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Subject: 7 Wonders... of the Galaxy! A sci-fi re-theme of 7 Wonders! rss

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Gavin Cooper
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So I enjoy an occasional craft project, even though I'm not all that arty as a rule. But with various things going on at home (preparing to get married at the end of July!) and at work (Beta deadline at the end of July!), I needed a little side-project so that my brain had somewhere to retreat to when everything got too much Something I could plug away at in tiny bits here and there, while waiting for something at work to build, or while half-watching telly with the missus at home. Something that was more a test of execution than of design.

Hence this! "7 Wonders... of the Galaxy!" A sci-fi makeover of the awesome "7 Wonders". An experiment designed to test the hypothesis that there's nothing so amazing that it can't be made even better by adding spaceships to it. Or, if it already has spaceships, then MORE spaceships. And robots!

I love sci-fi, and there's such a shared heritage of concepts and ideas in the genre - a fictional technology tree, if you like - that I felt it could be mapped onto the development paths of 7 Wonders pretty well. Looking at it now that I have the cards in my hands, I think I mostly delivered on that concept - but there are definitely things I'd change if I ever decided to do a version 2.0.

I tried to stay away from specifics from well-known sci-fi universes, though a few slipped through if I felt they weren't *too* jarring. For example, Interdictor Fields still sound cool and thematically appropriate, even if you don't actually know what they are or where they're from (as a sci-fi snob, I'm ashamed to say I do know). And concepts such as uplifting or neural nanonics, though popularised by novels from authors such as David Brin and Peter F. Hamilton, are concepts touched on by many other sci-fi creators - even if they don't always use those names.

I started out by using Simon J's fantastic spreadsheet to identify the key threads and start assigning sci-fi replacements to them. I knew from the outset that I didn't want to make any changes to the gameplay - this was a reskinning, not a reimagining. So it was pretty straightforward to just add a column to the spreadsheet and start figuring out what a futuristic version of X might be. Sometimes it was obvious - a mine could become a mining colony, for example. A barracks could become... Still a barracks! Other times it gave me a lot of scope to add cool sci-fi constructs and concepts.

I actually came up with the resources first, starting with the manufactured goods - Exotic Elements, Processing Cycles and Data. But coming up with the common goods was surprisingly a lot harder. The more varied and distinctive I made the resources, the more weird some of the resource requirements were for specific buildings (a space station... built out of water?!). Ultimately I settled on Energy, Alloys (those two were easy), then Plascrete (the pink icon) and Polymers (the yellow). I think if I were to do it again now, I'd probably just go for a range of elements (Al, C, He etc.) as I think that might have come across a bit better. Live and learn, something for v2.0







Having the resources nailed, I was able to start on the card layout. Again, I didn't want to deviate wildly from what already existed. I knew the people most likely to play this would be people who'd already played the original, so I didn't want to change the layout of the card and make it feel too unfamiliar just for the sake of it. And I know a lot of work went into the layout of the cards - work it'd be pretty churlish to ignore just so I could stamp my own imprint on it. I was already doing that with the theme, so I chose instead to merely apply the theme to the existing layout.

I found myself some textures I could repurpose for the border, icons for the resources (some I could force into a consistent style, some I had to make myself in order for them to fit, which pushed my artistic non-skills to the very limit!), a decent sci fi font - all that kind of stuff!

Some icons, like the VPs or more specific abilities, I chose to retain from the original game. The existing icon for VPs was generic enough to work as well within the sci-fi theme as it did the classical one, so I just changed the font on the numbers to bring it in line with the rest.

As I started to build the library of blue cards, I got to the fun bit - scouring the internet for pieces of sci-fi concept art to serve as background images. Sometimes I even found a particularly cool image and ended up tweaking the names of cards to let me use them. From there I moved into the different colour sets. Each had me finding new icons - space fighters to replace the military icons on the original cards, science icons for the greens... Yellows and purples didn't require much new stuff, just lots of tweaking of existing icons and placements. Though a few of the purple guilds did get a rename to fit the theme.



And then, ultimately, they were done! There was just a bit more work to create the card backs and the 2-player cards, and then they were ready to upload to Artscow. A coupon for 20% off and free shipping meant the three decks cost me about $24. Result!













But the job wasn't done. From there, I moved onto the wonder boards.

Using one of the scanned images from here on the Geek as a template, I traced over the top with my crude artist skills, and started to build up the various shared elements of the boards. From there, there was a lot of copying and pasting from the cards to bring the various icons across. And then more Google image searches to find properly epic imagery for the sci-fi wonders!

Once I was done, I had A and B versions of each board. I took them to a local place near where I work that does printing, where they printed double-sided onto thick, glossy card for £20. These boards are LOVELY, even if I do say so myself









And that's it! That's what you see in these images here! The project is mostly done!

Now all I need are some suitably sci-fi tokens for credits and military resolutions, though I think getting those is less urgent... Unsure exactly what to do for military, as I think the obvious (spaceship miniatures) would actually just end up feeling a bit cheap and gimmicky. The other thing I want to do is inject a bit of character into the game - the Leaders deck just got finished and uploaded to Artscow for printing yesterday!

Hope you like!

[EDIT: added the card backs)
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Runcible Spoon
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Congrats on the wedding!

I have been following your uploads to the images sections and your project looks great!

Any chance you could share the digital resources in the files section?
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Nathan McCullough
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This is awesome.. Any chance you'll be doing a Cities and/or keeping up with any future expansions?

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Gavin Cooper
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I'd love to upload the files... But I'm concerned about screwing over people's copyright, either by providing (pretty much) an entire print 'n play version of a popular commercial game, or by having incorporated people's artwork into the cards and boards.

If someone in a position to know is able to reassure me that I won't be doing a bad thing, I'd certainly consider putting them all up. But without that, I think this is probably more of a show and tell project than a sharing one. Sorry
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Gavin Cooper
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Adonai_80 wrote:
This is awesome.. Any chance you'll be doing a Cities and/or keeping up with any future expansions?



Don't know at this point Depends when I get around to picking them up!
 
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Martin Presley
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Do the Ages have any specific theme, like planetary-solar-galactic?
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Gavin Cooper
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hoobajoo wrote:
Do the Ages have any specific theme, like planetary-solar-galactic?


Not specifically, though if I was to do a second version that's not a bad idea, and one I might explore.

The cards do all tend to sort of follow on from one another, so the cards in Age III tend to be bigger scale than those in Age I - Genetic Arks, Planetbusters, Posthumanism and so on. But they're not specifically limited to a common scale like you describe.
 
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Matt Shinners
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kithkill wrote:
I'd love to upload the files... But I'm concerned about screwing over people's copyright, either by providing (pretty much) an entire print 'n play version of a popular commercial game, or by having incorporated people's artwork into the cards and boards.

If someone in a position to know is able to reassure me that I won't be doing a bad thing, I'd certainly consider putting them all up. But without that, I think this is probably more of a show and tell project than a sharing one. Sorry


The game mechanics can't be copyrighted (unfortunately); however, the images can be. If you don't own the images, and the images aren't available under a Creative Commons license, then you're violating the artists' copyright.

That doesn't mean you can't be sent a cease and desist letter, or be brought to court and have to defend yourself (in the game mechanics situation).

If you're feeling ambitious, you can always contact the publisher to see how they feel about the project - that would settle the question. For the artwork, however, you'd have a lot of contacting to do.
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Konata Izumi
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Looks really good, I would love to own a copy!
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Derek Whaley
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Beautiful. The only suggestion I have is to replace the pyramid icons on for the wonders stages with a multi-stage rocket. Not quite futuristic, but it would definitely work and be more...spacey.
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Scot Eaton
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This is one of the most awesome fan projects I've ever seen. GREAT JOB, man. I'd be worried about copyright and print-n-play versions of retail games too. I'll let you know if I have any ideas on that front. But for now, keep it up!
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Gavin Cooper
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Thanks for all the thumbs, folks
 
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Robert Masson
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Jaw dropped to the floor.
Just in time for the Mars rover
 
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Gavin Cooper
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And as promised, the re-theme continues with Galactic Leaders!

Check it out here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/9814056#9814056


 
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Scot Eaton
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The only thought I've had of how to distribute this would be to have people email you a picture of them holding their copy of 7 Wonders, and then you'd email the files back to them. Either way, if you EVER figure out a way to distribute this, I want one!
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Karsten
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BleuVII wrote:
The only thought I've had of how to distribute this would be to have people email you a picture of them holding their copy of 7 Wonders, and then you'd email the files back to them. Either way, if you EVER figure out a way to distribute this, I want one!

That would indeed be awesome!
 
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A Z
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That looks absolutely fantastic! Well done.
 
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Douglas Ortiz
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surprise

Wow, the set was nice, but the Galactic Leaders totally makes me covet these files. I would gladly send a pic of me with the game to get them.

Awesome Showing, Great Job!
 
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Michael G
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Hey, I love the look of these cards, but I understand the copyright issues involved in giving it away. Would it be possible to provide just one card of each type without the main art image on the card? In other words, just the colored borders with the symbols and the titles. If this was done in Photoshop or Illustrator it would be as simple turning off the layers with the art. Obviously that is still some work for you, but it would be a way to at least help people get starting on their own versions.
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Kristoff Bergenholm
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Huh. I absolutely love the idea behind this, and how it turned out. My only quibble would be some of the resource icons could have been made to fit in a bit better... a floppy disk for data?
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bort
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Wow - very nice work. The first thing i thought of when I read the subject was how cool the Death Star would be as a Wonder...
 
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Francis Delaney
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Wow, I would love the opportunity to play this variant. If you find out a way to send the Artscow files, etc. I would love to know about it.
 
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Christopher Mason
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BleuVII wrote:
The only thought I've had of how to distribute this would be to have people email you a picture of them holding their copy of 7 Wonders, and then you'd email the files back to them. Either way, if you EVER figure out a way to distribute this, I want one!


I love this idea. Absolutely great job!
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Robert Stewart
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Small generic point: rather than having the card art extend right to the edge of the card, it's generally better to leave a plain border so that the card is less obviously marked once the edges get scuffed...
 
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