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Gaia Project» Forums » General

Subject: That art is IMO... rss

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Daniel Mahdavi
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It's important for most people that the gameplay, theme and art gel perfectly, especially in a gaming environment where there exists a huge number of exceptional games to choose from. Would Scythe be as great a game without the art? Almost certainly. Would it be as enjoyable? I doubt it.

I think that it's easy to become insulting when discussing something this subjective, but at the same time I think the graphic design needs work. The colours selected for the player board are not colours a typically experienced graphic designer would put together. Additionally, it is very rare that the use of different corner radii looks aesthetically pleasing, and it seems like a few have been used here. The centering on the left-hand section of the lower half seems off as well - the brown boxes to the left have a much smaller gap to the edge than the brown boxes on the right.

As regards the art, it's a shame that the artist has used parallel lines for the window when the perspective suggests that the window should be in line with the pilot's console. It may just be the cropping of the image we have, though.

I'd like to think that what we're seeing is the publishers enthusiastically getting some material out into the open to drum up excitement. Hopefully the final product has the same attention to detail as Terra Mystica.
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Stephane Guibord
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jhaelen wrote:
Yup, it's looking pretty bad.

However, I doubt anyone bought Terra Mystica because they thought it had great artwork...


Terra Mystica Artwork wasn't the best in the business but it was still great for the purpose of the game. It wasn't bad by any measure. It was good, great for that game.

It's miles better than what we are seeing here so far.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Unclean009 wrote:
Why would the art matter this much to people if the game is fun to play?
Why do people care if a meal is served on a fancy china plate? Why do cooking shows stress how the food is presented and dressed to look attractive? If the food is tasty why does it matter how it looks? Answer: Because presentation affects how we perceive things, sometimes even subconsciously.

Some people are going to be squicked by a bloody zombie theme no matter how good the gameplay is. And others aren't going to be able to get past cartoonish art even if the game is great. And there's lots of games with cartoon art that sexualizes young girls that people have problems with. Gameplay isn't the only factor that games are evaluated on.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable talking to someone because they had spinach in their teeth? Why? Their appearance doesn't affect the content of their conversation. What about if they farted? Again, it doesn't change the content of what they're saying. Have you ever been turned off eating when someone started talking about something disturbing, like bugs, snails, how the broke a bone, a violent crime, etc. That doesn't have anything to do with the taste of the food either.

We evaluate experiences based on many different factors... even ones that don't affect the primary purpose of the activity.

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Derry Salewski
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I'm not sure snails are universally disturbing
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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scifiantihero wrote:
I'm not sure snails are universally disturbing
I never said there were. But if I'm trying to gross people out, it'd be fairly high on my list of things to try. In the same way, you might be fine seeing a coroner's picture of a bloody corpse, but I suspect it would gross out a fair number of people.


 
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BG.EXE
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The Terra Mystica artwork is fairly plain, but it's still functional and facilitates playing the game. A lot of older heavy Euros have similar direction. Boring But Effective.

Gaia Project's artwork is actively repulsive and the player boards are just generally a mess.

Eclipse will be the big-ol-space-game that gets my money at this point.
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Christopher Grace
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jhaelen wrote:
Yup, it's looking pretty bad.

However, I doubt anyone bought Terra Mystica because they thought it had great artwork...


No, but I bet plenty DIDN'T buy it because of they didn't like the artwork or art style.

This was their chance to pull me in, and they failed miserably. Hell, I even like the Terraforming Mars artwork.
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L-D
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Yea it is sad, but the art is turning me off too, and I know it's superficial but they are so many great games that looks amazing.. the new BRass reprint of roxley is a prime example of a art that does justice to a design.

Art aside. I was hoping for a variant of Terra mystica whit more elegant rules, most peaple agree that the core system of Terra mystica is a master peice,but that the cult track is a little wonky and a few race could be balanced beter. I was really hopping for a spiritual successor (using the years and years of data collection from online TM games )

This looks like a more complex game In space .. and to be honest I don't think it needed to be more complex.

We will have to wait and see
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Tony Go
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Can you imagine if Roxley were to publish this game?!
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jhaelen wrote:
Yup, it's looking pretty bad.

However, I doubt anyone bought Terra Mystica because they thought it had great artwork...


Actually I did. I wanted to buy my first medium - heavy game and I picked Terra Mystica because it was the most appealing (theme/art) from the high rated ones.
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Derry Salewski
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Thunkd wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
I'm not sure snails are universally disturbing
I never said there were. But if I'm trying to gross people out, it'd be fairly high on my list of things to try. In the same way, you might be fine seeing a coroner's picture of a bloody corpse, but I suspect it would gross out a fair number of people.




I really don't think snails are on that level...

Someone should do a poll.

Did someone put a snail in your food as a kid?!
 
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Horror Leader wrote:
Can you imagine if Roxley were to publish this game?!


I am not sure if I would be happy. Generally speaking, I love Feuerland's titles and productions. Also one thing to consider is that all her titles have been extensivly playtested.
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Bryan Thunkd
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scifiantihero wrote:
Did someone put a snail in your food as a kid?!
Well, yeah... but it was cooked in a lovely garlic butter sauce and was quite delicious. I did once win a bet that I could gross someone out by talking about a plate of escargot with a live snail crawling across it.

But we're straying pretty far off topic. Bringing it back to topic... presentation matters. The particular examples of what people find distasteful aren't important. A great game wrapped in unpleasant art isn't as good as a great game wrapped in great art. And getting past the appearance is hard to do sometimes. The worse the art, the harder it is to do.

For example, the original Planet Steam art always made me think it was drawn by some German emo/goth teenager with limited artistic skills. I enjoyed the game, but the art annoyed me and colored my perspective of the game. The reprint had better art which doesn't bug me at all.
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Johannes Benedikt
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
The Terra Mystica artwork is fairly plain, but it's still functional and facilitates playing the game. A lot of older heavy Euros have similar direction. Boring But Effective.

Gaia Project's artwork is actively repulsive and the player boards are just generally a mess.

Eclipse will be the big-ol-space-game that gets my money at this point.


Yeah, there is definitly a difference in easily graspable (well designed), beautiful and excactly my taste.

Gaming components being easily graspable is the bare minimum visual gaming pieces have to deliver. If they don't, the gaming components are not functional.

Gaming components being beautiful means they manage to draw you into the theme of the game, enriching the gameplay by providing context to your actions. If a game isn't beautifull, the playability doesn't suffer, but it's premis won't be exciting and it's draw in will be reduced to the abstract manipulation of certain algorythms.

Gaming components being excactly my taste, means that they tap into a theme I particularly enjoy and will have a good time with, even before I expirience the particular gaming mechanics. This is highly dependent on gaming components being beautiful.


Gaia Project so far fails miserably in all three categories (in category 3, because it fails 1&2). Gaia project's components don't just fail normally, but fail miserably in the easily graspable department, because information is not just badly presented, but because all the asymmetry and lack of shape consistency make it painfull (in contrast to joyfull or indifferent) to look at these boards.

This is not just simply gameplay trumps aesthetics. If this game remains this way, even if the mechanics are genius, it completely fails on the level of a physical product that relies on visuals to be usable.

I know some people only care about the "hard mechanics" and would be happy with games devoid of any artwork only consisting of black and white letters and numbers. Yet this is a very small percentage of the gaming population and I would argue that a game with development costs of this game, would miserably fail even if all these people bought in (and let's face it, these people typically don't drop >70€ on a single game).

I really hope Feuerland does change this game, because I'm not sure it's even profitable this way or in any way shape or form has the potential of not damaging the brand.
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Katharina Schrempf
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I already have passed on games that I heard are mechanically good, but I found the art so off-putting that I couldn't look past it. It is the same here.

There are so many good games around, especially the last year and this year, that it isn't enough anymore to concentrate solely on the gameplay. I have so many choices, I can easily pass on this because of the art. There are other games around that have good gameplay and a beautiful presentation.

And I don't buy the 'we can't put more art on the board because then people would complain it was too overloaded.'
No. You can find a balance between information and art presentation. A good illustrator can find this balance.
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Shaun Cooley
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I dig the box art.

Player boards could use some work though.
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Robert
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I had always wondered about the plethora of mediocre-to-bad games published each year, which seemingly still find buyers - of course based on my own value system for games which is around 75% game play, 15% component quality and 10% looks.

But then I realized that there are plenty of people with a completely different value system for games:
1) "game amateurs" who buy games not because they are good, but because they look good - and may decide on just the box art
2) "collectors" who buy games not because they are good, but because they look good in their collection
3) "connoisseurs" who value art over game play (which I seem to find in this thread - who would have expected so many art lovers on BGG? )

I would be surprised if the evaluation of "looks good" for group 1) and group 3) match.

From a publisher point of view, I guess that the non-buyers from group 3) are less relevant than the buyers from group 1), so if the art is "good enough" for those like me who consider art as an afterthought for a game, and appeals to group 1), then it means sales are good.

All in all, the art and design of this game is definitely good enough for me, and if others pass on the game because of its art, it's their loss.
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Lari Rissanen
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I like the hand-drawn box art with it's slightly skewed perspective. It's very charming. The board pieces themselves are also good. The only thing that they need to improve on for me are the player boards. Rather than the art though (although consistency in the shapes on the board would make it look a lot better), they need to think about the layout and make it less busy.
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Tilou
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DocCool wrote:

All in all, the art and design of this game is definitely good enough for me, and if others pass on the game because of its art, it's their loss.


No. And there are more "categories". In fact there are no categories.
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BG.EXE
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Yep. That comment falls right back into the elitist mindset of somehow being better than someone else who doesn't like the art.

You don't have to be a "filthy casual" to like good art in games.
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Tony Go
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There is a misconception growing here that people who don't like the artwork of this game don't want to support it. Rather it's really the opposite- Those of use showing resistance to the art do so because we really want the game to be the best it can be. Otherwise, the normal course of action is to just move on to the next game. Thousands of games get skipped over for reasons more minor than presentation. When people are this vocal about a part of a game, it's because there's a level of engagement, not entitlement.
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Łukasz Małecki
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What's growing here is mainly a huge debate based on a blurry, low resulotion image of a prototype component.
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Tilou
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rednar wrote:
What's growing here is mainly a huge debate based on a blurry, low resulotion image of a prototype component.


The cover is no protoptype and is not blurry.
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Chris Ruf
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Horror Leader wrote:
There is a misconception growing here that people who don't like the artwork of this game don't want to support it. Rather it's really the opposite- Those of use showing resistance to the art do so because we really want the game to be the best it can be. Otherwise, the normal course of action is to just move on to the next game. Thousands of games get skipped over for reasons more minor than presentation. When people are this vocal about a part of a game, it's because there's a level of engagement, not entitlement.


Hit the nail on the head my friend!
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Łukasz Małecki
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tilouboy wrote:
rednar wrote:
What's growing here is mainly a huge debate based on a blurry, low resulotion image of a prototype component.


The cover is no protoptype and is not blurry.


Well if you're ready to pass on a game because of its cover then I think it's not the game you're interested in. But to each their own I guess.
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