The Goatfish Origin Story

My daughter and I designed a super fun card game that combines a goofy cast of characters, awesome art, lots of player interaction, and enough strategy to keep everyone competing to win while laughing out loud. 


Why create a card game?

Our family enjoys playing card and board games. When my daughter Lillian was younger we played simple card games like Go Fish. Games like this are easy for kids to pick up but their simplicity makes them less appealing for parents or older kids.

We thought it would be fun to create a new game that was easy for young children to learn but had more options for player interaction and deeper strategy to keep older players engaged. As a family that travels, we find the card game format convenient since it is easy to pack and bring along on trips

Why goats?

We wanted a silly game with lots of character that featured animals. Goats have tons of personality, can be super silly, and “Goatfish” just rolls off the tongue!

Extensive goat research yielded many fun goat breeds along with a whole host of supporting characters from across the world including Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, and the United States. We have ten different goat breeds plus other animals including a llama, donkey, and even a honey badger. 

One of the Goatfish goat herds, the handsome LaMancha

One of the Goatfish goat herds, the handsome LaMancha

Lillian working on original card illustrations

Lillian working on original card illustrations

What is the process?

First we came up with the general concept of creating herds, playing action cards, and using defend cards. The next piece was to find the right balance of the number of herd cards, type and number of action cards, and the right number of defend cards.

We found this balance by making cards on blank card stock and playing games with different card counts and card actions. Cards were removed, card counts were adjusted, and more games were played. Eventually we found the right mix of cards to deliver a fun game for 2-5 players that lasts an average 15 minutes.

We fleshed out the experience by finalizing the characters for each card type and Lillian provided the original illustrations.

Once we had the card counts, characters, and gameplay figured out, we worked with a talented illustrator to produce the final artwork.

funny animal characters + player interaction + portability = AWESOMENESS