Alex Williams: Monster Mages

Monster Mages

For my game at Guelph Game Jam 2, I decided to go analog and build a card game with real, physical cards. After 8 hours, I ended up with a quick little game called Monster Mages, heavily inspired by aspects of Dominion and Magic: The Gathering.

Monster Mages

Since 8 hours really isn’t a lot of time to build a game, I did a bit of prep work the night before by building a set of blank playing cards to use as templates. The design is based on the layout of cards from Dominion, with a card name across the top, a short description across the bottom, and the rest of the space divided evenly between a picture and long description.

Blank card template

I printed the templates on white 199 g/m^2 card stock from the local office supply store and cut out 216 blank cards by hand. Real playing cards seem to be a bit heavier (around 320 g/m^2), but the card stock seemed to work well enough for prototyping purposes. I also used a set of card protectors usually used by Magic players to make it easier to handle and shuffle my home made cards.

Before creating any cards, I wrote a bit of python code that would let me simulate my card game, so that I could try and make sure the game was fair. The contents of the card game are defined in a separate JSON file, which I was hoping would let me reuse the python code for future card game design work, but I ended up writing so much game-specific code into the python that it’s not really feasable to reuse it.

If you’re interested in building your own version of Monster Mages, you can get a deck list and rules from the project’s github page.

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