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Subject: Look of a game rss

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Eric Daoust
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Yesterday my wife and I got settle to play a game or two. As always, I asked her “What do you feel like playing?”. To which she replied “Hmm, I don’t know, give me a couple of names”. When that happens, I usually try to fit in some games that I prefer.
I look at one of my prime shelve and started to eliminate some.

- Stone Age (me: no), Pillar of the earth (me: no), Lords of Waterdeep (me: no), The voyages of Marco Polo (her: no), Orleans (me: no), Terra Mystica (me: hmm let’s try that later), Castle of Burgundy (me: no), Bruges (me: no).

I looked all around feeling uninspired and threw some name around and we settled on Terra Mystica. I do love the game, so I was happy.
While I was looking around, I noticed that in the list of games above while I consider them all to be great games, a lot just got dismissed because I didn’t feel like playing a game that looks bad or just looks ok.

Do you ever decide to not play a game you really like just because you’d rather play a “pretty” game?

PS: I do not consider Terra Mystica to be a really great looking game. I do think it looks ok.
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Evan
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I love the look of Stone Age.

But I agree with you 100%. For example, I much prefer the look of Viticulture to that of Vinhos. Given that they are the same theme, I don't think Vinhos will get played as much in my group, therefore I'm less interested in buying/playing it.

I think the look of Cry Havoc is great, but the guys on the Secret Cabal podcast bashed the look of the game. Same thing with Terraforming Mars. To each their own.

The look of the game, and especially it's theme, are super important to me.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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The look matters to me, sure, however I think most of my games are pretty good looking anyway so it doesn't really come up when I'm choosing what game to play. I'm unlikely to have bought the game in the first place if it didn't have a decent look.
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Chris Mcpherson
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No

Gameplay is the only thing that matters to me.
 
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Drew
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Look some what matters to me, but really matters to my wife(my main gaming partner). Circus Flohcati is a good example for her. She enjoys the game play, but hates the flea artwork so bad that she never wants to play it.
 
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Christen
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As long as the game isn't a total graphic design disaster, it won't phase me at all and I don't mind.
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Kyle
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Beyond clarity of information I don't particularly care.
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K S
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I'm not gonna lie: aesthetics matter. That being said, once a game has found its way to my collection, it generally means that it has met my "beauty standard"* (which is not particularly exacting) and at that point, aesthetics are pretty much irrelevant to choosing what to play, which is generally entirely predicated on who I am playing with and how much time we have.

*The notable exception for me is Xiangqi; I've picked up a quite nice set of ceramic pieces, unfortunately they're so large that the only board I've found to fit them on is an ugly, cheap pressboard affair. At some point I'll probably try to build a prettier replacement.
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Quagg wrote:
Do you ever decide to not play a game you really like just because you’d rather play a “pretty” game?

Yep! That's part of why I keep a varied collection. When gaming, sometimes it is the visual experience I crave and other times it's the mental experience that matters. I have games that can satisfy various preferences when they come up. For me, it's no different than wanting to play a light weight or heavy game. My moods shift and I roll with it. That's one of the great aspects of board gaming. So much variety.
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Bryan Thunkd
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As long as a game isn't outright ugly, I'm usually okay playing it. None of the games you listed are even close to something I'd veto due to appearance.
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15 Keys
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Quagg wrote:
Yesterday my wife and I got settle to play a game or two. As always, I asked her “What do you feel like playing?”. To which she replied “Hmm, I don’t know, give me a couple of names”. When that happens, I usually try to fit in some games that I prefer.
I look at one of my prime shelve and started to eliminate some.

- Stone Age (me: no), Pillar of the earth (me: no), Lords of Waterdeep (me: no), The voyages of Marco Polo (her: no), Orleans (me: no), Terra Mystica (me: hmm let’s try that later), Castle of Burgundy (me: no), Bruges (me: no).

I looked all around feeling uninspired and threw some name around and we settled on Terra Mystica. I do love the game, so I was happy.
While I was looking around, I noticed that in the list of games above while I consider them all to be great games, a lot just got dismissed because I didn’t feel like playing a game that looks bad or just looks ok.

Do you ever decide to not play a game you really like just because you’d rather play a “pretty” game?

PS: I do not consider Terra Mystica to be a really great looking game. I do think it looks ok.


Wait, the games have listed that look "Bad or just ok" include Stone Age, Pillars of the Earth, Lords of Waterdeep, and Voyages of Marco Polo?? Wait, what?

While I appreciate that everyone has their own taste, I have to wonder what games you think would be "pretty"?

Anyway, while some game's look will turn me off (I won't play Barbarossa or Tanto Cuore, for example), for the most part the game itself is what interests me. Good graphics and all make it better, of course, but mediocre or even bad graphics (looking at you, original Glory to Rome!) are fine as long as they aren't gross or creepy or immature.
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Eric Daoust
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fifteenkeys wrote:

Wait, the games have listed that look "Bad or just ok" include Stone Age, Pillars of the Earth, Lords of Waterdeep, and Voyages of Marco Polo?? Wait, what?

While I appreciate that everyone has their own taste, I have to wonder what games you think would be "pretty"?

Anyway, while some game's look will turn me off (I won't play Barbarossa or Tanto Cuore, for example), for the most part the game itself is what interests me. Good graphics and all make it better, of course, but mediocre or even bad graphics (looking at you, original Glory to Rome!) are fine as long as they aren't gross or creepy or immature.


I do like the graphics of Stone Age and The voyages of Marco Polo; Pillars and Waterdeep are just ok for me.

All of the games I mentioned are at the top of my list and I would not usually hesitate to play of them. There are other factors like when is the last time I played them and this exercises made me realize that even though I have a decent collection for someone who got in this hobby less than 2 years ago and is not a millionaire, I should look into games are fun and that aren't various shades of brown.

 
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"She comes out of the Sun in a silk dress runnin' like a watercolor in the rain."
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    I think the "look" of a game can be split into a few categories as well, and to some extent I'm a bit of a hybrid on it. I'd rather play a homebrew or a low-budget game that still executes good art in a cheap fashion than a grand production that is artistically uninspiring. I think I give the cheaper runs extra credit for trying harder and getting more across with less.

    So I don't think it's as simple as "look". Sucking Vacuum is a cheapie that manages to work for me, because the toilet brush chit serving as a weapon shows creativity and imagination, even if the cardboard is thin and the art is small. The whole package creates an interesting picture on the table, without being "rich".

             S.


 
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mortego
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Nope, it matters not if the game is appealing to look at or not but that's just me.

The only gaming thing, as far as looks go, that I find not appealing are the backs of Magic: The Gathering Cards, blech.....yuck!
 
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Dave Platt
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Don't you guys find that you stop looking at the bling after a few plays, because you're too busy playing the game?
Also, when artwork shows you how something looks then that's it, no room for imagination, that's how it looks, final.
For me overblown, fancy artwork, is mostly a device to get you to part with your money. The art sells you a vision of a world you want to be part of, but when you get there, you spend most of your time working out how to manipulate mechanics, cards and luck.
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K S
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However, I should add that the FEEL of a game actually will get it played more. The tactile experience of boardgames is a major factor in my enjoyment of them, and a game with more pleasing components (for me: wood/melamine over soft plastic, pawns/miniatures over chits, cardboard over cardstock, anything with dice or a bag) is definitely gonna come to mind more quickly for me.
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Brandon Galbreath
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When it comes to checking out games, I have a problem with judging a book by it's cover. If the artwork is too bland or looks washed out, I'll skip it and assume the game will be too dry and boring. Bright colors or gritty realism catch my eye so I'll tend to look at those first. I'll save the bland looking ones for when I'm really bored.

However, once I've bought a game, the artwork and look of it doesn't matter. What gets played out passed depends on what type of game we all want to play.
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Ron
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Actually I think everyone cares to some extent, even the ones who say they don't. Take the 18XX players as an example. They don't care about 'pretty' games, but they sure do care about the look of the game. I've heard about people driving back home to pick up their AH copy of 1830 because the host only has a Mayfair edition. It might be a different angle to the concept of 'look', but it's certainly caring about it. If pretty, silly, childish, erotic, you-name-it artwork is off-putting, it means you care about the look. Just not in the same sense as others.

Then my personal view: There aren't really any games I avoid because of the look, but I sure have been triggered to investigate based on it. If a game's art is up my alley, I'll look at it a second time. If it's not, I might pass on it until someone recommends it.
When picking games, sometimes I'm actually in the mood for a bright, colorful game. And then I'll play El Grande, Chicago Express or Keyflower. There is something about a board/table filled with tokens in primary colours that I instantly like Fortunately my collection is large enough to allow me to have such moods and still be able to pick from quite a few games.
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Kent Marcuson
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Dave P wrote:
Also, when artwork shows you how something looks then that's it, no room for imagination, that's how it looks, final.


Interesting, this is the same rationale that my wife has for not wanting to see the Lord of the Rings movies. We both absolutely love the books but she doesn't want to have the movie color or limit the mental picture she has from her reading.
 
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"She comes out of the Sun in a silk dress runnin' like a watercolor in the rain."
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gimongous wrote:
Dave P wrote:
Also, when artwork shows you how something looks then that's it, no room for imagination, that's how it looks, final.


Interesting, this is the same rationale that my wife has for not wanting to see the Lord of the Rings movies. We both absolutely love the books but she doesn't want to have the movie color or limit the mental picture she has from her reading.


Good for her.
 
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Chris Graves
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I can't remember who it was, but I heard a reviewer/podcaster mention, because there are so many good games available to play, if he has a choice between two games that are fun, but one has the better art/design, they will always chose that one. It is such a competitive market that designers better be thinking about aesthetics. It's like MMA, you have to be good at all the components...you can't JUST do one thing well.
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"She comes out of the Sun in a silk dress runnin' like a watercolor in the rain."
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voodoochyl wrote:
I can't remember who it was, but I heard a reviewer/podcaster mention, because there are so many good games available to play, if he has a choice between two games that are fun, but one has the better art/design, they will always chose that one. It is such a competitive market that designers better be thinking about aesthetics. It's like MMA, you have to be good at all the components...you can't JUST do one thing well.


And yet, there's 100 games a year on Kickstarter with B- production quality getting backed in their first week. As best I can tell, if the web page is pretty it will sell before a copy is available for review.

S.
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Wim van Gruisen
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fifteenkeys wrote:
Quagg wrote:
- Stone Age (me: no), Pillar of the earth (me: no), Lords of Waterdeep (me: no), The voyages of Marco Polo (her: no), Orleans (me: no), Terra Mystica (me: hmm let’s try that later), Castle of Burgundy (me: no), Bruges (me: no).


Wait, the games have listed that look "Bad or just ok" include Stone Age, Pillars of the Earth, Lords of Waterdeep, and Voyages of Marco Polo?? Wait, what?

Yeah, well, the OP also considers Stone Age, Pillars of the Earth and Lords of Waterdeep great games (I haven't played the rest). Tastes differ, I guess.

And BTW, I bought Glory to Rome a long time ago at Essen, but could never bring myself to get it to the table because of the ugly art. Because of the artwork. Now I have my own variant with Asterix pictures.
 
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T. Dauphin
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I have to agree that seeing Stone Age in that category was a surprise to me as well. I happen to think Stone Age is beautiful. Unfortunately, the game play isn't what I wanted so it doesn't get played for that reason. I think I'm one of those who gets suckered by a pretty face. I've been swayed too much by good-looking--and, as with wamsp, well-textured--games only to find that they languish for long periods of time on the shelf. (Well, I guess that happens to all of them. shake I mean for longer periods of time.)

But I'll play a sad looking one any time if it plays well. Probably King of the Tabletop is the best example. (Pieces glued onto cereal box cardboardshake ).

[Hmmm, a lot of head shaking going on here ]

 
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Adam Hostetler
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I love the look of Lords of Waterdeep personally.
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