Evolution of Summon The JSON flashcards / card game

I am sharing behind the scenes JavaScript and Python card development from a prototype to second revision.

Image for post
Image for post
Jan vs Marek revisions

11th October of 2019 is the day I have started Summon The JSON project. Since soon will be first anniversary I will share more details about the project. It may be interesting to know, how it all happened. Today I will tell about what changes were made to the game during that time.

Jan (0.9 — late 2019)

Image for post
Image for post
Jan revision

Above you can see the very first prototype of a card. What is best about it, it already had awesome design. But not to the very end of it. Please notice there was a number in the top right corner that looks very bad. Also the description of “eval” function is somehow big, but still rather nice. Also in the right lower corner there are points. On the back of the card there is a deck name “JS DECK”. All of this was made in polish / english language.

At that point I didn’t have an idea for game system, and decided to work on it later on. All I knew, I had to have awesome JavaScript descriptions. It took me quite a while to choose most used JavaScript functions, connect assets with descriptions, and boil them down, so they will cause emotion, and help memorize it.

Jacek (1.0 — early 2020)

Image for post
Image for post
Jacek revision

Above you can see first, now points (power) is standing out in the top right corner (we will come back to it later). There is a superpower below function description. On the right side there is a unique number of the card (for collectors). Also function name is smaller, so it will fit the place (some of the names are pretty long).

Since the deck was ready, I ordered it, and started to play with friends and family. It gave me some additional things to consider:

  • when you hold a fan of cards, you can not see power in the right corner. It made the game annoying. Normally card games have at least number in a left top corner, and mirrored in lower right corner (for your opponent to see)
  • the description looks fine on a computer, but when you are playing the game, or using the deck as flashcards, sometimes the text is too small to read it easily. For example if the light is bad. Increasing a font would help, but it would also take space of a creative
  • Also, it occurred that the background “JavaScript Deck” and “Summon The JSON” on the bottom of the card, makes it even harder to read the superpower
  • One more thing was that people had difficulty to recognize what is the function description and what is the superpower, especially when someone is not a programmer

As you can see playing the game gave a lots of feedback, and it is impossible to get this without doing so. It all comes to practically use the deck, and see how it behaves in real world situation.

After struggling with how to solve all of these issues, I think I have found a best balance. It resulted in creating second version of the deck:

Marek (2.0 — middle 2020)

Image for post
Image for post
Marek revision

The latest revision of flashcards / card game Summon The JSON incorporates changes that make the experience better. Key changes here:

  • function description uses bigger font making it easier to read
  • power points are in the left top corner — making it easier to read them while holding a fan of cards
  • superpower is in the bottom of the card. It is bold and distinguished from the function description.
  • without the background text, superpower is also easier to read

I hope you like the article and changes made to cards. If you’d like to read more about how to create such card game, follow me and clap for the article.

If you like the idea, you can actually buy full deck for JavaScript and/or for Python, visit Summon The JSON store. You can follow the project on Facebook: Summon The JSON on Facebook.

If you are an educator, influencer, software house owner, mentor, or you have a store aimed to software developers, and would like to sell decks, or order some for a gift, prize or an education and team-up tool, contact me at contact@tomasz-smykowski.com. There is also possibility to manufacture custom decks with your logo, and receive a discount for bulk orders.

Also you can join Summon The JSON affiliate team to gain 40% of sales and receive 20% discount for your audience.

If you know anyone who can be interested in the deck also please let me know. I am rather a IT engineer than a marketer, so I welcome every help and hint!

The names of revisions honor polish inventors that contributed hugely into worlds technology we know. 90% of semiconductors today are manufactured by the method Jan Czochralski invented. Jacek Karpiński pioneered in computer engineering and developed one of the first machine learning algorithms. Marek Sell pioneered in development of antivirus software.

Written by

Senior software development consultant. Programming for 20 years. TOP 2% of StackOverflow users. 2 million views on Quora. Currently Angular, TypeScript etc

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store