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Blue Moon» Forums » General

Subject: Theme, Artwork, and Game Play rss

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Allen Doum
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In a recent thread some posters stated that the artwork on the cards had nothing to do with the gameplay.

I disagree.

Take, for example, the Flit. The Flit are pictured as birds that drop various weapons on their opponents. This is nicely integrated into the play of the deck. Most Flit characters have the Retrieve icon, which allows them to attack with out commitment. The Launch Boosters are one-time attacks that, thanks to the Pair icon, are individually light but flexable.

Compare those boosters with the War Machines pictured on the Hoax support cards, built to last for the whole flight.

The Khind are children, individually weak, but can be played in gangs of great strength. The four gangs have different stregths, mirrored in the artwork. The Cool gang, for instance, is pictured with weapons that parry or break those of their opponents, where their game text cancels the values on their opponents cards.

And then there are the Inquisitors, advising from the shadows, but taking no direct part in the fight.

I realize the the conventional wisdom on Reiner Knizias' games is that they are thinly themed mathematical exercises. But the artwork in this game puts the lie to that. In nearly every case, the artwork evokes the mechanics. The choice of using a single artist for each People reinforces that.

I first realized that Knizia had a firm grasp on theme when I saw the Gollum card in Lord of the Rings. The game symbols on that card elegantly captured the effect of that character, without using any text.
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Matthew M
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You'll find no disagreement from me. I tend to find thematic elements in games where others don't generally - that is part of the fun of discovery for me. Blue Moon's theme is married to its mechanics more than most of Reiner's games, IMO, and the artwork does an excellent job of tying the two together.

-MMM
 
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Joe Stude
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I've owned the game for a couple of months now and I'm still thrilled they allocated single entire decks to individual artists. The game feels much more thematically tight that way (unlike, say, M:TG, when you're dealing with a hodgepodge of well... everything).

From checking out some of the art of John Matson (the illustrator for Vulca), you get a little clearer idea how it works. Here's a quote:

"Only 8 illustrators were used for the initial year-long release of the game, each of us designing a particular race that had special features, powers, and characteristics. The race I chose to work up was called the Vulca, and their power of choice was fire. We were given some initial comments and suggestions from the game designers on our races but were also encouraged to flesh them out to our heart's content, giving them whatever backstory we wanted so long as it fit the general context."

So any thematic accuracy (or lack thereof) was in the hands of the artists. Good decision, imo.


 
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Matthew M
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If I recall, John Matson had some commentary about his illustration of Ember - a Vulca with only 1 power in Fire and a moderate Earth value - he took those values in account when he drew Ember and even had imagined some backstory for him. The result is a somewhat dejected looking Vulca with only a wisp of smoke coming from his head.

-MMM
 
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