Blank packs?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ed 3 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #2821

    Ben
    Keymaster

    I just thought of a weird idea: Pirates CSG packs with completely blank cards.  You’d still get 2 ships and a crew/treasure card plus an island, but they’d all be white and open to making your own stuff with them!  A few things would be preserved, such as the boxes for cargo, point cost, etc.  Things would still be punchable, so you might still get a pair of 3 masters in one pack, or a 5 and a 1 master.  Perhaps there would be a new insert with point costs for abilities or some kind of formula for making ships fairly.

    This would be a boon for custom creators, who could have a field day drawing or painting designs on the blank templates either before or after putting the ships together.

    For crew you could draw a small picture for a “face crew” (what I call the named crew that have their entire portrait on the card), or print out a little square of artwork to use on a card or crew chip.  Coins would be super fun, since you could have a lot of 0’s, maybe some coins worth 8+ gold, and custom UT’s!  (coins could still be gold on the back I suppose)

    I know this is a little bit silly, but it seems that it would also be a little bit less expensive than producing regular packs.  You could save money on the cost of the paint and lamination/etc, not to mention not having to come up with balanced game pieces.  Since the pack artwork wouldn’t need to have a theme or description, you could also save money on packaging by making larger bundles – maybe 10 ships and 5 crew/treasure/islands per small box.  (which could also ensure that you get 10 different ship types, or at least ones that are specifically labeled on the box)  The company putting out the styrene cards could have a “customs contest” where people vote for the coolest custom ship of that month or year, and then get a blank 10 master template as reward.

    I realize that playing would become the real issue, since way too many people would go crazy and make OP stuff.  That’s where some “custom guidelines” would come into play.  Perhaps called “Pirates of the Custom Seas”, this new “set” idea could allow for maximum creativity and individuality, along with less (or more) whining about overpowered or underpowered stuff.

    What do you think of this idea?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

    #2822

    Chris
    Participant

    I personally like the idea! I think guidelines or a clear list of the ability costs would help curb OP builds. I would like to see a “generic” sailing/warship art for the cards and then the player would fill in the name, cannons, cargo, speed, & ability(s). Add up all the factors and there is your point value.

    #2823

    Ben
    Keymaster

    I would like to see a “generic” sailing/warship art for the cards and then the player would fill in the name, cannons, cargo, speed, & ability(s). Add up all the factors and there is your point value.

    That makes sense too, and reminds me of VASSAL.  There you simply have a generic ship template and fill out the stats for each.

    I could see a blend of pure white and some generic stuff.  Perhaps the masts would have the spars and generic white sails evident, and then people could draw or color over them from there.  Perhaps decks that are obviously wooden, but without cannons so people could personalize the ship as heavily armed or a merchant ship.  However, perhaps just going all white could really help the cost stay low.

    ~~~~~

    Not saying any of this would be legal now of course – I was suggesting it as a possibility if NECA/Wizkids didn’t hold the rights to the game, or if it went into production under some company.

    #2825

    Xerecs
    Participant

    I’d be all for that, obviously. The custom  potential would be though the roof, not only with artwork, but with cannon ranks and whatnot. It’s too bad something like this didn’t exist, would have made my day a lot easier. 😀

    As for rules/guidelines and such, you could include them on a small sheet, detailing etiquette for using custom pieces in games and such, so as to limit the abuse that fan made ships could have on gameplay.

    Something else, if custom designs were shared, either online o some other format, you could have a situation whee other people buy the blank slate packs to make a copy of a custom ship they saw somewhere else. I”m not sue what impact that would have on a game that did this, but its something to consider I think.

    #2826

    Ben
    Keymaster

    The custom  potential would be though the roof, not only with artwork, but with cannon ranks and whatnot. It’s too bad something like this didn’t exist, would have made my day a lot easier.

    I just thought of something with cannon ranks and other similar things – sticker sheets in each pack or box for things that are extremely common.  For example, the tiny dice markings are so small that you could fit dozens of tiny stickers on a deckplate-sized card that would have multiples of each cannon type, perhaps from 2L-5S.  (and some blank in case you wanted 1S, 6L, etc)

    Something else, if custom designs were shared, either online o some other format, you could have a situation whee other people buy the blank slate packs to make a copy of a custom ship they saw somewhere else.

    Great idea, but I think that could be made even easier with scans that are printable as stickers, or even a colored 3D printed design.  Instead of trying to draw out the exact artwork someone else made, simply download the stickers from the web and put them on a blank template to make your own copy.  Custom creators could have their own folder of scans or pictures (maybe that photogrammetry mentioned on the Discord could be a useful tool) in an account.  They could have some private while they work on designs, and make some public for others to download.  Here’s an interesting idea – let people charge for their ideas so they’re incentivized to come up with awesome stuff.  Maybe $1-$5 for a the rights to use a custom design.  Keeping it always free would be cool too of course haha.  Maybe if your free designs are downloaded a certain number of times, you get credits to download premium designs, get a special premade ship without having to purchase it, or you get extra blank packs/cards in the mail for free.  So many interesting ways to go with this.  Finally, perhaps you could be awarded the custom of the month/year for designing a certain number of customs that get high ratings (such as a 1-5 scale based on not just effectiveness, but also creativity of stats/ability design along with aesthetics).  If an online or 3D version came around again, it could be easy to introduce all of the public customs in a database into that virtual world, which is where a lot of gaming seems to be going anyway.

    Alright, I’ve officially gone crazy with this topic, but only because I think it has a lot of potential.  😀

    @woelf/anyone who would know: Do you think that printing blank white styrene cards with punchable ship and crew templates without the branding and set name would violate the patent(s)?  I assumed so because ideally the design itself would be identical, but it’s intriguing to think about.  (such as a very simple no-name box of 3 masted ship cards all white with no associated info to the old game)

    This actually might have reasonable potential as a stopgap measure if the legal stuff never resolves itself, but those same legal issues could be what dooms it in the first place.

    #2841

    Xerecs
    Participant

    Hadn’t though of stickers o anything like that. That would make using other peoples customs easier. I think though, that putting the scans out thee would have to be fee, otherwise you’d have creators competing with whoever was selling the blank packs. That said,if the game came back, and IF blank packs became a thing and IF what you and I are hypothesizing about came to be, you could have custom designed ships become pat of the official game, similar to the at contest the WK held, which gave us the Abomination, Nox, and a few others in FS.

    However, you point about legal issues not resolving themselves is valid, since I don’t think anyone who has a say in the matte is going to do anything. Therefore it does bear researching what exactly the patent is. If its on the actual physical construction of the ships, (punching them out, putting them together, etc.) then you’re up a creek and there’s no way that blank slate packs would eve be released. If the patent is on the characters, and a few of the game mechanics (like shooting, moving, etc.) however, then you might have a legal leg to stand on.

    #2844

    Ben
    Keymaster

    I think though, that putting the scans out thee would have to be fee, otherwise you’d have creators competing with whoever was selling the blank packs.

    Perhaps, but demand for blank cards wouldn’t have to diminish due to custom creators.

    you could have custom designed ships become part of the official game

    Indeed, but I see this as an “anything goes” sort of alternative game idea.  I wouldn’t want Wizkids or any other company to only choose certain customs to be “approved” or “official”; players would simply decide if a game would have customs or not.  Before the game started they could decide amongst themselves if any customs brought to the game were too unfair to use.

    I think it would be fine to have sort of “open season” in regards to what’s allowed and what’s not, especially since that would encourage playtesting.  I wouldn’t want to wait for the company endorsing the cards to make something official, and as we saw with even the F&S stuff, they might just neuter the originals anyway. (making them more boring)

    Therefore it does bear researching what exactly the patent is.

    As you know, I’ve done that, but it’s extremely hard to find information that is concrete and useful.

    #2949

    Woelf
    Participant

    <p style=”border: 0px; font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue’, Helvetica, Arial, ‘Lucida Grande’, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; margin: 1em 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #000000;”>anyone who would know: Do you think that printing blank white styrene cards with punchable ship and crew templates <span style=”border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration-line: underline;”>without</span> the branding and set name would violate the patent(s)?  I assumed so because ideally the design itself would be identical, but it’s intriguing to think about.  <em style=”border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;”>(such as a very simple no-name box of 3 masted ship cards all white with no associated info to the old game)</p>
    <p style=”border: 0px; font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue’, Helvetica, Arial, ‘Lucida Grande’, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; margin: 1em 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #000000;”>This actually might have reasonable potential as a stopgap measure if the legal stuff never resolves itself, but those same legal issues could be what dooms it in the first place.</p>

    I have no idea how things would actually fall legally, but unless you got their dies somehow and made exact copies, and then sold them using their artwork and under the Pirates name, it’s probably not going to be a big issue.  It would depend mostly on what specifically they have patented/copyrighted/trademarked, but if you came up with their own dies and made your own generic buildable pirate ships that just happened to be a similar scale, you’d probably be fine.  There always seems to be a lot of wiggle room when you carefully avoid the specifics of a patent, even when it’s an obvious emulation – but that’s something you’d need a lawyer to figure out.

    Regardless, the dies are probably still the biggest hurdle, because if you can’t find a way to get those made and set up on a production line, it doesn’t matter whether the rest is legal or not.

     

    In a more general sense, stickers are still the best bet.    That’s a simple method that you could employ right now, and as long as you aren’t selling them for profit, WK/NECA/etc. isn’t likely to even look twice at it.   If you good through the files section on BGG for almost any popular or high-ranked game, you’ll see tons of fan-created custom materials that are no more or less copyright-infringing than new deckplate stickers would be.     Create a set, upload them as PDFs, and anyone else who owns the game can print them and stick them on the stuff they already own.

    #2958

    Ben
    Keymaster

    Sorry for the forum being a little rough around the edges – I think all that code shows up because you may have pasted my text directly into the Visual tab and then switched to Text.  (or something else)

    I’ve found that pasting as plaintext (ctrl+shift+v on a PC) helps.  It’s something I’d like to fix, but there is a LOT of Pirates CSG stuff I have on my lists….

    but that’s something you’d need a lawyer to figure out.

    Exactly.  And getting legal help is NOT cheap, which is part of why I was hoping the community could potentially help out.

    I know you may not want to join the FB group, but I brought up a recent discussion where advancements in 3D printing are going to eventually make things more accessible and less expensive to make.  In the long term (5+ years) dies may actually be a less cost effective solution than other options, and there’s the possibility that AR/VR/video games become so good that eventually people may prefer a virtual version to the physical game.  (though that is certainly not the case now based on the sentiment of the FB group)

    Stickers have always been a nice option that I’d be willing to try someday if it was cheap.  I do like having duplicates around for spares, trade options, and stuff to sell/give to new players.  I don’t have much artwork for my customs, but the historical ones are pretty easy for those that have paintings/illustrations of them.

    #3060

    Woelf
    Participant

    …I brought up a recent discussion where advancements in 3D printing are going to eventually make things more accessible and less expensive to make. In the long term (5+ years) dies may actually be a less cost effective solution than other options…

    As 3D printing becomes more and more affordable, and scaling quantities becomes more efficient, it’s going to make dies largely obsolete. Why 3D print a die that you then have to use to produce a thing, when you can just 3D print the thing directly?

    Anything the game can physically do, short of storing the pieces in cards, can already done with 3D printed models. Removable parts (masts, flags, etc. in this case) can be done, and even if the models are kept relatively simple, there’s really no limit to the potential designs – find a couple pictures or photos of any ship type in history and it could be created.

    AR/VR games are neat, but they’ll never completely replace physical games, at least not in our lifetimes, and many people will actively avoid them. Back when video games first started to appear I’m sure there were people saying they’d make board games obsolete, but now decades later board game sales and the sheer number of options are greater than they’ve ever been.

    you could have custom designed ships become part of the official game

    Indeed, but I see this as an “anything goes” sort of alternative game idea. I wouldn’t want Wizkids or any other company to only choose certain customs to be “approved” or “official”; players would simply decide if a game would have customs or not. Before the game started they could decide amongst themselves if any customs brought to the game were too unfair to use.

    “Officially approved” customs would never work.

    There could be some sort of ship creator website/app that would calculate points for you, and even generate a PDF/barcode/QR code you could use to print out a deckplate. But, you’d be limited to only the abilities in the system at their official costs (no custom abilities at all, and discounts/adjustments), and it wouldn’t take long for people to start min/maxing their designs to come up with ridiculously overpowered ships that are still technically legal (i.e. Banshee’s Cry, San Cristobal, etc.).

    Letting player groups decide on their own whether to allow customs and which particular customs is the right way to do it.

    #3061

    Ben
    Keymaster

    there’s really no limit to the potential designs – find a couple pictures or photos of any ship type in history and it could be created.

    Great point.  We could have ketches, barques, alternative sail plans, etc.

    AR/VR games are neat, but they’ll never completely replace physical games, at least not in our lifetimes, and many people will actively avoid them.

    Agreed for the most part, but our lifetimes will hopefully be longer than we were originally expecting… which could mean a lot in a lot of ways.  I think the people actively avoiding some of the best potential VR experiences of the intermediate to long term future could miss out.  Reminds me of a thing I did at Disney World in Florida way back in like 2002 or something – captain a ship and man the cannons.  An immersive Age of Sail experience like Naval Action with the balance, smells, and sights of being on a wooden sailing ship would be incredible.

    Letting player groups decide on their own whether to allow customs and which particular customs is the right way to do it.

    Indeed, I see the “anything goes” approach working better than massive oversight by some company and a few employees.  All customs could be legal until proven otherwise (meaning OP stuff would be banned/get a cost increase).

    #4001

    Ed
    Participant

    I would value those blank cards equally to the real ones!

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