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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Works in Progress

Subject: Seeking art critiques and feedback rss

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Ben Mora
United States
Olathe
Kansas
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I would love to get feedback or critiques on the artwork for my upcoming game, "Wages of War: The Uncooperative Siege Game." You can read more about it here: http://moragames.com/2016/06/introducing-wages-of-war/

Here is the castle for the board:


These are the tiles in the game:


For some background, the theme is very light in this game. It would be described as simply, "medieval castle siege." It is not meant to be historic or specific to any time or place. There are no characters in the game... yet.

I thank you for any feedback!
-Ben Mora
Mora Games
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Long Island
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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Scalewise, it bothers me that I see a whole bow and only the hilt of the sword. Like it's a teeny bow.
 
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Ben Mora
United States
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Fair point. I could bring it to the forefront more so you are seeing the top half of it closer, much like the sword is. Perhaps the feathers are disproportionately large.
 
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Bill Kunes
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I think it looks great!

The one tile that isn't like the others, in my opinion, is the skull. A medieval practice dummy or a dented knight's helmet would seem more thematic.

Just a thought.

meeple Keep playing...
 
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Ben Mora
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bkunes wrote:
I think it looks great!

The one tile that isn't like the others, in my opinion, is the skull. A medieval practice dummy or a dented knight's helmet would seem more thematic.

Just a thought.

meeple Keep playing...


I'm glad you pointed that out. So, that tile is supposed to represent a "casualty." The game is very UN-edgy aside from that skull, so I think I want to find a different way to represent a casualty. Not that I think a skull or blood is offensive, but it is out of place amongst the otherwise light-hearted artwork and theme. I love suggestions of a practice-dummy though it isn't related to losing a soldier (I didn't make that clear at first) but I suppose a dented helmet could work nicely. Do you have any other suggestions for what might be good to represent a casualty in a way that isn't any more "edgy" than the rest of the artwork?
 
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Nathan Norton
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A make shift tombstone--or wooden cross on a dirt mound. That feels like it fits the medieval feel.
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Asher Kennedy
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I don't know the intention of the four different shields with coats of arms. Depending on what purpose they serve, there may be room to change them in a few different directions. The designs themselves are fine, but their purpose is not readily apparent.

If they are intended to represent factions: I would suggest tying them together with one or two common shapes or background elements and then creating more differentiation in the shield shape, color, and symbolism. Currently, you have two wooden type buckler shields and two kite shields. If they represent factions, they do not readily have the same function or have equal value.

If they are intended to represent a progression: I could see a progression from the basic buckler up to the more symbolic kite shield. (I see now that you've already done this > )If they are meant for some in game mechanic, a numerical progression with built in symbology may be more effective. Put a number in the corner, and then include a number of the fleur de lis equivalent to that number on the shield to reinforce the number.
 
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Asher Kennedy
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Nathertater wrote:
A make shift tombstone--or wooden cross on a dirt mound. That feels like it fits the medieval feel.


With a lily coming out of the overturned earth.
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Bill Kunes
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Mora Games wrote:
bkunes wrote:
The one tile that isn't like the others, in my opinion, is the skull. A medieval practice dummy or a dented knight's helmet would seem more thematic.


I'm glad you pointed that out. So, that tile is supposed to represent a "casualty." The game is very UN-edgy aside from that skull, so I think I want to find a different way to represent a casualty. Not that I think a skull or blood is offensive, but it is out of place amongst the otherwise light-hearted artwork and theme. I love suggestions of a practice-dummy though it isn't related to losing a soldier (I didn't make that clear at first) but I suppose a dented helmet could work nicely. Do you have any other suggestions for what might be good to represent a casualty in a way that isn't any more "edgy" than the rest of the artwork?
I gathered you were going for a non-edgy feel. Does casualty = death? If so, perhaps a dented helmet lying on the ground, or a sword in the ground with the helmet hung on the hilt... If not (i.e. casualty = wound), then I like the dented helmet or a knight's arm in a sling, or a face (which I understand can be challenging artwork) with a head bandage with a blackened eye???

Honestly, this is a bit out of the normal for me, but I've attempted to offer suggestions that I think of when I see the style of artwork and theme you shared. I really like what you've done and the approach you've chosen.

meeple Keep playing...
 
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adam wilson

Oklahoma
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Does the arrow have the same effect as the trebuchet? If so does the cannon then have twice the power of the arrow or the trebuchet?
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Ben Mora
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Olathe
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Arydis4 wrote:
Nathertater wrote:
A make shift tombstone--or wooden cross on a dirt mound. That feels like it fits the medieval feel.


With a lily coming out of the overturned earth.


The lily would be an excellent touch!

Yes, casualty = death.
 
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Ben Mora
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@Asher Kennedy and adam wilson, I suppose I should elaborate more on the tiles.

Asher, you are correct, the shields are a progression of 1-5. They will be drawn at random to represent the strength of the enemy force on each wall of the castle. 1 fluer = 1 strength, 4 fluers = 4 strength. (They also end up representing VPs as well at the end.)

adam wilson wrote:
Does the arrow have the same effect as the trebuchet? If so does the cannon then have twice the power of the arrow or the trebuchet?


Arrows have the same "effect" as the trebuchets, BUT they have enough inherent disadvantages to the trebuchets that they are not nearly as valuable...
The weapons with the leather backgrounds are hand weapons to be wielded by soldiers. The weapons with paper backgrounds are siege engines which build around the castle. Without boring you with the specifics here (I'd be happy to elaborate and/or share my rulebook with you), basically the trebuchet is effectively a permanent bow and will fire each round whereas the actual bowman is typically going to die after having only fired once, as players typically select their bowmen when suffering casualties.
Yes, the cannon is 2 "ranged strength" while the bow and trebuchet is 1. I realize that a trebuchet should be far more powerful than a bow, but the way it plays, I don't consider it to be a direct translation in that way.
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TTDG
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I don't like the background on the bow, axe, and sword tiles. I find that crosshatched leather straps look too distracting.

The castle itself is very busy. It does not need the towers in the middle of 3 of its walls, and worse, the tower in the center leaves no room at all for anyone to move around inside, and probably leaves them all in perpetual darkness. Less is more. Oh, and I don't like 2 colors of flags either. It is like the castle is already under occupation by 2 warring factions.

Now I could see a case being made for some keep within the outer castle walls, but I think you might need longer outer walls in order to make that practical. In short, for the castle, I suggest you look at more historical castle floor plans.

Grr, the cannon distresses me. It moves the time period late, at which point the design of castles starts to change to reflect that.
 
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Ben Mora
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ThroughTheDeckGlass wrote:
I don't like the background on the bow, axe, and sword tiles. I find that crosshatched leather straps look too distracting.

What do you suggest?

ThroughTheDeckGlass wrote:
I suggest you look at more historical castle floor plans.
and
ThroughTheDeckGlass wrote:
Grr, the cannon distresses me. It moves the time period late, at which point the design of castles starts to change to reflect that.

Look up Bodiam castle. My layout was very much inspired by this one. Also it's a 14th century castle. Cannons were introduced in England in the 13th century. That aside, if you argued that castles changed because of cannons (were built differently), I would say that doesn't mean existing castles changed, naturally, but if they did it was because of cannons destroying them (theoretically, not thinking of a specific example. Again, this is supposed to be a generic medieval theme with no regard to being historically accurate or specific. If you really want a historical justification for cannons in a medieval game, I will just say this game takes place when cannons were introduced and trebuchets were still in use. (And historically, they WERE used in the same time. Cannons didn't render trebuchets obsolete over night.)
 
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TTDG
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Mora Games wrote:
ThroughTheDeckGlass wrote:
I don't like the background on the bow, axe, and sword tiles. I find that crosshatched leather straps look too distracting.

What do you suggest?


Either of the other 2 backgrounds work, or something similar to them. A plain color, or a regular, somewhat bland, pattern works too. Slate grey, sky blue, or maybe straw yellow (with a light straw pattern?), etc.
 
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TTDG
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Quote:
Bodiam castle


So I looked this up. I will stick with the majority of my comments. Your back of castle tower is significantly bigger than Bodiam's, and extends inside taking up interior space. Then you duplicate that in the center with something that does not exist at Bodiam at all. And then I see 2 layers of interior buildings on the near side, the keep, and another layer of interior buildings on the far, on yours, while Bodiam has simply a single layer of buildings all around the inside edge and a wide open space completely missing from yours.

Ultimately, I don't care. I am telling you that it feels 'off'. Use or ignore as you wish.
 
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Ben Mora
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ThroughTheDeckGlass wrote:
Quote:
Bodiam castle


So I looked this up. I will stick with the majority of my comments. Your back of castle tower is significantly bigger than Bodiam's, and extends inside taking up interior space. Then you duplicate that in the center with something that does not exist at Bodiam at all. And then I see 2 layers of interior buildings on the near side, the keep, and another layer of interior buildings on the far, on yours, while Bodiam has simply a single layer of buildings all around the inside edge and a wide open space completely missing from yours.

Ultimately, I don't care. I am telling you that it feels 'off'. Use or ignore as you wish.


I appreciate your comments. I want to clarify that I do NOT want it to BE the Bodiam. I'm just saying the style was inspired by the type of castle it looks like. Another one to look at is this: http://www.historyonthenet.com/files/fs/lessons/attackdefend...
I'm glad you pointed out that I have two layers of buildings on one side and only one layer on the other. That doesn't make sense because the Keep is centered in the middle. Taking away one of the extra "layers" of thatched buildings will make it less busy. On that note, I think beyond that we just have differing opinions about what looks good. I really like and admire "busy" art that I can get lost in. I also intentionally gave this castle slightly cartoonish proportions (compact) because I don't want a lot of empty space inside of it. Also, it might help to note that the artwork of the castle actually has no functional effect/purpose on the game. My prototype has spaces for things to go, and a very crude castle underneath for a placeholder. Thanks for reading!
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