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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Pros and Cons of Large Cards rss

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Adam Larson
United States
Texas
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I'm creating a game that uses cards to dictate much of the play. A players hand would be made up of 4 cards at a time and each card has multi use options. I've been doing much of my designing with a regular 2.5" x 3.5" playing card but am wondering if I need to rethink using a larger card for more space for graphics and flavor text and multi use options.

I know that a larger card would give me more space but it would be more expensive for a game that would need around 120 cards. Is there any other pros and cons that are out there?
 
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Laura Creighton
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Göteborg
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Cons:
People with small hands find a hand of large cards uncomfortable. Some children have enough trouble with the problem that they keep dropping the cards.

Bigger cards take up more space. I wish that the Osprey edition of The Ravens of Thri Sahashri had used regular sized cards; then I could play it with a friend on the train while commuting.

Now people will need specially designed tuckboxes to hold the cards, if they want to use tuckboxes. Tarot sized tuckboxes exist, but are uncommon, and more expensive, especially if you need to get them shipped.

After people have sleeved your 120 large cards they may have a real problem getting the result back into the box.

Tarot-sized cards are harder to shuffle. Larger sized cards are even harder -- at a certain size they become impossible to shuffle.


Pro:
Large cards are easier for people to read from across the table. If people need to be reading each others cards all the time, they may prefer the larger size for this reason alone.
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Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
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Production cost.
Table space.
Shuffling.
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Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
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If we have to shuffle 120 cards, and hold a hand of cards (rather than say providing card racks), there’s really no pros of larger-than-standard size that outweigh the cons imo. Make the text big enough to read at the distance necessary. Make space for pictures if they help you understand at a glance what the card does. But only include flavor text and flavor art if there’s extra space - imo you should never make the cards bigger just to make space for flavor.
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James Arias
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Sanford
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For me it's always choice of standard 2.5x3.5 or the "mini" cards. Main pros/cons are space for rules/icons vs. required table space.
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Frank de Jong
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I second Ryan and Laura.

The only larger cards I could value were the ones in 7 Wonders Duel, where the wonders (which are always out and open on the table) are extra large.

Besides that, it is more troublesome to get sleeves and cumbersome to bring anywhere.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Linköping
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Whst everyone said, and even if you do use some unusual/big shape consider using standard sizes for pnp playtests (i.e. if you send out PDFs to playtesters rather than printed prototypes) or you will introduce an extra hurdle to get your game tested and that is difficult enough as it is already.
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John Ellis
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Oklahoma City
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I've worked on a few designs that used different sizes of cards, but most of them happened for fiddly reasons, and never have I found that I needed more space on a regular card.

I have one title that is prototyped that uses a larger card, and mini cards to give the player a better feel as you lay it out. (Spaceship hulls were printed on a large card and then weapon and other attachments were mini cards so they could be placed around the ship hull and not have as massive of a footprint.
 
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Ryan Keane
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Large cards are perfectly fine if they are serving basically as player boards or reference boards that lay on the table, don’t need to be shuffled or held in hand.
 
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