The Animus card game is well under way. My business partner told me a local store was willing to stock our product, but at the time, I had nothing to put on the shelves. Quickly, I realized, I had to get to work on this.
I put together a game based on some of the most fun aspects of other games I had played, such as Settlers of Cattan, Heroes of the Multiverse and Love Letter—all of which had things I admired in them. Here are some audience-centered design choices in the card game.
more than one product: ANIMUS UNIVERSE
The game was designed to play as part of the larger Animus: Rites of Passage universe—specifically the webseries and the comic book. As such, characters from those other parts of the storyworld appear in the card game. There's even a rule function in the game that encourages learning about the characters, and becoming familiar with the universe.
more than one deck per game
Because the game is designed to be versatile in its accessibility to as wide a play-situation (if not audience) as possible, I created it with the possibility for more than the usual number of players to play. The game can expand, at least in the Genesis Edition (green box), to include numbers of players from two to eight or more by adding more decks. This rule, of course, needs some ironing out, but the goal was to create a simple playing experience, with minimum pieces, and maximum enjoyment.
More than one game per deck
In accordance with the goal of maximizing enjoyment for the most diverse play circle as possible, I really wanted to include openness in the range of what kinds of players could play. The easiest way to start this openness was with player age.
As such, the deck of cards feature several small mini-games that can be used for the dual purposes of (A) acclimating new players to the game and its cards, and (B) allowing there to be a version of play that is even simple enough for kids—allowing children, and/or adult-child mixes, to play the game.
The Animus card game is meant to be a "lighter meal" alternative to those used to playing more rules-heavy games, such as Magic: The Gathering, to give a fresh new alternative, and an introduction to the broader Rites of Passage storyworld.
Have you ever played a card game that really took your breath away? If so, what made it work for you? What are your questions about the Animus card game?