UX Research & Prototyping
The first step was developing a game style and user experience that was targeted toward the types of players I wanted to appeal to. Using varied sources from local game shops to internationally used platforms, card games were identified as the most accessible of the game styles, but also allowed a surprising amount of depth.
Game type, check.
Playtesting and Surveys
The next step was to develop an actual prototype, cheap and easy enough to playtest with groups and test the actual user experience. This was accomplished by using simple blank playing cards (thank goodness for teacher supply stores) and taking a sharpie to them. Even without the fancy graphics I planned, the game was fun.
Now on to the fancy graphics.
The pivotal part of the game lies in the personality of the characters. The process of figuring out what style was a completely different problem. I needed something that was diverse yet accessible to even younger players, so the designs reflect a type of deformation to make the characters seem more like cartoons. Each design began as a simple sketch and polished, however the looseness of the traditional pen strokes were preserved.