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Role: Art Director, Illustrator and Game Designer         Client: Fernanda Zerbini        Project: card game

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Connection and respect.

Autarki is a card game that revolves around 12 archetypes, each accompanied by 12 light cards and 12 shadow cards. The game was designed to facilitate interaction between psychologists and teenagers or patients who may require a gamified approach to initiate conversations that can be difficult or painful. However, Autarki is not limited to therapeutic settings and also offers individuals the opportunity to explore the diversity of each archetype, better understand themselves, and improve communication and mutual understanding.

The gameplay of Autarki revolves around the dynamics of the archetypes and encourages players to explore their own unique characteristics and those of others. Each player is assigned a specific archetype and receives a set of cards representing that archetype, along with the corresponding light and shadow cards. Throughout the game, players have the chance to delve into both the positive and negative aspects of their own archetype as well as those of other players.

Autarki emphasizes open and respectful communication, and resources such as guides are provided to facilitate meaningful dialogue. Through engaging gameplay and interactive experiences, the game aims to enhance participants' communication skills, empathy, and mutual understanding. The game aims to personal growth and connection. It enables players to develop essential skills that contribute to a more understanding and empathetic society, where clear communication and respect for diversity are highly valued.

My contribution

  • Ensured the representation of diverse identities and experiences within the 12 archetypes, fostering inclusivity and promoting empathy among players.

  • Created illustrations that effectively conveyed the essence of each archetype, facilitating player understanding and connection.

  • Designed visually immersive and intuitive gameplay experience.

  • Contributed to the overall game design process, integrating visual and interactive elements seamlessly.


The challenge was to design a game that could facilitate meaningful conversations and promote understanding among players.


The goal was to create an interactive experience that allowed individuals, including those outside of therapy, to explore the diversity of archetypes, understand themselves better


The development of Autarki, a card game featuring 12 archetypes, 12 light cards, and 12 shadow cards, offering a game for self-exploration, empathy-building, and enhancing interpersonal connections.

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User test / Therapists 

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We conducted a user test with a group of psychologists and the results were quite promising. The psychologists recognized the game's potential as a valuable therapeutic tool, particularly in terms of engaging and initiating conversations with their teenage patients. The game successfully facilitated meaningful interactions, which allowed psychologists to address sensitive topics more effectively while providing a gamified experience. Positive feedback from professionals in the field further validates the game's relevance and potential impact in psychological therapy settings.


The visually immersive and intuitive gameplay experience enhances player engagement and enjoyment.


One area for improvement identified by the psychologist testers was the need for clearer instructions and guidance to ensure a smoother gameplay experience.


creating a digital platform to maintain and share game information would allow players to continue their experience and interact even when not physically present.

"The game's inclusive character design and diverse archetypes foster empathy and promote understanding among patients"

Psychologist tester

"The game's inclusive character design and diverse archetypes foster empathy and promote understanding among patients"

User test / Everyday person

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The game is intentionally designed to be simple and accessible, allowing anyone to play and benefit from it. We conducted tests with everyday players seeking to improve their understanding of themselves and others, and the results were positive. It enhanced self-awareness and ultimately contributed to improved communication and interpersonal relationships. 

It provides a safe and engaging space where one can reflect on their own archetype, understands different perspectives, and improve their communication skills.

This game has been a transformative experience, acting as a reflective mirror that deepens my self-awareness and guides me towards personal growth and self-improvement."

Everyday user tester

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Additionally, if a therapist decides to play the game with their patient, it can provide an opportunity for amazing insights to emerge. By engaging in the gameplay together, therapists and individuals can explore different archetypes, delve into personal experiences, and discuss strategies for improving communication and understanding. This collaborative experience can foster a deeper therapeutic connection and facilitate transformative conversations that promote self-awareness and personal growth.

Creator and Author: Fernanda Zerbini
Co-creator and Illustrator: Carol Michelon (me)
Branding and Editorial: Paula Guerino

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