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From the creators of Osmos comes Karmaka, a competitive card game that plays out over multiple lives.
From the creators of Osmos comes Karmaka, a competitive card game that plays out over multiple lives.
From the creators of Osmos comes Karmaka, a competitive card game that plays out over multiple lives.
7,198 backers pledged $220,852 to help bring this project to life.

Art Retrospective, Part 2. Insert Design + Box Size.


Happy weekend, everyone!

It's a perfect time to brew a pot of tea, get comfortable, and peruse some art – namely, the 2nd half of Marco's Art Retrospective. The first part focused on Karmaka's cards. This one looks at the process, experiments, and sketches that paved the road to Karmaka's box art and banners. Happy reading!

4 Box Art Sketches
4 Box Art Sketches

Insert Design + Box Size

A common question we've received over the course of the campaign is how large the box will be. People want it to be small so that it's portable and won't take up much shelf space. At the same time people want the Karmic Ladder to be an ample size and not fold, and for the plastic insert to support sleeving cards. We want all these things as well. But until recently we weren't exactly sure how all these design-goals would come together. We weren't even sure if the game would include a plastic insert until 5 days ago!

When it started looking like we'd unlock the plastic insert, we scheduled a call with Brent at Panda Game Manufacturing. We spoke about our various design goals, and specifically about insert designs, minimum wall thicknesses, etc. After our call, Dave and I spent some time brainstorming designs, and came up with this layout concept.

It's unconventional, but we like it! One card well is horizontal and one is vertical, connected together with a finger-trench for handy extraction of the decks. The Rings will fit nicely in the upper right bin, and the buddha meeples will fit in the lower right bin. We even have a few millimetres of room to adjust here and there if need be. Importantly (and this was the whole goal and challenge of the "packing puzzle"), its footprint is a titch over 6" x 8". This will allow us to place a 6" x 8" Karmic Ladder - the exact size we wanted - along with the rules on top, so everything will stack nicely in the box. (We'll be re-jigging the rules from 6.5" x 7.5" to 6" x 8" in the coming days. A minor but desirable tweak which will probably take the better part of a day in InDesign.) Accounting for the wall-thicknesses of the box-bottom and top, this will bring the outer dimensions of the box to 6.5" x 8.5" x 1.75".

Note that this is just a concept/mockup made in SketchUp. We want the final insert to have rounder, smoother transitions everywhere, including the base of the finger-trench, whose ends should be rounded. (We don't call ourselves Hemisphere Games because we like squared-edges! ;-) The bin for the Rings will have a semi-circular bottom, so the circular rings will fit in there like a roll of coins; it will also have a sloped wall so the Rings will recline slightly in the box, and will be easy to remove. (Jaipur's insert is our inspiration here.) We'll make sure the meeples fit nicely in their section as well, with some details that allow for easy placement and extraction.

We're pleased to have the sizes nailed down. It will allow us to finalize all our designs, line up our shipping accurately, etc.

Thanks and happy weekend everyone!

David Wilson, Alvin Helms, and 32 more people like this update.


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    1. japester
      on February 9, 2016

      Another thank-you for taking sleeved cards into account. It amazes me when companies put the time and effort into beautiful cards and sturdy inserts and don't consider the great many of us who utilize sleeves.

      I'm glad I didn't have to pick the artwork for this game. Way too difficult to decide. It all looks great. I like the bottom right box for the evocation of a personal journey (figure walking with a pack), but the official design is definitely the best. It has that wonderful expansiveness to it. ^_^

    2. Nick LaLone
      on February 7, 2016

      Thirding the desire for handling sleeved cards comfortably!

    3. Sarah Smith on February 7, 2016

      The bottom right one is beautiful.

    4. Gearsoul Dragon
      on February 6, 2016

      Looks/sounds awesome! :D Love the customisation plans you guys have~

    5. Margareth S
      on February 6, 2016

      This looks really great. And that fourth cover sketch is wonderful btw.

    6. Philip Alexander Dale on February 6, 2016

      Beware, Panda Games! They are notorious for not getting their projects out in time... because they don't work on them if they think they can afford to procrastinate (maybe because they over-book themselves?). You need to send someone to personally check on them in China. Otherwise, they will not do the work. This story keeps playing out with Panda Games.

    7. Jared Denton Starner on February 6, 2016

      I like the two box-art designs on the left, glad to hear things are progressing well!

    8. Morten Notodden on February 6, 2016

      Personally, I would add a couple of millimeters in both directions on the card wells to make sure all sleeves fit and don't get bent corners. Like 70x95 mm.

      Also, have you considered an insert that stores the cards resting on their long edge instead of laying flat? The box will be taller, but will be smaller in the other two dimensions and cards won't slide around in the box during travel/transportation between game nights.

      Prime example of a fantastic insert that does this is the insert for Elysium.

    9. Spike
      on February 6, 2016

      As long as the insert can accomodate sleeves cards, I'll be happy.

    10. Never Bored Wes on February 6, 2016

      The bottom right art is my favorite.

      Insert looks great!