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s-m-r

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Candle
10th December, 2012 at 10/12/2012 20:09:50 -

I developed some placeholder card art for a tabletop board game prototype I'd recently developed. Although I don't intend on sticking with this artwork for the final product, I'm please with what I came up with so far.

A simple Incan water jug:
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A pouch of gold nuggets (my personal favourite):
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An Incan vase of gold inlaid with turquoise:
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A flintlock pistol:
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A stevedore's hook:
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A sailor's cutlass:
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A portrait of a saint, AKA "The Grace of Santa Maria":
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I use an ancient version of Photoshop (v5 LE) to do the work, with only a minimal use of filters (the Gaussian blur behind the objects). Most of the pieces are original, but for the golden vase and the pistol I used a reference photograph off to the side. For the Santa Maria card I traced over a sculpture of a saint or whatever.

Hope you enjoy having a peek at my conventional art skills.

 
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Sketchy

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10th December, 2012 at 10/12/2012 21:48:57 -

Some of them are very good (the first three in particular) - some look a bit childish (esp. the sword and pistol).
I think for this style of art, you'd be much better off using vector graphics. The lines would all look a lot smoother and nicer, and it would also look better when the images are printed.

Having said that, I understand why you wouldn't - I have to do some design work in CorelDraw, and still find it incredibly awkward and unpleasant to use (Illustrator and Inkscape are even worse).

 
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-Liam-

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Wii OwnerIt's-a me, Mario!Hero of TimeStrawberry
10th December, 2012 at 10/12/2012 22:30:03 -

I agree with Sketchy, the first three look really good ! Personally, I LOVE Adobe Illustrator. If you spend a litte time learning the best ways to go about creating vector artwork, then I'd say it's your best bet for this sort of thing.

 
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s-m-r

Slow-Motion Riot

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Candle
10th December, 2012 at 10/12/2012 23:16:56 -

Thanks for the feedback, guys.

I've had the same version of Photoshop for nearly 10 years...I still use it and resist learning anything new because it still installs and works, even on a Windows 7 machine. That, and Illustrator (which I'd also heard is perfect for this sort of thing) is too expensive for me to consider when I have an old program that does serviceable work.

I think I really hit my stride once I started work on the treasure cards (the three you both complimented, with numbers in the bottom-right corner). My personal favourite still is the coin pouch; it was the one I spent WAY too much time on in comparison to the others, but the extra time shows in the texture of the pouch itself. The vase was also a major time-sink, and I'm glad to hear you guys like it.

I somehow had a wild hair up my ass this past Saturday morning, and I decided to finish a game prototype of an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for the past couple weeks. I made these so I would have a decent-looking prototype to show others and with which I can do some heavy playtesting. Everything was done in about 40 hours: card layout, board layout, placeholder artwork for perhaps over 40 cards. I'm still finishing up writing the ruleset, but again that's something that's likely to change during playtesting anyway.

I also wanted to test out the website I'm using for the print-on-demand services: thegamecrafter.com . With this prototype, I'll have a look at their card printing and quad-fold board printing services.

The way prototypes go, this artwork isn't going to be used in the final game in the rare instance a publisher decides to pick it up. I simply wanted something to communicate the basic idea, with the focus on function as opposed to form.

Thanks again for the feedback.

 
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Sketchy

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11th December, 2012 at 11/12/2012 01:43:28 -

If cost is an issue, there are free vector graphics apps you could try - Inkscape, Serif DrawPlus, etc...
Anyway, good luck with the game

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
12th December, 2012 at 12/12/2012 18:13:32 -

I've downloaded Inkscape (yeah, cost is an issue these days), and will have a go at it sometime soon. I'd heard much about using vector graphics for these types of projects via other game designers as well, so it's clearly worth it to learn more about vector techniques.

Thanks once again for the feedback, folks.

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
1st January, 2013 at 01/01/2013 16:56:23 -

For those of you who are interested, I published this game on The GameCrafter website after a handful of revisions. You can have a look at it (and some of the artwork I elected for this version) here:

Image
https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/stinkin-incans-


Edited by s-m-r

 
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Sketchy

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2nd January, 2013 at 02/01/2013 13:54:44 -

Congrats on getting it out there for people to play

It's kind of a shame the playing pieces are so generic - poker chips, white cubes, etc.
One of my favorite board games as a kid was "Buccaneer", due in no small part to the awesome treasure and ship pieces (the game design was also very good).

Image
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(I have an older edition, so the rum barrels are made of wood and the ships don't have sails - plus one of the ships was handcrafted by my dad after the original got lost/broken).

How affordable is 3d printing now, and would they be able to do custom miniatures? That would be cool

I guess what people are really paying for is the game design (ie. rulebook) - they can source their own playing pieces if they want to (and serious gamers might already have suitable ones from other games - even if it's an orc from HeroQuest or something, pretending to be a pirate).
Obviously I can't comment on whether it's fun to play, which is the main thing really.

Anyway, good luck with it. Have you had much success selling games so far? I remember there was your other pirate-related game a while back...

 
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-Liam-

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2nd January, 2013 at 02/01/2013 22:33:14 -

Congratulations on getting it out there! It looks nice from the photos!

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
4th January, 2013 at 04/01/2013 18:41:28 -


Originally Posted by Sketchy
Congrats on getting it out there for people to play

It's kind of a shame the playing pieces are so generic - poker chips, white cubes, etc.
One of my favorite board games as a kid was "Buccaneer", due in no small part to the awesome treasure and ship pieces (the game design was also very good).



Hahaha! Buccaneer looks fantastic. I think one of my favourite things about some of the horribly-designed games from my youth must have been the pieces and bits. They can make any game that much better. There are plenty of folks out there who love games so much that they make their own custom parts and custom bits; had I the time, there are a few games on my shelf I'd love to update.


How affordable is 3d printing now, and would they be able to do custom miniatures? That would be cool



I think there's an open source 3D printing app on sourceforge somewhere, which means that 3D printing will soon be within reach of the hobbyist. The hardware has yet to make it to the mass market, as far as I know.


I guess what people are really paying for is the game design (ie. rulebook) - they can source their own playing pieces if they want to ... Obviously I can't comment on whether it's fun to play, which is the main thing really.



My main point in designing any publishing my own games on a print-on-demand site like The Game Crafter is so that I can share my ideas with my friends as well as have something serviceable to show a legitimate publisher. But yes, the rulebook, mechanics, and gameplay design is the higher priority at this stage. Artwork - although it's enjoyable and I'm pleased with my efforts - is strictly all placeholder. If it's actually picked up by a publisher, then the artwork would be commissioned by a proper artist, and in some cases even the theme would be altered from the original.


...Have you had much success selling games so far? I remember there was your other pirate-related game a while back...



Hahaha! I've not sold much to anyone other than my friends and relatives at this point. But I just heard this past Wednesday I had my first sale (of Stinkin' Incans) to a complete stranger. It's a promising development...

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
4th January, 2013 at 04/01/2013 18:42:40 -

In any case: thanks, guys, for the kind encouragement.

 
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Sketchy

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5th January, 2013 at 05/01/2013 04:04:56 -

Re: 3d-printing - I was thinking you could design your own miniatures, and then use a site like www.shapeways.com (there are plenty of others doing the same thing) to have it made, rather than buying your own printer. Once you have one miniature, you could use it to create a mould and then cast as many copies as you like. In fact, you could skip a step and just have the mould 3d-printed instead.
eg: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-08/04/shapeways-3d-printing-miniatures

Anyway, how about trying something a little less abstract - something with cool miniatures? Like you say, they make any game better. "HeroQuest" was always my favourite (or "Space Crusade" was basically the same thing in a sci-fi setting)...

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
5th January, 2013 at 05/01/2013 20:35:34 -

I just received word of a portable 3D printer for under US$500, and I'm inspired:

http://www.inhabitat.com/portabee-launches-portable-robust-affordable-3d-printer-for-under-500/

Looks like it's closer to reality than I first realized...

As for abstract vs. representative game design: hmm...On the one hand, it is about the designer and what they want to accomplish. On the other hand, the ability of the publisher to afford elaborate components is a major factor. I think a trend these days in development of sophisticated games for adults is to go with one of two directions:

MINIATURES GAMING: spending a ton of money on intricately-detailed mini figures. Recent examples are Descent and the various Dungeons & Dragons tabletop games. D&D 4th Edition (which personally made me throw up a little in my mouth, but that's another discussion altogether) seems to be pretty much exclusively a miniatures game...It's an RPG that's made the "crossover" to miniatures gaming.

EUROSTYLE: classic, heavily-abstracted game design, focusing on simple components and gameplay, with a loosely tied-on theme. I'm thinking anywhere from Carcassonne to Settlers of Catan, Agricola, and so on. Expenses usually go into 2D artwork and simpler wooden shapes as opposed to detailed 3D models.

They're different styles of games, and call on different approaches (in my opinion). CARD GAMES are a third category, but there are also different dynamics at play with those types of games. I've stayed away from this genre, generally speaking, instead opting to fiddle around with various card games playable with an ordinary deck of cards.

Don't mean to bore you...But yes, I've thought a tremendous deal on creating a more in-depth, detailed, and miniatures-based game that could do well. It's still kinda rough and in need of serious playtesting, but perhaps "King's Gift" will make it to review by publishers this year. I ought to work harder on it, though to do it well is a daunting task. There are times when I think, "I'd love to have another look at this...but it's such a big project. I'm not up to that right now." Although I know that the game is in very good shape, it's almost as if I've built a game that's too big for me.

I have about half a dozen game designs to mess around with at the time, whenever the mood strikes, like I do with MMF projects. This obviously adds to time in the development cycle, but in any event I'm not kidding myself into thinking I have to depend on this to make a living. Occasional spurts of creativity suit me just fine at this point.

 
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s-m-r

Slow-Motion Riot

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Candle
14th January, 2013 at 14/01/2013 00:05:39 -

I'm thinking I might change the theme of the game to TSA agents fighting back against irate airline customers who want their confiscated luggage back.

 
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