Well about 2 years ago I began the quest that is Hooch, the Card Game. While many many hours have gone into the mechanics and play testing of the game, I am also the artist for the game. So while coming up with the game play I considered how the art might look while going through this. I will tell you that over the two years The art has changed with the game play.
In the first six months of working on the game we went through many prototypes for the game but at that point we had reached a place where the game was very functional and the core of the game was intact. For this point forward it was really just find out about things that the game did or how it played when certain cards were played in conjunction with each other. So as we got deeper into the theme of the game I found that when a mechanic was tied to the theme that i wanted to have art that would really capture the theme and help the players to be pressed into the world. I also knew that I did not want to settle on any one look for a figure or character in the game and it mattered to me that anyone can run illegal Hooch. You never know who that might be. So no putting a face to the different rolls and characters really struck a chord with me.
Using this as the basis for how the art would progress I began to concept different ideas about what the art would look like and how I would represent that fact that anyone could be a producer or seller of Hooch. Some of the first concept art work was fun to produce and served as a starting point for the focus of trying to give the player a feeling of 1920 culture and the hint of Art Deco along with that gangster feel. I did not want it to hit the realm of Mafia and really wanted to focus on the idea of a Criminal Syndicate.
Defined as "a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities"
With that I am not confined to the typical family style criminal element. I will tell you also that Boardwalk Empire had an influence on the game and the thought process behind it. This look into the world of the prohibition was one that showed it was not all about crime families, though they did exists it was not run entirely by them and there were several outfits or criminal syndicates that wanted to get rich selling booze!
So thinking to myself what is the basic make up and how would that look.
We would have Gangsters and Molls in and around every part of the game. As I began to flesh out the different factions I wanted some authentic feeling stuff as well as some things that would pay homage to others. So I began to create syndicates and there identity.
Originally we discussed 4 to 5 but in the end we ended up with 8 in the original game and this would allow us to expand on that in the future.
The Blind Tigers
A Criminal Syndicate that is focused on attacking the enemy and continuing to take the fight to its enemies to overwhelm them and remove their will to go to war thus giving up.
The Big Sixers
A Criminal Syndicate based in a defensive posture. Fortifying there hideout and Store Fronts making it tough for others to attack them and the loss of crew would be so high for the enemy that they would lose their stomach for the fight and give up.
A Criminal Syndicate obsessed with creating the best Hooch money can buy. This would allow them a higher profit and they would be able to afford better equipment and more crew and payroll characters. While they are not the best fighters they can produce more hooch at a faster rate giving them greater resources to draw from.
A Criminal Syndicate that prides itself on making the most out of the VIPs and Syndicate character they employ. Using these high ranking officials they provide the best protection to there payroll characters, There losses will be less and they will not have to work as hard as other syndicates to retain their high profile members and public figures.
The Snake Charmers
A Criminal Syndicate that is made up of all female members except for the high profile character on there payroll. These ruthless ladies are out to show the big boys that they can play their game. They use the tactic of deceit and hand manipulation to cause other Syndicates problems slowing them down.
The High Rollers
A Criminal Syndicate inspired by the Boardwalk Empire it is made up of high ranking city and public officials. Using the place of power they will overcome and obstacle or they will use legal means of power to shut down the rival Syndicates.
The Vice Squad
A Criminal Syndicate made up of police and law enforcement officials. Using the inside connections on things like judges and information from the FBI the Vice Squad can set step a problem or two.
A Criminal Syndicate based on commercial enterprise and yes it is made in homage to the site Kickstarter. This will be an exclusive Syndicate based on the manipulation of commercial business and everything that goes into setting up Store Fronts and the easy of which they have connections to do so.
These were the base for which we were able to draw from and create and functional and captivating world that is Hooch.