Andrew Rowse
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A little over a month ago, I posted a thread looking for feedback on card designs:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1321548/what-do-these-card-...
The feedback (thank you!) confirmed that what my wife was telling me was correct, and the design needed a rethink - there is probably a lesson to be learned here about listening to wives. Well, one rethink later, I'd like to see whether the changes we've made have worked...


For the past couple of months, I've been working with an artist (Simon) to finalise artwork for Dexikon, which is on-track to be kickstarted within the next couple of weeks (it's being published by Eagle-Gryphon, but they've allowed me to oversee the graphic design, which is a wonderful if slightly daunting opportunity).

After an initial 'alchemy' theme that I loved but everybody else thought was about space, he's come up with a new design that I love even more. TO ME they communicate exactly what I wanted them to.

I'd love to get some feedback about what this artwork 'says' to other people - do the card colours and patterns logically match the types of effect? (Obviously this is very subjective!) At this point in development the style is probably fairly complete, but there is still scope to adjust anything that is really missing the mark.

Dexikon is a deck-building word game. You use letter cards to spell words, which earn points that you use to buy more letter cards and/or bank VPs for the end of the game. All cards have the same back, which looks like this:


How does the back feel to you? What theme do you take from it, and what does it suggest about the complexity/length of the game?

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The cards are split into two groups - four different core cards (which form the initial decks and are always available) and one stack of pool cards (six of which are on offer at any time). Three of the core cards share this style:


This card can be used as either an E or an S. It's not worth many points, but it's fairly flexible and you're unlikely to want to get rid of it - unlike Penalty cards...



Penalty cards are fully wild - but they don't earn any points when used in a word, and they lose VPs at the end of the game if you haven't got rid of them (they're a bit of a combination of a Scrabble blank tile and a Dominion Curse.

What themes do the backgrounds on these core cards evoke? Do they fit with the rest of the pool cards (below)?

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Blue 'Action' cards have an effect as soon as they are played. They look like this:


Does the blue pattern match the concept of 'action'?

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Green 'Cleanup' cards have an effect at the end of your turn if you use them in a word, usually letting you draw more cards in your next hand. They look like this:


What does the green pattern 'say'?

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Blue/Green cards have both an Action and Cleanup effect:


Does the card feel like a balance between blue and green, or does one colour/pattern feel dominant?

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Orange 'Attack' cards dole out Penalty cards to your opponents, diluting the value of their deck and costing them points at the end of the game.


What does this pattern 'say'?

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There is one yellow 'Response' card, which behaves similarly to Dominion's Moat and protects you from Attacks:


Does this feel 'protective'. If you try to perceive it as a sort of Victorian force field, does that work?

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Black 'End of the game' cards don't do anything for most of the game, only kicking in once the game end has been triggered.


What message do you get here?

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Any feedback/reactions would be really appreciated! I'm very happy with the style and I think that Simon's nailed it, but I'm also aware that I'm just feeling generally excited and positive about the project, so I may be missing things that I should be critical about!
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Sebastián Koziner
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It look beautiful and well balanced, great job, kudos to your designer!
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Jonathan Morton
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Nicely done, definite improvement from the previous.
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Riley Doyle
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Back of the cards suggest a casino theme to me, cards laid out on a green felt table.
I can't really tell anything about complexity or time investment from them though.

Core and penalty cards work pretty well, the core cards w/ the light blue are a pretty neutral card, and the penalty cards with the warmer color and thorns communicate that they are bad.

The color for the action cards don't really suggest action to me, they are a very cold blue, where I would expect action to be a hotter color. Not really a big deal though, and I can see why that you need to differentiate them from the attack/penalty cards.

Green for cleanup works fine and the green and blue cards have an ok balance. But the letterform matches the green one, maybe shade that w/ a bit more blue? Or blue outline?

Orange w/ fire is great for attack cards.

Yellow for defense is ok and adds another color to the deck, which you need, but I would expect defense to probably be gray, or at least a cooler color. Graphics work well for defense though, like I'm fenced in.

Black for the end game cards is fine. Red has connotations of stop but works better for attack cards here.

Overall design is well done, and consistent. I get an upscale art deco/victorian type feel from the design.

Hope this helped, but everything looks good to me. It's a nice mix of colors and designs, and the compromises the designer made are reasonable.

Good luck on your kickstarter.
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1 Lucky Texan
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I think they're awesome.


looks like a lot of work went into it and they look well balanced to me.
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Sami Laakso
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I'll definitely agree that these are nicer than the previous ones even thought they weren't bad either, quite the opposite. My main concern is that while the cards look extremely beautiful individually, they have some mismatching elements in them. For example the green back is really detailed and looks similiar to the black one with both having emboss effects. Green, Orange and Yellow match really nice together with blue standing a bit different with more detailed background silhuette. Pink is my personal favourite. It has a background like no other card with white gradient in the middle.

Bottom line is that I love the visuals, but hope you would uniform them a little to make them feel more like a set.
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Scott C
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Nice.

The backs evoked sort of a casino feel for me also - green felt table, fancy lettering. The gold pinstripe around the edge reminds me of a big old safe for some reason.



Also a bit of a medieval coat of arms feel. Not sure any of that is good or bad. I guess I'd sum all of that up with one word: classy.

I think the colors for the different cards are fine. Blue doesn't instantly make me think "action" for example, but that's OK. I would guess people may naturally group the cards by color in their hand and learn what color means what.

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Andrew Rowse
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Brilliant - thanks guys!

Your feedback on the way the colours mis/match the effects is really valuable. Although the design itself is locked down (barring any critical issue), this feedback is great for highlighting how the rulebook needs to introduce the colours/effects - to try to minimise any dissonance.

Notes for anybody who is interested about why they look the way they do:

The brief I gave Simon for the action cards was 'wind', which felt to me like a fitting concept for cards that immediately resolve and generally give you some form of runtime flexibility. If you look closely at the background pattern, there are swirly zephyrs* all around. With luck, that will be clearer on the printed cards.

The brief was also for the backs of the cards to feel like the cover of an expensive old tome, and for the fronts to feel like painted vellum pages. All the fronts have a degree of embossing, which should hopefully be clearer in the print versions.

And yes, I love the Penalty cards too. The brambles were a brilliant way of communicating 'you don't really want to keep hold of this!' The brief I gave Simon for that was simply 'make it look a bit scary'. Quality artists are wonderful!

Thanks again!

*('zephyr' is worth up to 12 points if spelled without Penalty cards - in which case it also puts a Penalty on top of each opponent's deck, allows you to return any number of cards from your hand, and draw an extra two cards at the end of the turn. Thinking like this is the cost I pay for designing a word game...)
 
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Daniel Solis
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Just dropping in to say these cards are gorgeous and I'm immediately bought in.
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Christoff MastermindGames
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These are Stunning. Simple, clean and elegant. I'll try to go one by one and answer your questions:

1) The Green and gold reminds me a lot of elegance, secrecy, exclusivity, and wealth. It also makes me think of "Wicked" in the sense of magic and wonder. Very inviting and expensive looking!
2) LOVE the wild card and the pink sticks out. It could also work well to take after the green of the card backs... More forest/wild... and matches the game overall since they can be ANYTHING. The ES card... looks dull to me? I understand it's flexibility, but maybe two Victorian styled arrows rather than the wind wisps?
3) The W card seems... more serene and still. Makes me think of water (probably because of W haha). I suppose it works for action, but maybe change the patterns to something with a bit more forward movement? All of the 'leaves' are moving towards the middle of the card which makes me think of a general neutral stance.
4)The Green H card is fresh and the wind-like symbol makes me think of cleanup. I like this one!
5)Hmmm. The green and blue hybrid makes sense based on your description, but looks a bit... 90's color contrast. What if you split the card down the middle and had the two patterns fade into eachother? A split dissolve may seem a bit basic, but it would clarify the card's hybrid ability?
6) V is brilliant. Love it.
7) L is my favorite card in the deck. perfect balance of white and gold/yellow to give a heavenly protection feel.
8). LOVE the contrast of the black with the other cards. Definitely reminds me of a final/resolute ending. Perhaps even death like? They do make me think of... bad cards?

All in all, i LOVE these designs. They're so clean. Really looking forward to seeing this game take off. Please note that my writing style comes off as overly critical sometimes. If you were to just publish these as is, they'd look gorgeous-- but you asked for opinions so here ya go
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Nicholas Avallone
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These are fantastic. I love the styling on all of them, and how the patterns subtly reflect what the cards do.

I'm not sure how crucial a quick read of the card colors will be during game play, but if it is, then there might be a small issue for the Action/Cleanup hybrid card -- at a glance, it reads as a Cleanup card, which could sow confusion. Maybe use a blue field, and then use the Action card border in green, instead of blue?

Anyway, really excellent design here, and the game sounds like fun!
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Graham Allen
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These cards are really quite stellar.

I see a lot of mention of casinos with the backs, and I get that after the fact, but the color combination of a dark green and gold always screams "old fashioned study/library" to me. You know, the rich wooden desk with a green leather blotter and gold lamps/pens and a ton of leather bound books. I think that really fits with the idea of the game.

It doesn't really speak to length or complexity for me though. So I can't say. And as far as the specific colors for the other cards, the choices all work to me. Some aren't my gut instinct, but you have some effects that sort of overlap in possible colors.

There is one comment on the card backgrounds though. The vast majority of the cards are "radial" in design with an obvious center space. The backs, penalty, action, cleanup, and protection cards all do that. Your attack card back doesn't fit though and neither do the core cards. I actually like that the "end" style doesn't fit as it separates them visually.

For the attack, you can keep the flame motif, but attempt to get the design to have the same center as the card itself. Another tidbit here is that the "cleanup" and "response" cards have a very "inward" facing design, which fits. They go towards the center. The attack cards should have a center, but the "action" of the image should move away from the center.

I hope that all makes sense.
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