In a board game, it’s important that each player have a representative icon. Likewise since Killer Croquet is set in a highly sports themed reality, it would make sense that each player would have an iconic symbol that would easily identify them. (If not created by themselves, probably created by the sports media). I have a lot of backstory wound up in these characters, so I wanted to make sure that their icons were suitably relatable.
I put maybe too much thought into the icons, but hey, feel free to have a gander at my design process for each one.
When I first approaching Thor’s icon, I very much resisted adding the lightning bolt. Yes, Thor is the God of Thunder, but a lightning bolt is “low hanging fruit”. Seeing that this is a game about mallets, I thought it best to emphasize Mjollnir in Thor’s icon.
A big point I want to make is that this is not Marvel’s “space” Thor, but rather a Thor more akin to the nordic myth. I found it interesting that depictions of Mjolnir are a lot less like this:
And a whole lot more like this:
I really enjoy Hitoru’s design and back-story. I’m funneling into him all of the aesthetics of old-school Nintendo games and 80’s anime. Part Speed Racer, part Mega Man, part Ultra Man. I wanted to create a logo that fit along those themes. Interestingly, I found that those particular characters didn’t have much in the way of iconic symbols. They themselves were iconic, but they didn’t have much going on in the way of symbols.
It wasn’t until I started thinking about how Hitoru functions in the world until I got onto the right track. He’s a part of a super hero team, so I started looking at team logos, and before long I was struck with Gatchaman and my favoritetype of team “science / ninja”.
Beyond the hilarious bird theme, they have a pretty awesome logo that is super iconic. I’ll be the first to say that I just swapped the bird head on their logo with a mallet, threw a Japan sunburst on there and called it a day.
Mahue Malea is the product of misinformation on my part. The seed of her creation is “Croquet playing Amazon”. Since I get most of my information from cartoons and comics, here is the information I “knew” about Amazon’s:
- Warrior woman society
- Wore green, leafy garments
- Shoots arrows
- Cut off a boob to be able to shoot arrows better (or play Croquet better)
- Lived in the Amazon (probably?)
After getting real excited about this and doing a little bit of research, I realized I was pretty much dead wrong about what Amazons are. (Greek Mythology, Asia Minor, Wonder Woman etc). I don’t think I’m the first board game designer to make this mistake, but nonetheless I was way more interested in a character with South American background than any other element of the character. So I suppose a created an “Amazonian” rather than an “Amazon”, and wedged my own tribe of fictional warrior women into history alongside the Aztecs. While we’re still on the subject of symbols and iconography, the aztecs have that in spades.
The tribe Malea is princess of is founded on a Godslayer Myth, so an Aztec themed icon with cartoon X’s for eyes seemed about appropriate for this game.
Hahahahahahahahah, oh man. The Mallet and Sickle is quite possibly my favorite thing to come out of this game. I mean, all the characters have some element of “hammer myth” to them, but nothing is so funny to me as bringing soviet iconography into a game of Croquet.
The Hammer and Sickle of Soviet Russia stood for the working class, industry, and communism. And this is diametrically opposed to the opulence and classism that is inherent to the game of croquet. Now, Marianna is an ex-soviet super spy, which is why her color is black (rather than red), she is opposed to the corrupt political system that eventually destroyed the Soviet Union, but she still roughly aligned with the communist ideals.
Apparently, I’m not the first person to use the “Mallet” and Sickle, and this is absolutely hilarious. It is also the symbol for the Underground Guerrilla Croquet Collective. I can’t even describe how great this is, I will let their motto speak for itself.
We REJECT the bourgeois imperialism of the “Athletics Union”.
We REJECT the corruption of our public spaces, the manipulation of our Alba.
We REJECT the norm, the orthodox, the established.
We are the RESISTANCE. We are CROQUET.
Hank Spectre Hank Spectre’s symbol was harder than I thought it’d be. For starters, among ghost hunters, UFO theorists, and paranormal experts there isn’t really a consistent set of iconography. There was a while where I was toying around with the ghost buster logo, but it never really gelled. I did have Hank Spectre in a polo shirt, since he is most representative of the spirit of professional croquet. I cycled through a few different ghost symbols, but also wanted to get some sort of croquet visual pun in there as well. His is probably the least apparent, but the arms of the ghost form a mallet, and the head is a croquet ball. That looked a little plain, so I spiced it up with a 5 pointed star.
I wanted a little bit of a religious tone to it, but nothing overtly pedantic. I shopped around a few different saints to see if there were any that had iconography that matched what I was looking for. On the other hand, if Danny Phantom had a better logo, I would totally have riffed off that (amazing show)
Depending on your beliefs, the five pointed star with the point up, is actually a symbol for good and holy things. Hank Spectre is only half ghost, and his character is defined by clinging to what remains of his humanity.
Galita 9000 Galita is representative of steampunk and all of the time travel tropes I could think of: Terminator, Doctor Who, Back to the Future, etc. Essentially combining those elements into something that would feel comfortable on a croquet field. The gear was an obvious choice, Galita is a steampunk cyborg, gears are integral to her design.
But I also wanted to add something from Doctor Who, which is the classiest and most British form of time travel. How to incorporate Dr. Who was hard until I discovered that the random swirls on and around the tardis are actually in the language of the time lords and that fans have constructed a system for actually translating between English and Galifreyan. I tried a couple words and picked one that wasn’t too complex, but still looked good. I’ll leave it to you guys to uncover the meaning in the gear.