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BattleCON: Fate of Indines» Forums » General

Subject: BattleCON Graphic Design rss

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Andrew Wilson
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Disclaimer: I haven't played BattleCON.

But it's been on my radar as something I was interested in for years. Three things kept my from buying:

1. It's not a game I expect my friends or girlfriend to want to play with me.
2. It's pretty expensive, especially considering the first point.
3. In my opinion, the graphic design just isn't impressive.

It's my understanding that Brad designed the cards early on, and I certainly wouldn't hold that against him. The designs are functional and not terrible, and I think they're reasonable for a company's first game a few years ago.

But with the success of Level 99 Games, with the clean look of Millennium Blades, and with Fate being a new, cheaper entry point for people who haven't played before, it seems that it would have been the perfect opportunity to give the game a face lift.

I can't do much about my friends not wanting to play, but I'll probably buy Fate because it's cheaper—and at least get them to give it a shot. But I'm still a little bummed that it's still using that old graphic design.

Has there been any talk about this before? Am I in the vast minority here?

~
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Thomas Dunagan
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fissionessence wrote:
Disclaimer: I haven't played BattleCON.

But it's been on my radar as something I was interested in for years. Three things kept my from buying:

1. It's not a game I expect my friends or girlfriend to want to play with me.
2. It's pretty expensive, especially considering the first point.
3. In my opinion, the graphic design just isn't impressive.

It's my understanding that Brad designed the cards early on, and I certainly wouldn't hold that against him. The designs are functional and not terrible, and I think they're reasonable for a company's first game a few years ago.

But with the success of Level 99 Games, with the clean look of Millennium Blades, and with Fate being a new, cheaper entry point for people who haven't played before, it seems that it would have been the perfect opportunity to give the game a face lift.

I can't do much about my friends not wanting to play, but I'll probably buy Fate because it's cheaper—and at least get them to give it a shot. But I'm still a little bummed that it's still using that old graphic design.

Has there been any talk about this before? Am I in the vast minority here?

~


I think you and I might be in the vast minority. I think the artwork is terrible, but the game play is excellent. So I can easily get past it because of that.
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Matthew Hughey
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1: You are in luck, Battlecon online is a thing in the pipeline.

2: It's actually an outstanding value assuming you can get people playing it.

3: I think the graphic design isn't the greatest, but the artwork makes up for it in my opinion.
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I'm kind of curious exactly what about the graphic design troubles you guys. I haven't had any trouble getting the information I need out of the cards, except maybe for those few Styles that just have a wall of text (I'm looking at you, Unstable).

With regards to updating, given that the current design seems fine to me, I'd rather have a consistent design across all three versions than a mix.
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Andrew Wilson
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I am looking forward to BattleCON online, and I don't disagree about the relative value of the physical game if I got to play it a lot—I just don't think I would.

As for the artwork, it's not my preferred style, but I won't hold that against it. But I think better design could frame the artwork better while still conveying the information just as well—and while looking quite a bit slicker.

I totally get the concerns for consistency though. That would be the main reason not to change anything, but that's why I suggested it for a new introductory product like Fate. Magic: The Gathering eventually realized they needed to update their graphic design if they wanted to stick around for the long haul, and I expect BattleCON will eventually need to do the same thing.

I'll just leave a few card images here of games that I think showcase art well while also clearly conveying their information and looking great.

~







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Dylan Thurston
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I agree that the card design does a very poor job of framing the art. On the other hand, I think it does an excellent job of conveying the gameplay information.

It's worth noting that they didn't spring for different images on each card (just one main image per character on the style cards), so you don't necessarily want the image featured that prominently.

I remember seeing somewhere a post by Brad showing some of the iterations he went through with card design, but couldn't find it just now--does anyone remember where that was? I found it quite instructive.
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Brian
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I think the design is fine. I'm just not a fan of the font for the card name and stats. I feel like it clashes too much with the simple card design of the current BattleCON games.
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Matthew Vines
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I can't tell you how to feel about the design, but I personally wouldn't let that stop me from playing one of the strongest 2 player games on the market.

The price point for the game is pretty good in my opinion. Assuming you can find semi-regular opponents. If you play this regularly it's a bargain. But admittedly if you don't get a ton of games in, you probably won't feel like it was worth it. This is probably true of most games.
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Andrew Wilson
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That's a really good point that having the same artwork on each card (per character) means framing the art isn't quite as important. Since art serves as a distinguishing feature for an individual card, cards with repeated art will need different distinguishing features to draw attention. Right now, though, that is just the card name in that hard-to-read font.

As for not letting it stopping me from playing "one of the strongest two-player games on the market," I have to disagree. Aesthetic is really important to me, and it's even more important to my girlfriend, who nigh-refuses to play anything that isn't pretty. Gameplay is the only important factor to some players, but it's one of many for others.

Anyway, I'm still planning to buy Fate (which could lead to more purchases), and I'm sure I'll back BattleCON online (it's going to be Kickstarted, right?), but I just wanted to start this discussion to see how many people felt the same way.
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Mark Jackson
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RayLancer wrote:
I think the design is fine. I'm just not a fan of the font for the card name and stats. I feel like it clashes too much with the simple card design of the current BattleCON games.


Yea, that font is bad news.
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Simon
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fissionessence wrote:
That's a really good point that having the same artwork on each card (per character) means framing the art isn't quite as important. Since art serves as a distinguishing feature for an individual card, cards with repeated art will need different distinguishing features to draw attention. Right now, though, that is just the card name in that hard-to-read font.

As for not letting it stopping me from playing "one of the strongest two-player games on the market," I have to disagree. Aesthetic is really important to me, and it's even more important to my girlfriend, who nigh-refuses to play anything that isn't pretty. Gameplay is the only important factor to some players, but it's one of many for others.

Anyway, I'm still planning to buy Fate (which could lead to more purchases), and I'm sure I'll back BattleCON online (it's going to be Kickstarted, right?), but I just wanted to start this discussion to see how many people felt the same way.


If you really hate the frames that much you could proxy up some replacements. I actually considering doing this with Pixel Tactics and the Portal Games frame, and did do it for Love Letter and 2R1B (Though I'm lazy and use widely available (custom) MTG frames).
 
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Randy Miller
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I don't understand a comment about unimpressive graphic design. Do you mean artwork? Graphic design is supposed to communicate important information clearly and otherwise not be noticed. I find the Battlecon fine in that regards.
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Dylan Thurston
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fissionessence wrote:
... Since art serves as a distinguishing feature for an individual card, cards with repeated art will need different distinguishing features to draw attention. Right now, though, that is just the card name in that hard-to-read font.
For the record, there's also a colored symbol in the corner. I've never found that very useful myself; it's just not very memorable compared to the style name.
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Dom Hiob
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dthurston wrote:
fissionessence wrote:
... Since art serves as a distinguishing feature for an individual card, cards with repeated art will need different distinguishing features to draw attention. Right now, though, that is just the card name in that hard-to-read font.
For the record, there's also a colored symbol in the corner. I've never found that very useful myself; it's just not very memorable compared to the style name.


I think the color helps in distinguishing the cards when they're fanned in your hand. The symbol helps colorblind people.
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Daniel DeMars
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dthurston wrote:
fissionessence wrote:
... Since art serves as a distinguishing feature for an individual card, cards with repeated art will need different distinguishing features to draw attention. Right now, though, that is just the card name in that hard-to-read font.
For the record, there's also a colored symbol in the corner. I've never found that very useful myself; it's just not very memorable compared to the style name.


I use the colored symbol all the time, especially for checking my opponent's discard against their reference card.

As for the graphic design in general, I have to say it has never bothered me and I've found it very easy to use. I don't love the font, but it has grown on me, and I love the artwork.

The OP's examples of graphic design he likes is interesting in how much it highlights the subjectivity of all this. I personally find both the art and graphic design of Imperial Settler *really* bland; and while the art for Quest: Awakening of Melior is quite good, and the cards showcase it quite well, I find the actual information-communication of the cards to be cringe-inducing. I do agree that Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn looks exceptional on all counts - but if you check its forums there is a similar thread where some have taken issue with the graphic design of that game too. So I guess the take away is your mileage will vary.
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Andrew Wilson
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Graphic design is certainly subjective, and I can see people having qualms with any of the cards I posted above.

Quote:
I don't understand a comment about unimpressive graphic design. Do you mean artwork? Graphic design is supposed to communicate important information clearly and otherwise not be noticed. I find the Battlecon fine in that regards.


As for that, I have to strongly disagree. While it's true that design should convey the information clearly, the best designs are artwork in their own right, whether they're minimalist or heavily textured.
 
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Brad Rosenquist
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LeinadColtrane wrote:

The OP's examples of graphic design he likes is interesting in how much it highlights the subjectivity of all this.


I think this is the bottom line, here. Personally, i think the graphic design works just fine. If the game itself keeps expanding for many years to come, would an update be needed? Maybe, if the general flow of the market and graphic designs make this feel old, or if LVL99 just wants to update for the sake of something new. But in the realm of existing games, again, I think BattleCON looks just fine, personally (see? subjective ).
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Brad Talton
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It was my first big graphic design project, so it's not the prettiest thing in the world. If you're looking for lots of art and better graphics, I would recommend trying EXCEED instead (there's a free download of it here: http://www.level99games.com/homepage/all-news/96-exceed-figh...)

I am considering updating the look of the cards for Trials–we're seeing how we might be able to illustrate each card individually on a reasonable budget.

Either way, thanks for trying out the game!
- Brad
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Daniel DeMars
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Kyokai wrote:
It was my first big graphic design project, so it's not the prettiest thing in the world. If you're looking for lots of art and better graphics, I would recommend trying EXCEED instead (there's a free download of it here: http://www.level99games.com/homepage/all-news/96-exceed-figh...)

I am considering updating the look of the cards for Trials–we're seeing how we might be able to illustrate each card individually on a reasonable budget.

Either way, thanks for trying out the game!
- Brad


I personally prefer the graphic design of BattleCON to that of EXCEED, but I am very excited at the prospect of more art!
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Kyokai wrote:
It was my first big graphic design project, so it's not the prettiest thing in the world. If you're looking for lots of art and better graphics, I would recommend trying EXCEED instead (there's a free download of it here: http://www.level99games.com/homepage/all-news/96-exceed-figh...)

I am considering updating the look of the cards for Trials–we're seeing how we might be able to illustrate each card individually on a reasonable budget.

Either way, thanks for trying out the game!
- Brad


Yeah, Exceed is looking great! I'm very unexcited about Red Horizon, but I'll probably pick it up anyway, and I'll be looking forward to more IPs (especially, I hope, Indines characters).

And I didn't mean to bash your design, as I knew it was basically an indie startup—I just felt it was ready for a makeover. And . . . What is Trials? I have not heard of this!

~
 
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Brad Talton
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Trials will be game 4 in the BattleCON line. We're hoping to have it ready early next year. It will be another box the size of Fate.

As for Red Horizon, it's actually a pretty cool setting once you get into it, and I'm a fan of most of the art they do for it.

One nice thing about an original property too is that you can have more unique abilities–when it's established characters, you have to work within the bounds of the setting. Since these characters aren't established in a 2D fighter yet, we get to be a bit more free with their abilities.
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Brian
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Kyokai wrote:
As for Red Horizon, it's actually a pretty cool setting once you get into it, and I'm a fan of most of the art they do for it.


I'm a huge fan of Genzoman. And I really loved the stuff Imaginary Friends Studio did with the early UFS sets for Soul Calibur and SNK. Artgerm did a lot of fantastic stuff for the game.
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I love how the basic stats – range, power, priority – line up nicely, but the rest of the information is very difficult to process. In a game where "reading" the results of chosen cards is required to execute the turn and make mid-turn decisions, this could've been handled better.

I'd say having fields (or maybe just icons) for Stun Guard and Soak would've been handy. Also breaking down the information into rows by timing would be great – think how Race for the Galaxy divides up a card's power by turn phase. That's a lot to try and accomplish, but worth trying. I know I still struggle piecing all the relevant info together after revealing cards.

I see a fourth slot in the Online versions of cards. Is this Stun Guard?
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Daniel Honig
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Yep, fourth field is Stun Guard.

Unlike RftG, this game has way more varied abilities, so I don't see things working feasibly like the 6-phase breakdown there. That kind of templating only works when your cards are super standardized.
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Dylan Thurston
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7inchsplit wrote:
I see a fourth slot in the Online versions of cards. Is this Stun Guard?
Yes.
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