more than i set. or sets can be completed with substitutions for less points

chris_mancini
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Adapting the draw deck to the

Adapting the draw deck to the number of players is interesting, though I think in this case it would require some specific filtering which would increase setup time. Not drastic by any means, but a small chore before getting into the action.

I've also split the set cards by type, so as opposed to say TTR where there is an equal number of cards for every color, my game sets the total quantity by the total need of the potential sets. That is to say, there are many more "A" cards in the deck, as "A" cards are very commonly used in the sets to collect. Whereas "Z" cards would be less frequently needed and harder to draw, so players would wisely bank these in their hands for future use.

chris_mancini
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@Fri - I could copy some

@Fri - I could copy some sets...I should step back and look at the total sets again with this in mind to see if and where I can trim.

The sliding scale is interesting; for instance, a player may play a limited set to win the card, but not gain its full power. Do you want to push for points, or alter the game for others as well? There could be variable points, too...limited sets gains you just a few, but the full set unleashes the full scoring and gameplay capability of that card. The choice as you mention could create some interesting choices depending on how the game is flowing!

JewellGames
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Why not have less sets but

Why not have less sets but multiple copies of each set so multiple players can go for it? Could have various values of a set and need 3-card straight of set so now players will try for the highest straight within same set.

Can you post actual rules so we can offer better advice?

questccg
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The point to sets is...

So that you can reduce the number of "unique" sets. Let's say for two (2) players it requires 60 cards. Or in this 6x 10 cards. You have SIX (6) sets that are UNIQUE to design.

BUT... here's the important part.

If you have four (4) players it requires DOUBLE the 2 player count of cards. So this means 120 cards. But INSTEAD of designing NEW SETS for four (4) players... You just use DUPLICATES of the 6 sets you already created...

This has a BUNCH of positive effects:

1. You only have to design six (6) sets and use duplicates for 12.

2. Reduces the number of artwork and only increases the production by having more cards (12 sets instead of 6).

3. With doubles of cards, it will make completing SETS "even easier" since there is duplication. Something that you seemed concerned about.

4. Knowing there are doubles of sets, means that you can LOWER your amount of multiple "required" cards that are used by the six (6) sets. What I mean is that if to complete a set you need 'x' and 'y', if there are doubles of that set, you have 2x 'x' and 2x 'y'... It may make the game more fluid too... So maybe in some instances you could have 4x 'x' as another example.

Anyway I figured I'd explain myself a bit more... Since I didn't quite explain all that well what making sets for "your sets" could help in making the game PLAY BETTER and be LESS EXPENSIVE to produce.

Cheers!

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