iou Banner

infiltrate. occlude. undermine. (i.o.u.)

timeline —

october - november
2021 (5 weeks)

my role —

graphic designer

ux designer

skills —

graphic design


tools —




project overview

Create a unified aesthetic, rule set, and narrative for a production quality board game prototype. So group developed: I.O.U. is a 1v3 museum heist game centered around the idae of stealth and evading capture. Players will either be apart of the ‘The Heist’ team or act alone as ‘The Security’.

board game box final —

I.O.U Board Game Box Final
We wanted to make the board game box like a brief case and open the case to play it. I made the midfi prototype box (left) and handed it over to my classmate to finalize and stylized the final prototype box right.
I.O.U Board Game Box Final
Finalized board game design

ruleset graphics —

I.O.U Board Game Ruleset Graphic
I designed iterations of banner dividers, bullet point designs, and paragraph headers for the ruleset inspired by the Art Deco style we were going with.

final ruleset —

We finalized the banner dividers which takes up the entire page and the paragraphs headers for the ruleset.

board prototype —

From Mahjong pieces to the final prototype, my team designed the level and quadrants to be different layouts to suit different types of characters. Each quadrant was allowed to be moved around and arranged to whatever the players wanted them to look like.

playtesting —

Due to us creating unique characters and abilities with an asymmetrical gameplay, we spent 0.5 ideaizing, 3.5 weeks playtesting, 1 weeks finalizing the final deliverables.

During my first playtest, my other group members have already played the game 2-3 times. They wanted see my perspective as a new player and how my experience is. What we learned from it was:

  • Our game is overwhelming to set up and start, however, once we get into the grove of things the experience felt better
  • The character, The Look Out, felt really weak to play and that we needed to balance them out

I.O.U Board Game Playtesting
During one of our early playtest where we were testing the concept to see if it worked or not.

After rounds of balancing and adjusting, I decided to take a stab at placing the officer and see how it feels to be running around trying to capture the heisters. What we learned from that:

  • Even though I was cautious while playing the role at first, the officer takes time to scale and run around faster rate. We liked general place of where the officer was at that time, however, we made more adjustments in the future as we balanced other characters’ talents.
  • I had fun playing cards to adjusting the alarm levels, controls the movement of the officer, and being strategic with placing door and traps.

Even though I enjoyed playing officer, I personally enjoyed playing as a part of a group. Some memorable moments:

  • When the heisters actually worked together as a team than rather separate entities in other playtesting sessions.
  • When one of the heisters, threw their lead just to troll the officer and lost the game

I.O.U Board Game Playtesting
An example of a final setup of I.O.U.

takeaways —

When it was time to turn in our projects, it was always nerve-wracking to see our games being playtested for the first time by our classmates. However, by letting our classmates play our game we get to see a fresh set of eyes on the project so we could learn…

  • Where there are holes in the instructions
  • If the players are playing as intended

We learned to always keep playtesting and evaluate any issues that came up while playtesting. We decide how to balance the issue or adjust anything from the players and then reflect it in the ruleset.