GeekStack - http://geekstack.com
I'm making an online trading card came. Think Magic the Gathering or Pokemon, but with a science and technology theme. I've seen and experienced the sheer volume of information that kids retain from the games they play, and I've seen the fanatic, almost obsessive lengths people will go to for trading card games and it looked like a match made in heaven.
I'm developing the game engine so my game can be played online, but I need it to look outstanding in order for it to be successful. The art, concepts, graphics and visual design in mainstream trading card games are extraordinary and that's the bar that I need to clear to complete.
This is the first card design, meant to be used on the website, in early promotional and marketing materials as well as be included in the set. I haven't figured out exactly how many cards will be in the first set but I would imagine it's between 200 and 300 cards, all of which will need their own art. So this is just the beginning of things yet to come.
Trading card games have served a few major demographics. Games like Pokemon and YuGiOh were aimed at children 6-10. Other games like Magic the Gathering and World of Warcraft TCG were split between early teenagers discovering the game for the first time and dedicated adult players (both have organized tournaments, for example). I would like to aim for the second category, young teenager-ish people, say ages 11-15. Similar to the kind that would buy a Lego Mindstrom kit or enter a FIRST Robotics league.
The purpose of the game is to create an immersive experience, where each player is trying to use science to improve the world. Sounds wishy-washy and goody-two-shoesy, but there are a variety of ways to accomplish that (note: since the game is still being designed, none of these are definite). You could invent or improve something useful, you could make money to change the world another way, you could make the public more aware of science to increase the demand for it, etc. The game will cover all aspects of how science takes place in the real world, including funding, education, deployment, industry, advocacy, etc. The structure and rules of the game are meant to be a simulation of the real world, so that just like Madden helps you understand football much better, hopefully playing GeekStack will give a greater appreciation for how science makes the world better.
Produce the art for one card. The subject of the card will be John Von Neumann. He was one of the prominent mathematicians of the 20th century and among other things, invented game theory, oversaw the design and construction of the first programmable computer, and did the math behind early weather prediction. More information is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann and all over the web.
The art should be representative of his accomplishments and abilities, not just a picture of what he looked like. Bring the magnitude of his accomplishments, intelligence, and creativity into the picture without just being a slideshow of his life. I haven't settled on a style (cartoony, comic book, painting-like, etc); this contest is a way to see the range of designs available, so don't feel constricted.
Format will be similar to popular trading card games, roughly half of of a 2.5"x3.5" trading card. I haven't worked how the printing size translates to pixels, but ithe picture should be at least 1024x1024 px. It may be cropped to fit the shape and size of the box when the card layout is finalized, but the whole art may be used on the website, marketing materials, etc.