A Card Game for Adults
“AH DANG IT, you’ve recently been fired! Be sure to get as many qualifications to start your new career.”
This card game includes everyday skills relative to modern-day careers. Each player acts as a potential candidate for a new job. As an adult game, players recognise the stress and experience of starting a new career. Hire Me is a game that adds a layer of humour to this lifelike process. The jobs range from a Builder to a Panda Nanny to an Uber driver. None of the jobs has similarities yet common cards are included in the draw pile. These cards are associated with a general set of skills applicable to all jobs. For instance, ‘email etiquette’ is a common skill card as it seems to be a requirement for many jobs as is ‘good hygiene’. The stranger the job, the more it is ideal for this card game. Thus, the qualification or skill reflects the nature of the job. An example includes the job as a Panda Nanny or handler, you’re required to dress like a panda – to own a panda suit.
Hire Me involves 5 jobs, the winner of the game must be the most qualified; with the most skills. The following table shows the job possibilities:
Hire Me is a card game directed to adults, for adults. It attracts players who seek humour instead of seriousness. Although it is light in nature, the content is real. It can be a party game whilst also being educational.
Mattel’s Funemployed and Cards against Humanity were inspirational as they both feature similar game characteristics. Hire Me was inspired by Funemployed’s game content as it too focuses on career building but in a humorous way. The design elements of Cards against Humanity is aesthetic for its genre. This is due to its simplicity and effective colour scheming of the card deck.
Funemployed has a role play component to the game, unlike Hire Me. Initially, the card game was going to support a role-playing structure but the change was made following a round of playtesting. All games sponsor 3+ players, the larger the deck the more likely to expand player possibilities.
The marketing phase of this project will begin by publishing Hire Me on Board Game Geek as it is the largest and most reliable forum for gamers. Following this, people can play and review through the site. This will, in turn, encourage conversation and allow for feedback prior to the official release.
YouTube will also play a role in getting the product out there as channels like Shut Up & Sit Down streams to over 175,000 subscribers. Not to mention their online presence elsewhere. From Reddit to Instagram, Hire Me could be showcased across all platforms in an effort to create momentum for its release date.
Away from the internet, Hire Me should be present as the largest gaming convention in New South Wales – LFG. By sponsoring a booth and engaging with potential players at this yearly event, Hire Me can be a party game staple.
On a local level, support from gaming stores and the university would further promote game engagements, thus consumers. As per the following list,
- Zing Pop Culture, Wollongong
- Request staff to playtest and write reviews for the game in the store
- Comic Café, Wollongong
- Run a small campaign – ‘play Hire Me whilst having a coffee with friends’
- UOW/VGA Game Fest, Wollongong
- Like LFG, get a booth and sell card packs to uni students as they would be the ideal customer for this card game
The initial production will only be a small amount, for playtesting and for stores (see list above) to review. A card deck will consist of 52 cards total with an aimed retail price of $29.95. To print the cards it will cost $21.35 per pack and with an initial amount being 100 packs, the total cost will be $2135.00.
Card games are much cheaper than board games as they don’t require the additional parts or components. However, with the desired quality means the price increases.
As Cards Against Humanity was self-published, Hire Me wants to take the similar route. It’s creators (Max Temkin, Josh Dillon, Daniel Dranove, Eli Halpern, Ben Hantoot, David Munk, David Pinsof and Eliot Weinstein) “...didn’t have commerce in mind when they invented the game” (Walker, 2018)
It began through a Kickstarter campaign like most games do. It allows for backers to have a first-hand experience with a game’s life cycle. Hire Me as a self-published game will eventually need further guidance into the gaming world. Good Games Publishing is a successful publishing company based in Sydney, Australia but holds an international status. This will allow for Hire Me to gain the support it needs as a newly released game.
A few requirements include:
- Number of players = 3+
- Playing time = 30 mins
- Age = 17+
Objective: To win, players must finish as the most qualified
- A player must get 6 Skill cards to get the job = WIN!
- 5 job cards
- 36 skill cards
- 11 common skill cards
- Before playing, shuffle all cards
- Place common Skill cards within the Skill card draw pile
- Set aside Job cards to the left, and Skill cards to the right
- Choose a player to deal (whoever was last fired)
- Each player gets 1 Job card + 3 Skill cards to start
How to Play
- Hire Me is played in a series of rounds until one player is qualified
- acquired 6 Skill cards relevant to their Job card
- Rounds continue until a player is successful
During the Game
- The chosen career is determined by the job card dealt during setup
- Players play each turn by picking up a card (going clockwise)
- They can discard the skills they don’t need after each round (in the discard pile)
Hire Me started as ‘Occupation Overload’ as a child-friendly game about choosing a job most interesting to aspire to. It then changed further as the jobs became stranger and the qualifications to match.
Originally, the game was to be a graphic based card game but as the directed consumers changed so, did the design. Hire Me is now an adult-directed card game with the intention of making an aspect of life that is usually stressful – humorous and light-hearted.
This first round only consisted of myself playing, this made it difficult to comprehend outside opinions. I played as four people and my main feedback was the card ratio.
Hire Me included more Jobs than qualifications (Skill cards) but through playtesting it stood out as a flaw to the flow of the game. It then became more obvious to switch, making more qualifications than jobs. The below slideshow shows the graphics per job, grapes represent ‘Vineyard Hand’, the scissors refer to a ‘Designer’ and lastly, the martini glass means ‘Bartender’.
During the second round of playtesting, it was discovered that a board may help. Ultimately, making the card game into a board game with additional components. With the intention of clarifying the rules and mechanics, it still was far too complicated despite its intention as an easy game.
The highlighted feedback of this playtest with four players was the number of draw piles and the board’s “chaotic layout”.
In class, this final playtest consisted of 3 players. The use of UNO cards was to represent the different Job cards (via colour). It was blue, yellow and green which represented the jobs. During the game, players had one draw pile rather than the separate Job versus Skill piles. This was a mistake as the players got confused to which Job belonged to which player. As the feedback was direct, the change was made straight away. The minimum amount of players is 3, making the game slow to play as the rounds aren’t as quick.
One player mentioned the game to be more theme driven, than its focus on mechanics. This was great constructive feedback as the rules got amended. Throughout the playtesting, it became obvious that the game wasn’t as fun as intended. It seemed like a chore for playtesters to participate.
[ The following images are collected together to show the final design of the cards and logo for the back of the cards ]
Hire Me is a card game that isn’t fully developed yet. The most apparent issue is trying to make it more fun for its players. Fun is an obvious factor of a game’s formula but it was a struggle to appeal to potential consumers (18+). The next phase of its development will involve surveying adults (of different age groups) to determine what jobs they find to be fun and entertaining. This qualitative research will contribute to further ideas and potential changes.
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