Patch: the card game ︎︎︎
Similar to Schmidt’s and Eno’s Oblique Strategies, James Cigler designed Patch: The Card Game, a set of cards that would force the artist to make choices that they were not thinking to make.

Patch: The Card Game is a set of cards that was originally designed to be a tool to expand Cigler’s skills and creativity with the modular, but it became something better, something that anyone with a modular synth could use to do the same, in flexible and unique ways, tailored to their needs.

The game has three different card types:

Abstraction: A framework or set of rules the patch must follow. E.g. Use only half of your modules, chosen at random.

Progressions: Aim to evolve or morph the state of the patch. E.g. Turn every attenuator down by half

Disruptions: Challenging changes that will alter the patch significantly. E.g. For each connection, flip a coin. If heads, unpatch.

The Basic Game

Separate and shuffle the Abstraction cards into their own pile. Shuffle the Progression and Abstraction cards into another pile.

Draw at least one Abstraction card and start patching, following the rule set by that card. The Abstraction card should stay in play for reference.

At some interval (eg. every 5min), draw a card from the Progression/Disruption pile and do the actions described on the card before placing it in a discard pile.

Repeat this as many times as you like until you feel the patch is finished. If you run out of Progression/Disruptions cards, shuffle the discard pile as your new draw pile.

The interesting thing about Patch: The Card Game is that  it has various single player game modes such as Arbitrary Strategies, De-Composition, Auto Patch as well as different multiplayer modes like Patch Battle Royale (“PBR”) and PodMod Challenge.