Let’s make a card game!
Maybe you have an idea that would make an awesome card game. Maybe you want to add to your collection of homemade items. Or maybe you just think it would be really cool to create your own card game. Well, if the first two don’t apply to you, then the third one does. Making your own card game is as awesome as it gets. It’s great just to have a little homemade card game that fits right in your pocket. But there is one problem. How do I make my own card game? Well the number of problems is about to go from one to zero. Let’s get started!
By the way, you will notice that I made an Instructables card game. If you don’t want to make your own card game or don’t have the time, you can make my Instructables card game. I hope you have just as much fun assembling and playing the game as I did.
Step 1: What Is the Theme?
Most card games have a nice theme. For example, Pit is about trading, Saboteur is about mining, and Bonanza is about bean farming (these are all card games that I highly recommend). Some card games don’t have a theme. For example, Apples To Apples is mostly about picking the best fitting word. Telestrations also has no theme. It is about guessing which is does not really qualify as a card game theme. For my game, I picked the obviously best theme: Instructables. I mean seriously, what better theme is there? If you do not want your card game to have a theme, that is perfectly fine.
Step 2: The Concepts of Gameplay
When figuring out how the game is to be played, there are many factors that need to be considered. One is the question: does this game play really relate to the theme? (Think about it this way: since pit is about trading, the game play has lots of trading. Since Saboteur is about sabotaging the miners, there is a lot of sabotaging the paths that the miners are building. In addition, the object of the miners in that game is to build a path to the gold card.) If your game has no theme, you don’t have to worry about the game play relating to the theme (no kidding). When I thought about the game play, I thought about many common card game concepts. I thought about the concept of having a “judge” award points to players. That is a concept used in Apples To Apples. I also thought about having a game where players respond with a unique idea (A.K.A. the kind of game that you can’t play with a computer), Balderdash, Taboo, and Code Names are all great examples of this concept. I also thought about a game in which there are no turns and everyone plays simultaneously. Pit, The Chameleon, and Telestrations are games with that concept. Have fun thinking about concepts and come up with a rough idea of the game play.
Step 3: Writing the Instructions
This is the hard part of making your own card game. You now have to write the instructions of how to play. Here are some key parts of instructions (you don’t have to use all of them. I didn’t)
-Overview: give them the basic idea
-Contents: they have to know what’s in the game
-Object of the Game: let them know ahead of time what the goal is
-Set Up: tell them what to do before the game is played
-Game Play: I know I said you didn’t have to use all of them but seriously dude
-Examples: it helps them understand better
-End Game: how is the game going to end? It doesn’t run forever
The most important ones are Object of the Game, Set Up, and Game Play. The End Game can always be included in the Game Play section.
Step 4: Making the Art
Now comes the fun part. You an draw art on paper or digitally create it. I would use Publisher, Keynote, PowerPoint, or any other presentation/graphic design programs. For this game, I used Keynote because it includes many helpful features. For example, instant alpha allows you to make certain areas of a picture transparent. This allows a Photoshop like effect where the object can be removed from their backgrounds. I also use grids for my cards. The size of the cards depends on the size of the box. This will be determined in the next step. Here are some grids on a 8.5x11 sized card stock sheet.
-4x2: I would say this is the max. Any larger than this and the box wouldn’t fit in your pocket. I would only used these for cards that need to be large such as a white board or a key with many words on it,
-4x4: I would say this is the min. These cards are pretty small and have the same proportion as an 8.5x11 sheet.
-3x3: This one may be my favorite. The proportion is perfect and the size is as well. The only problem I would have with it is that it would be hard to print cards double the size. My Instructables game needed cards that were double the size of others so that they would fit in the box (4x4 for the small cards and 4x2 for the small ones).
-3x4: These cards are wider, but are still nice. I would choose these if 4x4 is too small and you can’t use 3x3 for some reason. If not, you should use 4x4 or 3x3.
Your cards need to include a backside too. To do this, leave a grid filled only with the backside of cards in between each sheet. You will also need to make a card, or a foldable sheet with the instructions that you typed in the last step.
Step 5: Making the Box
Next, you’ll need a box (what is a card game with it a box? Plus, the box makes it look more professional). Using a cut and fold template like the one shown above (or with different dimensions). If you want, you can make cover art, or as I did, simply put a symbol and the title of the game. You also will want to have flaps to make it easier to glue. Feel free to reinforce your box with cardstock, cardboard, or anything else that works for you. I made the template for my box slightly larger than the cards will need. That way I can have rubber bands to keep the separate decks together. If you don’t want a box, or have a plastic playing card case that you would rather use, that is also fine.
Step 6: Printing and Assembling
For this step, you simply need to print the file and cut out the cards and box.I normally cut out each column on a grid first. Then I line up the columns and cut the rows out together. This makes cutting out the cards easier. If there are margins that print with the cards, I would cut them off first. Glue the flaps of the box together, and insert the cards into the box.
Step 7: Play the Game
Now is the best part of the entire thing: Playing your game! Grab some friends or have a family game night, but most importantly, have lots of fun. If you enjoyed this Instructable, please favorite, vote, and leave a comment. Remember, with TedtheFluffy, you can make a bad day good.