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Subject: Looking for tips: Set collection rss

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Martin Afable
Philippines
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Hello. I am designing a card game where collecting sets is the main objective. With over 30 unique possible sets to obtain.

Example:

Collect Yellow Set: collect 3 yellow letters/numbers.
Collect Number Set: collect 3 any color numbers.
Collect black letter set: collect 4 black letters.

My question is what is a good way for presenting these sets to players without confusion? I am looking for some kind of list for players to refer maybe? I want the players to know what sets are viable for their cards in hand. Thanks.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Do you mean that all 30 sets are available to all players at all times? I suspect you'll find that's too much for most players to keep track of, unless the list is very formulaic. (e.g. in one sense Poker has thousands of possible hands that score, but those are divided into about 8 categories that are what people actually remember, and the categories themselves also have patterns like pair -> 3 of a kind -> 4 of a kind.)

Most set collection games put the scoring sets onto cards and only use a limited number of them at one time. For instance, in Splendor, there's only 12 cards (divided into 3 cost categories) available for scoring at any given time, even though the full deck is much larger. My game Gem Rush theoretically can have a lot of options at once, but they are added gradually, and your practical options are usually limited by what's close to you on the map.


As for how to present the sets to players, you want to try to use visual shorthand as much as possible so that players can remind themselves of a half-remembered pattern with a glance instead of needing to read a bunch of words. For instance, "collect 3 yellow letters/numbers" might show 3 yellow rectangles whose faces are blank or that contain some special symbol that means "any letter or number".

You probably also want to explain the sets in words, because it's very difficult to make pictures of abstract collections that are completely unambiguous. But the pictures are key for quick reference.
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Martin Afable
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Thanks for the reply. Yes all the sets are available at once. Will check and playtest the idea of only getting a sample of the available sets and maybe gradually adding more as the game progresses.
 
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Gregg Jewell
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Maybe look to phase 10 as an example:
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Ken Bush
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West Linn
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Use keywords and have a short appendix for them

Flush = all cards in the set must be the same color
X of a kind = (where X is any number) set must have X cards all being the same number.

4 of a kind black flush . . .

So you can describe a multitude of sets by saying:
- any 3 card flush
- 4 card flush, not yellow
- 3 of a kind, But not same as top card
- 5 of a kind black flush

Ken
 
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Martin Afable
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Oh cool. Will also test this one. Maybe we’ll design 3 cards containing 10 sets each.
 
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Martin Afable
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Nice suggestion however we will have a hard time implimenting these because the names of the sets are somewhat unique. Unique in a sense that they refer to a pop culture reference. For example: Suicide Squad (collect the hammer, the gun, the boomerang) etc etc.
 
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Mark Schwab
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FMarteen wrote:
Nice suggestion however we will have a hard time implimenting these because the names of the sets are somewhat unique. Unique in a sense that they refer to a pop culture reference. For example: Suicide Squad (collect the hammer, the gun, the boomerang) etc etc.

That's likely going to be extremely difficult for players to remember. If I'm holding two cards, and I have to scan a list of 30 sets to see which sets include 1 or 2 of the cards in my hand, and then scan the board for where I can pick up a card that fits 2+ of those sets...
 
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Martin Afable
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MarkSchwab wrote:
FMarteen wrote:
Nice suggestion however we will have a hard time implimenting these because the names of the sets are somewhat unique. Unique in a sense that they refer to a pop culture reference. For example: Suicide Squad (collect the hammer, the gun, the boomerang) etc etc.

That's likely going to be extremely difficult for players to remember. If I'm holding two cards, and I have to scan a list of 30 sets to see which sets include 1 or 2 of the cards in my hand, and then scan the board for where I can pick up a card that fits 2+ of those sets...


Your example is perfect. That is the problem indeed thinking of ways to “fix” it. As suggested earlier maybe taking only an amount from the 30+ sets. Might make each game more unique since players are fighting for different sets everytime. Will playtest with 10 sets at a time. And also researching and watching other set collection games online (though their sets are manageable and easy to remember compared to what we are going for).

 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I suppose another option would be to write on every card a list of the sets that card can be used in. If most cards can only be used in a few of the 30 possible sets, that might help players quickly narrow down to the best ones to focus on.
 
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Martin Afable
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Antistone wrote:
I suppose another option would be to write on every card a list of the sets that card can be used in. If most cards can only be used in a few of the 30 possible sets, that might help players quickly narrow down to the best ones to focus on.


We have considered this too. Will have a problem with the layout of the card. The design and interface of the card might appear to be congested. But will try to make a possible layout of the card and maybe ask the community and players for feedback about the cards including their possible sets.
 
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Leon Kerkhoff
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You could look at Isle of Skye for inspiration.

It may be a very different game than yours but the scoring system is very intriguing. It makes for a ton of replay value but on the other hand must have been difficult to balance.
 
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Martin Afable
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Leon Feargus wrote:
You could look at Isle of Skye for inspiration.

It may be a very different game than yours but the scoring system is very intriguing. It makes for a ton of replay value but on the other hand must have been difficult to balance.


Thanks! Need these similar games. Really helps with the creative process of understanding the game mechanic and possible innovations to it. Will check and update about any findings asap. Just busy at work now T_T.
 
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