Way back when, I made a deck of playing cards as an experiment. The playing cards each had a comic panel, and the idea was that you could rearrange the panels into near infinite combinations to make new stories. That deck of playing cards was called Hand of Fate. There were a few copies made, and it was generally well received. I used it at workshops to teach comics (and still do) and so did other comics professionals like Karrie Fransman and Tim Pilcher. The question I got asked most was “Where can I get a copy?” The next most frequent was “Have you made it yet?!”
Last year, I took Hand of Fate off the back burner where it had languished for a while as other projects took priority, and started developing it in earnest to become a viable game that I could produce, market and sell. I wanted all those people who had asked me for a copy over the years, and all those people who hadn’t yet seen it but might like it to be able to own a deck of their very own.
The challenge I handed myself was to turn Hand of Fate into a real game. It lost the title, which was by now already in use, and gained a new one: Comic Turns. The trappings of its playing card heritage were expunged, leaving only the elements necessary to the game – the panels. All the dialogue and words have been removed to make it truly universal and more accessible. I playtested, got feedback, researched costs and games manufacturers, and wrote rules. I roped in my friends and their families to help me with promotion and to brainstorm ideas. I entered the board gaming community and found it much like the comics community, full of passionate people eager to help with each other’s projects and spread their hobby to the world.
Comic Turns is a storytelling game system. The goal is to make stories, either collaboratively, competitively or in solo play. There will be rules for three games in the deck, but there is so much possible variation I want to make it easy for people to create and submit their own games, and so I plan to have a website where new rules will continually be available.
Now I’m almost ready to unleash Comic Turns into the world, chuck it out of the nest and watch it fly. I will keep adding to the blog but for the most up to date updates, it’s best to join the mailing list and follow my Twitter and/or Facebook
Comic Turns is coming to Kickstarter on 7th February.