Designing a Card Game

Adobe Illustrator Card Game Design KOMBIO Prototyping Sketching

MVP Prior to Committing:

The Summer of 2019 was arriving and with it came many exciting developments happening with KOMBIO. My drive to design an easy to learn card game great for playing one on one or with groups had not waned since the Spring. Up until now, feedback from friends and family was clear, a deck designed specifically for KOMBIO was not only recommended but desired. People found the memory, speed and strategy aspects stimulating and engaging. Now that gameplay was validated, it was time to transition from the MVP (minimum viable product): laminated rule cards and standard decks of cards, to something more defined, a custom designed prototype deck. And with that, it was off to the drawing board!

Design Requirements:

With Japanese and Korean roots I decided to loosely formulate a theme around each country's often bold, symmetrical and dual/tri colored approach to aesthetics. For inspiration I looked at game design's associated with those regions that have lasted the test of time:

KOMBIO Card Game Design Inspiration 1           
  KOMBIO Card Game Design Inspiration 2    KOMBIO Card Game Design Inspiration 3


Seek Feedback:

During this design phase I frequently spoke with friends and family in groups as well as one on one. The influence people had on one another's feedback was apparent, therefore, I ensured a multi-pronged approach by collecting feedback from different age groups and sizes.

After countless weeks bouncing between a sketch pad and Adobe Illustrator, I arrived at a design that fit my design requirements: bold, abstract, minimalistic, easily recognizable and supportive of KOMBIO's gameplay. Once the graphic design satisfied the design requirements, it was time to get the deck printed.

Print a Prototype:

With excitement, I uploaded the meticulously revised files to a card game manufacturer's site for printing. The anticipation of not only holding but also playing with the cards I had spent weeks envisioning was rapidly building. A couple weeks later I arrived home to a package on the front doorstep, the first ever KOMBIO deck had arrived!

Within a matter of minutes the box was opened and to my delight, the cards had exceeded all expectations; unique and bold. It was gratifying to persevere from idea conception through to fruition.

After playing a game of KOMBIO later that day with my friends, one thing was certain, I was hooked.