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Subject: Software for Board Game Art rss

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Maxwell Menzies
United States
California
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Hello,

I'm just throwing out some ideas for board games and am trying to draw up some general art. I have all of Adobe CC, so the question is, what software do I use for what?

Should I use Photoshop or Illustrator or InDesign to make cover art?

What about the actual board itself? And the cards?

Most people I think use Illustrator and then do touch ups in Photoshop. Am I correct on this?

And what about some of the other CC apps like Lightroom, Speed Grade, etc.

Thanks!
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
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i find that for prototyping Illustrator works the best since you can create an array of clean shapes with flat colors and change the shapes without losing quality very easily.

For final art, I usually go with photoshop. But then it is a matter of style too. Coming from mobile game development, I did a lot of art for games where it was all done in photoshop but I also have made a few games where everything was done in Illustrator to achieve that specific clean and fresh look.

i did nearly all the art for this
http://www.eastsidegames.com/game/dragon-up/


and there we used strictly Illustrator and then just save the files out as PNGs
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Jim Wakemen
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New Jersey
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The answer is that it depends on many things. What is the nature of the artwork? Iconography and other reusable/scalable stuff is probably better off as a vector file like the ones from Illustrator. Card art that is going to need subtle shading or fine details is probably a raster file like Photoshop works with. I would think a reasonable default is to use Illustrator for the utilitarian stuff and Photoshop for the artistic parts, then use InDesign to bring them together.

Think about just about any game card that has artwork as its focus. The text (if any) overlays the frame and icons which are vector graphics all overlaying the raster artwork. Think about it in layers and use the right tool for the job on a layer by layer basis.
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A. B. West
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Beech Grove
Indiana
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InDesign is for all my finished PDF files. Photoshop is for all my other work - illustrations and graphic design. I'm just not a fan of Illustrator except for prototype work - because it's easy to build quick cards and tokens in simple shapes.
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J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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I ended up writing custom software specifically tailored to generate the sorts of components I'm interested in: XXPaper: A tool for generating charters, privates, shares and train files for 18XX games.

More generally, there's no way in Hades that I'd use anything like Photoshop or Illustrator (and I've used both). That way lies both madness and endless wasted time for a designer. During the design process, game art should be generated programmatically from simple meta-description files. The key focus is on easy, cheap and fast iteration of the components. This way changing the game components is trivially easy: just edit some values in the description file (typically a spreadsheet or text file) and then run the tool again to do everything. Never waste your time looking at or fiddling with visual details. Focus on the core of your game: the data and relationships of values.

In this line Squib is impressive: Introducing Squib: a Ruby gem for prototyping games (latest is v0.13.0, 2017-01-04)
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