New and Improved Color Palette!

You know those things that, once they occur to you, seem glaringly obvious? The issue with the color palette I’ve been using for the design of the Cultus cards is one of those things. The problem is, I fell in love with a palette. It was bright, pretty, cheerful and modern. It looked great on the geometric forms in the game. The glaring problem with this is, of course, that the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that is neither bright, cheery nor modern. Duh.

So the card icons got a makeover! I figured it’s the least they deserve, after such a long hectic weekend at Boston FIG. You’ve got to treat yourself!


A liiiiittle bit of texture was also added to all the outlines so they wouldn’t look so straight and perfect. A little hard to detect on such a small size, but I think it’s enough to give it some oomph.

Now time for a relic makeover!

Influence Card Art

An art post has been a long time coming – so here’s a peek into what I’ve been working on lately.

There’s a lot going on in the world of our game, but I like to keep the art a little more on the simple side. To fit our theme, I felt we should add a lot of texture to the cards, and keep the images rather simple but colorful, and full of symbolism.

The cards below are all for the influence pile. All the idea cards fall into the categories of “Favor,” “Faith” or “Zealotry.” Since there will be a lot of idea cards, we’re going to use a consistent background for each to quickly visually identify that it is an idea card, and then vary the symbol used in the center of the card to quickly determine which category the idea falls into.




Another card that will share the same visual characteristics of the above three is the prophecy card. This symbol was a lot of fun to create – I drew on traditional symbolism used to represent a prophecy, as well as native imagery such as the Nazca Lines.


I’d like to work on the texture a bit more – it’s a challenge to create a texture that’s visible on a small image.

Most of the icons I used came from The Noun Project. This is a fantastic resource for icons of virtually any noun you can think of. In the future I’d like to customize our symbols a little more, but The Noun Project was a great resource that helped me pull this together quicker than if I had created each icon myself. Perfect for getting great art ready for future play-tests!

Welcome to CRAM Games

It has been about a year and a half since Cindy and I first got it in our heads to make a game. We had just finished listening to a talk by Sarah Mayhew in July of 2011. Sarah talked about how she was using her passion for manga and fantasy to have a positive impact on the world. Cindy and I talked afterwards about what skills we had, and what we could do with them.

This thought festered in me for a long time after the conference. I started working on a variety of board and card games. Cindy and I would occasionally chat about some of the ideas. But on November 21, 2011 we had the idea that would go on to become our Cult Leader game.

Truth be told, it was Cindy’s idea. I know because I just reviewed the Gtalk conversation that we had the good sense to save. Both of us were interested in cults from an academic perspective, and I had been working on a game where you combat the spread of infectious and dangerous ideas. However, none of these games were really capturing the core idea that we wanted to get across. Cindy had the bright idea to flip the whole thing on its head and have the player take on the role of the cult leader. In this way we would be delivering our idea through role play, rather than a more ham-handed good vs. evil approach.

That was when development of our game began in earnest. It’s been a long road since then and the game has changed quite a bit. We also added Jesus to our team a few months ago to help us with the theme. We’ve learned a whole lot during this process, and I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more as we progress to the completion of this game and future games to come.

In light of that, I thought it would be fun to catalog our journey. The plan is for all of us at CRAM Games to occasionally come on here and talk about our progress, both on the game and within our skill sets. Our wish is that our readers glean some small amount of inspiration and wisdom from our efforts.

Thanks for taking an interest in us, we hope you like watching our project grow.