Art Preview of Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game


UPDATE: Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game is now available on DriveThruCards!

This week, I got a very good reason to hurry up and get the Koi Pond cards finalized ASAP. So the past two days have been very busy, implementing playtest-requested updates that have built up over the past couple months' testing. The game should be available for sale later this month!


  • Frames: I revised the face's backgrounds to not be full-bleed anymore. Each suit has a distinct corner decoration and background pattern. It's subtle, but I figured it couldn't hurt to have one more distinguishing mark for each suit to aid recognition.
  • Ambidextrous Layout: I've also placed suits and ranks on the left upper corner and the right upper corner instead of placing them on alternate corners. This makes it easier for people who prefer to fan their cards left or right. I was going to put suits and ranks on all corners, but it became really cluttered.
  • Increased Contrast: The frames also create the best contrast for easy recognition of suits and ranks. They were perfectly readable on the paper texture of earlier prototypes, but nothing beats black-on-white for immediate pop.
  • Color-Perception Assist: I got some notes from color-blind playtesters that while it was clear enough which two suits were represented in a hybrid, it was still difficult to recognize that it was a hybrid at a glance. So I've added an outer ring to hybrid suits.
  • Housecats, Cranes and Turtles: The most oft-requested revision was to add icona to the cranes, turtles and housecats so make it's clear from where they scored points and that they must be in your pond in order to score points at all. I've added small iconographic reminders of these facts to their respective cards.
  • Player Aides: The deck will also come with a thorough set of reference cards outlining the basic rules, how to score, the direction of scoring in each round, and how hybrids are considered when scoring. Four cards in all, the backs of which have a diagram of the play area clearly depicting the arrangement of your pond and river.
  • Ribbons: The game quite clearly notes how much one, two or three ribbons of a suit are worth. This is probably the most distinctly euro-influenced visual element. Hey, they know what they're doing.

I hope you'll enjoy Koi Pond when it's finally available later this month! It's a lovely, meditative game with subtle interaction and eye-catching art. It's also a nice, low-conflict introduction to new Knizia-style scoring for your friends and family.


  1. These are beautiful. Really nice work.

  2. The plan is April 22nd if all goes according to schedule. Look for more news soon.

  3. Gorgeous work, as always.

  4. Very high praise from you, sir. ^_^

  5. It might just be me not understanding your background system, but does that blue ribbon you show above have the wrong background? It looks like it has the red background...

  6. So it does! Good catch. I'll update it before the product goes live.

  7. No problem, the backgrounds are pretty slick, hence why I was looking.
    Out of interest, what program do you use to create/compile your cards?

  8. They're made with a combination of Photoshop and vector elements, then compiled in a spreadsheet in InDesign's data merge.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Graphic Design and Typography Tips for your Card Game

One Thing to Avoid in Game Design

Belle of the Ball Guest Name Generator