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Subject: [WIP] Dale of Merchants - A modular deck builder for 2 - 4 players rss

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Sami Laakso
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Greetings!

I've been designing a deck builder for some time now and would love to get feedback on cards, rules etc.

Introduction
In this game, players are merchants who have gathered in the Dale to find out who’s the best trader. Only one will be proclaimed above the rest while other’s have no room in the history books.

Players can adjust the game to their liking by playing with races which match their playing style. Do you want to be sly with Thieving Northern Raccoons, bend the rules with Adapting Veiled Chameleons or bring total chaos with Lucky Ocelotes? The first player to complete astounding merchant stall is the winner of the game!




I'll recommend checking the cards in original size.

The important stuff are card value, race icon/colour, possible plus icon and card text at bottom. Card title and subheader (this matches the race icon and colour) are irrelevant for gameplay. Card type (technique/passive in this case) is nice to have, but not critical. The small text in bottom right wont be in the final cards.

Is there any suggestions? All comments are greatly appreciated!

Links and stuff
- Game's homepage
- Game's BGG page
- Play testing thread (includes rules and PnP)
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Paul DeStefano
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
The typeface is not comfortable to read.

The word "foxes" does not look like foxes without the context.
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Sami Laakso
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
Thanks for the feedback. I've considered the font myself. I really like the look of it, but clarity has to be the number one concern. I'll try to find an alternative font for the action card text.
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
You definitely need to change the font as suggested. The current one is much too difficult to read, especially for anyone with less-than-perfect eyesight.

I think the banners with the icons could be a little bigger as well, to make them easier to see at a glance. I am not saying you should go huge, and I appreciate tasteful design, but they seem a tad on the small side to me.

On the same note, I don't know how many different colours of banners you intend to use, but I would ditch the beige for something that stands out better from the background.
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Daniel Diemer
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
I actually loved the font and did not have any trouble at all reading the cards, but I took a screenshot of the cards and printed them off to get a better look.

Something to consider is that fonts in digital read a lot differently than fonts in print. I forget the exact science, but it has something to do with the loopier fonts or fonts with serifs, they make it hard on the eye to read in digital format. In print, your cards look beautiful and are easy for me to read. I didn't the slightest problem with the word "Foxes" for example. But this is just me.

I would suggest people printing them off if they have not to look at them before they judge readability, but you may still need to change it.

The art is beautiful. It makes me hungry. I love games that make me hungry. Excited to hear more about your game as it comes along.
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
If the subtitle for each card is simply which faction it belongs to, which corresponds to the banner colour or icon, then you could keep the font you like for the title and subtitle without much issue. It would seem that players won't be reading that subtitle more than once, after which they will rely on the colour and icon to tell them what faction it belongs to.

The card effect text however does need to be more readable.
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Sami Laakso
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
Thanks everyone for great feedback!

I changed the font to a lot more readable one and changed the colour of the fox race. I also upped the kerning a notch on the race names. Didn't change the size of banners + icons just yet. I need to print some cards and eyeball them a little.

Here's the updated cards:

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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
Looking much better already. The contrast with the foxes makes a big difference for me, and the card text is clearly readable, even zoomed out.
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
As a graphic designer and game player, I love these cards. They are simple, attractive and very functional. Less is more is always my motto.

I totally agree on the font change. Keeping the fancy font for flavor text is a great way to delineate between important instructions.

Also the colors to distinguish types of cards is a good choice.

If I had one change, I would say tighten the leading in the text at the bottom. You can do it for cards that have more text, but a uniform look goes a long way. It's nitpicky, but your cards look phenomenal and I want to see them perfected.
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Sami Laakso
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
Great observation. I tightened the leading a bit. It was large from the old font, which required higher space between lines so the letters didn't overlap.

Here's one card with 3 lines of text.

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I spent 200 GeekGold...
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...and all I got was this lousy overtext.
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
Cards look great. Only thing is I would suggest re-framing the cheese on the Kind Treat, as the bottom of the ribbon/icon area hits the edge of the cheese wheel/board.
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Sami Laakso
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
I've created a thread for gathering play testers which can be found here.

I will continue to post here in regards of the visual design of the game once I've completed more of that.
 
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Adrienne Ezell
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
Liuhuparta wrote:


Here's the updated cards:



All caps are statistically (and actually) hard to read. I would adjust the kerning on the header just a bit. The brown/beige replacement is great. The lines of text at the bottom look like they kept the line spacing from the original font, I might decrease it.

Love the art!
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
LOVE everything about these designs. Really well done.

The original font, thought not the easiest to read, is not terrible either. You could get away with using it. Sometimes it's okay to let form trump function (said the artist... )
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Sami Laakso
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
DreadfulGames wrote:
All caps are statistically (and actually) hard to read. I would adjust the kerning on the header just a bit. The brown/beige replacement is great. The lines of text at the bottom look like they kept the line spacing from the original font, I might decrease it.

Love the art!


Thank you for the feedback.

How would you adjust it? More space between letters? I decreased the line spacing with previous image (green 5).

I tried to use more thematic font on title. Below are two examples. Which one do you prefer? The title is only used to identify the card along with the artwork. The most important thing is the action text which is written in really easy to read font. I personally prefer the second one with cursive font on the title.

Example 1


Example 2
 
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Adrienne Ezell
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
Liuhuparta wrote:

Example 2


I think these in example 2 are perfect. You are very talented and these have a great overall feel. I would be proud to have them in a game!
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Sami Laakso
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Re: Feedback for new deck builder card design
I've used last weeks to mostly play test the game to polish it, but have also managed to squeeze in a bunch of improvements to it's graphic design. Below is a set of new improved cards.



All feedback is greatly appreciated.

If you're more interested in the game, you can subscribe to my newsletter here, find the game's BGG page here and get print'n'play files here.

Edit: I would be grateful if people could press the x on top of the thread and click "wrong forum" as I'd like to move this to the Works in progress forum. I believe this would fit better there. Thanks!
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Topher
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I personally liked it better with the serif font used for the card titles and the script font used only for the subtitles and card categories. I liked the increased legibility and it also made each card seem more balanced having that font at both the top and bottom.

I'd also like to see a version of the cards where you add some more visible texture to the cleaner parts like the text, icons, top ribbon, and colour field behind the card category. I predict that it could easily be detrimental to the clarity of the information enough that it would not be a good option, but I really like the grunge/worn look aesthetic of the illustrations and background and applying it to the other parts could make the design more cohesive.
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Sanhueza at GAME-O-GAMI
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I really like how the cards are coming out! The artwork you have shown so far is very pretty, and I'm looking forward to seeing more.
It was an excellent decision to maintain the script font for the card titles and subtitles.

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Daniel Sobel
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The illustrations, faction names, and card designs are setting a very cohesive and appealing tone. Good job!
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Sami Laakso
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Thank you for all your kind comments.

homsar wrote:
I personally liked it better with the serif font used for the card titles and the script font used only for the subtitles and card categories. I liked the increased legibility and it also made each card seem more balanced having that font at both the top and bottom.

I tried that, but ultimately decided I like the script font better at top. The card effect text at bottom is the only one, you need to actually read during the game. Other text is just to get you in the mood and theme.

homsar wrote:
I'd also like to see a version of the cards where you add some more visible texture to the cleaner parts like the text, icons, top ribbon, and colour field behind the card category. I predict that it could easily be detrimental to the clarity of the information enough that it would not be a good option, but I really like the grunge/worn look aesthetic of the illustrations and background and applying it to the other parts could make the design more cohesive.

Those parts actually have some crudge in them too, but it doesn't show up too well on the screen. It's deliberately really subtle to increase clarity as you guessed.

Woud there be any native English speaking fellows who would like to assist with proofreading the card texts?
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Topher
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Glad you tried those options out already.

Also, I'll help with proofreading.
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Adrienne Ezell
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Looking great! I like the headers and card type identifiers in the ovals. Looking nice and cohesive.
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Sami Laakso
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I have laid out the rules. Any feedback on the content and visual layout is greatly appreciated! Keep in mind the rules are prototype rules and some illustrations are placeholder art. Rules can be found here.

Don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter if you want to keep up to date with the game's progress! I will send a newsletter once the KickStarter project is nearing.
 
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Sami Laakso
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I got two variations on the logo. Which one do you guys prefer? I'll share my opinion after yours to prevent any kind of bias.

I've had hard time designing a logo I would be happy with. All suggestions are welcome! It needs to deliver a message of medieval game with slight fantasy elements. The main focus of the game are animal shaped merchants.

Option #1


Option #2


Added a poll, see below.

Poll: Logo variation poll
Which logo you prefer?
Option #1
Option #2
      19 answers
Poll created by Liuhuparta
 
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