Wilkes Senior Kevin Schiel wins College Tabletop award


Amanda Bialek, Life, Arts & Entertainment Asst. Editor

From being in a band to working in the restaurant industry, senior Kevin Schiel has always been drawn to making something creative. His passion for experimenting with food dishes inspired him to pursue his artistic talent in a different field at Wilkes University.

“In high school, I was always the kid that doodled and made flash animations on the school’s boggy computers,” Schiel said.

His interest in graphic design led him to studying Integrative Media, Art and Design at Wilkes.

“It wasn’t until I was 24 and in a committed relationship that I found I needed to do something with my life, and working in the restaurant industry was burning me out,” Schiel said. “With all of this in consideration, graphic design seemed to be the perfect fit for me, so I began going to school at Luzerne County Community College four years ago and here I am now.”

Schiel’s interest in space and sci-fi themes gave him the idea to create a card game for his Projects 2 course.

This course is designed as a portfolio building class where students have a variety of hands-on experiences and learn important skills such as keeping a schedule, time management and presenting and receiving feedback from a creative team.

“It’s a critical component to have real world working environments reflected in our courses,” Eric Ruggiero, associate professor and chair of Integrative Media said. 

Students work on deadlines, create real world production schedules and have access to a community feedback forum, according to Ruggiero.

Through the design community, students are able to receive feedback on synergy, colors, typography and all other different components, Ruggiero said.

Schiel has always liked card and tabletop games and felt this project would use a broad range of design skills in a unique way.

“To utilize skills in illustration, layout and typographic design, I felt that it would be a great idea to take both the design aesthetics and philosophies that I have discovered and learned throughout my student career to create something different that stands out,” Schiel said.

There were multiple cards that needed to be designed for the game.

“I sketched out most of the cards before I took them into Adobe Illustrator, traced and colored them, then added the information over the tops,” Schiel said. 

The process consisted of hand drawing, turning the drawings into digital components, laying them out and finally getting his designs into print formats.

“It’s a constant iteration of evolution to the final result,” Ruggiero said.

The end result was a strategy card game called Planets the Game. It is a space themed game where players draw from a single deck. The card game has a total of 84 cards and two to six players can play at a time. Individuals assume the roles of alien overlords and can play, attack, defend and conquer planets. There are three different types of alien species players can employ. The first player to control six planets wins the game.

“I wanted to create a strategy game and have always liked trading card games like Magic the Gathering, but also like the casual feel of some party games, like Uno,” Schiel said. “I took the characteristics I liked from different games and married them in a totally new way.”

Schiel recently won the College Tabletop award at the Pennsylvania Consortium on Video Games at Harrisburg University for Planets the Game. This statewide competition is an opportunity for game developers and educational programmers to showcase their creative talents. Schiel also received the 2017 American Advertising Federation award for an animated infographic he designed.

“Kevin alone has set the bar high for himself and the projects that he’s doing,” Ruggiero said. “He achieves his goals in super quantity and super quality. We are really proud of Kevin and what he has done.”

Interested in Planets the Game? Visit planetsthegame.com to preorder a copy.