Building a Card Game

This is a picture of multiple cards that were made for a card game that I'm creating.
Cards like this take so much longer to create than you’d think… So much longer…

It Started as a Campfire Thought

So if you don’t know me, you should know that I definitely enjoy taking a weekend off to go camping. I find that sitting outside without my phone really lets me relax and decompress a little. One of the happy side-effects of not being constantly distracted is that I have time to think. Sometimes I end up thinking about how to solve the world’s problems, sometimes I think about things a bit less grandiose. This card game is an example of the latter.

But Then You Have to Actually Design It

I really enjoy playing board games, but I don’t have time for those epic 3 hour games that many people enjoy. So when I’m trying to design a game, I give myself some constraints. First, you should be able to play it with your kids. Secondly, you should be able to play it in about 15-20 minutes. Finally, it should be fun.

Sounds simple, but those are actually some pretty tough constraints to live within. For this game I decided that 2-6 plays should be able to build their own RV Park (camping does something to your brain) and then based on the people they allow into their park – they have to survive random “disasters”.

The Results are Promising

So I built the rules, designed some cards, build a game simulator in Java to make sure it was halfway balanced and then sent everything off to the printer. When the cards came back I explained the game to the family, and I’m happy to report that we all played quite a few games and had a good time every time we played.

The kids even played it on their own and even invited their friends to play instead of watching YouTube (can’t have much better success than that). We found a few balance issues, but that’s just part of the iterative process. I’ll be making some slight tweaks and sending it off to the printer again for it’s second run. I’d call it a success, and hey you never know – maybe some day you’ll even be able to buy your very own copy.

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