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.
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.