Cardsphere has been in continuous development for five years now, and within that time we've had our share of challenges accomodating the ever changing and ever growing line of products and variants that Wizards of the Coast has been pumping out over the last few years. A particularly painful area for us was trying to handle the card variants in an easy and sensible way for our users, leading us to eventually settle on having multiple sets for each release, one for each variant style which allows all the variants of a card to appear on the card page.
That worked out fine, but this lead to our once clean and easy to navigate explore page to look.. well, like this:
Tons of similar names to sift through and painful and repeated wrapping for set names were the result of the understandable problem that Cardsphere and other sites have struggled with: not being able to have two objects within a single set that had an identical name. Before the dark times known as Project Booster Fun, this really only affected basic lands, which we chose to accomodate by appendeding the set number to the end of the card name to have them all in one place, but this practice just wouldn't work for card variants.
Our new method of indexing cards: subsets
In our latest update and first major UI overhaul, we have rolled out our solution which we call "subsets":
Finally our Explore page is back to its former glory! Cardsphere admins now have the ability to assign any set as a child of a parent set, making a much simpler way of browsing cards! But that isn't all!
Now that the cards have been consolidated into subsets, a card set with multiple variants now includes all variants under the same listing, with a new drop down menu to change the grouping. This is what you see when you dig into a set with many print variants like Streets of New Capenna:
Grouping by variant displays only the cards in the base set at the top, and scrolling down below the base set you see the lovely new groupings of variants:
Grouping by card does what they said could not be done.. it combines all variants of cards within Streets of New Capenna into a single, easily readable list, and if you're having trouble remembering what one of the numerous variants looks like, a mouseover gives you a preview and saves you a click:
On mobile, a single tap shows the variant and you can click View Card Details to be taken to the card page:
As of now we have grouped all the sets which have received the new variants introduced with Project Booster fun, and we're looking at whether or not we should be handling some other sets (things like the List and some Commander sets tied to a Standard set release) the same way.
Please have a look and let us know your thoughts in our Discord server. We've got more goodies lined up to be released soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more announcements!
Efren, Michael and Ted.