July 3, 2022

Hands On with Cardlife: EGX 2018

This year was as busy as ever for us, but we still managed to cram in a whole host of interviews. Freejam’s newest game, Cardlife intrigued us, so we made sure to give it a go! Albeit a little later than planned thanks to the Industry Party and a massive hangover….. Sorry again fellas!

Cardlife is an early access survival game available now on Steam for the teeny price of £10. You exist in a 3d world of cardboard, to survive you must build, craft and fight. The basic mechanics are a lot like all the other building/crafting games, such as Minecraft and Ark to name but a few. But it has 1 amazing concept behind it. The Connect the Dots system, or CTD for short, this allows you to do more than just create an item, it allows you to edit it as well. Making every object you create, from weapons to armour to buildings completely unique.

CardLife is an early access survival game, set in a world constructed entirely from recycled cardboard. Using the unique Connect the Dots (CTD) crafting system, almost everything within the world is editable. Explore, build, fight, and survive as you embark on your very own cardboard adventure!

Main Features:

  • Using the CTD system, almost everything you can craft can be hand-drawn using a mouse or even a tablet. A character with an octopus for a head? A house made of abstract shapes with no roof? If you can imagine it, you can build it. User Generated Content (UGC) has always been at the core of Freejam’s ethos, and CardLife is no different.

  • A science fantasy setting brings together a huge range of genre staples. A towering mech battling a rampaging dragon, weaponized vehicles facing down a pack of goblins, or laser rifles vs demons – nothing is impossible!

  • Take your place in the cardboard community. Will you be a hunter? A merchant? A bandit? The world is your cardboard oyster.

  • Shared building system allows players to construct huge, complex projects as a part of a team. Will you occupy a lonely stronghold atop a mountain? Or join a bustling city at the centre of the world?

  • The game is just the beginning – CardLife isn’t just a game, but a platform. We actively encourage modding, and the game is easily accessible for modders to put their own spin on the world. ‘Official’ servers will provide the core CardLife experience, but we’re excited to see what the community can come up with!

When you first load into the game you need the standard resources to build. So punching a tree it is! But the tree won’t just fall if you keep hitting it, you need to knock cardboard holes out of it, from one side to the other. When you have managed to bust a hole all the way along the base of the tree it will fall, hitting the ground and exploding into a pile of wooden planks ready for you to craft with. And this is where it gets a lot more interesting. Now you are able to take the general shape of something, say your sword, and make it look however you want to, as long as your creation fits in the draw box. It’s actually rather difficult to describe, so just take a look:

YouTube player

Can you tell us a bit about your team?

Yeah, we are a team of 25people. However, Freejam itself was founded in 2013 and has around 50 people associated with it now.


How long has Cardlife been in Development?

Its been in development for around 2.5 to 3 years.


What inspired the art direction for Cardlife?

It was the CEO’s idea, he wanted something that would stand out when he was pitching his game ideas to publishers. Originally it started life as a simple 3d modelling proof of concept. But it turned out to be such a good idea, not just as a tool for promotion but as an art style that Cardlife was kind of born from it.


What game accessibility options does Cardlife have built into it at the moment?

The usual things, rebinding keys, windowed mode, screen and graphics changes. We have no dialogue at the moment so it doesn’t have subtitles. But we might be looking into possible NPC quests in the fututre that may require them. We have included tablet support and probably the most interesting option is the out of game customisation. the items you create are saved as pdf files. these can be loaded up into photoshop, for example, and tweaked/edited to make them look better. Then they can be re-imported back into the game for you to utilise.


Are there or are you considering adding any streaming options to the game?

No not at the moment.


I know it’s very early days but looking at the mechanics of the game, does the free creation tool use a lot of processing power? If so does it limit the possibility of a console release?

We’ve not noticed any major performance issues with the way the tool works. It’s possible that it may require a tweak if it was to go to console but we’ve not looked into it. For now, we are focusing on the PC build and making sure that’s how it should be.

Want to see more about Cardlife? Then follow the links below:

Twitter, Facebook, Cardlife website.

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