Horse Fun and Games – The Making of a Card Game

For the ones people who love the entirety equine, horses and games make a super enjoyment aggregate. Creating a horse-themed card game is difficult to work and requires a whole lot of careful attention. This article talks about the early days of discovery for the developers at Funleague Games as they embarked upon the adventure of designing their very first card game referred to as “Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!” Naturally, as with many stuff, the sport commenced out as an idea. We desired to create a fun horse game that turned into fanciful and stylized, yet still stayed particularly proper to the revel in of riding a horse. Representing the concept of racing at excessive speed throughout united states of America on horseback via a card game presented its share of challenges.

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We experimented with loads of ideas and numerous times we experienced moments of “aha! This is it!” and away we might go full-steam…Best to find out a problem. The gameplay logistics have been the main sticking points. We were cutting some new floor with this card game; it wasn’t intently based totally on any other particular sport so we did not have a tried-and-proper template to paintings from. Rather, we referenced bits and pieces of gameplay elements from different games we would perform and from our personal imaginative and prescient of ways we idea matters need to paintings thinking about the enjoy we were seeking to emulate. Two other assets that have really been precious are Board Game Geek and Board Game Designer’s Forum.

Thanks to all people there who have posted such notable data! Here are some examples of things we had a tough time identifying: Our card sport is essentially a race throughout united states on horseback. You leap barriers alongside the manner…How do you constitute that? Do you use tiles? Do you lay the cards out all at once, or one after the other? Face-up? Face-down? That sort of issue. Another element we struggled with changed into how the rider order became represented in the course of the course of the race.

If you have been in first, but then dropped lower back to 0.33, how might you recognize? We tried a bunch of factors inclusive of the use of charts, setting a token amongst the bounce cards, and many others. After a variety of trial and blunders, we finally found out a system that wasn’t confusing (unlike our earlier versions). We additionally struggled with looking to inject some method into the gameplay. We sincerely failed to want this recreation to be all approximately “good fortune of the draw”.

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We wanted the gamers to need to compare every scenario and pick out a fine route of movement. The strategy does add depth to a game, however, at the flip side of this, a bit of risk can in reality spice matters up and maintain you thinking as you draw that subsequent card. As this changed into a racing game, we failed to need the players to get too slowed down brooding about their options. That could detract from the idea which you had been all transferring at high speed over terrain in a dash for the finish line. Those were simply some of the various things we needed to discern out as we evolved our preliminary idea into something amusing, practical and richly thematic. After rising from the idea segment, we entered a degree of development in which we needed to observe more realistic business concerns: How big ought to the deck be?

That has validated to rely upon some things which include a range of gamers, how many variables we have been organized to cope with, printing expenses and art expenses. We desired the deck to have substance, yet still, maintain a few forms of manipulate at the price range.
What ought to we price the game at?

Now that one is ongoing. Naturally, we need to make some kind of income as a praise for our hard efforts and the main way to estimate what form of pricing is involved is by way of breaking down the “in line with-unit prices”. For instance, we make a preliminary assumption that the first print run might be approximately 5000 copies. Therefore, we’d get a printing quote for 5000 copies of the sport. And then add to that the value for paintings advent. And legal expenses. And advertising and marketing. That form of component. Add all those charges collectively, and divide via 5000. That will be our in step with-unit value.

How have to we package deal and present the sport?

We need to have a look at multiple key things right here. One is; what form of presentation may be most attractive to people? We want the topic to be straight away recognizable and we need to deliver the message that this is a first-class recreation. A game wherein it is a high-caliber enjoyment enjoy made of durable materials so one can be a delight to deal with. The other attention is how a whole lot will the packaging and substances price? Printing/manufacturing charges are arguably THE maximum steeply-priced part of creating a board or card sport. And the quotes will range extensively with every print keep we approach.

Legal stuff?

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A board or card game is a creative product. It’s artwork and leisure, meets trade. There’s highbrow property, copyright, emblems, and other simple commercial enterprise concerns. We understand that it is a very good idea to guard our difficult paintings and ensure that every one communication is organized and in writing. Legal stuff isn’t always handiest approximately defensive what’s ours; it’s also approximately being clean approximately responsibilities whilst conducting enterprise with any other celebration. When it involves hiring artists to create paintings for a recreation, copyright possession is one in all the biggest key factors. It’s important to make certain clarity approximately who owns the art. Paying an artist to create artwork does not always suggest we really own it. It’s important to have an “Artist Agreement” in the region. This is a criminal file that details the rights and responsibilities between Funleague Games and the artist. Artists paintings tough to do what they do exceptional (we understand this firsthand…Jeff and I are both professional artists) and naturally will want to be clear about all the details concerning the paintings they do.

What sort of art fashion am I seeking out?

This is a vital thing to discern out, however, it can be a difficult one. The style of art is closely stimulated by means of the style of the employed artist(s) running on your venture. It’s vital to choose carefully who will be creating the visuals for the sport. Arguably precise artwork will sell extra copies of a horrific recreation than horrific artwork on a terrific game. People like things to look “cool” or “lovely”. Make sure you supply in spades on this region with the aid of having a robust vision for what your recreation ought to seem like and by using simplest hiring artists who have an art fashion well suited with that imaginative and prescient.

Art fashion ought to additionally take into consideration the goal market your sport is aimed at. In the case of Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!, I’m going for a fashion this is wonderful from other games in the marketplace. I additionally need the style to be inclusive and appealing to the entire range of my audience. For instance, I need to keep away from an artwork fashion this is too “younger” as my target market are people a long time 7 and up. I need to characteristic artwork that has a laugh innocence to it, however at the equal time possesses sufficient refinement to attraction to a greater mature target market.

Who’s our audience?

This is crucial right out of the gate (now there may be a subject matter-suitable expression :). Even in the earliest design phase, it is crucial to recognize our demographic. For instance, if we designed a sport to include quite a few deep and diffused complexities or heaps of arithmetic, chances are that children beneath 7 years of age could find the game too tough. As for Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!, I sense that this may be a game that can be loved via almost all people, but the number one target audience will in all likelihood be people who love horses. And as there is an element of a method to the sport, the very young may also conflict with a number of the gameplay ideas.


This is soooooooo crucial. If Jeff and I in no way bother to get the word out approximately our actually cool game, how are we going to promote it? Entire books (or even college tiers) are committed to the topic of advertising and marketing, however, suffice it to mention it’s vital that we analyze a touch bit approximately a way to sell our product. Not handiest can we now not promote any (or only a few) copies, however, so many humans will never get the threat to enjoy an awesome-amusing horse-themed enjoy! As our game is very strongly based on a specific topic (or area of interest) one of the first things we will do is are looking for to get the word out at places in which the pony-loving public want to visit which includes horse-themed websites, tack stores, equestrian magazines, and many others.

Amanda R. Dubose

Spent high school summers getting to know dogmas in Minneapolis, MN. Spent several years merchandising walnuts worldwide. My current pet project is researching Slinkies in Jacksonville, FL. Spoke at an international conference about testing the market for action figures in Hanford, CA. Spent the better part of the 90's lecturing about cellos in Orlando, FL. Spent 2001-2007 building sausage in Naples, FL. Tv fanatic. Internetaholic. Travel expert. Incurable zombie nerd. Coffee advocate. Hardcore web trailblazer. Gamer.