Comments on DualPiecepacks

# 15 Comments. # Trevor, you asked for feedback in your Reddit post. In general, I think your work is excellent. My only comment at this point is that I wish your expansion were more printer-friendly. For example, the beige/light-colored tiles could have an entirely white background to save toner.

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-02-19 22:17 UTC

Thanks for the feedback! I've uploaded a variant with white backgrounds for the first four decks. I could see how people who print at home would like to save on toner! I personally have to pay for color prints at a copy shop the cost of which doesn't seem to depend on how much color is on each sheet so I like attractive backgrounds that leave the door open for future expansions with a white suit color (my preferred 4-color suit schemes besides "inverting" and/or "lightening" black+blue+green+red is white+purple+yellow+orange since those eight colors seem to have the widest number of generic board game components available for purchase).

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-02-19 23:44 UTC

It seems as though your program could provide both regular and low-toner variants of your sets with practically no extra effort, and that doing so is just one of its advantages. Thanks for taking my criticism constructively.

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-02-20 00:28 UTC

Have you seen my piecepack page (the JE set on the list of downloadable piecepack sets)?

I didn't give them a special name but I have the extended "rule" set (Arms, Crowns, Quill and Rainbow) and the animal set (Penguins, Horses, Kiwis and Cats) which share the same colours so that they can be used as you describe.

I guess it shows that great minds think alike!

-- Jessica_Eccles 2018-02-26 11:37 UTC

Great minds do think alike! I had seen your sets before but I guess I didn't closely read your notes and realized you had two sets of matched colors. I think that might make you the first to build matched suit-color piecepacks (others had proposed them before as part of the HoardPack or as an accessory of the RainbowDeck) and hence to build some "Dual Piecepacks" although tweaking the color scheme for the suits of your Animal Set (i.e. "inverting it", "lightening" it, or using different background colors on the "suit side" of components) could increase the visual distinction between the two "sets/groups" but that is a matter of taste and whether you plan on playing many games where having exactly two visually distinct "groups/sets" is useful (i.e. backgammon/checkers/etc) and the big difference between themes (animals versus non-animals) helps with the distinction.

By the way, am I supposed to see some horses or penguins in your animal set (the icons for the first two suits seem to be missing in the v1.0 pdf's)? Also, you might consider rotating either the coin "face" OR "back" on your set so if one tried to print-and-play your decks on paperboard (i.e. by putting glue on the back, folding it over in half, and then cutting it out then the coins "directional markings" would all be aligned the same direction on both the front and back of the coins although with your scheme the coin direction is preserved if you flip the coin over vertically which some may like).

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-02-26 18:54 UTC

Most games where you want two visually distinct groups are more easily played with multiple piecepacks. I've tried playing some abstracts with sun & moon vs. crown & arms or even with arms & moons (dark) vs. stars & crowns (light) but I still find it more mentally taxing than having all pieces the same and I wonder why I'm using a piecepack at all and not just using my go stones.

When I made the matched colour suits I was thinking about Pandemic, where each colour has 12 cities so just using another piecepack to make up the 12 wouldn't work because they have to be all distinct, but really if you were going to do that it would be better to extend the numbers up to 12 and use all the same suits. Anyway, it way just an idea and I didn't really take it further.

Whoops, I must have messed things up last time I fiddled around with my suits. The only ones I've actually used are the original and extended suits. I've swapped the coins around. But I'll have to fiddle with the suits, I used to have a script to make pdf files with the different suits but now I can't find it so I'll have to figure it out again.

-- Jessica_Eccles 2018-02-26 23:48 UTC

Trevor, I have some questions about your latest PDF version.

1. I see you added chips. I don't know what those are, but they're enumerated like piecepack pyramids. How do they work? 2. Can you add piecepack pyramids to your sets? That would be great! 3. Can you explain how the hex markings (if that's what they are) on the playing card tiles work?


-- RonHaleEvans 2018-03-29 04:28 UTC

1. The "chips" are an accessory and its ranks are customizable (I did intentionally choose A-F on the first two demo decks so someone could mount them on a set of paperboard pyramids and hence make piecepack pyramids, the "chips" in decks 3-6 use the same ranks as the rest of the pieces). One option (and source of the name) is to mount them on colored poker chips (i.e. both sides show suit but one side shows value). In such a configuration it could be used to replace piecepack pyramids in a subset of games like Alien City or Ice Floe, could be used to add more pieces in games like checkers/go, could be used to reduce abstraction in chess (i.e. each sides pieces could be distinguished by color), etc. A second option would be to mount them on pyramids (i.e. put rank on one side and suit on other) to get piecepack pyramids. A third option if setting "--suit_symbols.chip_back= --directional_mark_colors.chip_back=grey,grey,grey,grey,grey --uninvert_colors.chip_back" would produce the equivalent of the earlier proposed "piecepack stones" accessory (i.e. Sensible Expansions - note OddMuse formatting is messing up one of my option specifications). A fourth option if setting "--use_suit_as_ace.chip_face --invert_colors.chip_face" and only using the "ace" chip would produce the equivalent of the earlier proposed "piecepack star" (i.e. JCD piecepack). A fifth option if paired with another deck with six extra ranks would be to mount the ranks on a large d12 to make a "dozenal piecpack die" (the suits could also go on a d12 to make a dozenal suit dice especially if there are in fact a dozen suits) -- I plan to allow one to customize the shape of this piece to a square or a pentagon or a star to facilitate the last three options.

2. I've opened a new issue but adding fully-drawn outlines for piecepack pyramids probably won't be a high priority for me since many of the better piecepack games that "need them" can actually use the much easier to build "chips" instead or some Rainbow stashes plus it would be a bit of a pain to write the code to draw them when someone who really wants them could just print out an existing PnP piecepack pyramid implementation and then put some "chip" stickers on top of them...

3. Here is a hand-drawn example (with a different more complicated hex tile face design with random hex directions) of building a small hex board with hex-lines. You should ideally see some hexes pop out at you...

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-03-29 05:29 UTC

Something to consider wrt the Chinese Zodiac piecepack (I am not judging or censoring; I just saw this and it struck me it might be relevant).

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-04-04 05:47 UTC

Thanks for the link. Let me know if I offend anyone with a deck design. I may be wrong but I think what I'm doing with the Chinese zodiac deck won't be very offensive to the vast majority of Chinese (from what I can tell from watching Chinese tv shows with my (mainland)Chinese wife they love it when foreigners engage with their culture and I'm not really doing anything with negative racial stereotypes which seems to me to be the main trigger with Chinese-Americans). My son is (obviously) of Chinese descent so I thought those decks could be fun to build and play with when he is a tad bit older (perhaps for playing Memory or some kind of variant of Jungle Chess plus the animal emoji are quite cute). Some Chinese themed and/or charactered decks might also help promote the adoption of the piecepack in China i.e. traditional Japanese chess pieces and Chinese chess pieces all denote rank via Chinese characters on them so a Chinese character deck might appeal to some Chinese as to what a "serious" board game should look like. I'm having a problem deciding which single Hanzi would best represent the "arms" suit since each one puts a different emphasis on various elements of war or heraldry and for the "crown" suit I need to choose between a "crown" or "ruler" (suns and moons are easy although it might be interesting to switch them to the characters for Yin and Yang). On a Chinese-person related note Mr. Chen gave me permission to make a Rainbow-deck suited piecepack (asking that I link to its BoardgameGeek page) so I'll demo that at some point in the future when I have the free time to configure it.

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-04-04 21:31 UTC

One reason I chose the CC-BY-SA 4.0 license is that it includes a clause where I can make a person who made a derivative dis-attribute me which could be useful in the case someone made an extremely offensive piecepack deck so I could dis-associate myself from it (and my program is flexible enough that someone theoretically could do so although no-one probably will).

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-04-04 21:37 UTC

Cool! My concern based on the Twitter thread was mainly that I didn't know if you were consulting anyone who used the Chinese zodiac symbology, namely Chinese people. But it sounds as if you're way ahead of me, so I'm no longer concerned about appropriation issues. Thanks for clarifying that.

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-04-04 21:51 UTC

Tweaked Dual Piecepacks scheme so that the first deck's rank symbols and "chips" are the "default" and turned off grid-lines on the tile "backs" of the french-suited decks. Among other things this makes it possible to build a "trial" Hoardpack using the piecepack-suited, latin-suited, and french-suited piecepacks. Sixpack demo has dual multi-colored sixpacks. Reversi demo has a reversi-friendly piecepack-suited expansion that when combined with the "normal" piecepack-suited deck makes "dual piecepacks". It also has a printer-friendly grayscale "dual sixpacks". The Orthodox demo still has the more pyramid friendly "chip" design and more traditional rank symbols...

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-04-10 20:02 UTC

Why do you say Dropbox has dropped Linux support? Mine is still running. Also:

-- Ron Hale-Evans 2019-06-07 15:52 UTC

I was running Dropbox fine for several years but it stopped working in November on both my laptops after Dropbox dropped support for several *nix setups. Technically I could probably get it running again if I re-installed my entire system on both my laptops with a different encryption scheme but I'm loathe to do since I already have SpiderOak up and running for online backup and I have my website/Github/Google Drive for sharing files. The lesser hassle for me is just to cancel my Dropbox subscription. I guess if unlinked my big files I could still keep sharing the old piecepack files on there with my "free" account but the PnP layouts are out of date and I can't easily update them.

-- TrevorLDavis 2019-06-07 17:33 UTC

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