Optimizing Making Playtesting Sets With Indirection

To test out play balances with different counts of various cards, I have to keep making revised RamboPawn decks.

I’ve come up with a better format that allows me to to create a new deck much more rapidly.

Old Playtest Cards Vs. New Playtest Cards
Old Playtest Cards Vs. New Playtest Cards

I hand wrote everything on the old playtest cards and I put the instructions on them (since the cards in the final game will have the instructions on them).

Now that I’m more familiar with the game, I made some improvements to the playtest deck creation:

  • I’m using color index cards instead of marking the cards with magic marker
  • I only need to write the card piece on the card – I can look up the card’s attributes on a table (which makes it easier to change the attributes to experiment with balance)

This makes it a lot easier to test out what happens when Bishops are more powerful or if there are less SuperPawns in the deck. Anytime one can use indirection to simplify a task, it’s a good idea.


In computer programmingindirection (also called “dereferencing”) is the ability to reference something using a name, reference, or container instead of the value itself.

My old playtest set look:

An Advil bottle makes a fitting substitute for a pawn

My new playtest set look:

Green Rabbit Plays RamboPawn
Green bunny is thinking 3 moves ahead