Bryan Kline
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Help, please.

We're currently redesigning the game board for my game, Manaforge. The theme of the game is about wizards that craft magic items for a living. The idea I came up with for the game's board is that of a diagram or instructions for how to build a magic item. (Cards on the board represent items that haven't been crafted yet, so I figured it would be appropriate.)

However, I'm currently second-guessing myself with respect to the game board. I think the cards for Manaforge look great; they're all 'action shots' of the items in use. The board looks... good. I think my designer did a good job with my idea, though I do worry that it's not as impressive as many of the other games out there.

My main concern, though, is that the cards and the board do not work together well. The cards are colorful, while the board is mostly parchment-colored. We're trying to figure out if there's some detail or color we can add to the board to make it look better, or if it would be better to scrap the idea and try a different concept.

Here is a copy of the board by itself, and three versions of the board with item cards on it, with variations in the score track colors. I'd like to know what everyone thinks would make a good game board.

option #1: light score track
option #2: element-colored score track
option #3: darker score track (might go even darker than what's here)
option #4: some other variation on this board
option #5: drop this board idea and do something different

Thanks!


Empty game board

Light track

Elemental track

Dark track

 
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Brad Fuller
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I like the dark track
 
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Sebastián Koziner
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You have a good idea going on, but maybe if you contain that parchment look in a book or something, you might make everything pop out.

This is a quick idea:
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Wyckyd
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Firewind42 wrote:
My main concern, though, is that the cards and the board do not work together well. The cards are colorful, while the board is mostly parchment-colored.
I actually like the fact that the cards have a lot more color than the board - makes it easier to recognize them. The board is just an easy way to set up those cards right?
I think the light track and the dark track are both just fine, though I like the light track a bit better.
 
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ys xxx
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the colored track is distracting and somewhat confusing as it seems to indicate that the colors on the track are somehow related to the element colors and have some meaning for the game (e.g. something special happens when I hit a blue number).

both the dark and the light track look good to me. I don´t think they need to be more fancy.
however the idea with the book is great (no idea if it fits with the game though ). meeple


 
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B C Z
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Dark.

The multiple colors imply some kind of 'candyland like' scoring mechanism. If that isn't there, stick with monochromatic and easily read, which would be the "Dark" view.
 
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James Campbell
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SebasKO wrote:
You have a good idea going on, but maybe if you contain that parchment look in a book or something, you might make everything pop out.

This is a quick idea:
I really like this one tbh, except for the colored track. Definitely stay away from the colored track (like above .. too candyland)

Use the Light Track, with this concept and I think it'd look perfect.

I wouldn't worry much about the board being too plain though, as it seems it's really just an easy setup reference and scoring track more than anything, correct? If that's the case, the cards being so much more vibrant is a good thing. You could easily play without the board, so the board is just a bonus that looks thematically correct as a parchment page.
 
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Jerrod Warr
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I like the look of the book idea and I also like the colored track, although the dark option is a close second. You just want to avoid the board becoming completely washed out.
 
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Bryan Kline
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@Sebastián - I like this! Framing it as a book like that helps to break up the monotony of the background. I'm gonna give this idea a try.

@Wyckyd @James - Yeah, the board is basically just a fancy scoring track with convenient spots for the cards.

@yshild - I can make the book idea work by calling it a 'spellbook' or something like that. (Book of Shadows, anyone?) I'm sure it'll fit right in.
 
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Bryan Kline
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! Here's what we ended up by going with the 'spellbook' idea. Personally I think it looks great, but I might be biased. Opinions?

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Jesse Galloway
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I think that looks pretty sharp.
 
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Scott Allen Czysz
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Very nice.

But... those two card spots that are right over the center crease/binding are distracting (darn OCD). If you slide them over tot eh right a bit, they won't all be symmetrical, but at least they would look like they are not just "pasted on" over an image of a book.

 
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Nyles Breecher
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I do like the book look better than the original look, but agree as well that the card positions over the crease in the text looks clashes, so if you could get the crease to not do that, I think that that would be ideal. It also looks like the location for the card piles are not centered within the pages of the book, which looks to me a bit off from the design perspective. (For example, there's more room between the pile and the top of the book than the bottom.)

If you can't get the spacing to work, you could seeing if you could turn it into a giant scroll instead of a book. I think this would give a lot of the same feel, but might play better with the spacing. You would get to keep the top/bottom margins showing the wood, but the left/right margins would have to show the sides of the scroll.

Another suggestion (although I don't like it as much) is to just have scattered sheets of paper. This would allow you to get the "two-sheeted" look that the book style has, but you could mess with the paper edges so that it didn't clash with the design of where the cards are placed. You may need to add a little more to look like that there is a pile of papers scattered on a table.
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Jeroen Paardekooper
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Also really like the book version. And I agree with the spacing issue regarding the fold. The cards should be placed on the pages itself, not the fold.

Another idea: you could have the score track being 'engraved' in the wood, like an old used table. And have the cards in a style like they are recipes/illustrations in the book, similar to an old Bible or so..

Just my 2 cents...
 
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Robby Timmermans
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Maybe give the background wood (the wood behind the book) a uniform color?
 
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Bryan Kline
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Okay, here's another try. Moved the card spaces to the right so they're not over the center crease of the book. We also moved the text for the card piles to inside of the boxes, as they were a little hard to read against the scribbles in the background.

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