

I have game design in my head that I'm hoping to prototype soon, and I cannot determine to best way to setup a deck I need during game play
Details: There are four commodities in the game (for sake of this discussion, I'll just use colors blue,red,green,orange) and each unit of the commodity is represented by a card. The game will come with the same number of cards for each commodity (1015ish at this point in design, reason I need to prototype a bit). I wish to initially construct a deck of 10 cards, where there is exactly 4/3/2/1 of the four types (i.e 4 red, 3 green, 2 blue and a single orange).
However, I'd like the 4/3/2/1 breakdown to be hidden from the players, in that no one knows which commodity will have four cards, which is three and so forth. This deck will be used such that each round a card is revealed, and only after the final round will the last card be turned and breakdown be completely revealed.
The cards remaining from this setup will be all shuffled together into another deck and used for drawing/collecting during normal game play. So, the commodity with four cards in the first deck, will have the fewest available cards in the "leftover" deck. (So.. if 10 of each color in the game, then 6/7/8/9 of each color in the "other" deck).
I like the mechanic and wish to prototype around my game play/scoring/turns... and certainly expecting to tweak the values (number of diff colors, number of start quantity of each...etc..etc).
But how best to set up this deck of 10 cards?
Ideally, does anyone know of such a setup in another game that I can just reuse?
My "best" way at this point is to take four card of each color and place them in provided sleeves (four identical sleeves). During game setup, you'd shuffle the sleeves and then remove one card from one random sleeve, two from another sleeve, three from another, and all four from the final sleeve. The removed cards construct the deck and would be shuffled. All remaining cards (from sleeves and remaining cards provided) would be combined/shuffled and resulting in the "other" deck.
It's not bad.. but maybe not all that good.
I initially thought the setup person could just make four piles of four colors each (trying to remove requirement / production of such sleeves), then remove one randomly from each. However, you'd not guaranteed to have 4/3/2/1 in that case.
Then considered four piles of four same colors (again piles and not sleeves), but couldn't think of way to "shuffle" the piles such that person removing cards (reducing to 4/3/2/1) would enforce the hidden nature of the stacks. In other words, someone would know which pile is which. Maybe one person makes the piles, then the other player would rearrange (Threecard Monte style), and the first person could remove cards without knowing which pile is which color? Eh?
Any better ideas?
Please consider: 1. Keep production costs down.. so not using "sleeves" would be nice. 2. Keep setup time down (I know such a deck is going to take some amount of time, but still keeping steps Short&Sweet is preferred) 3. Consider the process will eventually need to be written in a rule book, so complexity should be kept to a minimum.
Thanks for any suggestions.



I also realized that when this game is released and makes it big, this process will be VERY easy on the iPad version.

Lacombe Louisiana
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.

Fascinating thought problem.
It seems you could simplify it by starting off with 4 cards, 1 of each color.
Then, the problem is shrunk to picking 0, 1, 2, and 3 cards of 4 colors. Easier?



I suppose one option would be to just have sixteen tencard decks, each with a different iteration of the 4321 breakdown, and the players randomly select one of the decks at the beginning of the game. That would make the game pretty componentheavy, though, which is probably something you want to avoid.

Lacombe Louisiana
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.

An alternative approach might be this:
Shuffle all the cards together as one deck.
Every time you need to reveal one of the 10 "special deck" cards, just take a card off the top of the main deck.
If 3 colors already have 2 cards, and you draw the 2nd card of the 4th color, discard it and draw another.
If 2 colors already have 3 cards, and you draw the 3rd card of a 3rd color, discard it and draw another.
If 1 color already has 4 cards, and you draw the 4th card of a 2nd color, discard it and draw another.
In this way, you'll build the deck as you go.
There'd be no setup, and the result is the same.
EDIT: It breaks this though:
Quote: The cards remaining from this setup will be all shuffled together into another deck and used for drawing/collecting during normal game play. So, the commodity with four cards in the first deck, will have the fewest available cards in the "leftover" deck. (So.. if 10 of each color in the game, then 6/7/8/9 of each color in the "other" deck).
At least... I think it does.



Another ideasince you're okay with sleevesis to have four sleeves, each with four cards of the same color, then another four sleeves, each with three cards of the same color, then another four sleeves, each with two cards of the same color... Players randomly select one sleeve from each set, blindly remove the cards, then shuffle them together. You would still need 40 cards (16 + 12 + 8 + 4), but that's better than 160.



I think this makes the most sense:
Quote: One person makes the piles, then the other player would rearrange (Threecard Monte style), and the first person could remove cards without knowing which pile is which color
Actually can't you modify your sleeves idea but without sleeves?
* make 4 piles each containing 1 card of each colour. * shuffle each pile individually * Draw 1 card from first pile, 2 from second pile, 3 from 3rd and 4 from fourth. * The drawn cards make up your deck.



StevilKnevil wrote: I think this makes the most sense: Quote: One person makes the piles, then the other player would rearrange (Threecard Monte style), and the first person could remove cards without knowing which pile is which color
I will probably do this early on.. just to save on production during prototyping (playing with friends and family).. but I almost would hate to write this down as my official rules. :( Almost like the "now.. you must look away while another player sets up hidden information".



Just editted my post with better idea

Lacombe Louisiana
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.

StevilKnevil wrote: Actually can't you modify your sleeves idea but without sleeves?
make 4 piles each containing 1 card of each colour. shuffle each pile individually Draw 1 card from first pile, 2 from second pile, 3 from 3rd and 4 from fourth. The drawn cards make up your deck.
That won't work.
Red from pile #1 Red and Blue from pile #2 Blue and Green and Yellow from pile #3 Red and Blue and Green and Yellow from pile #4
For instance.



NateStraight wrote: StevilKnevil wrote: Actually can't you modify your sleeves idea but without sleeves?
make 4 piles each containing 1 card of each colour. shuffle each pile individually Draw 1 card from first pile, 2 from second pile, 3 from 3rd and 4 from fourth. The drawn cards make up your deck. That won't work. Red from pile #1 Red and Blue from pile #2 Blue and Green and Yellow from pile #3 Red and Blue and Green and Yellow from pile #4 For instance.
Doh



NateStraight wrote: An alternative approach might be this: Shuffle all the cards together as one deck. Every time you need to reveal one of the 10 "special deck" cards, just take a card off the top of the main deck. If 3 colors already have 2 cards, and you draw the 2nd card of the 4th color, discard it and draw another. If 2 colors already have 3 cards, and you draw the 3rd card of a 3rd color, discard it and draw another. If 1 color already has 4 cards, and you draw the 4th card of a 2nd color, discard it and draw another. In this way, you'll build the deck as you go. There'd be no setup, and the result is the same. EDIT: It breaks this though: Quote: The cards remaining from this setup will be all shuffled together into another deck and used for drawing/collecting during normal game play. So, the commodity with four cards in the first deck, will have the fewest available cards in the "leftover" deck. (So.. if 10 of each color in the game, then 6/7/8/9 of each color in the "other" deck).
At least... I think it does.
Indeed... I've considered this but was hoping for a clean way to execute this way. It would be possible.
The second, larger deck which player are collecting the commodities from is handle in a Ticket To Ride way... in that each round a set of cards is displayed... players collect from what's shown .. and this set is empty each round.
So.. each round.. both decks are draw from to show a new game state each round (currently one new from 10card deck, and new set of available commodities for players to take from). Maybe, you could draw from single deck to add to 4/3/2/1 display... and if it pushes one value past the 4/3/2/1 restriction, you can just make that part of the TtR side of the game... and draw next card to see if matches 4/3/2/1 side of the game.
Sadly... I think it would be a headache to define/describe in rules (even kind tricky to explain just now!)... and the deck of 10 just seems so much better. :)



StevilKnevil wrote: NateStraight wrote: StevilKnevil wrote: Actually can't you modify your sleeves idea but without sleeves?
make 4 piles each containing 1 card of each colour. shuffle each pile individually Draw 1 card from first pile, 2 from second pile, 3 from 3rd and 4 from fourth. The drawn cards make up your deck. That won't work. Red from pile #1 Red and Blue from pile #2 Blue and Green and Yellow from pile #3 Red and Blue and Green and Yellow from pile #4 For instance. Doh
Exactly. :)

Lacombe Louisiana
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.

In the category of "Stupid Answers" for $400:
Just have someone who isn't playing do it.
You should at least consider it, I think.



NateStraight wrote: In the category of "Stupid Answers" for $400:
Just have someone who isn't playing do it.
You should at least consider it, I think.
True... and would also fall under the list of ways that I'd be almost ashamed to have in my rule book
"Ask someone nearby to set up a deck of 10 cards, such that there are four of one color, three of another,...."
*sigh*
But certainly an idea to consider.

Rishi A.
United States Alexandria Virginia

It will definitely throw off the math, but you can shuffle all the cards together. One card is revealed each round, and you can disregard any card that violates the distribution rule.
So, suppose you've already drawn four blue and three red. If the fourth red card is revealed, then you discard it and draw another card.
As I said, the probabilities will be thrown out of whack, but it's a way to enforce the distribution without sleeves or an outside person.
EDIT: Never mind. I didn't realize that a draw deck would need to be created from the leftovers. That's what I get for not reading carefully.

Mark McEvoy
Canada Mountain Ontario

Rishi wrote: It will definitely throw off the math, but you can shuffle all the cards together. One card is revealed each round, and you can disregard any card that violates the distribution rule.
So, suppose you've already drawn four blue and three red. If the fourth red card is revealed, then you discard it and draw another card.
As I said, the probabilities will be thrown out of whack, but it's a way to enforce the distribution without sleeves or an outside person.
The real problem with that one, to me, isn't the distribution whack, but that it doesn't allow the stacking of the draw deck with the leftovers.
I think the best solution is basically the Sleeve option laid out in the OP. Or, because they're likely cheaper, four Cluesized envelopes. Each with three cards of one colour. Shuffle the envelopes, blindly draw one from one, two from one, three from one. Add to a fixed pile of one of each and you've got your ten. Blindly put the other 6 cards from envelopes into the draw deck. At end of game reseed the four envelopes with three of each colour and put em back in the box.



thatmarkguy wrote: .. because they're likely cheaper, four Cluesized envelopes.
Exactly what I was thinking of.
thatmarkguy wrote: At end of game reseed the four envelopes with three of each colour and put em back in the box.
Indeed.. a suggestion is worth noting to reduce setup next time. Thanks

Christopher Todesco
United States Chicago Suburbs Illinois
Read it again, carefully...
Hey! I bought OverText! I'm cooler than you!

Ahh it's much simpler than that:
The player who removes the decks from the box lays them face down on the table in any order. This should be the only player who had any chance of seeing which deck is which, so that player turns his back just in case he saw. Any player who wasn't involved in removing the decks from the box takes 4 from one, 3 from another, 2 from another, and 1 from the last in any order they wish (all facedown) to make the 10 card deck, then shuffles the rest into the leftover deck. The rest of the players can observe this player making the decks as long as they didn't see which decks were which.
So basically you have two phases: 1. taking the decks from the box and placing them on the table, and 2. forming the 10card deck and the leftover deck. Players should only participate/observe one of the phases.
(Also suggest the unboxing player laying the decks down in a 2x2 square so there's no "start" or "end" to influence which gets drawn first.)

Kevin B. Smith
United States Mercer Island Washington

Sorry I don't have any ideas to add that haven't already been suggested.
One very minor point: You said "only after the final round will the last card be turned and breakdown be completely revealed."
In most cases, players would know the breakdown when the nexttolast card is revealed. By process of elimination, they would know what the last card was before it was revealed.
In a few cases, players would know the breakdown when the secondtolast card is revealed. If the deck were 4red, 3green, 2blue, and 1orange, and if the orange was one of the last 2 cards, then the composition would be known when those 2 cards remain hidden. (The order of those last two cards would remain a mystery, obviously).
Anyway, a minor point, as I said.

Mark McEvoy
Canada Mountain Ontario

peakhope wrote: If the deck were 4red, 3green, 2blue, and 1orange, and if the orange was one of the last 2 cards, then the composition would be known when those 2 cards remain hidden. (The order of those last two cards would remain a mystery, obviously).
How so?
If so far they have seen 3 red, 3 green, 2 blue, 0 orange, they don't know whether the last two cards are orangered or orangegreen.
If so far they have seen 4 red, 2 green, 2 blue, 0 orange, they don't know if the last two cards are orangegreen or orangeblue.
If so far they have seen 4 red, 3 green, 1 blue, 0 orange, they don't know if the last two cards are orangeblue or orangeorange.
In fact, I believe the only way players can know the breakdown before the last card is revealed is if the last card is the singleton. In every other case there's two possibilities.

Kevin B. Smith
United States Mercer Island Washington

thatmarkguy wrote: In fact, I believe the only way players can know the breakdown before the last card is revealed is if the last card is the singleton. In every other case there's two possibilities. I think you are correct. I'm not sure where my logic failed me. Sorry.

Matthew Rodgers
United States Georgia

Work a number into the back of the card.
You will have four decks, each with four cards with a "4" on the back, three with a "3", etc.
Set the four decks out facedown, carefully not to reveal which resource is on the front of the cards. One player selects a deck and the four "4" cards are placed into the working deck. The rest of the deck becomes the start of the second phase deck. Remove the "4" cards from the other three decks and place them into the second phase deck, being careful not to see the face of the cards.
Another player selects one of the three remaining decks. The three "3" cards are placed into the working deck and the remainders are put into the secondphase deck as above. Repeat the process with the two "2"'s and the four remaining "1"'s (so three of the single "1" cards going into the secondphase deck and one card going into the working deck).
Shuffle the working deck and place it faceup (if this works within the game system otherwise). Bid or work with the card as needed, but keep the card faceup at all times. Otherwise, once everyone sees that it's a "4" card then they know all the "4" cards are Orange. On the other hand, that might not break your system.

Sturv Tafvherd
United States North Carolina

scottieGGGG wrote: I wish to initially construct a deck of 10 cards, where there is exactly 4/3/2/1 of the four types (i.e 4 red, 3 green, 2 blue and a single orange).
However, I'd like the 4/3/2/1 breakdown to be hidden from the players, in that no one knows which commodity will have four cards, which is three and so forth. .... The cards remaining from this setup will be all shuffled together into another deck and used for drawing/collecting during normal game play. So, the commodity with four cards in the first deck, will have the fewest available cards in the "leftover" deck. (So.. if 10 of each color in the game, then 6/7/8/9 of each color in the "other" deck). .... But how best to set up this deck of 10 cards? .... 1. Keep production costs down.. so not using "sleeves" would be nice. 2. Keep setup time down (I know such a deck is going to take some amount of time, but still keeping steps Short&Sweet is preferred) 3. Consider the process will eventually need to be written in a rule book, so complexity should be kept to a minimum.
I think I have an elegant solution for you.
Step 1: I'm not sure if you need this step, but in case each of the 4 commodities actually have different values (ie "Red 5, Red 6, Red 8") and you want a random selection of values. Then in this step, you shuffle each pile of resources separately.
Step 2: Stack the four piles on top of each other. So you now have a stack of 40 cards.
Step 3: Cut the deck in half. You can repeat the cuts until you no longer know which set of commodities are on top, and which are at the bottom.
The idea here is to get to a random starting point.
Step 4: Now ... start drawing cards ...  draw 4 cards for the 10card pile  draw 6 cards for the remainder pile  draw 3 cards for the 10card pile  draw 7 cards for the remainder pile  draw 2 cards for the 10card pile  draw 8 cards for the remainder pile  draw 1 cards for the 10card pile  draw 9 cards for the remainder pile

Mark McEvoy
Canada Mountain Ontario

The problem there is that, if you know the order the piles were stacked relative to one another, you can deduce some 'relative placements' once you get a little more info as the game goes along. Like, if you know the stack sequence was blueongreenonorangeonred, then you find out early in the game that Orange was the 4colour  you then can deduce that the 1suit is green, 2 is blue, 3 is red. You'll know right from the start that Blue and Orange are 2 apart (if one is 3 the other is 1; if one is 4 the other is 2); likewise you know the same about Green and Red. Once you see a third Green, you know there's no more than 2 Reds.
If you go so far as to make sure people don't even know the order the color piles are placed on the stack (like shuffling envelopes or having a twostep twoperson blind setup) then you're at least as convoluted as any of the other solutions.


