Hey everyone! This is Alex Piccirillo. Creator of Shranks, artist for all the cards, and more. Shranks is a game that anyone can play. It’s something that anyone can come across, and play for hours without even realizing. At the same time, it’s a strategy game. You can build your decks, choose your characters, make the best combinations you can, and play competitively.
Shranks was originally created back in 2013. Well, the first version of it. Being in College for a few years, it was created during a night of extreme boredom. Hanging out with my brother, we wanted to find a fun way to pass the time. While originally we wanted to crack-out some of our old card games and give it a shot… it quickly came to our attention that the games were extremely complicated. It would take us some time to sit there, learn the new games, find all of our old cards, and play. So being that I had always loved to make handmade stuff, creating custom board games out of foam board of oak tag as a kid, we wanted to make something ourselves.
So we took our stack of card stock, loaded up the printer, and started printing out cards. Blank cards that we could fill in and draw as we pleased. We printed out 100 cards, and just started creating. First I went through and named all of the cards and attacks. Then we went back, drawing all the characters and items. Eventually all of the cards were unique. When we wanted to decide how you attack, we thought it would be easiest to flip a coin. With that the basis of the game was formed. Everything else happened so naturally I couldn’t explain. The amount of characters in your hand, the placement of the cards, the use of the item cards, it all just fell together very naturally.
First we played it together. Then we brought the game to our parents. Then we brought the game to our friends. We just couldn’t put it down. Every person who played got very into the game very quickly. Using not only the cards but arguments to help turn the game towards their favor. We would play for what felt like minutes, but was actually hours. It was probably one of the greatest things I had experienced.
Time passed, and the game stayed something we only used locally between ourselves. Eventually my thought process shifted. I wanted this to be something that everyone could play and experience. I wanted to share this with other people. Something easy and fun that you could play with your best friends, your family, competitively, endless opportunity. So I went into my chamber, and pretty much locked myself down there working for about a full year. Taking characters my brother and I had created, ideas we had shared, and expressing it all through the game.
After over a full year of constant work, art, coming up with attack names, character health, balancing the game, beta testing the game, fixing mistakes we found, we were finally able to wrap it up. Ending up with over 400 characters in total.