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Flash Duel--Adding Perks When You Can

Though we spent quite a while on tuning the core gameplay of the new Flash Duel, I want to talk about the idea of adding extra "perks" when possible to a product. Things that are within reach to do, and that give a lot of benefit for the amount of effort involved. Here are two that came up during development.

Portable Version?

The first edition of Flash Duel had a deluxe and a regular version. The regular version was just cards in a tuckbox with no extra components. A lot of people told me how they really, really like how portable that version was. Flash Duel is a fast game, so it's the kind of thing you could play with a few minutes here or there, and that lends itself to being in a small box like that.

The second edition has only one SKU though, meaning just one product. It's more efficient to manufacture and distribute that way, but it's also that I wanted to do a good rulebook and make sure everyone who has the game has that rulebook. It won't fit in a tiny box. But people really liked that portable version...can we put it *inside* the second edition bigger box, maybe?

There are 60 character ability cards in the second edition (20 characters x 3 abilities each). You'll need 25 numbered cards to play the 1v1 mode. So to put a portable version inside the main version, we'll just need to add 5 cards that you can use as the "track" (instead of using the bigger nicer board that also comes in the box) and we'll need to add a tuckbox to hold those 90 cards. I thought it was worth it to design those 5 track cards and the tuckbox, because it adds a pretty cool feature to the whole thing: the portable version included in every box.

I also made sure on the manufacturing side that when you first get the game, all the cards needed for the portable version are inside that inner tuckbox already. That way you understand what it's for and what goes in it if you want to slip just that smaller box in your pocket.

Playing Two Games At Once?

Let's say you open up the second edition box and use the portable version to play a game of 1v1. Is there enough left over stuff that two of your friends can play a second, parallel game of 1v1? They could use the real game board instead of the 5 track cards in the portable version. With 20 characters to choose from, your friends would have 18 more left. There are enough pawns for all 4 of you in the box. So really the only thing your two friends will need is enough numbered cards to actually play. They'll need 25 numbered cards, but are there enough left over for them?

The Raid on Deathstrike Dragon game mode (more on that in a later post!) requires more than 25 numbered cards to play. During most of development, it required a total of 45 numbered cards. That means we were just 5 shy of having enough to play two simultaneous 1v1 games. It seemed that the Dragon mode was getting time-out a bit too much (when all the cards have been drawn), so adding 5 more cards to solve that would also let us include enough cards to get those two simultaneous games of 1v1 going. I think the coolness of that is totally worth adding another 5 cards to the manufacturing. So you really can play two simultaneous games of 1v1 with just what comes in the box.

In your own projects, see if you can find things with good bang for the buck, like the perks I mentioned here. Sometimes you'll realize you already have 95% of a feature if you're thinking about what would be cool for your players/users/clients.

Reader Comments (7)

I don't play your games (aside from HD Remix) but I really like the approach you take to designing your products. Think long term value, build a connection with the player base etc. Hopefully you will be able to build a following and get the best kind of advertising anyone can get: happy customers who won't stop yapping about your products. Good luck!

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWhiteCollarCriminal

This is the kind of thinking that will build a strong base of happy, loyal customers. Make sure it's available in Canada (not just through shipping from US)!

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoey Canada

Thanks Joey. It will be available through any retail store in Canada that signs up with Game Salute. If there's a store you like, please tell them to go here:
Then they can carry any Sirlin Games and also any other games Game Salute carries. They still have plenty of time to have Flash Duel 2nd Edition at launch.

Other than that, yeah there's also the option of shipping from the US to canada, from

October 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterSirlin

Hi there!

I have to say that I'm pretty impressed by the way you design games. It's really funny, because I was on the verge of buying Flash Duel, but I didn't remember the game's name, so I had to go here on Guess I'll wait a few more weeks for the second edition then!

Oh, and by the way, I read on the BGG entry for this edition that there should be "2v2 team battle". Is it right, or do they mixed up with 2 games of 1v1 at the same time?

And, one last question that you must be tired of answering : does the release date of December 1st still holds?

October 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFezvez

Thanks! The release date depends on semi-uncertain shipping, so it's hard to predict but it should still be December. Hopefully early December.

There really is a 2v2 mode. There also is enough stuff in the box to play two separate 1v1s, but that's different from the 2v2 mode. There's also a 4v1 mode, even. I'll probably post about that in about two weeks and open up pre-orders at that time.

October 26, 2011 | Registered CommenterSirlin

I though Flash Duel was behind me but it seems I was wrong.
The base game had a few problems such as 3 out-of-the-league characters (Setsuki, Degrey and Rook if I recall correctly), somewhat ambiguous/unintuitive rules (I can move in front of my opponent who is 4 spaces away with a 3 or 5 but I cannot with a 4) and somewhat repetitive if you want to play it a lot (especially if you only play the 3 characters - 3 matchups). Draft mode was nice too but was a bit flavor-less.
The game was still very rewarding to play. Your options are limited but the right choice is often about taking the good guess. It has a very similar feel to poker since you have to know the probabilities and judge the actions of your opponent to do so.
Since it seems most of the problems mentioned above are a thing of the past I really look forward getting good bang for my buck and play this game all the time and everywhere(thanks portable box, I would have bough one but this is much nicer).

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohnWoods

Fyi, there was no draft mode. The Custom Clockwork mode is new in Flash Duel 2nd Edition, only. Also, you will probably enjoy the ridiculously many characters this time around. And Setsuki is much nerfed, luckily.

November 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterSirlin
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