Sunday, 31 July 2016

Rudeness Translations - Règles d'Irrespect!

While I wait for a reply from my current favoured printer, I was thinking about translations.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm based in the UK.  For this game to be a success, it needs to be international (i.e. at least have a US version); however, what constitutes a rude word in the UK probably doesn't directly translate very well to American, who have words like diapers and boogers if my education from American movies is anything to go by. And there's always the danger that an innocent word in one language is grossly offensive in another.

I did try Google Translate (more out of curiosity, not as a real option) and it failed at the first hurdle since it doesn't list American as a language.  My hopes weren't high though, since a lot of the words are slang anyway, so I need to find someone who can take a list of British words and translate them into contemporary American. 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Looking for Cheaper Cards

Previously on Rudeness Rulez Blog: So I sent emails/filled in web forms/looked at some web pages for about 20-ish printers, both local and global, for a price for printing a deck of 100 of my own custom cards and packed in a tuckbox; I asked for prices for 1 or 2 decks (for prototyping) and for about 100 for selling if the project ever got that far.

The range of prices was incredible - some were quoting about £130 ($150) for 2 packs - presumably made from leftover material from the Turin Shroud.  About 7 never got back to me, which does make me wonder if some of them had "broken" web forms and never got my request (I wonder how much business they're losing out on because of this?).

Anyway, to cut to the chase I came across http://gamemaker.ivory.co.uk/ , which provide pretty much exactly the same Print-on-Demand (POD) service as The Game Crafter but are based in the UK.  All I had to do was tweak my "card generator" program to output the cards in .pdf format and I was away.  I uploaded my cards and got a pack printed and delivered for only £15 ($20).  Bargain!  They came a few days later and they look great, as professional as anything coming from a shop.  Everyone I showed them to were quite impressed.



However, my problems still weren't completely over.  £15 was the cheapest quote, but even at that price, I'd need to sell them to punters for about £25 in order to cover postage and make a profit, and I doubt many people would be prepared to pay much more for a card game.  Still, the same company did quote me approx £4/pack if I bought 200+ packs, so if their POD service can incorporate discount-for-quantities, it may all be financially feasible.  So I sent them an email...

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Getting it Printed

The playtesting worked great.  Over a week or so we played lots of games, and the kids thought it was great fun.  I had to tweak a few of the cards to make the phrases more interesting and natural, and also think of a few more good "ending" words, but apart from that it didn't need much tweaking.  The kids were helpful in this respect, although I had to convince the younger one that having our names on the cards wasn't a great idea as no-one else would know who we were.

So, the next step is to look into getting it printed.  The main thing that got me onto this road of creating a proper card game was discovering The Game Crafter.  In a nutshell, they will create/print your game for you, and they will also sell it for you if you want.  All you have to do is upload the art.  One thing that has always prevented me from creating games is that I'm no good at art, but Rudeness Rulez is a word game, so very little art is required.

So, how to create the artwork?  As luck would have it, I'm a professional programmer.  I decided to write a program that would read in the list of words that will appear on the cards, and for each one, generate a front and back image of various colours.  This took a bit of work, what with having to scale the fonts appropriately and word wrap the longer text, but I've now got a program that will generate 200 images (for 100 cards) in about a minute.

I'll also need to think about creating the artwork for the box, but that can wait for another day.

Using the excellent Game Crafter system, all I had to do was upload all the files (ensuring they are in the right order so the fronts and the back line up).  It turns out that to print my cards (including the box) will cost about $14, excluding postage.  And then I hit a problem where I thought my plans were entirely scuppered.

(I should mention at this stage that I'm based in the UK).  Yes, it only costs $14 to create it, but about another 26$ to send it to me.  $40 for a card game?  And that's the cost price!  The only way I could sell it at that price would be to call it iCardGame.

There's nothing for it, I decided.  I've spent several weeks creating this game, and I think it's good enough to work hard for it, so I sent an email to every local printing business and every card printer in the UK, nay the world (the one's on the first page a Google results, anyway) to see if there was a cheaper option.  It would be a shame, since The Game Crafter seemed absolutely ideal for my needs.  However, it seems my prayers were answered... (TBC).

Monday, 25 July 2016

Prototyping the Game

The good thing about cards games, as opposed to full-on board games, is that they are very easy to prototype.  All you need is a pack of blank cards, which I bought from E-Bay, and a pen, and I had one of those lying around already.  The third thing you need which cannot usually be bought is players to play it with.

Thankfully, this being a kids game and me having a couple of kids who have to do exactly as I say cos I'm their dad, that was another easy problem to solve.  Also thankfully, since this game does use words which kids would class as "rude", it was not difficult to persuade them to play it.  In fact, they keep pestering me to play it again and again, no doubt because it gives them a free license to say "rude" words.

Anyway, here is a picture of a few of my prototype cards:-


Don't let the handwriting put you off (my handwriting has been generally awful since I was a child).  I've created about 100 cards for the game, but part of prototyping it will be to help decide how many cards the game actually needs.  The next step is to play as many games as possible and if the game mechanics work.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Creating a New Card Game

This blog will aim to be a log of my thoughts and the processes of getting a new card game I've created off the ground.  I've never created a card game before, much less actually got one professionally printed and sold to bona-fide paying customers, and as of writing this it's still a long way off.  However, in this day and age of t'internet, it's now much easier to get something created, so the main obstacle will be to ensure that it's financially viable.

By the way, the game is called Rudeness Rulez (with a 'z') and it's a children's card game with the emphasis on 'rudeness'.  Nothing too crude, but as a parent of 2 boys under 10, it includes the kind of words that they enjoy using all the time: fart, poo, bottom etc...  And the game can claim to be mildly educational as well, which is always a bonus, and being a card game it will promote human interaction.  What more could you want for your kids?