games and places

Art Deck

Art Deck / 2016-2018 / as part of Matheson Marcault

Art Deck charcoal drawing.jpg

Art Deck is a collaborative drawing game. Players add cards an evolving instruction about what to draw and how to draw it, and then follow that instruction, taking turns to add to a single shared picture. The round ends when someone plays a “Sign Your Name” card and claims the picture as their own.

Its mix of competition and cooperation gets people drawing quickly, freeing them up to feel comfortable and to experiment with whatever materials they have to hand. The cards are designed to focus on the physical pleasure of drawing, the funniness of following increasingly awkward directions, and on encouraging images which look bold, confident and stylistically coherent, allowing players to feel genuinely proud of their creations.


Art Deck was originally commissioned for NYU’s No Quarter exhibition, as part of a series of Drawing Games. We then worked with Alex Parrott to develop the visual design, and ran a successful Kickstarter to produce the game. The commercial version of Art Deck consists of a core deck and two expansion packs: the Arty Deck, which encourages players to explore the physicality of their materials and the composition of the images they create; and the Party Deck, which works for larger groups and keeps the gameplay as fast-moving and funny as possible.


Art Deck has shown at No Quarter (NYU, New York, 2016); LCN Showcase (Space Studios, London, 2017); BarSK (Melbourne, 2017); Indiecade (Los Angeles, 2017) .

Drawing Games: blog post on the evolution of a series of drawing games and the theoretical grounding for Art Deck. / Art Deck Instructions: blog post on the evolution of the instruction cards in the game, and what they aim to accomplish. / Art Deck: From No Quarter Commission to Kickstarter: essay for NYU on the evolution of Art Deck, and our use of many games carried out by computer-generated “players” to refine the card design.