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Designing the Question Cards – Shape of the Cards

Shape of the Cards

The game cards that I am designing for my RSA board game are very unique in many ways. Usually with question cards, there is a box or a pile of cards to take from and when used, the card is placed at the back of the box or pile, often the box or pile gets turned around while passing it to another player and questions get reused quite quickly. And cards usually have a standard rectangle shape with the same image or logo on the back.

The cards that I am designing have different shaped cards for different categories – rather than putting the card to the back of a box or pile after use – each card consists of a series of slots designed so that the cards will fit into one another to create a structure of the players own design (the result being different every time). The cards promote collaboration and reflect cultural connection.

How I Designed the Shape of the Cards

I have chosen specific shapes which I have designed to all be the same size so that they fit together perfectly regardless of the orientation. I started with a square and experimented with what other regular shapes could fit into a square perfectly while still being the same size. I concluded that other than a circle, only polygons with multiples of four sides could fit perfectly into a square – therefore I also have an octagon and a dodecahedron.

Hand Drawn Shape Experiments

I started out by drawing shapes onto squared paper to see what worked before drawing in Illustrator for laser cutting.

These are my final shapes that I have chosen – Square, Circle, Ocatgon and Dodecahedron:

Illustrator Shapes

This is my Illustrator version showing the development of my card shapes:

shapes-capture shapes-with-slots-capture

(I had originally intended to have a Hexagon as well, however a regular hexagon does not fit perfectly into a square and would confuse the connections when playing the game).

I went with a size of 80mm X 80mm for the cards as it was a good size as both a question card and a construction card which would still allow the design to be visible.

Illustrator Shapes – Laser Cutting

Below are screenshots of my Illustrator files ready for laser cutting:

For the purposes of my project, I have produced 50 of each shape to start with – all except the square have 2 variations of 25 of each variation. I will get these cut and assemble the full cards.

The beauty of the cards is that each is backed with a different cultural pattern or image related to the culture in which the question is relating to on the front. These will all be slotted together to create a structure of many cultural patterns. This additionally reflects the cultural connection.

Please see my designs in my next blog post:

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