Designing Cards for Left-Handed or Right-Handed Players


I seem to have stepped into a hornet's nest recently while designing the cards for Arf!

In most of my simpler games, I try to include ranks and suits on two corners of the card, so you can fan the cards in either direction. I asked people on Twitter and BoardGameGeek about whether it's worth the clutter in order to accommodate both hands and... wow, the responses can be rather passionate.

On one side, we have southpaws who often have to contort their wrists in order to see the pertinent information on their cards. Holding cards as feels natural ends up obscuring the game data.

On the other side, we have a few right-handed players who seem really, really opposed to making any visual compromises for 15% of the general population. (I couldn't find firm numbers about how many players are left-handed, but I suspect if color-blindness is any indication, it's more than 15%.)

There is a third path, since I'm producing these with print-on-demand services. I can release a right-handed and left-handed deck as separate products! However, that doubles the work of book-keeping. Also I plan to pitch this game to international traditional publishers, who will be dismayed at the idea of printing two decks.

Me, I just want to make the dang game. I'll double up the icons, and just make it work visually without cluttering things up too much. Better to serve functionality and earn new players rather than stand on this tiny hill and demand everyone conform.
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.