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Subject: Rainbow Deck - a cardgame system rss

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Chen Changcai
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Sorry about the confusion, I am referring to the poker suits for the dark and light suits. For actual poker decks, we have red and black suits. However for RD, we have grey and black poker suits, or light and dark poker suits.

If the hearts for the number suit 0 are red, and for number suit 1 are pink, then it is difficult to see at a glance that they are all of the hearts suit, which is a light poker suit.

Even if it is decided that the functionality of 2 poker decks is not significant, I still have some concern. When a player pairs up colour suits, he uses both the shape and colour of the icons as a guide. If we change the icon colour, then he only has the shape of the icon as a guide. This difference might make it slightly more difficult to use the icons to group the suits together.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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ccube78 wrote:
Sorry about the confusion, I am referring to the poker suits for the dark and light suits. For actual poker decks, we have red and black suits. However for RD, we have grey and black poker suits, or light and dark poker suits.

If the hearts for the number suit 0 are red, and for number suit 1 are pink, then it is difficult to see at a glance that they are all of the hearts suit, which is a light poker suit.

Even if it is decided that the functionality of 2 poker decks is not significant, I still have some concern. When a player pairs up colour suits, he uses both the shape and colour of the icons as a guide. If we change the icon colour, then he only has the shape of the icon as a guide. This difference might make it slightly more difficult to use the icons to group the suits together.


Here's a possible solution: why not make all of the icons in a poker suit the light or dark version of the appropriate color, whether or not the color suit is light or dark? That is, if the blue suits are supposed to have light diamonds, as they do now, make them all *light blue* diamonds, regardless of whether they are on light blue or dark blue cards.

If we tweak the way dark and light alternate within the deck, we can make all of the suit icons in a poker suit the same shape, color, and shading, and keep the light/dark poker suit distinctions.

0/1 = light red hearts
2/3 = light yellow stars
4/5 = dark green clubs
6/7 = light blue diamonds
8/9 = dark purple teardrops
10/11 = dark black spades

Actually, having light hearts and diamonds, and dark clubs and spades, thereby maintaining a kind of red/black poker suit distinction, is a feature that even four-color poker suits don't have, to the best of my knowledge. It would be unique to the Rainbow Deck. (I'd love to hear about it if I'm wrong, so someone please jump in if I am.)
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K Septyn
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rwhe wrote:
Actually, having light hearts and diamonds, and dark clubs and spades, thereby maintaining a kind of red/black poker suit distinction, is a feature that even four-color poker suits don't have, to the best of my knowledge. It would be unique to the Rainbow Deck. (I'd love to hear about it if I'm wrong, so someone please jump in if I am.)


There are four-color "no revoke" decks out there in a variety of color combinations, usually with black spades, red hearts, green clubs (most of the time), and either blue or yellow diamonds. I don't think they necessarily distinguish between light and dark shades--the usual goal is to help the elderly or those with poor vision identify the suits clearly.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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Septyn wrote:
rwhe wrote:
Actually, having light hearts and diamonds, and dark clubs and spades, thereby maintaining a kind of red/black poker suit distinction, is a feature that even four-color poker suits don't have, to the best of my knowledge. It would be unique to the Rainbow Deck. (I'd love to hear about it if I'm wrong, so someone please jump in if I am.)


There are four-color "no revoke" decks out there in a variety of color combinations, usually with black spades, red hearts, green clubs (most of the time), and either blue or yellow diamonds. I don't think they necessarily distinguish between light and dark shades--the usual goal is to help the elderly or those with poor vision identify the suits clearly.


So, I'm right, right?
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K Septyn
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Oh expletive, I missed the "four color" part of your comment. Derp. modest
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Chen Changcai
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The following are the colour schemes as suggested.

I like how there is one less black or lightgrey element on the card which is hopefully less distracting when the player looks for the black numbers values or grey letters. I prefer scheme 1 or 3, if we decide to lose the 2 poker deck functionality.

Colour scheme 1:
Each colour suit has their corresponding coloured icons. The jokers' icons remained as lightgrey and black. Pairing of the colour suits now depends only on the shape of the icons, minus the colour.


Colour scheme 2:
The hearts, diamonds and stars icons have the lighter colours, while spades, clubs and tears icons have the darker colours. This scheme keeps the 2 poker deck functionality somewhat. Even though it is a good suggestion, it may not be apparent to some players that pink, yellow and lightblue are the light poker suits. Pairing of the colour suits uses both the colour and shape of the icons. I don't like the fact that on some cards, the icons are lighter in colour than the colour bars but on other cards, the icons are darker in colour than the color bars.


Colour scheme 3:
All the icons have the darker colours. I like how these colours correspond to the dice and chip colours. Pairing of the colour suits uses both the colour and shape of the icons. The darker icons with lighter coloured bars still looks a bit distracting though.

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Tim Stellmach
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A bit late to the party, but I'm not wild about tears as the sixth suit. It's rather too similar to spades in its silhouette.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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Changcai, nice work! Thank you for this rapid prototyping.

ccube78 wrote:

I like how there is one less black or lightgrey element on the card which is hopefully less distracting when the player looks for the black numbers values or grey letters.


Yes, the cards lead your eye away from a mass of gray and black to the information you need. The extra splash of color is also friendlier, I think.

ccube78 wrote:

I prefer scheme 1 or 3, if we decide to lose the 2 poker deck functionality.


I prefer 2 or 3, for what it's worth, and I'll explain why.

By the way, could you please clarify what you mean by "2 poker deck functionality"? If you mean having two identical poker decks in the RD, that was never the case anyway, because both 3 of Hearts cards (say) were in different color/number suits, right? Unless you used two Rainbow Decks...

ccube78 wrote:

Colour scheme 1:
Each colour suit has their corresponding coloured icons. The jokers' icons remained as lightgrey and black. Pairing of the colour suits now depends only on the shape of the icons, minus the colour.


I like this one the least. Each suit has icons in three different colors. For example, Hearts come in red, pink, and grey. This looks messy and jumbled to me. I think it would confuse people.

ccube78 wrote:

Colour scheme 2:
The hearts, diamonds and stars icons have the lighter colours, while spades, clubs and tears icons have the darker colours. This scheme keeps the 2 poker deck functionality somewhat. Even though it is a good suggestion, it may not be apparent to some players that pink, yellow and lightblue are the light poker suits. Pairing of the colour suits uses both the colour and shape of the icons. I don't like the fact that on some cards, the icons are lighter in colour than the colour bars but on other cards, the icons are darker in colour than the color bars.


I like this scheme the most (I should, I proposed it).

I asked my wife (who, granted is not exactly naive about card game design) whether she could pick out the light suits, and she named hearts, stars, and diamonds right away. So it may not be that hard after all to distinguish light from dark. Again, this would make the Rainbow Deck unique among four-color poker-suited decks, but maybe that's not a big deal -- how hard is it to remember that hearts and diamonds go together, and spades and clubs go together?

I do like seeing stars as light yellow and diamonds as light blue. This may be cultural on my part, as these are the colors I remember from childhood animated cartoons, as opposed to orange stars and dark blue diamonds.

About the dark/light mismatches: note that there are some in #3 as well, which you liked.

ccube78 wrote:

Colour scheme 3:
All the icons have the darker colours. I like how these colours correspond to the dice and chip colours. Pairing of the colour suits uses both the colour and shape of the icons. The darker icons with lighter coloured bars still looks a bit distracting though.


I like this scheme second-most. Matching the dice and chip colours is an advantage, as long as the manufacturers and suppliers stay the same. Another advantage you didn't mention is that this version does away with the fairly arbitrary dark, light, light / light, dark, dark sequence in #2 -- here, all the suits are dark. Aesthetically, #3 is quite attractive (to me), except I still "expect" to see lighter stars and diamonds.

If you take away the dark/light distinction, it becomes easier to mix and match suits as you see fit. Hearts and diamonds? Why not hearts and stars, or hearts and tears?

Changcai, did you consider doing an all-light prototype as well as an all-dark one?

Tim Stellmach, I have never particularly cared for teardrops either, but it has never made that much difference to me. I think it has something to do with the CCG world. Is that true, Changcai?

Cheers, all!
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Chen Changcai
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The 2 poker deck functionality does mean having 2 identical poker decks. In the current version 1.17, suit 0 and 1 have the spades icon. If we use suits 0-7, then we would have 2 identical poker decks, just using the icons and ignoring the colour/number suits. I believe there are games that would require identical 2 poker decks, though not sure exactly what.

I thought scheme 3 has all the icons dark coloured? I do not think an all light coloured scheme is good - it conflicts with the dice and chips colour. Most dice and chips has the 6 dark colours available (maybe except for orange). Pink, lightgreen, lightblue, lightpurple are more rare. As mentioned, scheme 3 does not have the arbitrary dark-light sequence in scheme 2 which I dislike.

I guess the best would be scheme 3 then.

No, the tears is chosen mainly because out of the 2 fonts (Symbol and Wingdings) that I can use fairly easily with Nandeck, the tears symbol is the one of the more distinguisable one. There is other symbols which I have considered but decided not to use - a moon with a star, and a circle. I think moon with star is religious in nature and the circle is a bit plain.
 
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Ron Hale-Evans
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Well, given that we both like scheme 3, and no one else is speaking up, hmmm... Scheme 3 also qualifies for two poker deck functionality, doesn't it? Maybe scheme 3 should beat the others on simplicity alone.

By the way, I have played games that required two poker decks, such as variants of Hearts with extra players. They didn't seem to need identical decks, as you define them. As long as the card backs were identical, the card icons could differ -- for example, in size.

I agree that an all-light scheme is inferior to an all-dark scheme, also that tears are probably fine as a suit, for the reasons you give.
 
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Chen Changcai
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I just realized that the 2 poker deck functionality that I mentioned is wrong. I am referring more to the red-black (2 colour) functionality of the poker deck. With scheme 3, we will lose this 2 colour functionality of poker decks, but I think I am ok with it.
 
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Ron Hale-Evans
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ccube78 wrote:
I just realized that the 2 poker deck functionality that I mentioned is wrong. I am referring more to the red-black (2 colour) functionality of the poker deck. With scheme 3, we will lose this 2 colour functionality of poker decks, but I think I am ok with it.


OK. So, to reiterate, scheme 3 loses red/black functionality, but this is normal for four-color poker decks anyway, and the people who play with them don't seem to mind.

Losing red/black functionality also means that game designers have a bit more flexibility in designing games. They can group the poker suits any way they like, whereas in scheme 2 there was an obvious division -- for example, it seemed that stars went with hearts and diamonds.

***

I think these are the changes for 1.18 so far.

1. Graphically outlining letters and letter values for greater visual clarity.

2. The poker suit icons will be in the darker color of the color suit pair they're displayed on.

3. The poker suits will be partly rearranged to better match the color suits. For example, hearts will be moved to red/pink, which formerly showed spades, which will be moved to black/gray.

Did I miss anything?
 
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Chen Changcai
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Point 1 should include the rearrangement of the center numbers and letters.
 
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Ron Hale-Evans
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OK, so four changes so far:

1. The letters and letter values on the cards have been rearranged so the letters in the center are facing the same way as the ones in the corners.

2. The gray text (mostly letters and numbers) on all cards has been graphically outlined for greater visual clarity.

3. The poker suit icons are now in the darker color of the color suit pair they're displayed on.

4. The poker suits have been partly rearranged to better match the color suits. For example, hearts will be moved to red/pink, which formerly showed spades, which will be moved to black/gray.
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Chen Changcai
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I am thinking of putting the dice suits back. They are not meant to be suits, but rather extra values. With them, the RD can support games requiring 6 suits (icons) with 4 copies of values 1-6 (dice). Values K and jokers do not have dice suits.

Below is the distribution of the dice, and the card front.





List describing decks that the RD can be mapped into.
- Sequence of numbers of 0 to 119
- Letters with values similar to Scrabble tiles
- 12 suits (colour/number) x 1-13 values
- 12 suits (colour/number) x 2 copies of 1-6 values
- 6 suits (icon) x 1-26 values
- 6 suits (icon) x 2 copies of 1-13 values
- 6 suits (icon) x 4 copies of 1-6 values
- Any unused cards can be mapped into unique special cards, with aid of a reference sheet
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Ron Hale-Evans
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I like this! I strongly support adding the dice back to RD. I also like the way the dice values rotate from suit to suit.

Actually, having rotating dice values would partially resolve a complaint people have had when playing Duel of Law. It was actually harder to play the game when all the card elements "lined up", because there was less information on a card. For example, players complained that the '1' dice on the red and pink suits didn't give any extra information -- they were just another way of representing the same information. But that is not the case with these dice icons. A card can be red and have any dice value from 1 through 6.

The list is good. When 1.18 is finalized, I'll put it on the RD Wiki.

One quibble: The sample card looks a bit crowded. I would like to see some white space between the dice icon and the color bar.

Thanks!
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Chen Changcai
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I have added some space between the dice and the colour bar.

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Ron Hale-Evans
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ccube78 wrote:
I have added some space between the dice and the colour bar.



Excellent! Looks great. Thanks, Changcai.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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rwhe wrote:
OK, so four changes so far:

1. The letters and letter values on the cards have been rearranged so the letters in the center are facing the same way as the ones in the corners.

2. The gray text (mostly letters and numbers) on all cards has been graphically outlined for greater visual clarity.

3. The poker suit icons are now in the darker color of the color suit pair they're displayed on.

4. The poker suits have been partly rearranged to better match the color suits. For example, hearts will be moved to red/pink, which formerly showed spades, which will be moved to black/gray.


5. Dice suit icons have returned, distributed in a rotating fashion as specified in a separate post.

*****

Are these new features enough to trigger a new version at Artscow and The Game Crafter?
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Chen Changcai
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I prefer to wait for a while more, not enough changes yet.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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ccube78 wrote:
I prefer to wait for a while more, not enough changes yet.


No changes suggested in almost a week, not even from me.

Might it be the case after 17 iterations that the Rainbow Deck is approaching -- probably not perfection, but a degree of streamlining and utility such that most suggested changes would only hurt the design?

Just a thought. I certainly like where the deck is now. Even the biggest change of the past year that I didn't like has been more or less reversed, now that the dice icons are back.
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Steven
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rwhe wrote:
Might it be the case after 17 iterations that the Rainbow Deck is approaching -- probably not perfection, but a degree of streamlining and utility such that most suggested changes would only hurt the design?

I certainly hope so, gents. I've been waiting for your back-and-forth to finish so that I can go print the damn thing!
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Chen Changcai
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I am also quite satisfied with the current layout that I will probably name it as version 2.0! But I also hope this is going to be the last version to be updated. In fact, that was my wish for v1.17 but it turns out there are still some issues and improvements for the layout. Let's just wait for a while, and maybe someone will see some issues with the current layout and we can fix it without having to update with a new version later.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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ccube78 wrote:
I am also quite satisfied with the current layout that I will probably name it as version 2.0!


That's great news!

ccube78 wrote:
But I also hope this is going to be the last version to be updated. In fact, that was my wish for v1.17 but it turns out there are still some issues and improvements for the layout. Let's just wait for a while, and maybe someone will see some issues with the current layout and we can fix it without having to update with a new version later.


I was peripherally involved in the early stages of one of the most successful constructed languages, Lojban (http://www.lojban.org). Frankly, I didn't contribute to the project much, but I was one of the people complaining that it was impossible to learn the language because it kept changing so much. Eventually, the project maintainers committed to a period of several years (I forget how many, but it's public record) during which the basic grammar and vocabulary of Lojban would be frozen. Any constructed language is a fringe activity from most people's point of view, but compared to most other constructed languages, Lojban is enormously successful, and I think it owes a lot of that to its "feature freeze".

Perhaps the Rainbow Deck could benefit from a similar feature freeze, once it finally reaches version 2.0. There may be more gamers like celiborn, waiting for the Rainbow Deck to stabilize before they're ready to invest in it. And probably rightly so. Designing games and playing games are two different activities.
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Chen Changcai
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Yes, I believe there could be people put off by the fact that RD keeps changing. That's why I hope to allow more time to include whatever improvements and layout issue fixes there are for v2.0 and then stop updating it.
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