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Subject: opponent or player? rss

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Paul Spencer
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I've just been reviewing the text for a card game I've made and noticed that I've referred to each person as 'another player'.

The thought just occurred to me whether this should be opponent?

Another player sounds less confrontational, but this is a take-that game so confrontation is going to happen, plus using opponent lowers the word count on the cards.

Just wondering what people's feelings were about this? How do you refer to other players?

Is there another option I'm not thinking of?
 
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Russ Williams
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I see nothing wrong with "opponent". People who have trouble with "confrontation" probably shouldn't be playing competitive games in the first place.

As you note, for text on cards, using "an opponent" / "all opponents" / etc has the advantage of being shorter (i.e. taking up less space on the card) than "another player" / "all other players" / etc.
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Harv Veerman
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ascruplepen wrote:
... this is a take-that game so confrontation is going to happen, ...


This pushes me towards opponent.

Victim might be an alternative ? devil
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Andrew H
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In this case, I think opponent is fine, especially because of the take that nature. In general, I think you are right to examine if the other player is always on an opposing side, or may be part of a temporary or permanent alliance. If alliances form at some point, then "any player" or "another player" are probably more accurate. If everyone is always against each other, the conflict is understood.

I think you would especially need the clarification if an effect might be beneficial when applied to the card player or someone on their side. Opponent does imply conflict, preventing the effect from helping ones side.

For example "1 opponent gains 1 health," vs. "another player gains 1 health," vs. "any player gains 1 health." To me, the first only happens to someone on another side, the second could happen to opponents or teammates (but not the player), and the third could happen to anyone. You may actually want the first effect at some point such as to balance out another strong effect.
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Jeremy Lennert
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If the game is structured such that all other players are always opponents, I don't see any problem in referring to them as such.

russ wrote:
As you note, for text on cards, using "an opponent" / "all opponents" / etc has the advantage of being shorter (i.e. taking up less space on the card) than "another player" / "all other players" / etc.

If space is a concern, you may want to try "enemy" or "foe". (Or maybe "rival" if those sound too confrontational for your game.)
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John duBois
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Is there a term you could use that reinforces the theme?
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Paul Spencer
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JohnduBois wrote:
Is there a term you could use that reinforces the theme?


This thought just occurred to me, perhaps rival or passenger could work. I'll have a think.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions!
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Nathaniel Grisham

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Is there any situation that would have players playing as a team? In that case "another player" and "opponent" mean very different things. Is there any reason why you might want to play a card on yourself? "Any player" can be used for cards that you want players to be able to target themselves or other players with.

I see someone already replied to this effect, but I'll post mine, too for emphasis.

Something that reinforces your theme can help with immersion, but can also cause confusion if it isn't obvious that your term refers to the intended target. An example: Whenever I teach Seasons to a new person, they get thrown off by the term "power card." Does it mean some special category of card? Not really; in Seasons, all of the cards are "power cards." So, why not just refer to them all as cards?
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John
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ascruplepen wrote:
JohnduBois wrote:
Is there a term you could use that reinforces the theme?


This thought just occurred to me, perhaps rival or passenger could work. I'll have a think.


I usually dislike it when games do this. It's better to be clear than reinforce the theme in my opinion. If there is a fairly standard term like player, opponent, discard pile, hand, draw deck etc then it's almost always going to be better to use it. Many people will end up using the standard term anyway.
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