I’ve been really busy the last few days, working with Andrea and Panda about the colors on the card art, and doing my own science experiment to determine the quality of the cardstock. I don’t have enough data to be fully confident in my conclusions yet, so expect another update in a few days when I’ve gathered more from the subjects of my experiment.

For now, I want to thank all of you who took the time to comment on the last update. It sounds like almost all of you want us to price everything at what we expect will sell the best, so as to support Sixpence Games going forward. I’m really grateful for that, and I want to be sure to make you all feel appreciated in the coming months and years that I’ll be making games.

Second, an update on the card art: Panda is going to print a single sheet of 54 uncut cards and send them to me. Andrea has selected the cards so as to fully capture the breadth of the art in Professor Pugnacious, and we’re hoping that the combination of the art tweaks she and the folks at Panda decided on, the use of a different printing press, and printing on the actual cardstock, will make these cards look much better than the last ones they sent me. With any luck, this will be good enough for me to OK it and begin production. If not, well, then we’ll try something else. Worst case scenario, I get a cool poster for my new apartment.

Since the components other than the cards looked really good, I’ve told Panda to move forward with their manufacturing of everything else.

Which leads into the third element of this update: do you live in Melbourne, Australia? Do you want to participate in a science experiment to help ensure this game is up to snuff? Then let me know in either the comments or a private message, and you can help make gaming history! In the meantime, I’ll be scrounging the city’s game stores, particularly Games Laboratory and Good Games, to find volunteers to test the card stock.

The way the test works is like this: you close your eyes. I hand you two cards, one in your left hand and one in your right, and ask you which you prefer. I write it down, take the two cards back, and repeat for every pair of cards (twice for each pair, once left/right and once right/left). The cards I’m testing are Professor Pugnacious, Magic: the Gathering, a DriveThruCards sample card, and in the initial run, a Tanto Cuore card. However, after getting a lot of awkward questions from onlookers about why I’m handing their friend a card with a half naked anime maid on it, I’m considering swapping the latter for a World of Warcraft CCG card or a Quarriors card. Tanto Cuore is a great game, though, don’t let the theme put you off.

Sorry, I’m getting distracted. I have some preliminary data to share with you! It looks as though there is not a clear-cut ordering to people’s preferences, even within a single individual. Professor Pugnacious is not doing much better or worse than any other one. About half of people always prefer the card in their left hand (or right, depending on the person). So I hand them ProfP/Magic and they like the Professor Pugnacious card more, I take them back and hand them Magic/ProfP and they like the magic card more.

For additional detail beyond just a binary “which do you prefer”, a number of people have said that the Professor Pugnacious card feels more plasticy than the others, with about 3/4s of people who say that thinking this is a good thing, and 1/4 thinking it’s a bad thing. A number of people commented that it’s the thickest card of the four, and everyone who noticed that think it’s a good thing. The particular adjectives used were “tastefully thick; it doesn’t feel cheap like this one (holds up a Magic card)” and “Dignified. A hand of five of these would probably feel really solid. (I hand them five of the Professor Pugnacious cards) Yeah, that feels good. Like this is oak and the other one is particle board.”

So far the data is not overwhelming, but is certainly very promising. I’ll let you know how it updates in the next few days, and I expect to have the sheet of cards in perhaps a week and a half, so I’ll let you know about that then.

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