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Vanuatu (second edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Graphic design of new edition rss

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Adam O'Brien
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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I got to play the 2nd edition this weekend. I have owned and loved the first edition for several years now, and was interested to see what changes were made and to help me decide which version to keep.

The short answer (for me) is the first edition, hands down.

Don't get me wrong, the artwork itself is gorgeous. Lots of rich color and it definitely has a tropical Pacific vibe.

The problems are that the layout, icons, and design are really unclear and some odd choices were made.

The tiles - very pretty, and the curvy star shape is interesting and preferable to a standard boring hex. Unfortunately, the outlines for hut and turtle placement are way to thin and faint, so that from across the table you cannot see how many there are. The bright colors totally wash out the pencil-thin circles and squares. The tourist limit icon is also probably too small.

The action spaces - this one drove me crazy. There are some icons, but they are for the reward/cost, not for what the actual action is (in another thread, the publisher mentioned that the artwork at the top is supposed to tell what the action is). More vexing is that they seem to be in a random order across the board, not in any sort of logical progression like the 1st edition or even in the 2nd ed rulebook. There is some attempt to put the relevant info next to the action space (like the cost for goods cubes is attached to the shipping action) but this was not the case for the Rest action and only sort of for the tourist action. Putting a small box under the turtle action to store those tokens would have been smart as well.

The character tiles - again, the artwork is nice but the iconography could have been cleaner. The governor and preacher icons are almost identical. Despite having played the 1st ed dozens of times, i couldn't readily tell which character was which without consulting the rulebook. That at least implies that they are non-intuitive.

A final minor quibble is that the round tracker is also too faint, and the last round or two are obscured by the island tile stack.

So while I am both glad to see Vanuatu back and able to reach more audience, and also realize the new art will appeal/be preferable to the original for some, I have to say I was disappointed. I am not sure if it was an issue of not having the rights to re-use the original graphic design, or if Quined just decided they wanted a different look, but it gave me a real "if it ain't broke" feeling.


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Patricio Garcia
Canada
Halifax
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I have never seen the first edition other than pictures. I played the second edition last night and other than a problem seeing what each island could fit ( faint lines) The components were top notch and artwork stunning. The first edition art looks very drab.
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Ben W
Canada
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The size of the fish/treasure/hut etc. icons on the ocean/island tiles are quite small, but I think the rest of the layout/iconography choices were well done.
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Eric Drouin
Canada
Carignan
Quebec
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Personnally, I think that graphic, colours and components of the second edition are top notch and kick the first edition ass !

Even if some graphics might be a little small (treasures and fishes) it didn't bother me much.
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Adam O'Brien
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Raleigh
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Every time someone activates this overtext, it takes a year off my life. Hover often please!
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well it seems the great nation of Canada is against me. laugh
 
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Michael Frost

Iowa
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The look is entirely subjective. In the eyes of the beholder. But put me down for preferring the 1st edition, which I own. It just seems more laid back, more friendly, more in tune with this out-of-the-way "paradise" location. Like that comfy pair of slippers. It isn't flashy. Just comforting and comfortable.

I think the same is true for the 1st vs. 2nd edition of Colosseum (TMG). Loses the whimsy. The fun.

The 2nd editions always try too hard to be something. Just to differentiate themselves from the 1st. When they just need to relax.
 
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