The Shape of Things to Come
tl;dr version: It's crunch time, but we're still on track. Also, stuff about how the final card layout works.
We've rounded May, and that brings us into our critical period. We have to have materials ready for the factory this month, or we will probably slip from August/September into September/November.
As things stand right now, we are still on track. The next few weeks are critical.
We have essentially finalized the card layout, and that's the real point of today's update.
I'm excited to share with you all a templating and iconography sample of the Traveller card game, because it represents a pretty sharp departure from traditional CCG practices.
Most, if not all, CCGs are heavily text based. Each card has a text box, in which the abilities and limitations of cards are detailed. Our game is no different in this regard. Where we have departed from the norm is in using a heavily visual, icon-based, system in place of plain text.
In taking this step, we were heavily influenced by euro-style board games, which have really revolutionized the way game information is displayed. By using a visual, icon-based system, players will be able to identify various game concepts quickly, and we'll be able to save space in text boxes. Although our game is in English, since we are depending more on visual icons and less on lengthy text strings, it should also be easier for those who may have a different native language.
None of our icons are solely dependent on color, so any players who may be colorblind will still be able to rely on the content and shape.
The rulebook and play materials will contain exhaustive legends for the various icons, but we wanted to show a few today.
Here's an example, a Gear card "Med Kit"
All card types have their own distinct icon. For instance, Crew cards use:
Skills have icons, which identify both which skill it is, and the level of the skill.
This icon represents the Medical skill:
And then each skill comes in one of two levels, Trained (silver hexagon border) and Expert (golden circle border).
Gear may have Use abilities that the attached Crew can employ. Use abilities are represented by an icon:
In this case, the Med Kit is used to treat injured Crew. All Crew have Wounds, and when they run out, they are discarded. The Med Kit can restore missing Wounds.
We recognize that perhaps not everyone will be fans of an icon-based approach. If you come from a more traditional CCG background, you may prefer the traditional text boxes. We thought long and hard, but ultimately we're confident that this decision provides the best combination of aesthetics, playability and clarity.