The evolution of character sheets in the game

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The evolution of character sheets in the game

by Jack September 30, 2015

I’ve gone through 4 complete overhauls with a lot more corrections in between each of the character sheets to reach what it is now.

The purpose of the character sheets is to help players keep track of their stats and progress throughout the game. As the designs changed, the prevailing problems that I’ve encountered is the management and presentation of information. The character sheets needed to constantly be overhauled as each predecessor were tedious to manage and difficult to understand.


This is the second character sheet I ever made. The first one was just pen and paper where I had no intention of reusing the same piece of paper and would just write a new one for each play test. I imagined using the same token as I did for the coins may save on costs and that players would just cover up their current stat. This proved to be tedious as the coins were difficult to pick up through their respective fitting hole and the actual number would get covered up so it took an extra step to evaluate one’s progress and stats in the game.


Given that feedback from my playtesters, I decided on a character sheet that was used much like the pegs in Battleship. The number would be easy to read right next to the peg and each peg was easy to pick up. Unfortunately, this quickly proved to be tedious for the players as they often would lose a peg in the dark. Furthermore, it took a few seconds just to adjust a number in the game which slowed down the gameplay and took away from the excitement.



Next, I decided on using sliders to manage stats. These worked much better. Sliders were much easier to adjust than using the pegs and did not get lost very easily. However, they were still difficult to move, especially around corners. Furthermore, having so many slots in the printed board I used for the character sheet compromised its integrity. I could imagine it would be just as weak for the final character sheet made out of greyboard, the same base material used for most board games.


Finally I settled on the current character sheet design. Dials are very common and popular in many board games. For testing, I decided on a clock like dial where the hands move to indicate the player’s progress rather than how conventional dials work where the dial turns and a slot reveals the current number. This has the same simplicity and effectiveness as the sliders but held together much stronger.




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