Bookshelf: Development Diary

bookshelf literary card game

So, in the last site update, I talked a lot about what I was up to while the site was on hiatus. I wanted to go ahead and share with you guys something I’ve was working on, though it’s very much still a work in progress that I’m continuing to work on — a literary-themed card game! I’ve set up a page for it over here, though the game is currently under active development and the plan is to Kickstarter the game once it’s ready.

I have a ton of hobbies, but books and board games both rank pretty high among the stuff I love. I’ve always been a fan of board games, but really got into the hobby the past few years, and I’ve wanted for a long time now to try my hand at developing a game of my own. A literary-themed game to combine two of my favorite things seemed like the perfect option.

Bookshelf: A Literary Set Collection Card Game

Bookshelf is meant to be a cozy, set-collection card game where you visit various locations (like the bookstore! the rare books section! the library!) to try to put together sets of books within the same genre to collect the most points.

I just set up the Kickstarter pre-launch page this weekend, and I’m currently in the process of playtesting the game and illustrating all the cards, but you can take a look at a few of them so far!

Can you recognize the books these cards are referencing?

The plan is to individually illustrate each of the 88-ish cards in the deck, each one referencing a different literary work. I’ve really enjoyed making them so far, so I’m hoping others will enjoy the artwork as well.

This project has been really fun, allowing me to combine a lot of the things I really enjoy as well as trying my hand at doing some more painting and art. It’s come a long way since I started, going from a very bare-bones prototype, to hastily printed clip-art cards, to actual illustrations.

There’s also the logistical piece to developing a game as well, learning about manufacturing and shipping, plus all the timelines and expenses relating to those things. For example, certain card counts are going to be more “optimal”, since a single sheet of cards can accommodate a certain number of cards and increases in price are generally related to the number of “sheets” as opposed to the number of cards. Manufacturing in China is also generally a lot cheaper on a per-unit level but shipping is a lot more complicated and expensive in that case. Stuff like that.

So things like that are all stuff I’m continuing to research and learn about. Luckily, I know a few people who have experience in trying to develop board games and card games, so I’m definitely trying to learn what I can from them.

Follow Along

I’ll be posting more about this project as development continues! I’m really hoping this is something other book-lovers will enjoy, since I know we all love curating our book collections. If you’re interested in following along and certainly if you want to be notified when it launches, you can sign up for updates here or via the form below.

You can also see and follow the project on Kickstarter.
The Bookshelf Card Game Updates
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Here’s what my workspace looks like:

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Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game