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Subject: Rainbow Deck - a cardgame system rss

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Chen Changcai
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The Rainbow Deck has a total of 162 cards. There are 12 suits with each suit having 13 ranks, and 6 Joker cards. The suits are represented by both colour and zodiac symbols. The ranks are from 1 to K. The cards also numbered from 1 to 120.

The deck can be adapted to play a variety of games, just like a deck of Poker cards. The difference is that Rainbow deck has 8 more suits and also numbers from 1 to 120, thus it is most suitable for playing abstract games that require numbers or colours. It can also be used by game designers as components in their own prototype games.

It is available at The GameCrafter (http://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/rainbow-deck), and the PnP files are on BGG.

The deck can be complemented by 6 colours x 25 chips.
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Brad Miller
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I have a really witty internet remark to make, but it would be offensive and hurtful, so I won't say it... laugh
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K Septyn
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Dereferenced variable scope line 68109: check null set failed (0xff83de47)
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12 suits x 13 cards = 156 + 3 jokers = 159 < 160. What's the last card?

Are you planning on releasing some games that require this deck?
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Big Lebowski
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yeah? well… y’know, that’s just like, uh… your opinion, man…
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It seems, as a lefthander I won't be able to use your deck, since the symbols are one-sided ("wrong-sided" for me)

(btw. this design flaw was made typically in the 80's, but is rather exceptional nowadays)
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Chen Changcai
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Oops..it should be 4 Joker cards. Thanks for pointing that out.

I do not have a game that is designed such that it needs the whole Rainbow deck to play. I have a card game Calculae which the Rainbow deck can be adapted to play. A Geeklist containing all the games that can be played with this cardgame system will be coming soon.

The symbols are at the top-left, which is based on the way Poker card symbols are placed. I took a closer look at Lost Cities cards, and realized the numbers are at both top left and right corner. Will implement that in this deck. Thanks for mentioning this.
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Chen Changcai
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I have placed the numbers and symbols on 4 corners of the card. This should make it easy for left-handers to handle the cards as well as all players to view the cards on the table.

I have also created a Geeklist (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/47512) that contains all the games that the Rainbow Deck can be adapted to play.

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Joe Kundlak
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Looks interesting... This will have a number of redesigns soon, I tell ya
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Alan Monroe
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ccube78 wrote:
4 Joker cards


4 jokers = instant Tichu deck
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James Hutchings
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How have you found shuffling 160 cards? I would've thought it'd be difficult to shuffle them properly.
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Chen Changcai
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apeloverage wrote:
How have you found shuffling 160 cards? I would've thought it'd be difficult to shuffle them properly.


I think I would split the deck into 2 and shuffle individually. Anyway, most of the games usually require less than 100 cards.

For those who are interested, please feel free to suggest any changes to the cards layout and add games on the Geeklist. The game system is still pending approval for BGG website (it's been 2 weeks ).





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Just call me Erik
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apeloverage wrote:
How have you found shuffling 160 cards? I would've thought it'd be difficult to shuffle them properly.


If you've ever played any of the TtR games or Race for the Galaxy/Glory to Rome, you've already shuffled more than that.
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Ookami Snow
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woodoo03 wrote:
It seems, as a lefthander I won't be able to use your deck, since the symbols are one-sided ("wrong-sided" for me)

(btw. this design flaw was made typically in the 80's, but is rather exceptional nowadays)


Yeah I can't believe how many lefthanders were made in the 80's. I'm glad the people plant has caught that design flaw now though.
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Chen Changcai
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I have come up with a few possible layouts for the card. Which one do you think is better? The one I have decided on currently is layout 1, and part of the reason is less ink requirement for PnP.



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David Corbin
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ccube78 wrote:
I have come up with a few possible layouts for the card. Which one do you think is better? The one I have decided on currently is layout 1, and part of the reason is less ink requirement for PnP.





Of those, 1 is probably the best, but they're all kind of ugly. I'd much rather have a "solid rectangle of color" and have the "text" in a contrasting color (white, for this one). Or do like a normal deck where the field is white and filled with symbols in the color in question.

Unrelated, is the goofy symbol by the 18 a suit indicator that is equivalent to the color?
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Clark D. Rodeffer
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1 or 6 look nice to me. They don't use much ink, and they're clean and leave room in the center if you want to do something with pips. I did the opposite with my piecepack decks, which are fairly clean looking, but use lots of ink. (Links to PDFs: piecepack suits, French playing card suits and seasonal suits.)
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Kai Bettzieche
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ccube78 wrote:
I have come up with a few possible layouts for the card. Which one do you think is better? The one I have decided on currently is layout 1, and part of the reason is less ink requirement for PnP.





I like 6 best, but as David pointed out, they are all ugly ..
Since the suits are represented by colour as well as a zodiac symbol, why don't you just color the zodiac symbol? This would make the cards so much more appealing ..

Another thing: If you design your game "artscow friendly", you don't have to worry about printing costs - so you could design the cards completely different. For example instead of zodiac symbols in the corner put an image of a zodiac with a certain color theme into the center; either higly elaborated ones like these, lowly elaborated ones like these, or abstracts like those you are already using ..
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Chen Changcai
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will keep them in mind for the new layout.

Anyway, these are the reasons for the choices I have made for the layout.

1) The symbols correspond to the colours. They are included so that colour-impaired people can also use them.
2) Black colour for the text and symbols instead of the corresponding colours. I found that with the white background, the small text and symbols in lighter colours (eg. yellow, light blue) are hard to see.
3) White background instead of the corresponding colours. This is to keep the ink requirement low. Another reason is that font colour has to be white when the background is dark (eg red), and black when the background is light (eg. yellow), leading to inconsistent text font colour.
4) The coloured strips on the sides. The strips makes it easier to see what colour the card is rather than relying on coloured symbols. They are at all 4 sides so that the player can view them easily either fanned in hand or stacked in a row on the table.

I agree the cards look rather ugly. Perhaps an reasonably elaborate artwork in the center of the card will make it more appealing as suggested by Kai (shown below)?

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I am pleased that you have already considered people with colourblindness. We thank you

ccube78 wrote:

I agree the cards look rather ugly. Perhaps an reasonably elaborate artwork in the center of the card will make it more appealing as suggested by Kai (shown below)?


I think this is a bit harsh - they are not beautiful (yet), but they are a work in progress. A normal deck of cards is not terribly pretty either, except for the court cards. I think we see regular cards as attractive because they are familiar.

In any case, this isn't helping you refine the design. So- rather than placing a single design in the centre of each card, have you considered printing N copies of the suit symbol (where N is the card value)? This is pretty-much the same as a normal deck of cards (i.e the 7 of Spades has 7 spades on the card, plus 2 little corner pips). If you like, the "Aces" could have an extra large symbol. The "pretty" cards should be the courts.

And now some whacky ideas... ...

An additional consideration, taken from Tarot cards, is that there is no reason your design could not feature a "top" and a "bottom" for each card. Tarot cards have pictures that clearly go one way up or the other. I am not aware of any games that use a card's orientation to alter its effects in play, but perhaps your cards could be the catalyst for such a thing!

Finally, if you really want to go for it, consider introducing an additional set of ~25 cards that are unsuited, but have their own numerical hierarchy. These stand-in for the Major Arcana in a set of Tarot cards, and would permit people to play Tarot. These cards would be great candidates for additional artwork if that is something you think is important.

In any case, good luck with the design. So far I have been very impressed.

-R
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Alan Monroe
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Some alternative designs:
1. White icon on colored field
2. Months of year as suits
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Chen Changcai
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Thanks for the suggestions! Here are my comments.

Ozludo wrote:

In any case, this isn't helping you refine the design. So- rather than placing a single design in the centre of each card, have you considered printing N copies of the suit symbol (where N is the card value)? This is pretty-much the same as a normal deck of cards (i.e the 7 of Spades has 7 spades on the card, plus 2 little corner pips). If you like, the "Aces" could have an extra large symbol. The "pretty" cards should be the courts.

I did thought about putting the N symbols at the center and agree that it's very familiar to users. But, the Rainbow deck is slightly different as the numbers also range from 1 to 120. The numbers are formatted such that either the whole number or the ones digit can be used (eg. 68). In No Thanks and Take 5, they put the numbers in larger font at the center of the card. However, I thought it would add more clutter into the card and does not make it more attractive. Hence the choice of putting a picture.

Ozludo wrote:

An additional consideration, taken from Tarot cards, is that there is no reason your design could not feature a "top" and a "bottom" for each card. Tarot cards have pictures that clearly go one way up or the other. I am not aware of any games that use a card's orientation to alter its effects in play, but perhaps your cards could be the catalyst for such a thing!

The picture at the center of the cards now actually has a small wording at the top, showing the name of the zodiac. Thus, in a way, the cards with the pictures already have a "top" and "bottom". One reason why I decided to put pictures instead of pips is to distinguish a "top" and "bottom" for the card. The picture is rather low quality though.

Ozludo wrote:

Finally, if you really want to go for it, consider introducing an additional set of ~25 cards that are unsuited, but have their own numerical hierarchy. These stand-in for the Major Arcana in a set of Tarot cards, and would permit people to play Tarot. These cards would be great candidates for additional artwork if that is something you think is important.

Actually the current Rainbow can meet the requirements of a Tarot deck. The numbers 1-25 (containing 3 colours - red, pink, orange) can be taken as the Major Arcana. Then, for the Minor Arcana, we can use 41-54 (lightgreen,green), 61-74 (lightblue,blue), 81-94(grey,black) and 101-114 (violet,lightpurple). The colours are chosen in such a way that 2 of them can be grouped together to form larger ranging ranks without causing too much confusion (at least I hope so).
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Chen Changcai
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JavaJack wrote:


Some alternative designs:
1. White icon on colored field
2. Months of year as suits


Thanks for creating these illustrations! May I know is it the Nandeck program that you used for making them?

For the white icon on colored field, I found that the icon is not very clear when the colored field is lighter in color (eg. yellow, lightgreen). One way is to make the icon black for ligher-colored fields, but I wanted the icons to have the same colour. Another solution would be to create a black outline around the icons. However, my technical expertise is limited and I have no easy way of doing that.

As for the months being used as suits, I think it's a great idea. The problem with using zodiac now is that a player have no way how telling how the suits are arranged easily, unless he knows the zodiac symbols and the order. By using months as suits, players can more easily know the order of the suits. I will probably include a "month" version in the future.

The BGG entry for Rainbow Deck is up. The PnP file for the cards should be approved soon.

This is the 2nd latest version of the layout. The rounded corners of the colored field make it better, at least in my view.


This is the latest version. I made the picture bigger. But I am not sure if it is better. What do you think?
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Kai Bettzieche
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ccube78 wrote:
This is the latest version of the layout. The rounded corners of the colored field make it better, at least in my view.


Now you're getting somewhere ..

Nice
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Alan Monroe
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ccube78 wrote:
is it the Nandeck program that you used for making them?


Nope, I did them by hand in Photoshop, by copying/pasting from original BGG image 588279.
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Alan Monroe
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ccube78 wrote:
This is the latest version. I made the picture bigger. But I am not sure if it is better. What do you think?


I'd prefer the color bars were center-aligned with the icons and numbers. It looks a little imbalanced as is.

Personally I find the center art a little on the creepy side, but maybe that's just me.
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Chen Changcai
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I have made the changes. Have decided to scale back the image as I find it kind of distracting. As for the picture creepiness , for me it's still ok. Anyway, they are the best I can grab off the internet currently.

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