Die Rich Development Diary

In December, you might have seen me tweeting about a game that is now known as Die Rich. Here are collected notes about that game in development so you can get a general idea of how these things go.


Earliest idea: the politics system was once how binary party politics were explained to me as gravitating towards a middle by a podcaster. At the time, he was presenting it as a natural effect of politics. I don’t know when this was, it might have been ten years ago.


2018: I made Road to Springdell. It was a trick-taker game made for kids to play. Very easy and approachable with as many of the rough edges smoothed off. You built your own hand that valued all the parts in it and there was a tableau of value for the rest of the deck. The game’s simplicity appealed to me and made it easy to share the game with my young niblings. I did find the trick taking mechanic interesting to explore.


CanCon 2019 I made some notes about a number of small card games I wanted to make. One of them was Hook, Line & Sinker, which I made shortly after. I also sketched out the idea of a trick taking game with this politics system, and how the game needed ‘distractions’ from the politics so it wasn’t just a matter of playing back and forth until you wound up in the centre. I did remember at this point thinking it could be a microgame.


Sometime mid 2019. Further development of this idea in the notebook, where I toyed with the idea of a trick taking game where players could compete on different axes and just avoid one another if they wanted, or go head to head.


Late 2019. I made a few example versions of the cards, but found them very stark and made segmented versions of the designs. I was worried the game didn’t look like it would be worth buying, and I didn’t want to play on the aesthetic of a game like Cards Against Humanity, which I resent for being so basic.


December 10, 2019. I found a free quartz texture and slapped that under the cards I’d designed. The result made it very easy to see the aesthetic as holding together, and I documented the development and reactions to it in this thread.


December 21, 2019. Just before bed, I remembered I wanted to order a print copy of the game so it could be included in our next stock purchase. I set up my files to go to the printer. That’s when I found that all my files were offset by .25 inches, and that meant that not only were all the pages too small, but every single thing on all pages had to be recentered to the page, manually.


When I was done with this, I uploaded the new files and went to buy my print copy, only to remember that the turnaround on a single copy was 3-7 weeks to Australia, so I had to send the copy to a friend in America if I wanted it available in time for the next stock. That meant poking various American friends to double check if it was okay to send them a package, which, you know, normal.

I went to bed at 3.30 having failed to order a copy.


December 22, 2019. I woke up and ordered the print copy. I felt like this was ‘done.’ But was it? Was it hell.

This order cost about $11, and I’m sending it to a friend’s house in America.


January 3rd. The test copy arrived at my friend’s house, where I learned that literally every single card printed blank. Christ.


January 11. I found that in the setup for the files, it, ahahahah, it was set to ‘not print.’ And it’s set to do that by default. Because I don’t know. Anyway.


January 13. Realising that finding the problem hadn’t led to me fixing it, I went back, made the layers I want to print printable, uploaded the new pdf, and ordered another test print. It cost around $11, again, going to a house in America, again.

This is just how it goes! Now, the game should be fine, it should be ready to go, but I haven’t done the manual or webpage for it, and I’m going to need to revise the box as well. This was going to be a game for Cancon, but now it’s been bumped back and probably won’t see sales until Comic-Gong.

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