Based on the award-winning tabletop card game Lost Cities by world-renowned board game designer Reiner Knizia, Lost Cities VR is a two-player strategy game that transports you to unexplored regions and mythical realms. Can you outwit your opponent and make the most profit as you compete to be the first to discover the ancient lost cities?

Our first card design is ready to show off

- by Rachael Hosein

We're starting on the card design!

Card Breakdown

The Lost Cities board game has five sets of cards, each themed to a particular expedition. In each set, there are 3 investment cards (I like to refer to these as the temptress cards that most likely will lead to your downfall) and 9 numbered cards (running from 2 to 10).

Here's the Neptune's Realm card set from the board game.

Rethinking the design for VR

We love the artwork on the original cards. They lead you through the story of finding ruins of a lost city. It would have been great to carry this reference into the VR version of the cards, but we had to keep readability in mind so the card numbers definitely had to use as much real estate as possible.

One of the current limitations of the Gear VR is that it doesn't have positional tracking - this means that your head is fixed in one spot. You can look around to see a full 360º view of the environment, but you can't lean in to take a closer look at the elements in the environment so all the card numbers have to be readable from one set position.

Keeping the hardware limitations along with the environment research, scale guidelines, and table concepts in mind, we came up with a few parameters to base the card development on:

  • Square 6cm x 6cm cards
  • Large bold font
  • Each set should reference that expedition (ie. Desert Sands cards should look like they came from the desert)

Design progression

Here is Sam's first go at the card design.

After some changes, here's how the concept started getting more refined:

And after some more back and forth, here's a visual of the final card design:

We're super excited to get started on the design for the rest of the expeditions, and will keep you updated here as we go!