Zarf's SVG Tarot

Volity is a networked board game system I've been working on. It uses SVG, a vector-graphics format rather like Flash, for its graphical game interfaces.

Why does this matter? Because one game I want to do in Volity is Zarcana. Zarcana is played on a Tarot deck. Therefore, I need an SVG Tarot deck.

(Damian Cugley has done an SVG Tarot deck too. It is cool, and I'd like to make it an option for Volity Zarcana. But that doesn't mean I don't want to work on one too.)

As yet, I have only Major Arcana to show off:

Click for larger view

(The last three in this array are the Blank, the Title Card, and the Back Of The Cards.)

Download SVG file. (I never got around to drawing any more of the cards than you see here.)

All of this was done in Inkscape, an open-source SVG editor. I like it. (Even though it's an X Windows app which runs clunkily on my Mac.) The basic style is simply Inkscape's "calligraphic pen" tool. I tried sketching a Fool figure with the pen, and I liked it so much that I decided to do the whole deck that way. I can convey human figures with a few strokes -- which works much better than when I try to actually draw human figures in detail.

I decided this theme would work much better if I only did human figures with the pen. Each card has one or two people. Everything else on the card therefore has to be background color. And I wanted to keep the colors tame enough that the cards would work as game elements... in other words, it should be possible to ignore the card art if brightly-colored pieces are placed on top.

This led to some interesting changes in the symbology. The Chariot is a bareback rider, instead of a man driving a team. The Wheel of Fortune has a person explicitly quartered upon it. And Strength wound up being an Atlas/Sisyphus figure, rather than a woman taming a lion. All of those images make sense in my personal conception of the Tarot. Whether they work for you, well... you can always do your own deck. Heh.

Last updated June 10, 2014.

The Uncarrot Tarot, a completely separate Tarot project from my younger days

The Tarot Art Tool Project, an algorithmic Tarot art project

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