The creative brief for Blasting Billy

I was asked by 999 Games to work on a card game called Blasting Billy. Blasting Billy is a card game set in the wild west. You and your gang rob a bank, but the leader of the gang Blasting Billy wants to have the biggest cut. So it’s up to you to take as much as you can but never have more than Blasting Billy. Or else he will start blasting!

The design process of Blasting Billy

Let’s start with the man himself, Blasting Billy. I had to come up with a design which was of a person who is scary but also not too scary and scare away any kids and parents. This was the first sketch of Billy but it was deemed a bit too scary. Which I totally agreed with. We all liked the movement of the top right sketch. So I tried to come up with a less scary face and the movement of the previous sketch. We settled on the face of number two. Which was less scary because of his less menacing eyes, no scars, hair and beard a bit more groomed and he has all his teeth. I was asked to combine that face with the body movement of number four. My favorite body sketch though, would be number six.

Just because of the way his hand movement would simulate the slamming on the hammer of the six shooter. Either way I was very happy with the final version of Blasting Billy.

Blasting Billy sketch
Blasting Billy sketch variations
Blasting Billy chosen sketch

Envisioning and creating the game cover

The cover had a few conditions attached to it. There was supposed to be a bank in the background. This would be the bank you and the gang just robbed. A sign would have the name of the town on it. One of the gang members needed to be a woman and blasting Billy would shoot you without showing the guns. The other gang members were shocked by the fact Blasting Billy shot you. In these five sketches I tried to do just that.

And I was asked to work some more on sketch number four. My goal was to tell the story of the gang on the cover. The bank in the background is blowing up, the gang makes its escape toward the front and while traveling behind Billy to the right. Where the guy is shocked to see Billy pulling the trigger on you. Money falls as the player is shot by Billy with the light of the blast lighting his face up from below. Making him look extra scary. I made a value version of the sketch and came up with some rough early ideas for the colors.

Blasting Billy cover sketches
Blasting Billy coloring
Blasting Billy final cover art

Designing the loot cards

The cards would represent the loot the players steal. The loot was divided in five categories: Gold, Dollar bills, Silver coins, Jewelry and Gemstones. Each version of loot would have six stages of value. So the lower the loot the less value it would have. These were very fun to design and work out.

Blasting Billy item cards sketches
Blasting Billy item cards

Bringing the Wild West to the table

For me, a person who loves themes like the wild west, this was an absolute joy to work on. I was given the task to create all the artwork except the graphic design which was done by someone else.