Prototype Cards and Learning Hard Lessons

I was so excited to get my 30 decks of Hope Inhumanity cards yesterday. I raced over to the FedEx depot to pickup the package, paid the pseudo-random import duties, ripped open the package, opened the first deck….and then….I slumped a little.

The colours are too dark, making it harder than it should be to read the text, and the orientation of front and back cards was upside down. Apparently the printer has a landscape project option, and I was using the portrait option, so the front and back orientation is basically random.

My first print run back in October, a single deck, actually turned out better. Colours were better, and the orientation was right. But since then a lot of text and design changes were made to the cards, including the addition of some rule cards. The rule cards contain the most essential, trimmed down rules you need to know or be reminded of in order to play the game. It’s challenging to shrink 26 pages of rules onto 4 poker sized cards, and I got it wrong. The text is too small, the cards are too dark, and I even uploaded the wrong version of one of the cards, an old version of the text on the opposite face of the card! How the hell did I do that?

So the 4 rule cards are a write-off, but the other 86 cards still make a great game. And while I thought I might be able to sell some of these decks, I’m now referring to them as prototype-decks, which is how I should have seen them all along.

When I set out to create this game, it was to be a standard pen & paper roleplaying game, with just a rulebook. As it progressed, I decided it needed cards, which has added all kinds of new challenges. And it turns out to be difficult making a transition from online to print. RBG vs. CMYK, bleed edges, arcane PDF formats, picas vs. points vs. pixels, embedded fonts! So I’m making the mistakes that have to be made, and it’s all taking much longer than I’d like, but I’ll get there, and I have a lot of hope for Hope Inhumanity.

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