Monday, June 8, 2015

Office Memo - My Love Letter Retheme based on NBC's The Office

Last week, I shared Stevie Go!, my Minecraft-based retheme of Sushi Go! I had it printed on using their "custom poker cards" item. Stevie Go required 108 cards and PrinterStudio has an option for exactly 108 cards. But, for three dollars more, I could up it to 126 cards. But what could I do with those extra 18 cards?

How about make a Love Letter retheme! No one in the world has thought to do that before! I own the game already, but almost no one gets excited about that theme.

With 18 cards, I could make the 16 Love Letter cards and two reference cards. I decided to use this opportunity to make an anniversary gift for my wife of (almost) 13 years, so for the basis of my retheme, I chose NBC's The Office, her favorite show of all time.

So, let me show you the cards!

We'll begin with the Princess, Michael Scott. The goal of the game is to get your memo to Michael, although he might accidentally file it in the special filing cabinet that's also a dumpster.

Next we have the Countess, Assistant (to the) Regional Manager, Dwight Shrute. He's in this position because he's Michael's closest confidant. It features my favorite design part of this whole retheme, namely the little "to the" in Dwight's title.

The King has been replaced with Toby Flenderson from Human Resources. This is partially because his ability is to trade hands with a player, and I get the feeling that Toby would like to trade lives with some of the people in the office. But this is also because Dwight cannot be in the same hand as the 6 card, and Dwight hates Toby almost as much as Michael does.

Of course, Dwight cannot be in the same hand as the five card either, and that's why I chose...

The two Princes are now two Salesman, Andy and Jim. Dwight hates them, so he leaves your hand when they are near. Also, I like to think that Jim making you discard a card and draw a new one is the equivalent to him playing a prank on you.

The Handmaids have been replaced by two of the accountants. Their ability is to ignore the cards of other players and I get the feeling that Angela and Oscar are two people who would like to ignore all the others in the office, or are at least bothered that they have to deal with them.

The Barons are now the two receptionists, Pam and Erin. They get to secretly compare info, which I envision as Pam canoodling with Jim and Erin canoodling with Pete.

The two Priest cards have been converted into Customer Service reps. Kelly is a snoop and gossip, so it make sense that she'll look at someone else's information.

Creed isn't really in customer service; I think he's actually a quality control person, but I figured that fit under the "customer service" umbrella, and Creed seemed like the type to pop into conversations and wonder what is going on.

Finally, we have the lowly Guards, who get to guess which card others had. I made them generic "Employees." I know they fit into other categories (Phyllis and Stanley are salespeople, Kevin is an accountant, Ryan does... something... and Meredith... also does something.

But I know my wife would appreciate having all the different characters in the game, instead of having multiples of the same character. So, this is why I went with job positions (Salesman, Accountants, Receptionists, etc.) instead of specific names.

I know this is a choice that might bug some, but that's why it's a gift for my wife, and not for you! :)

Love Letter is a 16 card game, and I had 18 cards to work with. So, I made the last two cards into reference cards, like the ones that come with Love Letter. They are two-sided, and above you can see the two sides. Now, before you let me know, I already realized (too late) that there is a type on the very first line of the rules card. It bugs me to no end, but it is what it is, ya know?

So, there it is: Office Memo, my retheme of Love Letter. When you win a round of Love Letter, you receive a "token of affection," which is just a red wooden cube. Since my budget is low and it fits thematically, the rules state that you receive a paper clip. However, if NBC ever decided to produce this game, I highly suggest that they create custom Dundee-trophy-shaped meeples that Michael gives you for successfully delivering the office memo to him!

I plan on storing it inside something like this...

but I haven't found anything the right size yet.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Stevie Go! A Minecraft Retheme of Sushi Go!

My four older kids love the game Sushi Go! It's an introductory drafting card game from a GameWright. However, no one in our family likes sushi. The artwork on the cards are great, but we really don't know what a tempura, sashimi, nigiri, or maki roll is. The game is fun, but the theme doesn't really connect with us.

So, a while back, I got the urge to design/make something. I had seen lots of people remake the small cars game Love a Letter and initially thought about doing something with that game. The four older kids love Minecraft, so I thought about making a Minecraft retheme of Love Letter. However, while I owned Love Letter (a personal conviction of mine if I'm going to make a custom version of a game), I hadn't played it yet and wasn't that familiar with how it worked.

And that's when I got the idea to retheme Sushi Go! using Minecraft. Sushi Go! has 108 cards (as opposed to Love Letter's 16), there are only 8 different card types to retheme. Within the first minute of this idea, I already had the name: Stevie Go!

I made all the cards with Inkscape and had them printed at using their linen-finish custom poker cards item.

Here are the backs of the cards. As with all these photos in this post, the lighting is a bit off, so the colors aren't exactly as vibrant as they are in real life.

There are three types of Nigiri in Sushi Go!, all of which can be more valuable if placed on Wasabi cards. For Stevie Go!, I substituted three different values of ores. I didn't use diamond because I planned on using that later. Replacing the Wasabi, I used a furnace, which, in the game, turns ores into more useful and valuable things.

In Sushi Go!, players collect Maki Roll cards with values ranging from 1-3. In Stevie Go!, they' ex been replaced with creepers. For the theme of the game, I'm assuming this is showing how many creepers we've defeated. Collecting creepers would be an explosively bad idea. 

A pair of Tempura cards from Sushi Go! are worth five points. We've replaced them with grass blocks. The Minecraft grass block is one of its iconic images, even if it isn't that valuable in the game.

Sashimi cards in Sushi Go! are worth ten points, but only in sets of three. I rethemed them with the three most common tools used in Minecraft. The fourth, the sword, is used on another card.

Sushi Go! has Dumpling cards, which grow drastically in value the more you get. I changed this to diamonds, the most valued of ores in Minecraft, both because I loved the color, which really doesn't show up well in this photo, and because dumplings and diamonds sounded pretty close to each other.

Here's what the blue in the card actually looks like.

Dessert cards are only scored at the end of a game of Sushi Go! For Stevie Go!, I wanted to use a Minecraft food item. I started with a carrot, but the orange color of the card didn't fit in as well as the red of the apple.

Chopsticks are cards with no point value, but can be used to play two cards at once. From the very beginning, I planned to use a Diamond sword instead. It's the most powerful weapon in the game and my oldest son owns a foam real-life copy of one.

Here are all the cards together. I like the variety of colors.

My original plan was to replace the Sushi Go cards in their tin box, but these cards from PrinterStudio are slightly taller and quite a bit wider, so they don't fit. I'll have to figure out a storage solution later.

I've read that most game companies are fine with rethemes, as long as I don't share the files with others to make their own copies. So, unfortunately, I can't share the files with you, unless Stevie Go! actually gets made by the people at Mojang. It's also considered good form to own the original game which, as you can see from the picture above, I do!

When I printed these cards, it actually allowed me to piggyback another rethemed game in the same print order. I'll post about them later.