It all started with a simple question: How do I make my business card stand out? I’m a tabletop game publisher, so I was thinking that it only made sense to attempt to make my business card into a game itself! This seemed like a great premise, and I got very excited about it very fast. Little did I know what challenges I would face while creating a fun, simple, dynamic game that was literally just the business card itself, without any additional pieces.
GOAL: Make a fun, simple, and dynamic game that one could keep in their wallet.
Challenge #1: Game Pieces
My first challenge was trying to figure out what pieces I was going to use for this game. At first, I was thinking it would be cool to have it solely the business card, but that might not be possible. I then started brainstorming different possibilities, such as using coins. This seemed like a good idea, because 1) You could use them as both game pieces you move around a board, 2) You could flip them to have a 50/50 probability randomizer, and 3) Most people have a coin or two on them at all times.
Coins were a bad idea.
Firstly, most people don’t actually keep coins on them anymore, as it’s mostly just digital payment and credit/debit cards. Secondly, it isn’t really a game on a business card. Finally, after doing a few playtests, it just was not fun.
The mechanics worked: You flip a coin, and Heads = 1 Success, Tails = Failure. You would keep going until you wanted to stop, or got a Failure. Depending on how many Successes you got, you’d be able to do different abilities, depending on your Class (yes, there were even two Classes to choose from: Healer or Fighter). Pictured below, you will find the initial design for Flip Fight (yes, a very similar name to Flick Fight, but not at all similar gameplay-wise).
You and your opponent just go back and forth flipping a coin until someone died. Mechanically, it worked well, but, again, it was BORING AS HECK. There was no tension, no excitement, nothing to keep it interesting—not dynamic.
So I was back to my original point: The only game component could be the business card itself.
Challenge #2: Making the Business Card Dynamic
I only went through a few different card ideas before coming to the little stand-up fighter that we have now. (Sidenote: All of these cards are for my personal Graphic Design freelancing, Nomich Design—#shamelessplug) Below, you will see the progression. Left to Right: Normal business card > board w/ Health Tracker > “What if I cut slits into it like this??” > “This thing can stand up by itself!”
Here’s a closer look at all of them:
Challenge #3: Gameplay
Now that I had an interesting and unique business card, it was time to figure out what exactly to do with them, and turn it into a game. After thinking through it with my sister, Anneli, it didn’t take long for us to come to the conclusion that we should flick them at each other, kind of like a combat version tabletop football. After playtesting it for a bit, we decided that there should also be a way to re-gain health, and also do more than 1 damage, so we added rules for that.
…it didn’t take long for us to come to the conclusion that we should flick them at each other
Challenge #4: Graphic Design
We knew we wanted to make these characters fun, bright colors, in my typical simple, flat design style. So I toyed around with just a simple little shirt design, thought about maybe some sort of battle suit, and even did little ninjas. I took inspiration from a traditional karate gee for my final design. It has enough detail to be interesting, but still very simple. I think it’s reminiscent of the monk D&D class.
Kinda like a polo shirt? Cute little ninja Final, gee-inspired design
Final Stage: Prototyping
Once I had our design, I made a few different characters and printed them out on card stock, made the cuts for the feet, and folded them up!
From there, I just ordered them through any ol’ business card website (based in the US, of course), and voila! We had a final project.
This was a super fun project to work on, and honestly, I’m very proud of the work we’ve done to bring it to life. I couldn’t have done it without my sister, Anneli. With our other games, like ExeCUTEtion, Shuffle Kerfuffle, and Honey Harvest, I’ve designed it primarily with our older sister, Rebecca. But this was the first one with just me and Anneli.
I look forward to seeing where it goes, with the little characters I make and whatnot. Below, you will find the final business cards that I got.
Thank you so much for reading about this project of ours! I appreciate you reading all the way through, and I’ll just leave you with a couple of things: 1) If you want to learn how to play, go here, 2) If you want to get your hands on 2 Flick Fighters for FREE, visit our store here.