Antidote is a deadly-fun card game for 2-7 players. It is a deduction game that features semi-cooperative gameplay, simultaneous action selection, player-controlled game length, and multiple levels of player interaction.
When Antidote game designer Dennis Hoyle first introduced me to his concepts and prototype for Antidote it was clear that the game was to be set in a once sterile laboratory environment, now gravely compromised. Dennis had taken much time and care to design and develop Antidote so that gameplay would provide the right balance of suspense, tension, player cooperation, and entertainment. My job as an artist and communication designer was to understand the many facets of the game and then to create visual graphics that would help to immerse players into a new world, the world of Antidote.
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Want to learn more about the Antidote story, gameplay, and details? Check out the Antidote online Rule Book.
Clean, beautiful, and packed with meaning. The Antidote logo was designed to communicate some of the core aspects of the game: time, life, death, and the laboratory setting. I achieved this by illustrating two connected erlenmeyer flasks set within a containment shape of an hourglass.
Sterile white, heavy black, moody grays, and active/synthetic colors were carefully selected to further reinforce the dramatic feel of the game. I wanted the color scheme to have a similar stylized effect as the movies Oblivion, Resident Evil, and The Amazing Spiderman. When I studied the colors and lighting in these movies I found that the environments were primarily composed of black, white, and gray with carefully chosen bursts of color. This style of coloring helped to set the scene and allowed the brightly colored formulas to pop off the cards. The active/synthetic colors of the formulas were also chosen to communicate that the liquid contained within is unnatural and possibly harmful.
Drawing inspiration from the sci-fi movies mentioned above as well as from video games and architectural concept art I constructed the Antidote environment. The flat panels, frosted glass, and minimalistic details were intentionally designed to communicate the lab setting without being a distraction to the viewer. In hierarchical importance the environment is secondary to the formula icons and number values. This is because the formula icons and number values are essential for gameplay while the environment design is meant to set the scene.
In Antidote players work together semi-cooperatively to deduce which formulas will kill them and determine which formula is the antidote. The formulas are represented by glass containers commonly found in laboratories. Each formula icon in the game was created to be unique in shape, color, and the properties of the liquids contained within. I designed these details to help players quickly and easily distinguish the identities of the formulas from each other. The container shape is useful for both color blind recognition and the visual interest of a diverse collection of scientific equipment. The color and properties (slimy, bubbly, gaseous, etc.) of the formulas are intended to provide additional identifiers and to make the artwork more believable.
All graphic design will communicate to the people viewing it. Anything not purposely defined is left up to the imagination of the viewer. This is why Dennis and I were so intentional to ensure that Antidote’s gameplay and graphics provided the look and feel of a science fiction laboratory and to elicit an exciting/edge-of-your-seat experience.