- Does the card background color signify anything?
- Does the order of the Terrain icons at the bottom of the card matter?
- I think kids (and teachers) will be curious to know how to pronounce the scientific species names and classifications. It would be cool to link to sound files or pronunciation guides.
- You should automate the twitter feed so it updates automatically when you post a new card. The latest post is a month old.
- Someone commented in the thread about the card back graphics that the logo on the back would be important so observers could identify the game. Why not print a dedicated info card containing a brief synopsis of the game which people could hand them out to interested onlookers? It could even mimic the standard card layout:
Common Name: Phylo
Latin Name: "The biodiversity CCG" (or other short description)
Image: A graphic incorporating the Phylo logo.
Classification: (something clever)
Special Abilities: A longer description of the game/project.
Artist URL: http://phylogame.org
I've never played a CCG before, and I was curious about the homogeneity of the Species cards. It seems like there are a lot of interchangable cards, and I was wondering why I would choose a Red Panda over a Rabbit or something (top of the head example, please don't analyze it . Seems like many cards don't have an individual appeal (beyond the artwork, which I love.) I wanted to be able to compare cards so I made a CSV with the essential stats of each card this evening. (While I was at it I made a bunch of comments on individual cards on the phylo website. It also seems like classification for plants could use a review, but I didn't dig too deeply into it, not being a botanist or systematist.)
Looking through the card data, I did find a good deal of duplication, which surprised me because I'd assumed in a trading card type game you'd try to give each card a unique appeal.
Anyway it seems like due to the nature of the stats on the cards it's difficult to make them diverse because 1. card stats encode real life traits, 2. you need to keep things pretty simple, and 3. a lot of the traits chain together creating common combinations and restricting diversity (you can't give a carnivore a foodchain value of 1 or 2, and primary producers are either photosynthetic or molecular carbon users, etc.)
The summary being: Basic card stats don't provide enough diversity to make individual Species cards unique enough. I think more use of unique special abilities would help give Species cards an individual appeal.
I'll post my full csv file below, but here are a few examples of duplicated stats
Muskox and Ibex are functionally interchangable:
9,P,1,FFF,23,S1W,5,"Betula papyrifera","Paper Birch",Fagales
9,P,1,FFF,23,S1W,5,"Quercus lobata","Valley Oak",Magnoliopsida
4,C,3,OOO,23,M1,10,"Dendronotus frondosus","Dendronotus frondosus",Gastropoda
4,C,3,OOO,23,M1,10,"Facelina auriculata","Facelina auriculata",Gastropoda
5,C,3,OOO,23,M2,10,"Euprymna tasmanica","Southern Dumpling Squid",Cephalopoda,S
5,C,3,OOO,23,M2,10,"Forcipiger flavissimus","Long Nosed Butterfly Fish",Actinopterygii
5,C,3,OOO,23,M2,10,"Phycodurus eques","Leafy Sea Dragon",Actinopterygii
5,C,3,OOO,23,M2,10,"Sepioloidea lineolata","Striped Pyjama Squid",Cephalopoda
5,C,3,OOO,23,M2,10,"Tetrosomus gibbosus","Humpback Turretfish",Actinopterygii
Ocean is hard because a lot of the diversity in other groups is due to habitat. However, note above that the Southern Dumpling Squid has a Special Ability (the S at the end, I'll provide a key and column headings below) which uniquifies it.
5,H,2,FGU,23,F2,4,"Tyrannus tyrannus","Eastern Kingbird",Aves
5,O,3,FFU,23,F2,4,"Carduelis carduelis","European Goldfinch",Aves
5,O,3,FFU,23,F2,4,"Poecile atricapillus","Black-capped Chickadee",Aves