Ben Byrne
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I'm quickly learning that developing the rules for a new game is only part of the challenge; the look and feel matters, too (duh). So with that in mind I'm hoping for some feedback on the iconography for Bacon Wars (currently available as a Print-n-Play at http://playbaconwars.com).

Of course it's hard to judge without some context, so I'll summarize the rules and mechanics to make it more clear what you're looking at:
- Bacon grows on trees in orchards that players maintain
- Players win by upgrading their orchards to a certain point, or wiping out all others' orchargs
- There are four card types: orchards, fortifications (that protect orchards), minions (used for combat) and sizzlers (which modify combat or have various other instant effects)
- Orchards are available for purchase, all other cards are drawn from a main deck and then players pay the "cook up" cost to play a card from their hand.
- Bacon is the unit of currency for playing cards and various other transactions.

Here are examples of each of the four card types (ignore the art on the Fortress, it's placeholder):







And here's a key of what's what:




I'm mostly interested in feedback on the overall look and feel and icon system, rather than on the illustrations themselves (though if you have opinions on those I'm happy to hear them). I'm trying to balance having the artwork be prominent with keeping the cards user friendly.

Hoping to find a publisher (unlikely) or get this onto Kickstarter in April or later. Your (constructive) feedback is much appreciated!

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again.
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Nate Straight

Covington
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That's one of the most well thought out layouts I've ever seen. You nailed it.
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^...^ ALIEN ^...^
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Mcqueeney
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Frigin awesome! What are the plans to release this other than PnP? I have no skills when it comes game making, but my daughters are gonna flip when I tell them about this game.

Bacon!
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Ben Byrne
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Seththedog wrote:
Frigin awesome! What are the plans to release this other than PnP? I have no skills when it comes game making, but my daughters are gonna flip when I tell them about this game.

Bacon!

Thank you. As I mentioned waaaaaaay at the bottom where no one will probably read it, I'm hoping to get it on Kickstarter this spring. Gonna need a lot of help to get it that far, though.
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Ben Byrne
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NateStraight wrote:
That's one of the most well thought out layouts I've ever seen. You nailed it.

Thanks. I'm pretty happy with it, though I've had some people suggest the numbers are too small or that the attack/defense should go down the left edge... which I'm certainly willing to consider but am not convinced about, hence the posting here for feedback.
 
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Sebastián Koziner
Argentina
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Buenos Aires
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As a bg fan, and as a designer, I have cero comments except that you nailed, just go!
 
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Jason Washburn
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Nope I love it. When folks tell you that they do not like the attack defense icons i would say leave the defense as is it is a shield and you think defense when you see it. if you change the attack icon to some more attackish I think that would solve all the issues there. I get what you are doing there with the up down pointers but this is the only thing I would do to these cards.
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José Rech
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jason2043 wrote:
Nope I love it. When folks tell you that they do not like the attack defense icons i would say leave the defense as is it is a shield and you think defense when you see it. if you change the attack icon to some more attackish I think that would solve all the issues there. I get what you are doing there with the up down pointers but this is the only thing I would do to these cards.

I do agree with that.

Everything else is great, but Attack/Defense can be misleading when read upside down.
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Johan Haglert
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This could be a political message.
 
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Chris Morse
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I like the artistic style very much. First impression is that this is a really fun, but still professional, product.

I did have issues with a couple of the icons.

I agree with above posters regarding the offense/defense icons. The different colors help, but I think the argument that it will be confusing when reading upside-down is a good one.

The fortification icon doesn't quite work for me. Is it a wall of bacon? The problem is that if I don't stare right at it, the overall color & shape say "open book" to me, not wall or castle or something that I can intuit as a defensive structure.

Finally, the minion card confuses me. How is "Thor's Ham" a minion? A minion is a person or a creature that helps the hero (or villain), not an object or weapon.

The piggy face with the bacon nostrils takes it in a different direction. Are your minions pigs? That doesn't make sense, really, unless the game story somehow has pigs volunteering to be turned into bacon, ham, etc. From the example shown, I would guess that pigs are the source of your various weapons. If that's true, and you want to indicate that, I think you might want to use an icon which shows a whole pig (side on?) as more of a resource. The cute pig face makes the pigs seem more like characters than resources.

Lastly, I have to say that the pig face also made me think immediately of Angry Birds. Maybe that's just me, but I think you want to avoid that association.

That's my 2 cents, or maybe a bit more. Let me repeat that my overall impression was very favorable, and I'm just taking you at your word that you're interested in the negatives at this point. And, like I said, I'm guessing at your motives in a few places, so my apologies if I'm way off base in any of my criticism.
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Derek H
South Africa
Johannesburg
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Corrino22 wrote:
The fortification icon doesn't quite work for me. Is it a wall of bacon? The problem is that if I don't stare right at it, the overall color & shape say "open book" to me, not wall or castle or something that I can intuit as a defensive structure.
Here's a suggestion. A small tweak makes it look like a tower (or part thereof):

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Ben Byrne
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Corrino22 wrote:
I like the artistic style very much. First impression is that this is a really fun, but still professional, product.

I did have issues with a couple of the icons.

I agree with above posters regarding the offense/defense icons. The different colors help, but I think the argument that it will be confusing when reading upside-down is a good one.

The fortification icon doesn't quite work for me. Is it a wall of bacon? The problem is that if I don't stare right at it, the overall color & shape say "open book" to me, not wall or castle or something that I can intuit as a defensive structure.

Finally, the minion card confuses me. How is "Thor's Ham" a minion? A minion is a person or a creature that helps the hero (or villain), not an object or weapon.

The piggy face with the bacon nostrils takes it in a different direction. Are your minions pigs? That doesn't make sense, really, unless the game story somehow has pigs volunteering to be turned into bacon, ham, etc. From the example shown, I would guess that pigs are the source of your various weapons. If that's true, and you want to indicate that, I think you might want to use an icon which shows a whole pig (side on?) as more of a resource. The cute pig face makes the pigs seem more like characters than resources.

Lastly, I have to say that the pig face also made me think immediately of Angry Birds. Maybe that's just me, but I think you want to avoid that association.

That's my 2 cents, or maybe a bit more. Let me repeat that my overall impression was very favorable, and I'm just taking you at your word that you're interested in the negatives at this point. And, like I said, I'm guessing at your motives in a few places, so my apologies if I'm way off base in any of my criticism.

Thanks. To briefly address the issues you've raised:

1. Thanks! Fun-but-not-amateur was pretty much the goal.

2. I've gotten similar feedback on a reddit thread that they're too similar, seems to be a theme. So I may need to address it, though it was actually deliberate that they share a shape since they are, essentially, two sides of the same coin.

3. You're the first to bring up the fortification icon issue. I wasn't sure how to handle it until I saw @gamesbrook's mockup just now. I think he nailed it.

4. Yeah, "minion" has always been a problematic term since it encompasses both creatures and weapons. Perhaps I'll start a separate thread on that.

5. Thanks for the input on the minion graphic. I think I may hold my ground on this one but I appreciate your thoughts, if I hear similar feedback from others I'll revisit it, but thus far in the places I've asked for feedback you're the first to raise those concerns.

Again, thanks for your feedback!
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Ben Byrne
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gamesbook wrote:
Here's a suggestion. A small tweak makes it look like a tower (or part thereof):


This is great! Thank you!
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Ben Byrne
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FYI, if you are still interested, keep your eye out near the end of the year for a release from Alderac.
 
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Matt Simon
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The cards look good, and I'll agree with the minions. Most people will associate them being characters, especially with those stupid little yellow shits that pop up everywhere.


One thing that caught my eye was the empty space on fortress of fat, is it possible to adjust that like the orchard?
 
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