My name is Sean. By trade, I’m a Graphic Designer and Art Director. By hobby, I’m a gamer. Somewhere in between, there’s a space where I like to study the design of games. Usually that happens through playing a board, video or card game while keeping an eye open for what makes it function and how it looks, and applying the things I know about visual design as a filter.
I’ve been fortunate to have a few opportunities to put my interests together professionally. I worked on the design team for the Shadowmoor expansion of Magic: The Gathering, brainstorming and playtesting new cards and mechanics for the game. It was a unique experience for me as well as for Magic; I currently (as far as I know) hold the distinction of being the only person to design actual Magic cards in the “modern era” as a contractor without ever having been a full-time employee. I also illustrated a series of character combat modules for the Lost Worlds game system, and assisted in the design and concept of the Chester the Jester module.
Somewhere since all that, I saw that while there’s plenty written out there about how the way games are created impacts the user experience, there’s not a whole lot written about the role that the visual design and presentation of a game plays for the audience. So much attention is paid to whether the rules and mechanics of a game work, while — aside from criticisms and commentary about video game graphics and spot illustrations — very little examination seems to be given to the work of the graphic designers that pull together the “physical” elements of the games we love (or hate) playing.
Hi. I’m here to try to fill that void.