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Subject: Rainbow Deck - a cardgame system rss

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Ron Hale-Evans
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I don't understand completely how you'd order the letters, but as long as there are no "judgment calls" involved -- as long as you could have a computer generate the sequence with a few simple rules, even though it might be too hard for a human to remember -- it sounds pretty good.

By the way, I'm curious, why aren't there dice on the Kings in your proposal? Why not...

0Q = 6
0K = 1
11 = 2
...
1Q = 1
1K = 2
21 = 3
...

Sorry, I don't mean to complicate things. We have three months to talk about all this.
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Chen Changcai
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I hope these tables will help to explain everything about the letter distribution.



I left out the Kings so that when I do the dice rotation, every value in 1-6 and 7-Q is paired with each dice value twice exactly. If we just look at values 1-6 with dice values 1-6, one possible use would be mapping to 2 domino decks.
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Johan Haglert
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dcorbin13 wrote:
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?
I'd say five is best because the color is most obvious there and in decks with lots of colors that would help me.

However I thought the numbers looked most clear in the middle (don't work fanned though ..) but then I found out the number was just numbering of the possible card configurations and not the numbers of the actual card
 
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Chen Changcai
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I can add a die value to each king such that it is the same as the die value of the first card of its suit. I agree the kings without die values look a bit irregular, but at the same it can be a useful quirky feature.
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K Septyn
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I don't have a problem with leaving the kings blank. I like the idea of a 12x12 table of die rolls, the symmetry of it pleases me.

At one point I thought it would be interesting to have non-d6 faces on the kings, so you could cobble together a d8, d10, d12, etc. But then I realized you could just pull the cards 01 through whatever to make any size die you wanted.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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Summary: There are advantages to each. Putting a 1 on the 0K, a 2 on the 1K, a 3 on the 2K, and so on, would create an unbroken sequence of d6 faces from 01 through 11K, without spoiling Changcai's rotation. On the other hand, as Septyn points out, leaving the kings blank creates a nice 12x12 matrix of dice, and as Changcai points out, having some blank cards (that are not jokers) might be good for something from a game design standpoint.

You might be surprised to learn I don't have a strong opinion about this.

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Chen Changcai
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I am leaning more towards putting die values on the kings. The reason being that all the cards except the jokers have the 3 elements on them. It is a bit strange to make dice elements unique by omitting them from the kings.

I just realized the suggestion that I made is the same as what Ron has suggested . I think I like this dice sequence.
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Chen Changcai
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Do we really need the "?" and icon suits on the joker/wild cards? Is there a good reason to assign an icon suit to each joker? It is possible that the icon suit limits the use of the joker as a true wild card. Leaving only the circle in the middle and nothing else should make it quite obvious that it is a joker card.
 
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K Septyn
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ccube78 wrote:
Do we really need the "?" and icon suits on the joker/wild cards? Is there a good reason to assign an icon suit to each joker? It is possible that the icon suit limits the use of the joker as a true wild card. Leaving only the circle in the middle and nothing else should make it quite obvious that it is a joker card.


Some games call for a "high" joker and "low" joker, so you need some way to distinguish them. Traditional decks often do this by printing one joker in color and the other in grayscale, or more recently, one in color and the other with advertising.

Putting the suit icon on a joker is fine by me, and it has precedent in the 5°Dimension Playing Card Game deck, where each suit runs Joker through Ace.
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Chen Changcai
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Thanks for the reminder about the high and low joker. I believe this was discussed before, but it has slipped off my mind.

How about if I include the Rainbow title and other wording for every 1st joker of a 54 card block? That is, using a recent way of distinguishing the high and low joker as mentioned. Thus, there will be 3 jokers with wordings, and 3 without.

Besides the concern of the icon suits being restrictive, another advantage of removing the icon suits from the jokers is that it can prevent any potential confusion of the icon suits by removing the third coloured icons (white, or colourless) which are on the jokers.
 
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K Septyn
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With jokers that have suit icons, every card in the deck is unique. Removing them, even if you have half "high" and "low", you wind up with duplicated cards. I'm not fond of that.

Also, I think you're overrating the "restriction" potential for the suit icons on jokers. There's been a lot of fat trimmed from the iconography and layout of the deck, but in the end, whomever is playing with the deck will need to ignore certain features. Word games ignore suits and ranks; a numbers-only deck ignores suits and sets aside face cards; and traditional card games ignore everything but ranks and suit icons. The players have to adapt to using the Rainbow Deck, and if they can't, then they're probably not the target audience in the first place.

Leaving the suit markers on jokers allows people to define them for special purposes too. As an example off the top of my head, if the user wants to play Rage, they could use the suited jokers and a cheat sheet to indicate the Mad Rage or Wild Rage cards.

I just think it's easier for users to ignore something on the cards than it is to add something that's missing. I think to my grandmother's cards, where she used a red or black pen to write on the jokers if they weren't different from each other. It'd be a shame to have people doing that to the Rainbow Deck.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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Couple of quick responses:

1. Although there are advantages to both proposals, I do somewhat prefer putting dice on the Kings. It's more regular and does not disrupt the rotation in any way.

2. I agree with Septyn that the jokers should remain suited. It makes every card in the deck unique, and the hollow suit icons are easy enough to ignore. I also agree that if you can't learn to ignore card features, you probably shouldn't play with the RD.

I'd still like to see one "title" joker, perhaps the Joker of Hearts.
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Chen Changcai
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Ok, I guess I will leave the jokers as they are now, with the hollow icon suits, the "?" at both corners and the title joker with the first suit.
 
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Chen Changcai
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Summary of changes to v2.0

1. The letters and letter values on the cards have been rearranged so the letters in the center are closer to the letters at the card corner, and the numbers in the center closer to the numbers at the card corner.

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 color of the color suit pair they're displayed on. The suit icons for the jokers are hollow/white.

4. The poker suits have been partly rearranged to better match the color suits. Now, the poker suits to colour combinations are red-hearts, yellow-stars, green-clubs, blue-diamonds, violet-tears, black-spades.

5. Dice faces are added below the poker suits, with the values of the 1st 6 cards being 1-6 and the first card of each suit is value 1, and then repeating this 1-6 sequence for the subsequent cards.

6. The first two suits contain the 26 letters of the alphabet, with the first card of each suit being value 0. After that, the deck would run through the available letters within the 52 card block and display each letter once if possible until all the letters in the 52 card block are displayed.
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Chen Changcai
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I tried to address Tim's comment earlier that the tears suit looks similar to the spades suit. I found a sun symbol to replace the tears. The suns and stars complement each other. Since the suns has to be yellow, the stars are now purple. To me, purple suggests the night and stars seems to fit in.

The suns are light (day) and stars are dark (night), yet they are similar in that their symbols have spikes pointing outwards. Thus, we can group the dark suits spades and clubs with stars, and the light suits hearts and diamonds with suns. We can also group spades with clubs, hearts with diamonds and suns with stars (spiky symbols).

Is the suns symbol better than the tears symbol?

Proposed v2.0


Current v2.0


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Ron Hale-Evans
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ccube78 wrote:
I tried to address Tim's comment earlier that the tears suit looks similar to the spades suit. I found a sun symbol to replace the tears. The suns and stars complement each other. Since the suns has to be yellow, the stars are now purple. To me, purple suggests the night and stars seems to fit in.

The suns are light (day) and stars are dark (night), yet they are similar in that their symbols have spikes pointing outwards. Thus, we can group the dark suits spades and clubs with stars, and the light suits hearts and diamonds with suns. We can also group spades with clubs, hearts with diamonds and suns with stars (spiky symbols).

Is the suns symbol better than the tears symbol?


I'm sorry, but I can't say I like the proposed change. In a wide variety of five-suited poker decks, from the Stardeck to Five Crowns to the 5°Dimension Playing Card Game that Septyn mentioned, Stars are the fifth suit, and they are usually one of the four basic colors -- red, yellow, green, or blue. In fact, they're usually yellow or blue. I take the purple suit to be the "sixth suit" or "weird suit", since it's not one of the four basic colors or black. If Suns should go anywhere, they should go on the purple suit, while Stars, the fifth suit, stay yellow.

Another problem is that in reality, suns are stars and stars are suns. Having both suits might be confusing for some people, especially if their language does not distinguish between "star" and "sun". (I don't know of any languages like this, but it's easy to imagine one.)

Changcai, can you point us to an online display of the characters available to you for the sixth suit so the forum can make some suggestions? Thanks.
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Chen Changcai
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How about calling the new symbol as the Gears suit? They will be purple, and the Stars suit stays yellow. We probably do not really need any link between the fifth and sixth suits to justify calling the new symbol as Suns.



It is easier if I just capture screen the fonts available. Here it is.





 
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K Septyn
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I don't like the sun/gear icon at all. It's too spiky for my tastes.

While a water drop shape isn't too common as an alternate suit, I do know of one instance, and that's in 8 Suits Playing Cards. In that case, it's more of a half-Tao symbol than a typical droplet. If you look at the alternate suits in this deck (and in The Fat Pack and Sextet), you'll see they're on the detailed side. Maybe if printers had access to our level of technology when cards started being printed we would have detailed suits like these--but they didn't, and our modern suits are derived from simple shapes that were easy to cut into wood blocks.

My point is the droplet shape is simple. It's less complex than clubs, but it fits in better with the other suit shapes than that sun/gear icon. Heck, even a plain circle would work fine, except that a dot is so simple I think new users wouldn't interpret it as a suit right away. (Some custom canasta decks dropped suits entirely and just went with red and black circles, if eBay pictures are to be believed.)

I think the droplet is also visually distinct from spades. Just because something has a pointy top and a round bottom doesn't mean it's easy to confuse with a centuries-old icon that everyone's familiar with. No one seems to mind that a heart is 99% of an upside down spade, do they?

Do I like the droplet? I can't say I'm passionate about it, but it's not a bad choice given the limited choices that are out there. There is no traditional pairing for a stars suit, so no matter what icon is used it's going to feel a little unnatural to me.


I think I might have linked this before. It's an interesting discussion about additional suit shapes: link.
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Chen Changcai
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Actually, after reading the link about additional suit shapes, it occurs to me that the Tears icon does share something with the Stars icon - both have pointed tops. The Hearts and Diamonds have pointed bases, and the Spades and Clubs have stem bases.

I think the Tears icon does look a bit like the Spades or an inverted Hearts, but I am not sure exactly how bad it is. A plain circle might solve this issue. It can also represent the moon, which links somewhat to Stars.
 
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Ron Hale-Evans
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Septyn wrote:
I don't like the sun/gear icon at all. It's too spiky for my tastes.


I don't like it much myself.

Septyn wrote:

My point is the droplet shape is simple. It's less complex than clubs, but it fits in better with the other suit shapes than that sun/gear icon.


As I said before in response to the person who thought the droplet looked too much like a spade, I'm not ecstatic about the droplet shape. However, I'm not that unhappy about it, either, especially given the alternatives in the Wingdings font.

If we do use it, we should settle on a name for the suit. Droplets? Drops? Tears? Teardrops? No one is confused about what to call the other five suits.

Septyn wrote:

Heck, even a plain circle would work fine, except that a dot is so simple I think new users wouldn't interpret it as a suit right away. (Some custom canasta decks dropped suits entirely and just went with red and black circles, if eBay pictures are to be believed.)


I thought of a plain circle too, and discarded the idea for the same reason.

Septyn wrote:

I think the droplet is also visually distinct from spades. Just because something has a pointy top and a round bottom doesn't mean it's easy to confuse with a centuries-old icon that everyone's familiar with. No one seems to mind that a heart is 99% of an upside down spade, do they?


Agreed. To some degree, the droplet's looking like a spade is a good thing, as it means it's visually harmonious.

Further, if droplets are purple and spades are black, they will be much less easily conflated. I think the original poster's complaint that droplets looked too much like spades occurred before the decision to color the poker suit icons. Perhaps it would be a problem for people who are color-blind, but there are other cues on the cards to help them, such as the suit numbers.

Septyn wrote:

Do I like the droplet? I can't say I'm passionate about it, but it's not a bad choice given the limited choices that are out there. There is no traditional pairing for a stars suit, so no matter what icon is used it's going to feel a little unnatural to me.


Agreed; see above. It would be nice if there were a moon icon in Wingdings -- that might make a nice pairing.

Is there any reason Wingdings must be used? There must be some other dingbats fonts available, including some free ones, that contain some potential suit icons that are more interesting, as well as the five other suits.
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K Septyn
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One of the free card fonts I've used is called, oddly enough, cards.ttf, and I believe it's an unrestricted license to use. It has the Anglo-French, Germanic, Swiss, and Italian suit symbols in a very simple style. There is a star a well (for jokers) but nothing that's a great choice for a 6th suit.

There's the font for the JDC piecepack, but then we have the piecepack icons. Not sure about its license status, but it does seem to be widely available.

Maybe with some inkscape skillz we could create a font to use specifically for the Rainbow Deck. I had Fontographer on my Mac about a 100 years ago, but it's long gone by now.
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Chen Changcai
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I prefer to use whatever fonts that are available in my windows 7 system and OpenOffice package, rather than searching for free fonts. Also, not all fonts are directly usable in nandeck. I encountered some issues when using those with extended fonts. The two fonts that I showed are the ones which do work well.

If the tears suit is not really a problem and there is much resistance against the suns/gears suit, then I will leave it as it is. As Ron mentioned, it is also possible that the initial feedback was before we decided to colour the suit icons.

Let's set the suit name as Drops. Tears sounds a bit depressing.
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Ron Hale-Evans
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I think that's a good decision. And although I've never seen a purple body of water, I feel purple is a good color for Drops, in some way reminiscent of liquid.
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K Septyn
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rwhe wrote:
I think that's a good decision. And although I've never seen a purple body of water, I feel purple is a good color for Drops, in some way reminiscent of liquid.


This seems an appropriate time to drop a Purple Rain pun, but I'm just not going to do it.

However, I will cite the old drive-in triple header:

Red Dawn + Blue Thunder = Purple Rain

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Ron Hale-Evans
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Septyn wrote:
rwhe wrote:
I think that's a good decision. And although I've never seen a purple body of water, I feel purple is a good color for Drops, in some way reminiscent of liquid.


This seems an appropriate time to drop a Purple Rain pun, but I'm just not going to do it.

However, I will cite the old drive-in triple header:

Red Dawn + Blue Thunder = Purple Rain



That association hadn't occurred to me. Now we HAVE to keep it.
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