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The Dragon & Flagon» Forums » General

Subject: The Dragon & Flagon Teardown: Artwork Failure. rss

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Gold Sirius
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No, this is not a review. Just random thoughts.

I have no desire to play The Dragon & Flagon, at all, because I think the artwork is awful. And I can see I'm not the only one to think so!

It's funny, really, considering where Geoff Engelstein comes from. I really enjoy the guy on Ludology and listen to all of their podcasts, there's always great insight on games and stuff.

But who looked at this artwork and thought, "This is good!"?? It's... ugh.

Some time back, there was this guest designer on Ludology (can't remember his name) who hated BGG because he couldn't stand the criticism people gave to his games. So instead of dealing with it, he would rather just lump us all in a basket of "complainers" and ignore his apparently poor designs.

Well, one of the things he said in that episode, I remember, is that more than the game's mechanisms, they had figured out that the most important thing was the... ARTWORK! Now, I DON'T agree with that statement, but I agree that artwork or general production quality can really make or break a game sales-wise.

If people don't think your game looks pretty, they just won't buy it, and might not even want to try it, even if it's super fun! On the other hand, we all well know that a game that looks pretty will often gain favor with gamers even if the game isn't that great, as stupid as that may be. Ultimately, the fun factor is the most important part of a board game, but if you can't lure the gamer in with the aesthetics... then...?

And Geoff Engelstein knows that very well. So why was this artwork approved? Yes, this is subjective, it's my opinion, but... maybe not so much after all, because I've seen a lot of people complain about the art. Maybe because the artist also worked on Mike Fitzgerald's Baseball Highlights? (Which looks much better!)

I love Geoff Engelstein and his podcast, he comes off to me as a very logical man who's very smart, and he's very entertaining to listen to, so I was eager to try out his new game when I heard about it.

But then I saw the artwork.
 
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A J
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That's weird. I thought the art was pretty good. Not like mind blowing, but nothing to scoff at. In addition, the components in general are amazing and look like a mini-tavern. What's wrong with the art? I haven't heard complaints until now.
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Andy Andersen
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Yes, artwork is subjective.

I like the artwork.
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Andy Szymas
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GoldSirius wrote:
Some time back, there was this guest designer on Ludology (can't remember his name) who hated BGG because he couldn't stand the criticism people gave to his games. So instead of dealing with it, he would rather just lump us all in a basket of "complainers" and ignore his apparently poor designs.


Who was this designer? Now I'm curious.
 
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Nathan kilgore
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The theme is important here. If the original poster is miffed over the artwork he is missing out. Example: At our club last night there were maybe 10 or more various games played and some of them were more than great to look at. None of them generated the noise level that our D&F did. It was bursting with laughter.

This usually goes over well in social environments. Not one complaint over visual details. arrrh
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A J
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I think my only complaint associated with the artwork was that the common actions all had the same artwork instead of every deck having unique art. However, that would be pretty expensive to do, so it's understandable.
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Charlie Theel
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ayejae wrote:
I think my only complaint associated with the artwork was that the common actions all had the same artwork instead of every deck having unique art. However, that would be pretty expensive to do, so it's understandable.


I think that's somewhat of a valid complaint, however, one huge benefit of having them with identical art is that with repeated play you can more easily pick out the common actions which speeds things up. This is helpful because the hand of cards is pretty large.
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Martin Gallo
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I am not exactly sure how the artwork could be described as "bad" since it would appear to fit its subject. This is not a simulation of a bar fight (with magic), this is not even a simulation of a bar fight (with magic) in a movie. It is more like a cartoon.

But then, art is subjective, as has been said before.
 
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Clyde W
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If you think this art is bad, you really need to go check out the Glory to Rome art!
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Stephen Saluga
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I actually didn't really dislike the artwork. I can understand why someone wouldn't like it and why someone would. However, I thought the graphic design on the cards was, in fact, awful. The iconography is readable, but looks extremely cheap. It looks like very dated clip art.
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Gold Sirius
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ayejae wrote:
That's weird. I thought the art was pretty good. Not like mind blowing, but nothing to scoff at. In addition, the components in general are amazing and look like a mini-tavern. What's wrong with the art? I haven't heard complaints until now.


I must admit that the tables and such look pretty neat. It's really the character art I'm talking about here.

Nathnkilgore wrote:
The theme is important here. If the original poster is miffed over the artwork he is missing out. Example: At our club last night there were maybe 10 or more various games played and some of them were more than great to look at. None of them generated the noise level that our D&F did. It was bursting with laughter.

This usually goes over well in social environments. Not one complaint over visual details. arrrh


I'm sure you had fun, and good for you if you all did. I would still want to try the game if someone else would bring it. But I'm the kind of guy who will gladly spend money on a game I've never tried if it looks good to me and garners generally favorable reviews. This game doesn't do either. soblue A 6.8 with only 150 ratings is pretty low, all things considered.

Again, would still try it if someone brought it.
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Nathan kilgore
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GoldSirius wrote:
ayejae wrote:
That's weird. I thought the art was pretty good. Not like mind blowing, but nothing to scoff at. In addition, the components in general are amazing and look like a mini-tavern. What's wrong with the art? I haven't heard complaints until now.


I must admit that the tables and such look pretty neat. It's really the character art I'm talking about here.

Nathnkilgore wrote:
The theme is important here. If the original poster is miffed over the artwork he is missing out. Example: At our club last night there were maybe 10 or more various games played and some of them were more than great to look at. None of them generated the noise level that our D&F did. It was bursting with laughter.

This usually goes over well in social environments. Not one complaint over visual details. arrrh


I'm sure you had fun, and good for you if you all did. I would still want to try the game if someone else would bring it. But I'm the kind of guy who will gladly spend money on a game I've never tried if it looks good to me and garners generally favorable reviews. This game doesn't do either. soblue A 6.8 with only 150 ratings is pretty low, all things considered.

Again, would still try it if someone brought it.


It's only been out a month and that if you preordered. I am the only one that has it in the club so far and there is maybe 35 regulars. That said, I have managed 5-6 games over the last few weeks and it generated excitement each time. Give it until after the Xmas season to pass judgement. I'm sure word is leaking out.
 
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Christoph Weber
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While I agree the game is fun I somewhat share the op's feeling about the art.
For me it's functional and not bad, it just isn't very exciting, which kind of goes against the theme of the game.
I think it's too clean, bordering on boring, and the muted colors don't really help. I also think the background on the cards is actually awful i.e. it's just a dark brown without any detail (which might be fitting considering the setting but nonethless is too bland for my tastes).

Again, I own and enjoy the game, but I think it could be a lot more appealing with more exciting artwork.
 
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Zer0 Cool
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You should listen to the Ludology episodes where he talks about the struggle to make the game more family friendly slapstick and less serious. the cartoon art choice directly supports this intent. The same type of thing was done in Cash and Guns 2nd edition. The cartoon artwork in CnG2 makes it more appealing to a mass audience.

The art does what it intends to do, make what could be a violent game appeal to casual gamers and families. That makes it a good choice.

If you don't like the style of the cartoon, as you said, that is a matter of opinion. I won't buy Arcadia Quest by Cool Mini or Not because I can't stand Chibi miniatures. That being said, they are great sculpts and I understand why people love them. I just shut up and play Descent.


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Gold Sirius
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Xer0Cool wrote:
The cartoon artwork in CnG2 makes it more appealing to a mass audience.

I just shut up and play Descent.


I like the cartoon artwork of CnG2.
That's great for you, but some of us don't want to "shut up".
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Jonathan Starr
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I too noticed that the character drawings weren't anything great. However the design of the board, the chairs, tables, etc... all make up for it. I see a set up board and I think "wow that looks cool".

I've seen far worse art in board games.

"Don't judge a book by it's cover"... even if we all do.
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