Kill Your Friends and Splatatat! is created by award winning product designer LeighRyan (Dyson/Quad Lock) and illustrated by Adrian Dutt (Howling Owl/Spectres).
Inspired by the rising popularity of adult themed card games and a love for classic family games such as Uno, Leigh set out to create an adult themed card game that could be won through gameplay, not a subjective decision. Playing on the natural competitive and aggressive nature of people when playing card and board games, the idea for Kill Your Friends was born with the concept of a game that you could win by knocking other players out of the game.
The idea just sat there for a while but it wasn’t until close friend and amazing illustrator Adrian Dutt did a series of horror themed illustrations on Instagram leading up to Halloween called “Inktober” that really inspired the game.
Leigh started sending through death ideas and very rough sketches across to Adrian that he would breathe life (but mostly death) into and everything evolved from there. Almost 3 years of ideas, sketches and revisions going back forth has resulted in a game that provides a crude, shocking and provoking social commentary, covering topics such as depression, police brutality, addiction, bullying, health trends, and technology obsession.
Some cards are funny, some are very confronting and disturbing, some are just plain stupid and some have a strong social message behind them. And if you look closely into what is happening in each card, there is a loose narrative that pulls all the character stories together. (Leigh has a bold idea of developing the story into an animated Netflix special one day).
Leigh and Adrian joke that they would have some serious explaining to do if police ever reviewed their search history or messenger conversations as they have googled some pretty messed up stuff as research.
Understanding the theme of the game isn’t for everyone and may offend some, Leigh created Splatatat! in parallel. Splatatat! is a family friendly game with the exact same game mechanics as Kill Your Friends, but with none of the graphic content.
The irony of Kill Your Friends is that the content themes center around violence and aggression but the fundamental core of the game is really about bringing people together and having fun.