Suspicion - A remake of a murder mystery classic

Starting as a simple warm up/down exercise, this 'project' quickly found a life of its own. Sketches became illustrations, which led to even more illustrations. Before I knew it I was making up new rules, testing, designing a box and looking for a printer, until a classic game had been fully re-imagined almost by accident! All this work was done over three-and-a-half months, in the evenings and at weekends. 

Having decided that I was going to redesign all of the cards from Cluedo I got excited about printing them and actually being able to play with them. Initially they were to be substitutes for the original game. Then I decided to make them in to a promotional mail out for valued and prospective clients, then the project got a whole lot bigger. As a firm believer in the maxim, "If you are going to do a job, do it right" it became obvious that I would have to go all in. So in the end I have designed and made a fully self contained game in a box of cards. In total there are 40 unique card designs, a box, counters and new rules for this classic game.

 

Character Design

It all started with the characters. The initial goal was to redesign some iconic characters in a fresh and engaging way. I also wanted to explore expressions, body language and setting as a way of bringing a bit more narrative to the images. I settled on the classic playing card format where the mirrored character was either innocent or suspicious. I knew I wanted a noir feel but I also love colour.

 

Environments and Props

As a collection of cards the challenge was to create a distinct look and feel whilst making each card unique enough to be easily identified in a players hand. As I did not want to use text on the cards strong use of colour and composition was key. Each illustration has a distinct colour scheme. Weapons are tightly zoomed with dramatic angled lighting. Rooms were designed with exaggerated perspectives and extreme angles.

 

Gameplay Cards

Fitting the concept of Cluedo in to a card game required some additional ideas to balance the pace of the game. So I designed these Investigation cards. The needed to fit well with the noir aesthetic of the other cards but standout too. So where everything else is very colourful here I simplified to black and white and iconographic imagery. Of course I had to make an exception for the Absinthe card! I was keen to retain the board despite the limitations of a box of cards. These black and white labeled card were a clean and stark solution.

Investigation Cards

The Board 

 

It is unusual as an illustrator to be involved in the production process of a project once the concept and drawings are done. It has been an enlightening and valuable experience. Not only designing and testing but choosing materials and working closely with manufacturers. I have learnt a lot and had a lot of fun making it happen.


Disclaimer - This project was done entirely as a personal promotional project. It is a fan mod and is in no way associated with Cluedo or Hasbro. It never has and never will be available for purchase.