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Subject: Marketability for family game CUTE vs YUCKY rss

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Charles Ward
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Matsumoto
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I want to put out a family card game about food and I'm wondering about the art style. Right now... it can take two forms...

1) Cute, like Sushi Go:



2) Yucky, like The Rascally Cake, by Korky Paul:



Poll
Which style do you want to see for a family card game about food?
Cute
Yucky
      39 answers
Poll created by ex1st
 
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Matt D
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Peachtree corners
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My logic is I think you will turn more people away by having "yucky art" than you will attract by it.

Some people will just ignore the art totally based around the mechanics.

I think your "yuck" audience would be a specific set of folks who enjoy ironic things - Gloom for example is a very entertaining game but certainly limited by the atmosphere of the theme. Of course, that theme is also I think what largely sells it to some.

Are people going around looking for a family game about food that is specifically yucky? Probably not.

Are people going around looking for a family game about food? Probably.

I just don't think you'll gain enough of an audience with the yucky art as you would lose by having it, IMO.
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April W
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Personally, yucky is a "no way" for me. I won't buy a game if it looks yucky. That, of course, is personal preference, but I do think yucky will turn many more people away than cute will.
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Corry Damey
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Cute artwork is always a win for me and I think that if your target demographic is the family crowd, you'll run into a lot more people who have difficulty looking beyond the artwork at the clever or well oiled mechanics. I agree with Matt in that you'll probably lose more interest than gain by having yucky artwork.
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Jade Knight
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What about delicious? I'd prefer a food game that has images that make me want to go out and cook and/or eat!
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Evan Youngblood
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I think either could work as long as you commit to it and make sure the theme really translates well.

I think of the Easy Bake Oven vs. Creepy Crawlers for example. Both were essentially the same product with different art styles aimed at different audiences.

If your target audience is just generically "families," then the cute art style is potentially more appropriate. If your target audience is "parents of kids who are constantly going outside and digging holes, playing with bugs, etc." then the yucky style will appeal to that audience more.

There's a lot to be said about general audiences vs. niche audiences. Both are totally viable, it's important to make sure you're speaking very strongly to your audience, whatever that happens to be.
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patrick mullen
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Garbage pail kids, how to eat fried worms - yucky can work, and I think when it does it can stand out. I think it is more risky. It's up to you really.
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Matt Lee
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Cute will always appeal to the children friendly audience, but yucky can be a double edged sword. While it works for those who like icky things (and kids do like that more than people give them credit for), games cost enough that parents are less likely to look beyond the images at the gameplay.

From what you've posted, the yucky card looks far grimmer and disgusting than other games I've seen for the family audience and that can hurt sales. I'd say the artwork is dark enough to fit one of the FFG Cthulhu themed games, which might not be what you're going for.

In a similar vein, Friday the 13th had "moldy donuts", but kept it kind of cute despite the icky name so that it wasn't as objectionable.
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Ratimir Ismailobrat
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Cute will almost certainly appeal to a broader market.

But consider this: To illustrate cute, you showed us a game. To illustrate yucky, you showed us a book. Couldn't think of any good game examples?

Yucky is a niche, but it's a niche with less competition.
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Charles Ward
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Matsumoto
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Hey everyone.

Thanks for the feedback. I read it all without looking at the results of the poll - until now. As I write this its a 92% for cuteness. As well as your personal preferences, there were arguments for and against, so I was swayed, then swayed back, and still not 100% sure.

I also asked my 3 year old son for advice, as I often do. I asked him why yucky over cute... and he said the magic word. Because it's fun! We had a good laugh thinking up and adding words to the growing list.

So, to share that joy - not with you - but your children, or children's children... I'm going to stick with a yucky theme. The main reasons is fun. As it has been pointed out, children like this theme more than we think (or let them). Which is another reason to go this way. Do you remember that thing you parents never let you do? Did it become more attractive the more they said you could not have it?

Yes, if I'm going to do it, I have to commit to it and do it as yucky as possible. With different art on every card, mixing different concoctions will be different every time. The art has to stand out and make the game recognizable.

Still no? Well, the game uses a numerical value. There is no need for the art. Which means that the game can be re themed for cute consumers.

The first print run of 500 copies of a 54 card deck (with art costing about $50 a card), will most likely lose money after the have all been sold. If the market is niche, 500 copies is hard but not impossible. So, yes, it is going to have to be language independent.

Finally, I must admit that it feels like I'm swimming agains the tide. Tides change. Thanks again, any further comments appreciated.
 
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Charles Ward
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Matsumoto
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ratimir wrote:
Yucky is a niche, but it's a niche with less competition.
... and with less demand. shake

evyoung wrote:
I think either could work as long as you commit to it and make sure the theme really translates well.

I think of the Easy Bake Oven vs. Creepy Crawlers for example. Both were essentially the same product with different art styles aimed at different audiences.
Right, so this yucky version could be like a trial run. Don't we just hate it when a cute, well illustrated game, fails mechanically. gulp

The Jade Knight wrote:
What about delicious? I'd prefer a food game that has images that make me want to go out and cook and/or eat!
On a totally different angle... I would hate to make a game that made anyone want to go out and eat. Unless, it was one of those really heavy euros that gave you a slow brain burn. Chocolate - I need chocolate!!! robot

hestiansun wrote:
Are people going around looking for a family game about food that is specifically yucky? Probably not.
zombie Only during Halloween.

Gloom Has been on my radar too. It certainly appeals to older players. I'm aiming for a younger demographic.
 
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Jordan
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I think both can be accomplished like some other are suggesting - yucky food illustrated in a cutesy way. Take a look at this artist I follow - he work is grotesque but cute! https://www.behance.net/bakea
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Flying Flower
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I think it's significant you mention a son.

My gaming group is my family--husband and two sons (now teenagers).

I think families with boys are more open to yucky artwork. We never bought games like Enchanted Forest or Mystery Garden or Sleeping Queens. We own things like Loot and Food Fight which do have uglier art.

I only bought Takenoko last year because of a review that said "don't let the pastel colors throw you" and I felt like that reviewer was talking right to me because that's exactly why Takenoko was never on my radar. Similar reasons why I didn't give Sushi Go! much consideration was because of the artwork, until I learned it scratches the 7 Wonders itch.

In a similar vein, the name of a game can have ramifications, too. I was looking for portable games for my boys to take with them to school or Boy Scout camp but, no matter how highly rated Love Letter was,(even with the reskins the boxes say Love Letter) there was no way I was going to send them off with a copy no matter how highly regarded it is.
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Henrik Lantz
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While I kind of would agree with your son that yucky is fun, I think it might be good to remember that it is adults who will be the buyers. My general feeling there, is that more adults will be attracted by a cute theme, and I think the above answers also show that.

One more thought that came to mind is that 3 year old boys are not perhaps representative of all children. He would probably find it absolutely hilarious if you made a game about poop. thumbsup

Starting to feel kind of nostalgic now, long time since my kids where that age. It was good times.
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