I just created my first game. It is tremendous fun. Please come check it out.
In January, I was talking with a few friends and we randomly stumbled onto the idea for a card game. It was one of those rare ideas that makes everyone stop and say, “Wow. We actually have to do that.” Unlike all the other ideas in my life that do not elicit that reaction. (Although I still think my idea for a bar that only plays Cleveland sports and has old Nintendo arcade games is a hit. My idea of building it on the moon might not be, though.)
Five months and about five million meetings, phone calls, lunches, brainstorming sessions, game testing marathons, emails, and tweaks later — it’s finally a reality.
I never saw myself creating a game, although I probably should have. If I’d taken one of those quizzes that tries to get at the root of what you should be doing based on the things you enjoyed when you were a kid, it would’ve led me to creating games. My parents always talk about how I created a card game when I was three; how I made a board game with the complexity of Cones of Dunshire for a second grade project; and how I’d sketch maps for original video games all through elementary school.
But I never even thought to make a game as an adult. I’m glad I finally got there.
Because making a game is incredible.
Yes, it’s exponentially more work than I expected and yes, 99 percent of the stuff I’ve done over the past few weeks as we prepped our launch on Kickstarter hasn’t been related to gave development. (It was locked at least a month ago.)
But conceiving an idea… brainstorming the game mechanics… typing up hundreds of clues… standing there at Kinko’s at the paper cutter for an hour… roping in dozens of friends to play test… refining everything… going back to Kinko’s until they’re like, “Um, guy, we appreciate the business but you gotta share the paper cutter”… roping in even more people to play test… and watching people fall in love with the game — it’s almost impossible to beat.
So now, about the game.
It’s called Emoji Cards. We brainstormed hundreds of ideas for names but went the Occam’s razor route; the simplest name proved to be the best. Plus we were shocked no one had already created a game called Emoji Cards, so we had to grab that land.
The gameplay mixes elements of charades, Pictionary and Taboo. (If I was going to make a game, Taboo had to have some influence on it. I love Taboo.) The players are split up into two teams. Cards featuring emoji are spread on the table, and players take turns trying to get their teammates to guess the clues on a clue card using the emoji at their disposal.
And that’s pretty much it. (We worked really hard to try to keep it extremely simple, since that’s a hallmark of party games.)
The best part: Since the perfect emoji isn’t always available, it requires quite a bit of creativity, abstract thinking and improvising to come up with ways to get your teammates to guess things on your card.
So if you like card games (or know someone who does), if you like emoji, or if you like me, please preorder it on Kickstarter. It will help calm my incredibly frazzled nerves, which are right now manifesting themselves in lots of weird typos and meth-level blinking.
(You can also see our video for the game at the Kickstarter, plus some sample gameplay. If you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, let me know and I’ll walk you through it.)
Thank you so much!