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Subject: See through cards rss

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Leon Kerkhoff
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Hi geeks

I am thinking about a boardgame project that might make use of clear plastic cards (I´m talking about the see through type used for mystic vale and such). I have no experience with these, never played any games with them nor designed anything involving them. So, before I dive into it I would like to know a little bit more about them.

I´m sure plastic cards will be more expensive than cardboard but how much? Double, triple, tenfold? I don´t have a clue.

Where would these kind of cards be available? Would it be difficult to find a place where they can make clear plastic MICRO cards (a quarter the size of a regular poker deck)? And would your average printshop in the street be able to print on clear plastic (for prototyping)?

I imagine that, for instance, if you have a regular white card with icons and stats, and you want to add see through cards to change the stats, there is a limit to how many additions you can make. So how many clear cards can be added before readability gets bad? Just 1, or lots?

Any answers to these questions, additional information or personal experiences are really appreciated!

Cheers, Leon
 
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JPotter
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How many cards do you need?
 
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Brendan Riley
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For prototyping, you should be able to print on transparencies (the plastic sheets teachers used to use in classrooms before digital projectors were common) and cut those apart.
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Adrian Pillai
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+1 on transparencies but do note that not all transparencies are printer friendly (I busted my laser printer by feeding too thick a transparent paper in it - it melted in the printer - I was dumber as I am right now).

Usually the pack of transparent paper will note it is printer friendly. I think. It's been a while (I stayed away from transparent paper after they killed my printer. Have I told you that story? No? Another time perhaps.)

Also, I'd suggest making your test cards fit in penny sleeves (or any spare sleeves you have) even if the card aren't meant to be that size in final. Prototypes you might decide to go all Dragon Shield, but until then...
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Jay Xealous
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Reminds me of Redakai which may have some relevant comparisons for you. Though it was more or less a nonsense TCG with a gimic.
 
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Matt D
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Leon Feargus wrote:
I have no experience with these, never played any games with them nor designed anything involving them. So, before I dive into it I would like to know a little bit more about them.

I imagine that, for instance, if you have a regular white card with icons and stats, and you want to add see through cards to change the stats, there is a limit to how many additions you can make. So how many clear cards can be added before readability gets bad? Just 1, or lots?

Any answers to these questions, additional information or personal experiences are really appreciated!


Hello Leon. First of all, good luck on your endeavor!

I can tell you that in my experience if the quality of the transparent cards are decent, you can get quite a large number of them in before you start to lose image quality.

I would highly encourage you to invest in a copy of Gloom to play around with to get a feel for this, since you stated you haven't seen or played any games that use it. You can pick up a new copy for under $20 on amazon, but there are used copies for half that on BGG. I'd actually encourage you to buy a used copy not just for price savings but because I think that would give you a better idea of the longevity of your game - brand new cards are still very clear, but over the course of time even when handled well wear and tear on the cards will made their transparency start to get foggy.

I recommend Gloom mostly because it is a cheaper game - if you are going to be including opaque cards as the back Mystic Vale may be a better example, because every card in Gloom is transparent (even the base ones), while in Mystic Vale you are sliding transparent cards atop a base cardboard one.

I think you ought to pick up one of these two games (there is also Ren Fest by AEG, but frankly, I think Gloom and Mystic Vale are also better games) to play around with and see what you like and don't like, before you dive too deep into prototyping and development.

Good luck in any case!
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JPotter
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elfboy wrote:
+1 on transparencies but do note that not all transparencies are printer friendly (I busted my laser printer by feeding too thick a transparent paper in it - it melted in the printer ...


Ouch!

If printing directly on transparencies is a problem, printing on labels and apply the labels to a transparent substrate. If the printed areas need to be seen through, use clear labels, if the design benefits from some or all printed areas being opaque, use white labels.
 
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Leon Kerkhoff
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aesthetocyst wrote:
How many cards do you need?
In ideal circumstances I will be needing approximately a whole lot of micro cards. More seriously: It´s very early stages of the project (concept really), so I will have to figure out what´s doable, but generally: the more, the better.

wombat929 wrote:
For prototyping, you should be able to print on transparencies (the plastic sheets teachers used to use in classrooms before digital projectors were common) and cut those apart.
Yeah, I was thinking somewhere along those lines. Apparently, the thickness/type of sheet does matter for printing purposes (As I learned from latter post).

elfboy wrote:
+1 on transparencies but do note that not all transparencies are printer friendly (I busted my laser printer by feeding too thick a transparent paper in it - it melted in the printer - I was dumber as I am right now).

Usually the pack of transparent paper will note it is printer friendly. I think. It's been a while (I stayed away from transparent paper after they killed my printer. Have I told you that story? No? Another time perhaps.)

Also, I'd suggest making your test cards fit in penny sleeves (or any spare sleeves you have) even if the card aren't meant to be that size in final. Prototypes you might decide to go all Dragon Shield, but until then...
Thanks, this is very helpful. I´ll be sure to use my best Spanish to inform the people at the printshop. Sorry about your printer, RIP.

About sleeves: I don´t have any. I doubt there is a producer here in Colombia and I fear shipping will be expensive. I would like to have some so maybe I´ll work something out but anyway I also want to test without sleeves to see how long the cards will remain playable.

Xealous wrote:
Reminds me of Redakai which may have some relevant comparisons for you. Though it was more or less a nonsense TCG with a gimic.
Thanks for the link. The Dice Tower review was also useful. There are indeed some similarities and I got some more inspiration.

hestiansun wrote:

Hello Leon. First of all, good luck on your endeavor!

I can tell you that in my experience if the quality of the transparent cards are decent, you can get quite a large number of them in before you start to lose image quality.

I would highly encourage you to invest in a copy of Gloom to play around with to get a feel for this, since you stated you haven't seen or played any games that use it. You can pick up a new copy for under $20 on amazon, but there are used copies for half that on BGG. I'd actually encourage you to buy a used copy not just for price savings but because I think that would give you a better idea of the longevity of your game - brand new cards are still very clear, but over the course of time even when handled well wear and tear on the cards will made their transparency start to get foggy.

I recommend Gloom mostly because it is a cheaper game - if you are going to be including opaque cards as the back Mystic Vale may be a better example, because every card in Gloom is transparent (even the base ones), while in Mystic Vale you are sliding transparent cards atop a base cardboard one.

I think you ought to pick up one of these two games (there is also Ren Fest by AEG, but frankly, I think Gloom and Mystic Vale are also better games) to play around with and see what you like and don't like, before you dive too deep into prototyping and development.

Good luck in any case!
Thanks for the detailed response. It´s good to hear that you can use multiple cards on top of eachother. I am going to keep an eye on the games you mentioned.

aesthetocyst wrote:

If printing directly on transparencies is a problem, printing on labels and apply the labels to a transparent substrate. If the printed areas need to be seen through, use clear labels, if the design benefits from some or all printed areas being opaque, use white labels.
Thanks. This is a good idea for an alternative method of prototyping.
 
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Andrew Tullsen
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I've been playing around with a 230gsm 65# Cover Translucent paper. It's not completely opaque like transparencies, but it's pretty see through, and it's paper, so it prints just fine on printers.

 
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Missy Thompson
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I was thinking of something like this, so glad you brought it up! I will watch this post to see how it goes for you! My idea has something to do with using transparent cards so that they stack on a character and show equipment. Ill let you know how it goes!
 
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Chris Rees
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Mamabull wrote:
I was thinking of something like this, so glad you brought it up! I will watch this post to see how it goes for you! My idea has something to do with using transparent cards so that they stack on a character and show equipment. Ill let you know how it goes!


I think you'd like Custom Heroes and Mystic Vale if you need examples of how your mechanic might work. Both use a similar card-crafting mechanic by layering cards on top of each other. Custom Heroes ends up adding things like equipment onto the base card as you add the layers
 
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Paul Wagner
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Re: See through cards -- did you see this?
Did you see this BGG thread?
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/12991/games-use-clear-pla...
I would think you could private message some of these BGG people to ask your questions, they're a pretty decent group overall.

I've played Swish (number 14 on the list) and thought the cards had a decent size, feel, and quality (not brittle; able to be shuffled; colors on them didn't chip or scratch off; cards themselves didn't scratch easily).

(To private message someone you'd have to click on that person's name/moniker and go to his/her user page and then click "send 'person' a private message" at the bottom of the left hand column.)


 
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JPotter
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Here's a suggestion that might, depending on your art and how you want the cards to function and how much information needs to be hidden (if any) ...

Set up all your art as line art. Then have the art etched into, and cards cut from, 1mm-thick clear acrylic sheet.

If you want any of the art to be some color other than white, it could be filled.

 
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Leon Kerkhoff
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Howitzer_120mm wrote:
I've been playing around with a 230gsm 65# Cover Translucent paper. It's not completely opaque like transparencies, but it's pretty see through, and it's paper, so it prints just fine on printers.
I think that with "opaque" you mean transparent (opaque means the opposite).

Thanks for the comment. I don´t think this kind of paper will be useful for my idea but now I am curious as to what is the purpose of the semi-transparent cards in this game?

Mamabull wrote:
I was thinking of something like this, so glad you brought it up! I will watch this post to see how it goes for you! My idea has something to do with using transparent cards so that they stack on a character and show equipment. Ill let you know how it goes!
Ha nice! I´m currently still debating whether I should continue developing this particular idea right now. But yeah, let me know how yours is turning out.
Attika wrote:
Did you see this BGG thread?
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/12991/games-use-clear-pla...
I would think you could private message some of these BGG people to ask your questions, they're a pretty decent group overall.

I've played Swish (number 14 on the list) and thought the cards had a decent size, feel, and quality (not brittle; able to be shuffled; colors on them didn't chip or scratch off; cards themselves didn't scratch easily).

(To private message someone you'd have to click on that person's name/moniker and go to his/her user page and then click "send 'person' a private message" at the bottom of the left hand column.)
Thanks for the link and the info. I don´t think I am going to pm somebody quite yet. Perhaps when I have something more than some fleeting ideas.

aesthetocyst wrote:
Here's a suggestion that might, depending on your art and how you want the cards to function and how much information needs to be hidden (if any) ...

Set up all your art as line art. Then have the art etched into, and cards cut from, 1mm-thick clear acrylic sheet.

If you want any of the art to be some color other than white, it could be filled.
Thanks. This seems like something like a polish for the final product. I am not ready to think much about the final product yet.
 
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Leon Kerkhoff
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Is there anyone who has seen mini or micro transparent cards used in games?

And does anyone know anything about the production cost of making these kinds of cards?
 
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