Turning a fast paced digital game into a card game

  • When making an analog adaptation of a digital game, it is important to preserve the heart of the original game while also simplifying the mechanics of the game. Having too many mechanics and systems in an analog game can make it complex, but that does not always mean fun. To create an effective adaptation of Nuclear Throne, we decided to make it a deck-builder game.
  • Progression is the most important game system in Nuclear throne. We preserve this in our card game by letting the player acquire powerful weapons and mutations over the course of the game, as well as spawning stronger and stronger enemies.
  • We wanted to capture the feeling of taking on waves of enemies. Space is represented using two rows of enemies, with the row affecting their level of threat. We encourage the player to make strategic decisions to best deal with the onslaught of enemies.
  • We removed player movement and aiming as they are skill-based inputs that rely on hand-eye coordination; not fit for a deck-builder!
  • Team: Yuvika Dube, Ryan Jaime, Urian Lee, Orion Song


NuclearThroneCards (pdf)


NuclearThroneRules (pdf)


NuclearThroneDesignIterationDoc (pdf)