How i made a card game for software developers and what i have learned

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The story

Like some of you know, for last time, i was working on a deck of cards for software developers. The deck contains cards with fantasy drawings. The aim of the deck is to memorize JavaScript functions easier. It uses memory techniques for this. Also, it became a game, where two or more players can play together.

The order for a prototype is already sent, and is expected to be delivered to me in 3rd week of December, just before Christmas.

This was a long process and involved a lots more work than i originally expected. But i am happy i was able to finish it. Everything started with a post on a group for devs. The post contained tables of functions in other programming language. I thought than i could also make such table for JavaScript and in polish language. I did it, and posted on some groups.

The response was good:

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I have received a lots of feedback to update descriptions, because JavaScript… is JavaScript. A lots of confusing stuff.

So after this i have prepared similar tables for Python and TensorFlow. The last one in english language. It was also met with good response.

I thought what we could do to make it more fun to learn function names. And what is important to the story, i found a way to handle the creative aspect of cards. So i have prepared a graphics and posted it on a group to see what people will respond with:

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As you can see, response was also great. So i have started to think about how i could make such cards. I have made two prototype cards on my printer:

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And it occured it is not so easy to manufacture such cards. Roundings of corners, connecting two sides (and aligning them!) cutting it. To sum it up: it occured i can not manufature it on myself.

But i found a company that can do it for me.

So i have started to preparing cards in polish language with very verbose descriptions of functions.

Than i have decided it is better to make them in english language. Because in Poland i can sell maybe 10 decks, but world-wide maybe 100. If i sell 100, i will cover costs of it. At least external ones.

So i translated cards to english. And than it occured verbose descriptions does not fit the need. They are boring. So i had to rewrite all cards to add fun twist and connect descriptions with images. And images with functions. This was very interesting.

So i made the cards. And also some software that helped me with preparing that number of cards. Than i sent it to James, who is native english speaker. He fixed translations for me. At this stage i published information about the project to get some feedback from english software developer audience. And i received a lots of positive response:

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I think it’s great, love the art style too!

I would absolutely love this! Well done

Nice, great job Tom. Best way to learn and retain knowledge is with passion projects I think. Looks great

BIG UP! I want to see the full deck! Please this is awesome, I love it!
How have you made them, the design is frickin’ dope!

wow please let me know when the full deck is available, i’d be willing to pay for it.

I’d buy just to collect them!

I like that idea a lot

I think it’s a brilliant idea!

And Mario from Germany offered to translate it to german language, what i think i an awesome idea also!

Next i wrote super powers for cards, made up a game system and superpowers for the game. And also rules. And box. And also booster pack design.

And long story short today a first order for a prototype was sent. Cards are manufactured in a well respected US company working on card games. And just before Christmass i will see what will come. Unfortunately the company has a rule, that first deck needs to be checked by the designer, before other can buy it. That is why i can not offer yet to buy it by anyone else. But i will let know when it will be possible.

Details

The JavaScript Summon The JSON deck will have 48 cards + 1 custom card. They will come in a pocker card size in a tuck box. The tuck box will be able to contain up to 72 cards. Inside there will be also booklet instruction with 6 pages.

Additionally there will be booster packs. Each booster pack will come in a booster pack, with beautifull illustration. Inside there will be 16 cards, of which, 11 will be common, 3 uncommon and 1 rare.

The deck is designed for professional software developers, who want to memorize JS function names and have a little boost of productivity. Also, some fun. The deck has also a game system that allows to play up to 4 people.

What i have learned

During creating this deck i have learned some things, here are the most important ones i think:

  1. You need to make a lots of decisions. And its sometimes hard to say what is the right one.

And thats it. I will post more info about the whole project also here soon. If you are interested in this, you should really consider following Summon the JSON Facebook Page also, where more details will be available.

Written by

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

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