Laughing Lizard Games
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I would appreciate it if you could give me some feedback on the current iteration of card art for the game i am developing.

Who am i?

I am one of 3 PhD students with a passion for board gaming and science. We have a dream of publishing our own games and contributing to the hobby. To that effect we have formed Laughing Lizard Games. We are currently working on our first game to be released on Kickstarter later this year. Any help in the form of advice or help publicising our game would be greatly appreciated.

What is It's Just a Theory?


It's Just a Theory is our first game, it is a fast-paced, storytelling card game. In which players take on the role of conspiracy theorists competing against each other to come up with the greatest and most entertaining conspiracy theories.

During the game players create a conspiracy theory together, using ‘fact’ cards that show concepts or objects which can be used to form conspiracy theories. One player is the lead conspiracy theorist who will start creating a theory using their cards. The lead conspiracy theorist will try to guide the theory towards an ending on one of their propaganda cards. However to do this they will have to compete against every other conspiracy theorist at the table, who wishes to highjack their theory and explain their own conspiracy. Other players hijack a theory by trying to use their cards to interrupt and successfully challenge the theory. The winner of a round is the player who plays their propaganda card ending the theory. Points are scored by finishing theories and more points are awarded by playing more cards. The winner is the conspiracy theorist who has the most points at the end of the game.

We are currently working on finalising the artwork for both the game and the Kickstarter. If people are interested let me know and i can answer your questions, alternatively if you have any advice we would love to hear it.

I have attached an image of each of the 3 types of card in the game (Fact, Conspiracy and Propaganda). The current flaws with these that i am aware of and plan to change is that, the black text is too small and overextends where it should be, this is being fixed. What i would love comments on is the rest of the artwork. Can you distinguish between the types of cards easily? Do they look aesthetically pleasing? Are you a lizard in disguise? and all other comments you may have.

 



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Andrew Rowse
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The green and blue are too similar.

'Top Secret' should only be on the Fact card - conceptually, neither of the other things would be top secret information. More importantly, the way you currently have it makes the 'top secret' part of the background, with Fact cards having no foreground illustration relative to the others.

A more easily-read font would be good, ideally not all-caps (though for thematic reasons that might not be doable).
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Leon Kerkhoff
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What strikes me most are the open/empty spaces between the text and the illustrations. They give me the feeling as if something is missing.

btw, i love the theme of this game.
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Jonas Thyssen
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1. Agree with KAndrw about the readability. Don't use all caps for the sentences. It also doesn't make thematic sense.

2. The font is a stencil. Which means it would have been spraypainted on. It does give it a certain M*A*S*H look. So your could use it more selectively. But it would make more sense to use something like American Typewriter:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Typewriter for the cardtext.

3. As for the vertical type and the top secret, an early grotesque like Franklin Gothic would make more sense https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Gothic. And you could make sure to add some grunge transparence to the 'TOP SECRET' so it looks like stamped on.

4. I also think that the information on the card wold be easier to parse if you moved the vertical text to the top so you had more horizontal space for the flavour-text. Which should be the most important part. If you wanted you could make it look like the flavour-text was on a peice of paper lying ever so slightly slanted on a desk with the color of the card-type. (I hope this part makes sense to you, it did in my head )

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Tiarnan Murphy
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The description you gave reminded me a lot of Once Upon a Time

Aside from that I agree that the green and blue are too similar to tell apart with a glance.
Also, conspiracy and fact both have a little icon on the card. It would make sense for propaganda to have one too.
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Bojan Prakljacic
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I would actually make Conspiracy RED and Facts GREEN, and just use a mock-up of propaganda poster, those that were used during the post WWII, on PROPAGANDA card. Would make more sense and to have some variety with cards back...
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Jonas Thyssen
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8Oj4N wrote:
I would actually make Conspiracy RED and Facts GREEN, and just use a mock-up of propaganda poster, those that were used during the post WWII. Would make more sense and to have some variety with cards back...


That is a really neat idea
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Laughing Lizard Games
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KAndrw wrote:
The green and blue are too similar.

'Top Secret' should only be on the Fact card - conceptually, neither of the other things would be top secret information. More importantly, the way you currently have it makes the 'top secret' part of the background, with Fact cards having no foreground illustration relative to the others.

A more easily-read font would be good, ideally not all-caps (though for thematic reasons that might not be doable).


Thank you for your comments!

The idea we had is that each of the cards represented a folder containing top secret information (the true facts, what propaganda is being spread etc)and hence would have "Top Secret" stamped on it. However i can see your point, i will raise it with the other designers and see what they think.

I have been worrying that the text is currently not very clear, i will get our artist to mock up some cards with a few variations (including your suggestions) and post back the best at a later date.
 
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Leon Feargus wrote:
What strikes me most are the open/empty spaces between the text and the illustrations. They give me the feeling as if something is missing.

btw, i love the theme of this game.


I completely agree, we are planning to make the text larger and to see how it looks, then we can make the images larger if we so wish. However there will always end up being some space between the text and the artwork on some of the cards due to the nature of the game, however hopefully it will look less like a void between the text and the artwork in the next iteration. We will post an update when we have it.

Thank you for your comments, i will try post a full work in progress overview of the game some time in the next month to give you (and hopefully others) more information if they so want it.

 
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8Oj4N wrote:
I would actually make Conspiracy RED and Facts GREEN, and just use a mock-up of propaganda poster, those that were used during the post WWII, on PROPAGANDA card. Would make more sense and to have some variety with cards back...


The original idea we had for the cards was that they where files containing top secret information however, i do like your idea and it would spice things up a lot. I am going to talk to the other designers and see what they think.

We also have to consider our budget for the art etc sadly PhD's are not the best paying job in the world (not meaning to be a sob story just venting frustration that i would earn more on minimum wage).

Anyway i would like to say thank you for your comments you have given me a cool idea to think about.
 
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Tuirseach wrote:
The description you gave reminded me a lot of Once Upon a Time

Aside from that I agree that the green and blue are too similar to tell apart with a glance.
Also, conspiracy and fact both have a little icon on the card. It would make sense for propaganda to have one too.


I had not heard of once upon a time. I have just had a reading/youtube session to learn more about it. It looks like our game will be in the same genre of game. So i imagine if you like once upon a time you will like our game. I might have to buy it and play it....

We like the idea and are going to add icons to the propaganda cards, thank you for the suggestion.

In regards to the colours, we have had some people say the colours are too similar and others say that it not a problem. I think the best thing for us to do will be to print some cards off and see what they look like in person. Just to double check if there is an effect from the monitor settings on everyone computer. I will report back with our findings.

thank you for your comments, this is our first game its great to be able to find lots of people willing to give us useful feeedback!
 
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Paphoved wrote:
1. Agree with KAndrw about the readability. Don't use all caps for the sentences. It also doesn't make thematic sense.

2. The font is a stencil. Which means it would have been spraypainted on. It does give it a certain M*A*S*H look. So your could use it more selectively. But it would make more sense to use something like American Typewriter:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Typewriter for the cardtext.

3. As for the vertical type and the top secret, an early grotesque like Franklin Gothic would make more sense https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Gothic. And you could make sure to add some grunge transparence to the 'TOP SECRET' so it looks like stamped on.

4. I also think that the information on the card wold be easier to parse if you moved the vertical text to the top so you had more horizontal space for the flavour-text. Which should be the most important part. If you wanted you could make it look like the flavour-text was on a peice of paper lying ever so slightly slanted on a desk with the color of the card-type. (I hope this part makes sense to you, it did in my head )



1. We are going to try this out and see what it looks like. I have a feeling you are correct.

2. We will give this a go and see what it looks like and get back to you.

3. We will have a play with the font and let you know, what we discover. We where hoping the the "TOP SECRET" looked stamped on already

4. We considered this option, but settled on a having it down the side for functional reasons to do with how the game plays. I understand your suggestion, it is a cool idea, but i think we have gone to far along one route of card style to change it completely now. However it sounds like that might be a good idea for an expansion i have in mind, I will have to get back to you with details at a later date though.

5. Thank you for your comments, loving the list format!
 
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Jonas Thyssen
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Laughing Lizard wrote:

We where hoping the the "TOP SECRET" looked stamped on already


It does. I took a closer look. I was more thinking about the font choice

Laughing Lizard wrote:

5. Thank you for your comments, loving the list format!


Thanks I hope any of it helped
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Paphoved wrote:
Thanks I hope any of it helped



Your comments have helped a lot, its great to get an outside perspective when working on a project, i think some times its possible to be too close to the project you are working on or to stagnate on ideas.

Thank you again!
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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We also have to consider our budget for the art etc sadly PhD's are not the best paying job in the world (not meaning to be a sob story just venting frustration that i would earn more on minimum wage).


I can do it for free. I can make a mock-up propaganda poster, I can even follow the 'thematic' look of your cards. But, only once. If you ask me politely. :>
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Matt D
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Also, if you are going for the Obama style propaganda poster which seems to be all the rage now, there is an online site you can use that will convert any photo into that filter:

http://www194.lunapic.com/editor/?action=go-obama

It's actually a fairly old style, I think they just refer to it as Obama because he used it extensively in his campaign, and no one else had for about 40 years.

I like the theme idea of this game btw, and wish you the best of luck in getting it out there. I'll certainly give it a looksie when it shows up.
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David Janik-Jones
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Combat Commander, Up Front, Breakout Normandy, Fields of Fire! The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!
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Paphoved wrote:
8Oj4N wrote:
I would actually make Conspiracy RED and Facts GREEN, and just use a mock-up of propaganda poster, those that were used during the post WWII. Would make more sense and to have some variety with cards back...

That is a really neat idea

When you are designing those three card colours ... do not overlook your colour-blind audience, especially the most common form which is red-green. While it makes thematic sense—and you do have the word to state which is which—if you can, there's no reason to not design for colour-blind.

And no all caps for sentence. I'd throw you bodily out of a first year typography class if you showed me a design like that.

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Jonas Thyssen
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It also just occurred to me that isn't it wierd that the 'Fact' is the only card without any form of documentation.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a picture of aliens, if that were the fact. Than a picture of the conspiracy?
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Laughing Lizard Games
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Paphoved wrote:
8Oj4N wrote:
I would actually make Conspiracy RED and Facts GREEN, and just use a mock-up of propaganda poster, those that were used during the post WWII. Would make more sense and to have some variety with cards back...

That is a really neat idea

When you are designing those three card colours ... do not overlook your colour-blind audience, especially the most common form which is red-green. While it makes thematic sense—and you do have the word to state which is which—if you can, there's no reason to not design for colour-blind.

And no all caps for sentence. I'd throw you bodily out of a first year typography class if you showed me a design like that.



Thank you for the feedback! we are going to address both those points, we will post an update once they are done!
 
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Paphoved wrote:
It also just occurred to me that isn't it wierd that the 'Fact' is the only card without any form of documentation.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a picture of aliens, if that were the fact. Than a picture of the conspiracy?


Thank you for the feed back, we are going to add art to the fact cards. Once we have we will post another update
 
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8Oj4N wrote:
Laughing Lizard wrote:
We also have to consider our budget for the art etc sadly PhD's are not the best paying job in the world (not meaning to be a sob story just venting frustration that i would earn more on minimum wage).


I can do it for free. I can make a mock-up propaganda poster, I can even follow the 'thematic' look of your cards. But, only once. If you ask me politely. :>



We really appreciate the offer, but think completely changing the art style of one of our cards at the moment would set the project back further than we would like. We are going to improve what we have and hopefully we will produce cards that people will like.

We will bare you in mind for future art projects though. Thank you.
 
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