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Subject: Review of KS "Production" Copy rss

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James Resner
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There are already a couple of gameplay reviews posted and online and I tend to agree with them for the most part, so I am going to focus on the product quality instead of gamneplay/mechanics.

I am relatively new to KickStarter, discovering it last fall; since then I have backed a number (~20) board/card games. To date I have received deliverables for 2 (Elemental Blast being the 2nd).

From a production/quality standpoint the game is a major disappointment. Here's why:

1. Card Quality. The cards a relatively thin/flimsy and already showing signs of "warping". The edges show some imperfections from the cutting process right out of the box. I suspect they would not hold up well to moderate play over time.

2. Artwork quality. The artwork itself is very simple but appropriate. The problem lies with the resolution/scale of the images. I am no graphic artist/designer but have fumbled around Photoshop enough to know what happens when you attempt to take a small image and blow it up. Overall the images have a pixelated "fuzzy" appearance and a couple of the elements really suffer from this. It also appears not a lot of effort was made regarding image placement/cropping - unless the source images were already that way and nothing could be done with them.

3. Affinity Cards: The background/layout design fro these cards really make them standout and not in a good way. They look like an afterthought and are a glaring contrast tot he design of the other cards.


I tend to be a sharp critic so I showed the game to my wife with absolutely no commentary beforehand. I just handed her the box and said "I got a new game for us to play" (she does like card/board games like this BTW so that would bot be an influence for her).

She opened the box, looked through then cards and wrinkled her nose. She asked me "is this a prototype?" and I said no. She then asked "did one of your friends make this at home?". Again I said no. She said "Oh.. OK..." and handed it back to me.

being an artist herself she lives by the rule of "if you can;t say anything good...." and 99% of the time she can find something to be positive about. Her inability to do so was confirmation of my impression.

I've posted my comments on the KS page and asked if the designer would be willing to make the card source files (sans artwork) available to backers. If I could add my own artwork and have a set printed at a quality producer (like Printerstudio.com) I'd be willing to "pay a second time" to have a presentable/durable copy of this game. Otherwise I'm afraid this one is going into the Goodwill pile.





 
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JT Schiavo
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Frederick
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Most of these complaints (Card quality, cropping, fuzziness) are due to The Game Crafter, which is the publishing avenue that Popcorn Sunshine decided to use. While affordable and also offering distribution, they aren't known for particularly high quality compared to what you can get from a "serious" production company.
 
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James Resner
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crinaya wrote:
Most of these complaints (Card quality, cropping, fuzziness) are due to The Game Crafter, which is the publishing avenue that Popcorn Sunshine decided to use. While affordable and also offering distribution, they aren't known for particularly high quality compared to what you can get from a "serious" production company.


Physical quality, yes.

The artwork issue, however, is solely the responsibility of the producer.
 
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James Resner
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Update.

Credit to teh developer for excellent communication. After a bit of discussion he did provide me the blank card template, which I could have used to create a new set of cards but to be honest the level of effort involved in obtaining the artowrk, cutting and pasting card text from the PnP files and then ordering a whole new set just wasn't worth it.

In the end I could't find anyone in my gaming group or at a couple of FLGS gaming nights that would "adopt" the game, even of free - so it ended up getting tossed.

Hopefully this served as a learning experience (for the game developer and myself).

I have backed 25 game or game related projects since late last year. So far I have received the deliverables for 3 and all 3 have been substandard.

 
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