UndeadSupportGroup Title and more art by Benjamin Lyons

UndeadSupportGroup Title , 2020

“Undead Support Group is a free-for-all game for two to four players. Give out compliments and friendly advice to be the last one tethered to the mortal coil. Play as one of four undead mon—uh persons who, as a break from their troubled afterlives, get together to lift each other’s spirits.”

From the very onset of creating this game, I knew I wanted to make one in which the player focused on helping the other players rather than helping themselves. Through design research and playtesting, I aimed to create a dichotomy between competitive mechanics and themes of altruism and improving mental wellness. The result is a game that rewards you for acting compassionately within the fiction of the game in conjunction with furthering a player's self-interest of "winning the game." For the game's other elements, I decided to explore another juxtaposition—the contrast of the material and digital. When deciding to create a tabletop game for my senior thesis, the aim was to move beyond the digital and create a work that exists within the material space.

I believe my game signifies a reflection of two aspects: love and sacrifice. And because of this, I think my game is somewhat deceptive. On the surface, it's a silly game about undead creatures giving each other compliments and using bad puns. But reflecting on the nature of the game's design tells the story of a sincere desire for human connection and positive interaction.

The aesthetics of the game are also designed with the digital-material juxtaposition in mind. I experimented with design directions, specifically an exploration of pixel art and bitmap graphics. I intend to envoke a kind of nostalgia for an older, less technologically advanced era of computer graphics—the first ventures into the world of the digital. The current character designs are a result of multiple iterations of conceptual and illustration experimentation. The goal was to create characters that cultivated an air of mystery and intrigue, as well as being suggestive of gothic horror—a choice made to juxtapose the kind-hearted wholesome gameplay.

Now here are the technical design aspects.

Undead Support Group, the game, consists of:
120 playing cards (2.5 x 3.5 in)
30 token (0.5 x 0.5 in)
"How to Play" document (7 x 9 in)
Box (5.5 x 3.5 x 1 in)

The following software was used to design both the game itself and its presentation, including:
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe InDesign
Cinema 4D
Component Studio (a proprietary web-based game design software)

offered by:

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