GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
8,020 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
21 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Too Many Components? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi all,

I am working on a game idea of mine, and I am curious if there is ever such a thing as "too many components." I'll define component as actual game piece (meeple, chit, token, card, die, etc.), not game mechanic (roll x many times, draw a card, etc).


In my game, there are primarily tiles and cards. There are also player pieces (small ships). However, I also wanted to include trading of resources and originally I was thinking of using small wooden chips or tokens to represent different resources.

Here's my question: Should I use cards instead of tokens for the resources? I will already have a number of different card decks (for different occasions), but I am wondering if I should include cards for resources as well. I think tokens would look nicer (and differentiate from the cards better), but I am worried that it may add clutter to the game in exchange for usefulness.



At this point, I am not worried about production costs, but it may play a factor down the road.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew St. Cyr
United States
Worcester
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd say use tokens.....there are some games out there that have a ridiculous number of components but are still wicked fun to play!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Jackson
United States
Amity
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
I think tokens would look nicer (and differentiate from the cards better), but I am worried that it may add clutter to the game in exchange for usefulness.


Take a gander at Agricola and its ranking. Use tokens.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Blakeley
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd suggest playing the game through both ways. I'm about to run my game through some very basic solo play tests (surprise!) and that's one thing I'm going to be testing, because it really could go either way for me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
At this point, I am not worried about production costs...


Use tokens. Quality tokens. Then market an expensive upgrade with a set of even more dazzling tokens.

Quote:
...but it may play a factor down the road.


Relax. You're going to lose money anyway.
9 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabe Covert
United States
Lexington
KY
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Stix_Remix wrote:
...and I am curious if there is ever such a thing as "too many components."


Burn the heretic!

ninja
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
We always have time for the things we put first.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tokens. Nice wooden tokens. I will add a room onto my house if I have to.

FWIW, I run screaming from paper money, and mini cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Byron Collins
United States
Suffolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You can never have too many components devil

But you can have an expensive game as a result, so it's a tradeoff.

I'd say don't worry about it much right now- use either type- but I would go with what is easier on you to use and develop during your design phase. Worry about component specifics later- after lots of playtesting- when you have a better idea of what works the best. Designing a bunch of cards sounds like a lot more effort than using representative tokens.

Poll your players/playtesters, having them try the game with each type of component.

If you're still unsure, and each functions the same, list out the benefits and drawbacks of each and make a decision based on that.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Whether your game gets produced by a game publisher or you publish it yourself, the decisions regarding numbers and types your components are going to be driven by costs of manufacturing the components.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Byron Collins
United States
Suffolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anthony, how many components are you talking about?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
frontlinegeneral wrote:
Anthony, how many components are you talking about?


At the moment, I do not have an exact count as I am still adding/subtracting elements, but here are my estimates.

80-100 Tiles
20-25 Ships
60-70 Cards
Approx. 30 resource tokens/cards
2 Dice (though these may be phased out)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
alan beaumont
United Kingdom
LONDON
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Components
Dependent on function. Do I need to see the position at a glance? Are resources secret once gathered? Are all items equal, or does a resource come in variable sizes?
Go with ease of play and remember resources may get handled a lot and we don't all favour card sleeves.
Good luck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Padget
United States
Claremont
California [CA]
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Too many components? Wurf?

All the cool bits the price point will allow! But (one guy's opinion), make sure to take packaging (box size and sturdiness, inserts, bags) into account. I'd rather have nice well-packaged bits than awesome badly-packaged bits.

Of course, if the gods like Bruno Faidutti have difficulty getting games packaged as they would like (looking at you, Red November!), what chance to mere mortals have?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P Pirilla
United States
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Not having seen the game in question, I can't really say for sure, but I think you're probably best using tokens for resources.

To me, too many components can be confusing, but generally because of too many similar components. If you're already using cards for something else -- especially if you're using cards for several other things, then using tokens seems to be a good step towards reducing confusion.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ɹǝsɐɹɟ
Australia
Melbourne
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
badge
Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kudzujim wrote:
Quote:
I think tokens would look nicer (and differentiate from the cards better), but I am worried that it may add clutter to the game in exchange for usefulness.


Take a gander at Agricola and its ranking. Use tokens.


War in Europe has a tad over 3600 counters, but it is languishing a tad in the ratings. Components are good, but they are not everything
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Holcomb
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with most of what is being said here. My note: Use as many components as you need. 10? 100? 100,000? use what you need. As a publisher, if I feel the need to push back on production cost I have lots of tricks to keep costs down.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Byron Collins
United States
Suffolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Stix_Remix wrote:
frontlinegeneral wrote:
Anthony, how many components are you talking about?


At the moment, I do not have an exact count as I am still adding/subtracting elements, but here are my estimates.

80-100 Tiles
20-25 Ships
60-70 Cards
Approx. 30 resource tokens/cards
2 Dice (though these may be phased out)


I was thinking numbers in the thousands. I don't think you have anything to worry about. And I agree with Jeremy- it's the publisher's job to take a hard look at cost. Use the numbers of components you need- since although it doesn't hurt to think ahead, your primary concern right now is designing a great game!

Have fun!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil
Germany
Bremen
Bremen
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't care how many tokens/components a game has. The more the better perhaps.

But what I hate about a game is when I have to setup everything each time which may take even longer than the game itself.

So as long as the components can be divided into the game box without problems so that I don't have to do it every time I setup the board it is good. As long as the components get added to the board during play it is fine.

But games that turn me off because of the setup time with all those components and cards that want shuffling:
- Shogun
- Axis & Allies
- Arkham Horror

If the setup is part of the game it is also good:
- Risk (though the game sucks)
- Twilight Imperium
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mik Svellov
Denmark
Copenhagen N
EU
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Design the game any way you like.
If you decide to publish it yourself, you will soon find reasons to streamline part of the production, and if you should find a publisher their developer will 'do what's necessary' for their line of games anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.