Make What You Play: Cards

Make What You Play

Making card games: how do you get started and how hard is it?

This post was written on 3 February 2018
2 min read / 297 words


Behind the Scenes

In preparation for workshops, I was recommended a few books over the year by a mentor, one of which is Thinkertoys. This guidebook offers techniques that inspire the imagination, and it is shared with such clarity and generosity. It primes the mind into fecund soil for ideas and has proved useful for my work and personal creative life.

Thinkertoys are creative exercises which help both linear and abstract thinking. They are like very good, basic recipes you can use over and over again, and then adapt as you become familiar with them. Thinkertoys when played can create many perspectives and ways to look at a problem, which increases the quantity of ways to solve it and thus quality of the outcome. More ideas doesn't always lead to better ideas than the first idea you had, but you can know the first idea was the best one because you have explored other options as best you can.

This time, a couple of Thinkertoys inspired a DIY project: to turn them into play cards. Partly, I made the mistake of purchasing the e-book, and even if I had a hard copy, words and questions are trapped in their page; partly, some project work requires structured ideation techniques, so being able to move and combine them makes preparing more fun.

By turning them into cards:

1) parts of the techniques turn into "building blocks" , moving modules, and thus,

2) allows components of each thinkertoys to “talk” with each other, and allowing every player (person who plays with Thinkertoys) to create their own thinkertoy-story. 

These creative thinking techniques find their origin in several different places. They are open source, available for anyone who wants to use them. 

Where to go

+ For inspiration, bring friends to Draughts, a board game cafe in Haggerston
+ For basic design pointers, Design Shack
+ For developing your own hand drawn fonts, Calligraphr
+ For printing prototypes, use Moo.com
+ For an example templates, download the Phoenix Checklist in pdf

Ever learning, unlearning, relearning,