Alan's Card Games

Created: February 12, 2004
Last Edits: April 28, 2004
Stage: Revised ?
Cards Created: 349
(3 sets, promos)
Status: Complete ?



A trading card game created to help fund the school yearbook, based around achieving a 4.0 GPA and killing your competition.


Originally conceived as an improvement to the ill-fated PPA Card Game, this project took on a life of its own. It was created as a way to help fund the school yearbook (as this was the first year we had attempted to publish a paper yearbook, rather than simply releasing CD yearbooks as in years past). This game was actually sold to students ($10 starters, $2 booster packs) and, as such, also had a bunch of promotional material created for it (posters, T-shirts, card game boxes) along with a comprehensive website.

Another feature of the game was "E-codes", a small code printed along the bottom of each card that, when entered into the website, unlocked a feature ranging from a new attack to downloadable content.

The game was mainly played by Sean and Josh, but was also played by other PPA students, and collected by many more.

The second expansion set (third set) of the game, "Pastimes", was pretty disasterous... in my efforts to "turn the game upside down", I almost doubled the characteristic pool and introduced many cards that were simply too powerful (not enough playtesting on the complete set). As such, the game was revamped after the second expansion, and is therefore considered complete.


The PPA TCG had a goal of obtaining a 4.0 GPA by playing GPA cards. Characters were used for their skills to play GPA, as well as to play other cards such as rules and events. Characters were also able to attack each other, fueled by items such as Book and Drinks.


There were five types of cards: Character, GPA, Event, Rule, and Item. Event cards could remain in play after use, or be discarded immediately after use. Item cards could be basic or special; special Items had additional effects, but were subject to card restrictions (unlike basic items). There were also dual Character cards that were stronger but counted as two characters in play. Rule cards were introduced in the Nerdlings expansion, as were special Items and dual Characters.

The game ended up having three card sets: Base (118 cards), Nerdlings (109 cards), and Pastimes (109 cards). There were also 12 promo cards, distributed to people who played the game.

As this was the first card game I sold, this was the first card game where rarity actually mattered. As such, Item cards were not given a rarity, as one was included in every booster pack.

The card template had a slight modification in the Nerdlings expansion, when some card elements became textured. (This was actually a problem, as the test cards were printed in black and white, and it was impossible to tell the retreat costs on characters through the textures.) They also gained a solid bar under the copyright information at the bottom of cards; this became a problem when cutting the cards, as many people would associate the bar with the top of another card, and cut it off, causing many PPA TCG cards to be sold without their E-codes. Overall, however, the card design remained the same throughout the three card sets.

A sample Character card, "Vicki Hsu", from the Base set

A sample GPA card, "Good Night's Sleep", from the Nerdlings expansion

A sample Event card, "Walk Around", from the Pastimes expansion

A sample Rule card, "Forceful Tap", from the Nerdlings expansion

A sample Item card, "Binder", from the Base set

Other Material

The game had a lot of promotional material created to go with it, such as posters to put up around the school building and T-shirts to wear to advertise the game. I also created card boxes for the starter and theme decks, as well as booster pack cards that were inserted as the first card in every (clear plastic) booster pack.

A scaled-down version of the flyer posted around school to advertise the game

A scaled-down version of the flyer posted around school to advertise the Nerdlings expansion

A scaled-down version of the flyer posted around school to advertise the Pastimes expansion

Patrick models the PPA TCG shirt, created to promote the game

The Yearbook club cuts cards and assembles boxes for the game


The PPA TCG had a website with information on the game, such as rules downloads and card listings. Cards were not downloadable, as this game was sold. This is probably the most comprehensive website I've created for a card game.