Estevan’s artist creates a unique deck of cards
A local family found a way to share their passion for games with the rest of the world.
Photographer Monique Willms developed the game named Dig from scratch, and now the new product is available for others to try. The pandemic played a role in the process, forcing the family to stay more at home and thus prompting them to be more creative.
“We’re a family that loves to play games, and I teach my kids at home. We use games a lot in our learning. So it’s something that we do a lot. And because we got together a lot. not at home last year, we were playing games and I was like, ‘You know what, I think I would like to try to make a game,’ “Willms recalls.
While games have always been a big part of family time, Willms didn’t know much about creating one. It took him about eight months filled with research, sketches and reflections to turn the idea into a printed product.
“I didn’t really know what this process was like. So I sat down with a notebook and started making a list of all the different types of mechanics that I like to see in games, like how games work. , what kinds of strategies can be involved in card games versus board games, building versus different competitive things, cooperative things. So I started to list all of this and then I started to flesh out a theme with digging and then I picked it up from there, ”Willms said.
She went on to explain that their family is really into science and this is what gave direction to the theme of the game. Plus, they spend a lot of time learning history so she decided to bring the best together. both in one game. Some of the roles included by Willms, such as geologist and archaeologist, were known and obvious, but others had to be discovered first.
“I didn’t know astrogeologists existed, but I needed another role, some type of biologist, and I found out that there are astrogeologists. They’re probably quite rare. They’re interested in it. ‘study of different extraterrestrial things, something like pieces of asteroids or moon rocks,’ Willms said.
The game is a fun and exciting way to learn along the way. Willms has a background in education, so she put a lot of thought into setting the rules, breaking things down, and explaining it.
The strategy was put in place quite quickly. After researching some scientific details, Willms made a prototype to try it out.
“We made a prototype out of card stock and sketched on it. And we played it a lot before I started to design and digitally illustrate the game just because I wanted to solve the problems. So my kids played a big one. part in that… There is a lot of fun, critical thinking and testing before you get into the illustration, ”Willms explained.
All illustrations were done by hand with an iPad and an Apple pencil. It took a long time and did not go without a hitch. But it was not to learn. Most of the research came when Willms was trying to figure out how to actually make the game, something she had never done before. The trial and error method led it to a print-on-demand option, which allowed it to keep the price of the game affordable. She’s pulled through all the learning curves and the whole experience not only proved that making a game is possible, but also inspired Willms’ 11-year-old daughter Hannah to start producing her own game.
Willms’ work has not gone unnoticed. The game became available on May 18th and within the first week she had so much support and interest in the new product that she even received recognition for its success.
“It’s a very small reward, but it got the Redstone seller. So that’s when you hit a certain sales threshold, and the website says that only 3.6% of games on the site hit that threshold. So definitely I had so much support from people who know me and strangers who thought it looked interesting and were willing to give it a try. and a little scary, ”Willms said.
The game can be picked up from Estevan through Willms’ personal website at www.moniquewillms.com or through www.thegamecrafter.com for worldwide delivery.
There is also a 12 minute video available on the Willms website that shows how to play the game, which Willms says makes it very easy to understand all the rules.
The experience was inspiring and Willms already has two more games in the works. In addition, they are also going to produce the game developed by Hannah called Race to the Ring, which focuses on who can get married. It will be available in about a month.
© Copyright Estevan Mercury