Singapore startup launches card game based on Mahabharata

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An Indian-Singaporean startup has launched a card game based on the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata with plans to put it online by the end of 2016.

Varun Devanathan, a 29-year-old software consultant, has designed the first two sets of the game conceptualised around the epic, initially featuring characters of Arjuna and Karna. The game will be expanded with more card sets-based on other characters and will be put online by the end of the next year, Devanathan said.

It was launched in Singapore on May 30 under "Legend of Vyas," a startup named after the author of the Mahabharata. In August last year, Devanathan and Singaporean doctor Huren Sivaraj, 30, thought of taking Mahabharata further as a game carrying messages from the Sanskrit epic. "The game is designed for players of 14-30 years of age, and we have pre-launched orders from India and the United States," Devanathan told PTI.

Mahabharata is at the core of Indians and is re-produced as a television serial every few years, said Devanathan, who hails from Chennai. Each card in the game has text that contextualises the story with value in point forms, based on Mahabharata charters and weapons. Working on the game is New Delhi-based artist Anirudh Sainath and Singaporean artist Benjamin Tan, who works on mobile and computer games.

According to PTI, the artwork on the cards has a darker colour palette than conventional depictions of the Mahabharata, which, Devanathan said, was an attempt "to be true to the story. The Mahabharata's subject matter is dark. It's about human failings," he explained.

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