Mini-Project 2 – Card Design


Hello, I’ve gotten my second mini-project done for my application portfolio – an encounter card for a conceptual boardgame. I created this over the span of about twelve days, whilst I was dog-sitting in Te Anau for my parents. It was nice to hang out with three small dogs for a while, but that’s not what this post is about (there is however a weird story I may post about later). Anyway, the card…

Card Design

A Gryphon encounter card.

The idea for this card stems from an adventure storytelling game idea I’ve mulled around for a long time, & have only now bothered to create something for. Whilst this is meant to serve as an encounter template, I wanted to treat it as an actual card that may appear in the game, so I chose to do a Gryphon (which might have been too ambitious for me).

Before I could begin, I needed to come up with some rules to base the design on. Here’s some points to provide some context for how the card would be used (hopefully the following makes sense):

  • The game centres on random events that play differently each time they are encountered; several of which are about characters. Players are free to choose how to approach these encounters, which will lead to certain consequences (even in combat the player can choose to fight or pacify the character).
  • Akin to the boardgame Tales of the Arabian Nights (which this idea takes inspiration from), the game makes use of an extensive Adventure Book containing all the story events, encounter charts, & character profiles.
  • Each turn the Adventure Book is passed to the left of the now active player. This person becomes the Reader for this turn.

Every turn, after movement, the player draws an Encounter Card:

  1. Read & follow any conditions the card may state. These conditions may override the following steps.
  2. For all character encounters you must determine if they are Hostile or Passive, which is normally determined by a Temperament score. All character encounters have a section detailing this information, marked with ‘T‘ along with numbers in blue & orange boxes. Higher Temperament scores (orange) will make the character Hostile, & lower scores (blue) will make the character Passive.
    • Roll a six sided dice & apply any conditions that affect Temperament (“If you have a Horse, T+2. Otherwise, T+1.”). The result is the character’s current Temperament Score.
    • If Passive, the card will direct the Reader to an encounter chart number (beside a book icon) in the Adventure Book, which will lead onto a story event. For the Gryphon, a T score of 3 or less would make it Passive, leading to encounter chart 92.
    • A Hostile character will initiate combat with the player. The card will direct the Reader to a page number (beside a sword icon) in the Adventure Book detailing the character’s attributes & abilities. For the Gryphon, a T score of 4 or more would make it Hostile, leading to the Gryphon profile on page 174.

A printed copy of the card with a PS4 controller for comparison (I didn’t know what else to use to show the size 😛 ).

I do have lot of artistic nitpicks with the card. If I had more time I would have tried to give the Gryphon a more dynamic pose (I went for simplicity in this case), & I would have done more work on the colouring. I’m not happy with the Gryphon background; I wanted to at least have the impression of a sky but I was having trouble with gradients in Inkscape. I also would have made the Gryphon feathers better if I could & add a pattern of some kind to the backcover. I was determined to get this done before returning home so… this is all I was able to do.


The full Gryphon image.

I think as a first draft the card works quite well. I don’t think it’s a bad design; I can certainly see the final version resembling this layout. I just need to get better at the artwork aspect (hopefully I’ll develop this throughout the design course 🙂 ).

I don’t plan on doing any more mini-projects. I’d like to focus on compiling the portfolio into a web format & completing my application by the 30th. I think I have enough material now to showcase what I can do – hopefully it’s enough.


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