Trading Card Coasters

It's been almost a month since I posted last? Yikes. It's like work was busy or I had two boys under 4 or something. Anyway!

Recycling trading cards into coasters isn't something new, but it's something I wanted to try my hand at. I didn't like the idea of taking a trading card and slapping it onto a square tile since I found that to look pretty ugly (to each their own, I suppose). So the exercise here was more of a "graphic design" one, where the importance was emphasized in turning a rectangle image into a square.

Simply cropping a trading card to be square wouldn't work as it would be too small for a mug (~2.5 inches for the short side of a trading card) and you'd likely have a strange uneven crop with some graphics missing.

I came upon two solutions I liked:
1. When using standard trading cards, the back side of the card will typically have some kind of pattern or non-repeating graphic that would frame the actual card quite well. In the case of the WWE cards, the copyright information was perfect to use as a frame. Find two other cards you don't care about and cut away.
2. When using CCG/TCG cards, lining up three cards in a row, as if looking at a small hand, looked really nice. The hard part with this is cutting the cards as CCG/TCG cards typically have rounded corners. Find two other cards you don't care about and try your best to x-acto your way around the rounded corners.

The most important thing is to cut the frames to compliment the card you want showcased as the coaster. It's also important to line it up properly, taping the back, and then using something like Mod Podge to seal the top. While you could just line up a few cards together and glue them together, you lose one of the most important aspects of a coaster: it being flat.

After you have a nice square coaster, you can either reenforce the back with hobby sticks (like I did in the photos) or now mount it onto some kind of tile or cork board.

New Game - Bruiserweight Classic

Play Online or Download for Mac: https://alexandershen.itch.io/bruiserweight-classic

My newest card game!

Head-to-head card game where players take turns keeping the punches in the faces of their opponents! Bruiserweight Classic is an easy to play game where players are trying to discard all of the cards in their hand first. Whatever cards you have left over convert to damage taken to your guts! Players to hit zero hit points are kicked out of the game because, well, they're knocked TF out.

How to Play

1. Players are each dealt a hand of 9 cards.
2. On your turn you check the current Momentum (ascending or descending). If the Momentum is ascending, you must play a card equal to or higher than the current card in play. If the Momentum is descending, you must play a card equal to or lower than the current card in play.
3. You may also play a card exactly 5 different from the current card in play in any direction. Example: if there is a 7 in play, you may play a 2 or a 12 regardless of Momentum.
4. To flip the Momentum, draw a card or play a card that is the same as the card in play.

Number of players: 2 to 4

Play Online or Download for Mac: https://alexandershen.itch.io/bruiserweight-classic

Survivor Series 2016 Predictions


You know, because I like professional wrestling. There is upwards of $15 in iTunes or Google Play credit on the line here.

Anthony
Intercontinental Championship - Sami Zayn
Cruiserweight Title - Kalisto
Tag Team - Smackdown Live (w/American Alpha surviving)
Women's Team - Raw (w/Bailey surviving)
Men's Team - Smackdown Live (w/Shane O'Mac surviving)
Lesnar v Goldberg - Lesnar

Alexander (that's me!)
Intercontinental Championship - The Miz
Cruiserweight Title - Kalisto
Tag Team - Raw (w/The New Day surviving)
Women's Team - Raw (w/Bailey and Charlotte surviving)
Men's Team - Raw (w/Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns surviving)
Lesnar v Goldberg - Goldberg

Justin
Intercontinental Championship - The Miz
Cruiserweight Title - Kalisto
Tag Team - Smackdown Live (w/Slater & Rhyno surviving)
Women's Team - Smackdown Live (w/Becky Lynch surviving)
Men's Team - Smackdown Live (w/AJ Styles surviving)
Lesnar v Goldberg - Lesnar

Game Development - The Loot, No Warrant

The Loot, No Warrant is a trivia based game inspired by the infamous Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Deluxe. Players are tasked to find the lost loot amongst the different video game nodes spread across the network. To find out where to travel to next, players have to decrypt clues left behind pointing them in the right direction.

Decrypting clues and traveling to nodes take battery, so make sure you take time to consider what the informants tell you and poke around on the internet to help. I mean the internet is the modern day almanac after all.

Demo Version only has 60 clues across 10 games to travel to.

Download for Mac: Mac Download on Itch.IO

Game Development - WITWICS

When my first son was born in 2013, we had to spend the maximum number of days in the hospital for my wife to recover. During the quiet times, I found myself designing a game based on a game from my childhood: “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe” I wanted to create one where you had to travel from video game to video game to catch the culprit before you ran out of energy.

Ultimately the progress fizzled out.

Three years later I’ve decided to try again. I decided to boil down the mechanics somewhat to the core essence of WITWICS: trivia. As long as you were able to decipher where the culprit had gone to with as few clues as possible, you were going to catch them. You also had to test you luck with the 3 clues given to try to get a warrant issued (clues about the thief vs clues about their next location). I didn’t like that part: the luck.

In my game there are 5 nodes the thief has traveled through. You have to navigate from one node to the next to catch them before your battery is gone. To find out which node they traveled to, you have to reveal some clues about the next location. Clues always cost the same amount of energy (5% in this case) and traveling also always costs the same amount of energy (10% in this case).

Every time you travel to a new node, a list of 3-6 are presented to you for the next location to travel to. Every location also has a list of 10 clues, 4 of which are presented to you each time you travel to a new node. I’m hoping with this model of how the content is stored, populating the data and changing it up (i.e. maybe I want there to be 15 clues for some of the locations), I can create a very comprehensive database of locations to test one’s game trivia skills.

In the example posted above, the revealed clue is “catch hearts”. Out of all of the travel options, only one of those has you “catching hearts”.

King of Tokyo Mini - Travel Sized

I wanted to decrease the size of the King of Tokyo box and make it more like a travel sized game. It's not to say the box footprint is that big. I mean, it's certainly smaller than Formula D, but it's still got a lot of empty space that could be consolidated.

The dice, energy cubes, tokens, and cards are pretty small. You're not going to get much smaller outside of using smaller dice or bringing fewer energy cubes. The main culprits are the character standees, VP and HP trackers, and the game board. I decided to shrink these down to 1" tokens and standard cards.

The most "novel" thing is the VP and HP tracker. By using two paper clips, you're able to track your VP and HP on a single card. It stacks with the rest of the cards in the game and having six of these is tiny.