The Pro’s and Con’s of Multi-Use Cards are explored by Dave Eng in the fifth entry of the Air Sloop board game design journal.
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The creation of the multi-use cards was something that really spoke to me overall. I like clever games. I appreciate when games make the best use of their components. In particular I like when designers reuse some components for different aspects and dynamics within the game.
I also enjoy games which make you think a little bit based on when and how to resolve things. Specifically I cultivate little ways to incentivize players to take one action over other actions.
That’s when I started using the trading posts in the game to incentivize players to use them in to gain victory points. At the beginning I tried to use the trading posts as a way for players to expand the map. The further the map expanded the more opportunities there were to pick up goods.
Goods were placed directly on the card when it was revealed. As such I created trading post cards that rewarded players with victory points if the board was already a certain size (i.e. 3×3). Doing this made it so that players would WANT to explore and expand the board. But in my search to be “clever” I made it so that while one player expanded the board; another one might be the first one to reap the benefit of the victory points by getting to the trading post first.
This was definitely a hard pill to swallow for me. While I thought I was being inventive I actually created a whole new set of problems…
About The Designer
Dave Eng EdD, Principal is an intellectual and creative educator, designer, and researcher who combines games, theory, and technology. Dave has played games for most of his life. As a result he studies game design, creates games, and teaches others how to use games for education and learning. Find out more at www.davengdesign.com
Fun Fact: Dave has been seasick in every time zone.
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