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Subject: Discrepancy between clan names and their actual sculpts rss

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Conan Meriadoc
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Like many, I was thrilled when I saw the extra clan was a Fox clan, and I've ticked a bit when seeing a sculpt and graphics obviously scorpion-themed "recycled" as a Fox daimyo.

And then, I realised it's not the only figure that makes me feel this way... Take the Dragonfly clan, for example. It doesn't convey the grace of a dragonfly, but more of a savage vibe, with beaks and a lot of feathers... As if it was designed originally as a Raven/Tengu clan. Obviously, something's not right. Their symbol was different, too :




Annnnd.... That's the thing. The sculpts are absolutely stunning and beautiful, but maybe aside from the Koi clan, they don't really evoke the symbol of their clan (at least to me). I could take any of those sets of miniatures, and would be left wondering what the clan's theme was (or guess wrongly).

Have the illustrations initially been designed with those themes in mind ? Adrian Smith is a very talented artist, and I think he could have reflected each clan's personality way better if that was the case. They way it is right now, I feel the original design was changed during the project (could be because of L5R IP rights, or because of the way game design can evolve while illustrations need to be planned ahead a lot).

I'll definitely be backing the game, but... I wish the clan designs would reflect their symbolism oh-so-slightly more.

Am I overthinking this ?

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Chris Guild
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I don't think you're over thinking it at all. Makes a lot of sense now that you bring it up. I do think that is wishful thinking though. That's a shame because I agree with you.
 
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BG.EXE
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Personally, I don't feel the colors match the names or themes either. It's not something that will ruin the game for me, but something I think could have been tied in better.

The Koi clan is thematically the Flow/Water clan. But it's red. I get that real koi aren't blue, but if that's what they were going for, the image of koi you'd usually imagine is orange or gold.

The Dragonfly clan is supposed to represent Wind. But they're blue.

Bonsai I can let go because Earth is actually yellow in a lot of elemental representations. Though I'd prefer green or brown.

Lotus is purple, and I actually do think that fits the actual flower quite well. Plus purple often represents space or a void, and I think that fits patience.

Turtle I can also let go, as they're supposed to align with steel.

But I really feel like Koi should be blue which almost universally represents water. From there dragonfly should be a lighter green color unless Bonsai went to green. White would fit the air theme more, though I must admit white would be boring.
 
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Michael Callahan
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I think that it could be due to the L5R and FFG,....

But there are lots of changes that don't relate to that as well,... and I've commented that they should update at least the symbology (if not the colors on some of them.

The Koi Clan is full of Uchujin (Flower of Death) references; and no Koi in fish representation,....

The Bonsai Clan was clearly the designed with Cherry blossoms in the art and the symbology on the clothing.

And you've mentioned the Scorpion/Fox bit,.... The Turtle clan have no turtle imagery,.... and in fact; they look like they are actually a clan of Oni,.... definitely NOT human.

It's a bit sad,.... because the art is wonderful,.... but the simplified iconography and mis-match of the themes on the art is a big miss for me,.... (not that it will stop me from backing and playing the game)

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fightcitymayor
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This is exactly what happened with The Others. McVey/CMON already had a portfolio of (Adrian Smith's) art, then when Eric Lang was brought in is when he constructed a game around that existing art*. Which is why the minis for the various "sins" in that game don't really make 100% sense with the theme. Probably the same thing happened here: Commission awesome art from Adrian Smith, then hire the game designer to come in and build a game around it, and retcon whatever elements need retconned to work with the newly-minted theme of multiple clans warring over territory.

(* Lang mentions this process in a podcast, though I can't remember which one.)
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Michael Callahan
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Yes; it looks like some were initially designed to represent nature, and others demons. Perhaps there was a multi sided game (like axis and allies) originally planned with one side aligned with the gods and the other side aligned with the Oni.
 
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Michael Callahan
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Clear Cherry Blossom art and icons on what became the Bonsai Clan


Here is your Uchujin art and icons,.... not a hint of a fish anywhere


Clearly some sort of Oni species,.... no turtles here


Thes all have some sort of masks on Tengu or what not,... or a "dragon" clan,...maybe this represented a clan of humans on the side of the Oni. Or it was just a cool art choice,.... either way,... nothing at all about Dragonflies here.


Then there is the fox clan, that at least does not have great imagery in the clothing or icons,... but you can see the clear Scorpion art on the daimyo art.

It seems that the Lotus Clan was the only one that made it through as originally envisioned.

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Max Maloney
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fightcitymayor wrote:
This is exactly what happened with The Others. McVey/CMON already had a portfolio of (Adrian Smith's) art, then when Eric Lang was brought in is when he constructed a game around that existing art*. Which is why the minis for the various "sins" in that game don't really make 100% sense with the theme. Probably the same thing happened here: Commission awesome art from Adrian Smith, then hire the game designer to come in and build a game around it, and retcon whatever elements need retconned to work with the newly-minted theme of multiple clans warring over territory.

(* Lang mentions this process in a podcast, though I can't remember which one.)

Eric Lang said he was inspired by the art for the Others and requested he be able to base a game off of it. That's a lot different from designing to the art as a task.

He also said he wanted to make a game based on Japanese culture and folklore; I don't see any reason to assume he was given a bunch of images and asked to build a game from them.
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Jonathan H
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100% with the OP on that one, I love the minis and the art, but it's very disappointing to see that the minis don't hint what clan they belong to.
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Michael Callahan
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It's like having "teams" instead of a nice cohesive design whistle
 
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fightcitymayor
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Dormammu wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:
This is exactly what happened with The Others. McVey/CMON already had a portfolio of (Adrian Smith's) art, then when Eric Lang was brought in is when he constructed a game around that existing art*. Which is why the minis for the various "sins" in that game don't really make 100% sense with the theme. Probably the same thing happened here: Commission awesome art from Adrian Smith, then hire the game designer to come in and build a game around it, and retcon whatever elements need retconned to work with the newly-minted theme of multiple clans warring over territory.

(* Lang mentions this process in a podcast, though I can't remember which one.)

Eric Lang said he was inspired by the art for the Others and requested he be able to base a game off of it. That's a lot different from designing to the art as a task.

He also said he wanted to make a game based on Japanese culture and folklore; I don't see any reason to assume he was given a bunch of images and asked to build a game from them.
The point is that neither Lang game sprang 100% organically from the ground up. For The Others, he had ideas about making a game around "the seven deadly sins" and cherry-picked Smith's existing art off the shelf and assigned themes to them (this guy is going to be the Lust abomination, that gal is going to be the Greed controller, etc.) The idea holds for Rising Sun as well (existing art placed into different clans.) So Lang isn't designing an entire game around someone else's art, but he also doesn't get to say, "Okay, I need 4 Crane-related art pieces to be my Crane clan. Hey Adrian Smith, spring into action!" It's more of a cut-and-paste creative process, rather than the whole shebang erupting fully-formed from the mind of the designer.

Thus why the clans from Rising Sun, and the sins from The Others, don't 100% jive with the theme that was assigned to them.
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Jeff M
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Dystopian wrote:
..
Am I overthinking this ?



Yes.
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Nate Parkes
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Dystopian wrote:
I'll definitely be backing the game, but... I wish the clan designs would reflect their symbolism oh-so-slightly more.


Now that you pointed it out, it's pretty hard to ignore, and I'm inclined to agree with you.


Dragonfly (Wings, Wind and Spirit) - Flying on gossamer wings, the Dragonfly clan is able to move anywhere on the map without restriction.

But... you guys have... feathers. You know what gossamer means, right?


Turtle (Hard as the mind; delicate as steel) - The Turtle clan builds their Strongholds on top of the shells of giant legendary turtles. These indestructible fortresses can move around the map and even join in the fights for the provinces.

Uh.... nothing on why you guys are inhuman monsters? That's really burying the lede, guys.


Anyways, I send CMON a message through kickstarter asking about it. Doubt I'll get a substantive response (they're pretty busy), but I'll let you know if I hear anything.
 
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Michael Callahan
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This is the one big criticism that I have for CMON on this project,.....

(Well besides the hideous game play video)

In this golden era of board gaming; nothing is better than a great game that is married with a great overarching theme that ties the game in with art direction in a cohesive experience.

This is just such a big miss of the opportunity. It would have been easy enough to call the Dragonfly clan something else,... no need to talk about gossamer wings at all,.....

It makes me sad,..... the game could have been EPIC thematically; but this just sours it a bit,...... for as long as this has been in pre-production; they of all people could/should have done better.

I'm still going to get it,..... but with a little sadness that it will not be as great as I thought.

It's funny,...... I thought that the game play was going to be my greatest concern going into this,...... It looks better than I expected; while the miss on the clan themes is sticking in my craw a bit.
 
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Nigel McNaughton
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And there's whole Turtle/Tortoise goof.
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Karsten Keese
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Good things come in small packages ...
Dystopian wrote:
Am I overthinking this?

You did not mention whether «Bonsai» should be represented by dwarves or halflings. laugh
 
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Dude Dudeston
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The more I think about this, the more it bothers me. The Bonsai shinto still has the old symbol on his chest.

This just seems lazy. How hard would it be to fix? Any chance they'll fix it at this point?
 
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Shane
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You are not alone. This was an easy pass for me. I agree that the sculpts are gorgeous, but a chicken is a chicken.
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Freelance Police
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I'll be using the miniatures in other roleplaying games, and miniature skirmish games. Would these would work for clan names?

Cherry Blossom
Flower of the Dead
Oni
Shikami
Lotus

Oni refers to the ogre-appearing (they may be ogres, demons, etc.) Japanase folklore monsters (aka. yokai).

The Shikami Clan wears masks, and this article discusses the different masks in ancient Japanese culture. Shikami is a "demon mask". http://www.buzzle.com/articles/japanese-masks-and-meanings.h...

I do see why CMON had the names changed. Easier to remember "turtle" than "shikami"!
 
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Dude Dudeston
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The problem with just re-naming them is that the names are printed on the shields.
 
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Freelance Police
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Will I be using the shields in other roleplaying games and miniature games? I'm talking about reusing the miniatures and possibly other components in other games, not renaming them while playing the Rising Sun game.

Depending on how much text is used in the game, a fan might make alternate components, or whatever, that makes it possible to rename clans.
 
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Patrick Reynolds
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As long as the gameplay is solid I can get past this pretty easily. Yes, it would have been cool if the different clans had more visual representation of their names. They still look really nice and with the size of the miniatures those tiny details like insignia on shields aren't going to be visible on the board anyway.
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Paul Liolio
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Man, that sucks. Well can't they just rename them? Why do they have to be the dragon fly clan? Just call them the Birds!

So what's the general consensus? Is the game good, or is it just hype for the minis?
 
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Michael Callahan
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I think it looks good despite the horrible game play video,....

They are making it really hard to decipher the rules,.. hopefully they will post the in-progress rule book prior to the end of the campaign; and we will see the next two seasons of play.
 
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Jon Snow
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goo The game looks wonderful. They have already posted the first glance at a section of the rules with a recent update.
 
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