Time to reveal my beloved thesis baby to The Internets! Here's what I've been working on for the past semester. Believe me, I wish I'd been chronicling it along the way - but there has just not been time. But this will be the start of a series of posts about the whooole process.
First, we'll start with what it is: A card game. Less collectible card game (like Magic or Pokemon), more like a playing card game like Hearts or Old Maid (except it's adorable.) I wanted to make a game because I love card games, but I have yet to own one that's illustrated really really well. I always find the little spot illustrations to be a bit of a disappointment- why not go all out and make it look as great as possible? The Pirates idea came from a silly conversation with the boyfriendman, and soon after, those two ideas came together and Pirates vs Pirates (vs Pirates vs Pirates) was born!
I feel very lucky that the rules worked out the way they did. I have no experience designing games, at all. I just started fiddling around with what I thought would make sense. I started with Hearts (my favorite, because you can be so sneaky), and I thought, "well, what if you WANTED to get the hearts?" That thought led to a lot of logical changes, and testing it out with friends led to a lot more, and within a few months I had a game that my friends were begging me to play.
The basic gist (and that's all you're getting for now, hopefully I'll be marketing this puppy when it's done!) is thus: There are four "suits" of pirates, each numbered: Robot, Zombie, Sky, and Viking. There is also a deck of numbered Loot cards, worth their number in point value, and mixed in with them are some Kraken cards with a negative point value. Players are dealt a hand of Pirate cards (containing all 4 types) and then take turns battling for the loot cards. The person who puts down the highest number gets the loot, but they also can't put down a type of pirate that anyone else has put down. There are also special rules for certain ties and things that can allow you to keep loot from someone you know is winning, force players to be attacked by the kraken, and other kinds of nasty piratey things.
As of now, I've illustrated 8 of an eventual 65 cards- the captain and first mate of each suit. I'll be posting a series on how I designed each character over the next 4 weeks, and then soon after that hopefully I'll have new cards to post!