Minimalism: The GAme
Opportunity: Create a table-top game.
Solution: A social, simple, and strategic card game about living with less.
Idea: Getting rid of unnecessary stuff is a satisfying yet cumbersome task of life — let's gamify it.
The desire to declutter one's life is relatable. It is easy to accumulate sh** and hard to get rid of it. A game with the goal to become the ultimate minimalist while sabotaging your friends along the way, will be an infectious and entertaining experience.
In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo popularized the idea of de-cluttering by only keeping the things that "spark joy" in one's life. Minimalism is trendy: garages, closets, kitchen drawers everywhere are being cleaned to bring peace-of-mind to homeowners.
In A NUTSHELL
The game explained.
- A player wins by being the first to become the minimalist.
- Scene and action cards are catalysts for getting rid of item cards. Action cards force other players to take unwanted cards from their friends' hands.
- The game is fast moving, and with quippy copy, the cards are amusing and fun to read.
- Genre: Multi-player, social game (2-6 players, ages 10+)
- Aesthetics: Minimal (obviously)
- Mechanics: Cards
- Dynamics: Getting rid of cards and preventing others from doing so
Scene Cards (the categories for disposing of stuff)
Item Cards (the stuff)
Action Cards (make your friends take stuff)
The first iteration of the game consisted of paper cards coded with colors that represented the different scenes and items.
- This draft simply tested the the mechanics of the game.
- We learned that users appreciated that the ease and high paced nature of it. However, without any copy, it wasn't very engaging.
The second prototype was a low-fidielty version of the final product: a full deck using index cards with all the copy intact.
- We observed that the game was more entertaining as users read aloud the scene, item, and action cards.
- In this prototype, the action cards made players take cards from their friends which didn't align with the goal of getting rid of cards. Therefore, we changed the action cards to make them a tool for sabotage: they instruct players to give cards to others in order to make it harder for those players to win.
- We realized we needed to add visual clues to clearly differentiate the item categories and scene cards. We decided to expand our aesthetic from just black text on white to a pastel palette with simple icons.
After presenting the high-fidelity version of the game, we got positive feedback:
- "I want to play this so badly."
- "Very funny branding and intelligently executed."
- "Honestly I'd buy this tomorrow. Put this on Kickstarter."
We are going to make this game a reality.
- The next step is to continue to user test, tweaking the play and design for polish.
- Once we get the game to a finalized state, we will update the promotional video and pitch our product to Kickstarter.
- We will expand with a NSFW version and card extension packs (like hoarder's edition, teenage bedroom, office supplies, grandparent's house, and empty nesters).
- Paper, Pen & Glue
- X-acto Knife
- Blender Marker
- From the get-go, we knew we wanted to make a simple, social game because that is the kind we'd want to play ourselves. Equally invested and passionate about this project, we all worked together to get it across the finish line.
- I assisted in the concept and strategy phase, the building of prototypes, the design, cutting, and producing of cards, the construction of the box, and the production of video.
- I took the promotional photographs and built the deck for the final presentation.