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18CLE» Forums » News

Subject: 18CLE New Artwork rss

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Richard McGuire
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Hello,

I have uploaded multiple images of some of the new artwork for 18CLE. These files include new stock certificate design, new charter layout, new private artwork and new token artwork. The images are currently in the BGG approval process.

All of the nine public companies now have two colored stock certificates and matching company charters. The primary colors are the same as the original artwork, except the SHR is now white instead of purple and the WWS is now a darker brown. The SHR, WWS and CPE colors were to similar, so the SHR color was changed.

The president's stock certificates all have a solid secondary color, while each 10% share has the same secondary color with gradient fade to white. The solid color on the President's certificate helps to differentiate that certificate from the regular 10% certificates. The CSC illustrates one of the lightest secondary colors while the ABC stock certificates illustrates one of the darkest secondary colors. The CSC corporate name is the only name that takes up three lines and partially covers the central photo on the stock certificate. All eight other corporate names only take two lines and are similar in positioning to that of the ABC.

The company charters also have secondary colors which fade to white, such that the game phase color chart near the bottom of the charter is not washed out by the secondary color. Company charters now measure 5 inches by 5 inches.

All nine public companies now have corporate artwork thanks to Paperemail; who has providing the artwork for the WWS and the CMV. Also the WWS symbol has become WW. I have redrawn most of the corporate artwork to increase the resolution such that it is readable on a small 0.5 inch round token.

I added some color to the artwork for the privates. When the privates are flipped to the text side it was difficult to tell them apart from any distance. The colors for the Berea Street and Ashtabula privates match the colors in the companies that they provide stock for.

The token artwork is just personal preference. If anyone wants the old corporate abbreviation tokens they are still available. The new tokens now have each of the corporate symbols in place of the abbreviations.

I am still working on the new artwork for the game board. The new game board will include:
The cost of placing on the river hexagons.
The new corporate artwork for each company's home station.
The ABC's special double revenue ability for Akron.
A reserved station spot in Public Square for the owner of the Terminal Tower private.

These modifications have been inspired by player feedback. Some things tend to get overlooked when your play-test group knows all of the rules by heart. If anyone has any additional suggestions on the artwork you are welcome to post them here.

Thanks,

Richard McGuire
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Bruce Murphy
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Please don't use gradients. otherwise, good news apart from incenting me to go redo stuff.

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Edward Uhler
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Looks good, Richard. Thanks for doing that!
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Richard McGuire
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The printer recommends gradients over solid color fields. They claim that color gradients will print cleaner with the print process that they are using.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Having now soent more time peering at the artwork, I appeal to you changing the design to me more clear and less opaquely pretty. The shares are functioning game elements needing to be read from a distance, not illustrations.

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Steve Carey
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Nice Richard, looks to be an improvement on the version my buddy picked up at GenCon.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Arghh, these are...not good. The share art is particularly bad: the tokens disappear into the side stripe, the number of tokens on the certificate doesn't match the number of shares represented, the gradient fade makes the side stripe indistinct and the text muddies into the darkish background colour.

ITMT I've thrown together an XXPaper for 18CLE. Initial (only barely checked) files can be found here. As soon as it is a bit more side-checked I'll add it as one of the default examples in XXPaper. (I also have the map and track-tiles mostly redone in px18xx along with things like standard tile numbers for the track tiles, etc)
 
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Richard McGuire
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I posted some samples of the new art to get feedback. The stock certificates shown are of my fourth design and they look better than the previous three designs in my opinion. The bright lighting used in the photos posted have faded the color contrast some and the certificates look much better than the photos illustrate. I am also working on the new tile art; which includes standardized numbers. I have all the green and most of the brown tiles renumbered already. I am still working on the gray tiles, which are mostly unique to 18CLE, so those tile numbers will be something like CLE1, CLE2, CLE3, etc... The artwork is not final and I am seeking constructive criticism to make it better. I also have the ability to make all the stock certificates printed on both sides such that one side contains a more colorful scheme and the other is much more stark with mostly black and white color scheme. The same is true for the tokens; they will contain corporate logos on the front and the corporate abbreviation on the back. In this way I can please different players with different tastes.

I have spent 100's of hours on 18CLE; play-testing, artwork, promoting, etc. I am seeking to get 18CLE published. I do not mind at all if people want to make their own components with their own art for personal use and I encourage it. The majority of sales for 18CLE have been at game conventions and people have commented on the prototype art quality being used, but since they enjoyed 18CLE so much they were willing to purchase it in spite of the lack of artwork. Some people have submitted their custom artwork to me. It seems completely unreasonable though that someone would think that they have the right to make their own art for 18CLE and then share it publicly. Not appreciating the artwork in its current form is not justification.

I am currently working on another board game design, but it is in the very early development stage and will not be ready for probably one year. Now I am beginning to think maybe it is not worth pursuing. 18CLE is only my second board game design. I have worked on many different miniature rule systems in the past. In that business it is the miniatures that make the money, not the rules themselves.

I was intending to make an iconic tile upgrade chart, a revenue track, quick reference sheets, a re-scaled game board such that 18CLE will fit in a bookshelf sized box, etc. I can see reformatting and adding artwork to the rule book with game play illustrations taking me over a month alone. This would include a complete rules re-write to try to condense it down some. The process has been slow mainly because I was at game conventions all summer promoting 18CLE. There was a stretch that I was gone five out of six weeks.

The future of 18CLE is uncertain. I would prefer that an established game publisher ends up manufacturing 18CLE. Publishing the game with The Game Crafter is also a possibility. Another option is that I attempt to Kickstart it myself.

I do appreciate all of the enthusiasm that everyone has, but with a little patience 18CLE will get even better.



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Bruce Murphy
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Aerochaser wrote:
I posted some samples of the new art to get feedback. The stock certificates shown are of my fourth design and they look better than the previous three designs in my opinion. The bright lighting used in the photos posted have faded the color contrast some and the certificates look much better than the photos illustrate. I am also working on the new tile art; which includes standardized numbers.

Yay! Can you try to make the track lines a teensy touch thicker to be more standard as well? it kept tickling my peripheral vision.

Quote:
I have all the green and most of the brown tiles renumbered already. I am still working on the gray tiles, which are mostly unique to 18CLE, so those tile numbers will be something like CLE1, CLE2, CLE3, etc... The artwork is not final and I am seeking constructive criticism to make it better. I also have the ability to make all the stock certificates printed on both sides such that one side contains a more colorful scheme and the other is much more stark with mostly black and white color scheme.

Rather than black and white, a bold uniquely coloured stripe on one side with a highly contrasted logo, perhaps with a white ring around it (and a double coloured stripe and two logos for the president share), would be ideal. The Deep Thought shares are really quite nice for this, but there are other schemes that also work. Leaving the rest of the share white really helps that big bold colour stripe stand out.


Quote:
The same is true for the tokens; they will contain corporate logos on the front and the corporate abbreviation on the back. In this way I can please different players with different tastes.

Please make the back/front very different because otherwise flipping the run companies on the stock market will be a real pain. If the logos can be not-too-complex and offset with largely unique colours, great! particularly if some of the historical logos are relatively simple.
Quote:


I have spent 100's of hours on 18CLE; play-testing, artwork, promoting, etc. I am seeking to get 18CLE published. I do not mind at all if people want to make their own components with their own art for personal use and I encourage it. The majority of sales for 18CLE have been at game conventions and people have commented on the prototype art quality being used, but since they enjoyed 18CLE so much they were willing to purchase it in spite of the lack of artwork. Some people have submitted their custom artwork to me. It seems completely unreasonable though that someone would think that they have the right to make their own art for 18CLE and then share it publicly. Not appreciating the artwork in its current form is not justification.

Both JC and I own copies of your game and the reason we're trying to push you towards more playable components is because we think the game is interested to play. I didn't see the artwork as prototypey so much as a little unpolished (Except the tile numbers)

The economics of home brew art versions for the game are not well understood, but publishing 18xx for any but a handful of already well known titles (or well known designers) isn't easy.
Quote:


I am currently working on another board game design, but it is in the very early development stage and will not be ready for probably one year. Now I am beginning to think maybe it is not worth pursuing. 18CLE is only my second board game design. I have worked on many different miniature rule systems in the past. In that business it is the miniatures that make the money, not the rules themselves.

I was intending to make an iconic tile upgrade chart, a revenue track, quick reference sheets, a re-scaled game board such that 18CLE will fit in a bookshelf sized box, etc. I can see reformatting and adding artwork to the rule book with game play illustrations taking me over a month alone. This would include a complete rules re-write to try to condense it down some. The process has been slow mainly because I was at game conventions all summer promoting 18CLE. There was a stretch that I was gone five out of six weeks.

I strongly suggest talking with some of the folks here such as JC with is xxpaper and tile generation software because most of this stuff is a *lot* easier to generate (and edit) programmatically than trying to do it by hand, particularly if any revision is needed.
Quote:

The future of 18CLE is uncertain. I would prefer that an established game publisher ends up manufacturing 18CLE. Publishing the game with The Game Crafter is also a possibility. Another option is that I attempt to Kickstart it myself.

The tile fiasco for 18Africa would lead me to suggest working with an established 18xx publisher.
Quote:

I do appreciate all of the enthusiasm that everyone has, but with a little patience 18CLE will get even better.


Nifty.

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J C Lawrence
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thepackrat wrote:
Aerochaser wrote:
I am also working on the new tile art; which includes standardized numbers.


Yay! Can you try to make the track lines a teensy touch thicker to be more standard as well? it kept tickling my peripheral vision.


Yeah, that would help. I can also get you a ps18xx tilesheet with standard numbers in a week or so (I'm a little distracted with other projects). The ps18xx track-tile art is not brilliant (DTG's and AAG's track-tile art is much better) but it is clean, consistent and functional. Oh, and it will have the right numbers.

An example of a ps18xx tilesheet from another game so you can get an idea of what its like.

Aerochaser wrote:
I also have the ability to make all the stock certificates printed on both sides such that one side contains a more colorful scheme and the other is much more stark with mostly black and white color scheme.


Why would that be good?

packrat wrote:
Rather than black and white, a bold uniquely coloured stripe on one side with a highly contrasted logo, perhaps with a white ring around it (and a double coloured stripe and two logos for the president share), would be ideal. The Deep Thought shares are really quite nice for this, but there are other schemes that also work. Leaving the rest of the share white really helps that big bold colour stripe stand out.


Yes, the Deep Thought Games, LLC art is really superb and clear.

Aerochaser wrote:
The same is true for the tokens; they will contain corporate logos on the front and the corporate abbreviation on the back. In this way I can please different players with different tastes.


Please don't -- that will make the game harder to play. Now players will have to sort which side is up, it won't be clear which companies have operated on the stock market, the tokens won't always match the shares and charters, and players will make mistakes. Not an improvement.

packrat wrote:
Please make the back/front very different because otherwise flipping the run companies on the stock market will be a real pain. If the logos can be not-too-complex and offset with largely unique colours, great! particularly if some of the historical logos are relatively simple.


Yup: bold, clear, simple.

Aerochaser wrote:
The majority of sales for 18CLE have been at game conventions and people have commented on the prototype art quality being used, but since they enjoyed 18CLE so much they were willing to purchase it in spite of the lack of artwork.


The 18CLE art is not so bad. Not great, but not so bad either. Mostly it looks like you are unaware of how other small-run 18xx are being made and so you tried to make up everything yourself as you went along. I strongly suggest looking at what John Tamplin at Deep Thought Games, LLC has been doing (look to his older editions with foamcore boards). John's art in particular is superb and has set the bar for every other 18xx publisher. Helmut Ohley at Double-O Games, Wolfram Janich at Marflow Games and Scott Peterson at All-Aboard Games are other good examples of people making 18xx games on a very small scale (not far from one at a time on the kitchen table) and the art and manufacturing techniques that support that. Look at their art and manufacturing techniques...

Aerochaser wrote:
Some people have submitted their custom artwork to me.


I think I've received three full redraws of 18CLE (map, tiles, everything) from various fans so far. That's pretty usual. I'd be unsurprised if there's another out there that I've just not received yet. I expect there's more than you've seen.

Aerochaser wrote:
It seems completely unreasonable though that someone would think that they have the right to make their own art for 18CLE and then share it publicly.


There is nothing unusual or untoward about people making new art for games and sharing it. A great many of the files on BGG are precisely that. Go look! The usual grace note is around not fully re-implementing the game and making that entire set available, instead just parts are redone. In this line I've redone just the paper components toward something a bit more standardised & functional.

The 18xx in particular have a long tradition of maps (and thus track tiles) being re-implemented in ps18xx and then the rest of the game as a spreadsheet. Ditto Cyberboard and/or VASSAL. This often happens during the game's playtesting by random fans and in fact playtesting is frequently done using that implementation. It generally takes about an afternoon to implement any given 18xx in ps18xx -- which is why they tend to appear there so quickly/readily. I suspect that the only reason 18CLE hasn't already been done (or maybe I've just not heard) is due to its very limited American exposure (I'm not the usual suspect in this area).

Getting a good spreadsheet built...yeah, that can take a long while.

XXPaper is an Open Source project (GPL) I created specifically for rapid iterative development of non-map/track components for 18xx designs using standardised and highly functional art. The focus is on functionality first and speed/ease of iteration second and standardisation third. Implementing a new 18xx game in XXPaper is generally an hour or two of work editing a fairly simple text file. I've implemented a little over a dozen games in XXPaper, others have done a half dozen or so more (I don't/can't track but I've seen a few files from others wandering about).

The ultra-short summary version is that any popular 18xx will have a ps18xx implementation and a supporting spreadsheet within a few weeks and 18xx designs with questionable art choices will tend to get an XXpaper implementation within a year or three. All the software to generate the files is freely available to everyone and has been for years -- all that's needed to generate the art files for a given game is just entering the data in some text files. But that's just for programmatically generated files. Particularly popular games get hand-drawn art files within a few months.

FWIW the current big and yawning gap in 18xx component-drawing software is stock markets. ps18xx will handle maps and track-tiles well enough (with large caveats for certain sorts of extra markings/complexity on map hexes). XXPaper will handle all the normal paper components reasonably well and supports linear and 1.5D markets well enough, but is horrible for 2D stock markets unless they're trivially small. But nothing right now auto-generates good, highly functional 2D stock market art files. At some point I'll probably close that gap as a part of XXPaper, but I haven't yet.

Aerochaser wrote:
I would prefer that an established game publisher ends up manufacturing 18CLE.


Have you talked with Wolfram Janich at Marflow Games, Scott Peterson at All-Aboard Games or John Tamplin at Deep Thought Games, LLC? The first two in particular seem likely candidates.

packrat wrote:
I strongly suggest talking with some of the folks here such as JC with his xxpaper and tile generation software because most of this stuff is a *lot* easier to generate (and edit) programmatically than trying to do it by hand, particularly if any revision is needed.


Yeah, no kidding. The above components for 18CLE were done in less time than a pork roast in the oven (I know, because that's when I did it). Changing them will taken even less time again. Making and fiddling with art files is not where a designer's time and attention should be going. Programmatically is the only way to go: Edit a bit of text in a file, run a command, new art files! Print, run through the die cutter, play! No fiddle, no faff, concentrate on your real job: the rules.
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