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Subject: Speechless rss

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"In loving memory of Mariel."
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I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this game (deluxe), but I'm a bit sad that the game has so much language on the cards.

One of the things that impressed me is that, like the Street Fighter video game, you have all the tools to be the best at the game. No collectability. Practice makes perfect, not purchase.

However, unlike Street Fighter, I can't sit down with someone from any country, speaking a different language, and simply play. Where the videogame requires a sequence of buttons that becomes a universal language, here we have text. It's too bad that I can't easily sit down with my students and play this.

My excitement for the game is still high, but I was curious if, during the design process, the game ever had a languageless iteration?
 
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Adam Ruzzo
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Well the only text on the cards is for the special abilities. Each one is quite unique and can't really be explained through the use of icons. How do you explain how Lum's Blackjack ability works without using text?

The rest of the game, however, is completely text free. The speed is given in numbers. The combo points are graphics. The extra Ace discards are printed on the card. Pumper cards have little "+2 any" or "+2 Face" on them.


So I think if you teach them the special abilities and what they do for that one deck (dragon form/glimpse of the dragon for midori for example) the rest of the game is text free.

BTW, you can play a version of the game on the test site: www.fantasystrike.com/dev to see how it plays.
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David Sirlin
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Yeah, what Bridger said. Another note about the text though, which might make you happy to know. There are really two types of text: the "help text" and the "ability text" and you can ignore all help text. The help text is stuff like "Combos into any 3, Linker, or Ender." Ability text is stuff inside a brown-bordered box.

None of the help text is needed at all. The help text only restates general rules. Earlier versions didn't have any help text and we tried it both ways, and there was really strong feedback from players that they wanted it there to, well, "help." If you understand the general rule that numbered attack card can combo into the next higher numbered attack card, and stuff like that, you don't need the help text though.

The ability text, however, is necessary. I just don't think you can get enough variety in this kind of game without any abilities at all, so *some* text is needed. Remember that a game like Magic: the Gathering has ability text on every card. In Yomi, there are only about 3 abilities in your whole deck. (Each with 4 copies, but only like 3 blocks of text to know, about). So yeah you would have to translate that, but those abilities add so much to the game, and actually help mirror properties in a fighting game (like Rook's "super armor" or Grave's "fireball trap") that I think they're worth having.
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Adam Ruzzo
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Sirlin wrote:
(like Rook's "super armor" or Grave's "fireball trap") that I think they're worth having.


Of course you meant "Rock armor" and "Lightning Trap" right?
 
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Michael Kefauver
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I've printed this game, and the text isn't heavy. Moreover, though, it's needed, which is more important. Like Sirlin said, without the text the characters would lose a lot of what makes them so unique, and that uniqueness is part of what makes the game. They're so unique, in fact, that a symbol system, like you see in so many different games, would be more confusing than text.

There are only a few cards with special text in every deck, so if you did play with someone that doesn't read your language you could explain it to them pre-game. If you don't speak their language, and you can't explain it... Well, how did you know they wanted to play to begin with?
 
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Some Donkus
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Since you can ignore help text, each character has an innate and two or three abilities, which would be easy to fit on a translated 'cheat sheet'.

The student could then consult the cheat sheet before the game and whenever he or she drew a card with a block of ability text.
 
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I feel a bit better! It seems that my only difficulty will be in explaining the powers of different characters should my students want to switch! Thank you!
 
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