Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Morels Is Out (The Strategy Card Game I Illustrated)

I get a surprising amount of queries from people who, without benefit of a standard publisher or a huge budget, would like to put out their own children's book or toy or game, and they'd like me to lend my talents to the project. Often times, for one reason or another, these projects fall through or meet with insurmountable resistance and they don't get a wide distribution. Which is a shame because many of these projects are really worthwhile.

Well, I'm happy to say that, in this recent case, all the stars aligned properly and a really fun project with a great client managed to get from start to finish and is now out on the shelves. Morels, a strategy card came based on the idea of foraging for mushrooms in the woods is now available to purchase. I worked on the company logo, the game logo, the card art and box art.  So far, in the first week of sales, the orders are coming in from all over the globe and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. 

The game's designer is Brent Povis, an educator, life-long game nut, and chief honcho at Two Lanterns Games. One of my favorite clients so far, Brent is the kind of hands-on idea-guy who, if he's not sure how to do something (like use photo-editing software, or build a website, or start a game company) he'll just buckle down and teach himself how to do it. Working on a shoestring budget -- and I should know because I was one of those shoestrings -- Brent is promoting and distributing the game himself. You can learn a little bit about it at the Two Lanterns Games Official Website that Brent put together during his promotional tour. You can also purchase Morels at the Two Lanterns site and take a look at some of the process behind the artwork.

Speaking of the promotional tour, Brent will be at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio for the next few days. Look him up at the Two Lanterns Games table and tell him I said hi.

If you live in or near Pittsburgh, you can find the game locally at Games Unlimited in Squirrel Hill. But call before you go because the first month's stock sold out in two days! Seriously. 

You can also find out what other people think of the game on the premiere games review site, BoardGameGeek where it's got a fairly respectable user rating so far and where you'll see encouraging reviews like this:

Gave this 2-player a whirl on the advice of my [Friendly Local Game Shop]. It was really great! It's a set collection game with a few twists. Beautiful components, easy rules, plays quickly, so I got in several plays, which revealed a nice level of depth for the play time. Should you have an interest, it was made by a local Pittsburgh designer (no one I know), and I stumbled over it at my FLGS.

I'll be posting more box art and card art in the future, as well as some of the work-in-progress steps. In the meantime, go check out this game. I've played it and it's fun. And not just because I get to stare at my artwork while I play. It's actually a fun strategy game and I'm really glad I had a chance to work on it. -v


  1. Morels is a really good game made even better by your art! Great work that reminds us of why we enjoy Takenoko so much.

    1. Thanks, jjjimmy. I just took a look at some of the art from Takenoko and can now fully appreciate the generosity of your comment. I hope you enjoy Morels for a long time. I've been gathering up some of my process sketches for the cards and I'll be posting them periodically. Feel free to stop back. -v

    2. jjjimmy, I agree with you and this is such a nice game.

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