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Subject: That art is IMO... rss

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Bartosz Popow
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The art is bad to an extent that I don't know whether my play group will want to play it with me. My friends and family are clever, they will understand the game. But they are not geeks, they don't care it's the same old Terra Mystica, but better. They don't care how good it is. When they point their finger it needs to attract.
 
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Łukasz Małecki
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CasualToast wrote:
I think people are getting really hung up on the art when it's the graphic design that's the real stinker.



If you look ONLY at the character image the art is fine. But this image taken as a whole is one of the worst images of a board game component I've seen in years. It belongs on a list mocking failed kickstarters.

If the artist on this game is not also the graphic designer then I agree he deserves a bit of a pass and the witch hunt should redirect its anger.

I'm looking at a later version of this player board right not (not sure if final) and it's crisper, more detailed, has additional textures. the layout and design is still the same, but it looks WAY better. Like it has been already said, you're judging the game's art on a prototype component (and a low resolution, blurry shot). Waiting for the publisher to upload the final files seems like a wiser idea.

(And no, I can't share the artwork, sorry.)
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Christopher Grace
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CasualToast wrote:
I think people are getting really hung up on the art when it's the graphic design that's the real stinker.



If you look ONLY at the character image the art is fine. But this image taken as a whole is one of the worst images of a board game component I've seen in years. It belongs on a list mocking failed kickstarters.

If the artist on this game is not also the graphic designer then I agree he deserves a bit of a pass and the witch hunt should redirect its anger.

Perhaps the best point thus far. We're making too many assumptions about who is to blame. Dennis's pedigree speaks for itself. I suspect someone else was put in charge of taking that artwork and melding it together into the player boards as we see them now.

It's super troubling to me that the publisher would speak out against feedback the way Frank has here. Makes me appreciate Jamey Stegmaier all the more.
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rednar wrote:
CasualToast wrote:
I think people are getting really hung up on the art when it's the graphic design that's the real stinker.



If you look ONLY at the character image the art is fine. But this image taken as a whole is one of the worst images of a board game component I've seen in years. It belongs on a list mocking failed kickstarters.

If the artist on this game is not also the graphic designer then I agree he deserves a bit of a pass and the witch hunt should redirect its anger.

I'm looking at a later version of this player board right not (not sure if final) and it's crisper, more detailed, has additional textures. the layout and design is still the same, but it looks WAY better. Like it has been already said, you're judging the game's art on a prototype component (and a low resolution, blurry shot). Waiting for the publisher to upload the final files seems like a wiser idea.

(And no, I can't share the artwork, sorry.)

Don't you think a reply like "This is only a prototype. Please wait for the final version before providing comments!" will be nice on this thread? Instead the designer chose to defend the artist.. (Again, I'd blame Roxley for raising the bar)

I believe most of the users here weren't looking for arguments. A simple reply will suffice..
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BG.EXE
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krztoff wrote:
It's super troubling to me that the publisher would speak out against feedback the way Frank has here. Makes me appreciate Jamey Stegmaier all the more.

And the Brass developers, and Isaac Childres, and the devs of Unfair, and [truncated] the list is way too long really. There are lots of companies providing excellent customer service. At worst, most are neutral. I can think of a few that are intentionally belligerent to customers.

From a business perspective, lashing out at concerned customers is also really great advice for "how to lose sales". Someone else here said it best; people aren't voicing their concerns because they hate this game and hope it fails. They're doing the opposite. People want to love this game and obviously a decent portion of people have found the "visual design"* to be a problem.

After seeing that kind of behavior from the publisher? Sorry, but if you want to actively ignore customers and tell them their complaints aren't valid then we can take our business elsewhere. I don't expect you to stop printing, fire the designers and start over but at least respond gracefully to the fact there are quite a few concerned people. I wanted to love this game but after reading his post I opened up Amazon and bought Eclipse and Twilight Imperium. I'm set for life on big space games now. Gaia Project has lost my purchase because of the dev's behavior here.

* Art has been the word used and now some are splitting hairs about the word. It may be the graphical design, the layout, the art, the metal shields, etc. etc. The actual word used does not matter. The aggregate of all visual design factors is the problem and splitting hairs distracts the conversation away from the problem.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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rednar wrote:
I'm looking at a later version of this player board right not (not sure if final) and it's crisper, more detailed, has additional textures. the layout and design is still the same, but it looks WAY better. Like it has been already said, you're judging the game's art on a prototype component (and a low resolution, blurry shot). Waiting for the publisher to upload the final files seems like a wiser idea.

(And no, I can't share the artwork, sorry.)

What I'm not hearing is that there has been any dramatic change to the color palette which is... troubling.
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Big Tom Casual
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:


* Art has been the word used and now some are splitting hairs about the word. It may be the graphical design, the layout, the art, the metal shields, etc. etc. The actual word used does not matter. The aggregate of all visual design factors is the problem and splitting hairs distracts the conversation away from the problem.

Totally disagree on this. Graphic Design and Art are two completely distinct different things. You could change the art on that player board and only have changed 10% of that visual presentation.

If we're all going to 'constructively' freak out I think the publisher should know specifically what's bothering people. Distinguishing between design and art isn't splitting hairs, though I can appreciate the desire to not get bogged down in discussing the differences. Which, in hindsight, your post and now this response are really the only parts of this thread doing that :-)
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BG.EXE
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Mmmmmm okay I can agree on that. The previous page you mention that the character on the player board looks good and I agree there too. All the brown and black areas though, and all the icons floating within them, maaaaaaaaaybe excluding the planets, could use some real re-work though.
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Łukasz Małecki
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NuMystic wrote:
What I'm not hearing is that there has been any dramatic change to the color palette which is... troubling.

Maybe it's not clear for somebody who didn't playtest the game, but the palette depends on the faction (this is the brown one, obviously) and is dominated by the faction's color. And it's not the best one, admittedly - for example blue one looks a lot better. Still, I think it would be sensible to wait for some official art uploads.

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What I would suggest for the playerboards is to bring back the "colour wheel" like on the original Terra Mystica playerboard (where the faction picture is surrounded by all the terrain types). IMO, it looked REALLY nice.

I'm also hoping the boards will be indented like in Scythe.
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Kain
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nan3000 wrote:

Of course you do not have to like it, but would you speak in such an offensive manner to your friends & family if you do not like something they did? If you don't, then I kindly ask you to show some courtesy to Dennis as well.
If my friends or family ended up working on a project I was passionate about and had genuine invested interest? Yes. Absolutely.

Dennis has an aggressively dated art style. Its not insulting to say it's genuinely impressive he finds work with such beginner skillsets as I know handful of artists that can't and understand color theory and dimension far better. I have to assume it's some sort of nepotism.
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rednar wrote:
NuMystic wrote:
What I'm not hearing is that there has been any dramatic change to the color palette which is... troubling.

Maybe it's not clear for somebody who didn't playtest the game, but the palette depends on the faction (this is the brown one, obviously) and is dominated by the faction's color. And it's not the best one, admittedly - for example blue one looks a lot better. Still, I think it would be sensible to wait for some official art uploads.


I'm talking about way more than the faction color.
 
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Dark63 wrote:


Dennis has an aggressively dated art style. Its not insulting to say it's genuinely impressive he finds work with such beginner skillsets as I know handful of artists that can't and understand color theory and dimension far better. I have to assume it's some sort of nepotism.

You can't tell the difference between skills and personal style, can you ?
While I think that the aesthetics at Gaia Project is a failure , Dennis has done excellent job in many games.
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A Huynh
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S0laris wrote:
Dark63 wrote:


Dennis has an aggressively dated art style. Its not insulting to say it's genuinely impressive he finds work with such beginner skillsets as I know handful of artists that can't and understand color theory and dimension far better. I have to assume it's some sort of nepotism.

You can't tell the difference between skills and personal style, can you ?
While I think that the aesthetics at Gaia Project is a failure , Dennis has done excellent job in many games.

Yeah seriously what a totally off base statement ... Dennis has done art for many of the best looking games in my collection: Voyages of Marco Polo, Village, Terra Mystica, Feast for Odin and Glass Road to name a few.
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S0laris wrote:
Dark63 wrote:


Dennis has an aggressively dated art style. Its not insulting to say it's genuinely impressive he finds work with such beginner skillsets as I know handful of artists that can't and understand color theory and dimension far better. I have to assume it's some sort of nepotism.

You can't tell the difference between skills and personal style, can you ?
While I think that the aesthetics at Gaia Project is a failure , Dennis has done excellent job in many games.

Let's not derail the discussion. OP meant to grasp the attention of the designer/publisher regarding the presentation of the game. The designer had already noted the issue and that's the most important thing here.

Dennis maybe a great artist but then some of us here found the style and design don't seem to fit the game. Nothing wrong with his skill and personality.
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Bojan Brankov
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SickSoSick wrote:
What I would suggest for the playerboards is to bring back the "colour wheel" like on the original Terra Mystica playerboard (where the faction picture is surrounded by all the terrain types). IMO, it looked REALLY nice.

I'm also hoping the boards will be indented like in Scythe.

Indentation would be cool, but unlike some other games, I never had a problems with player boards in Terra Mystica.

As for color wheel, it won't work in Gaia because terraformation is abstract, planets retain their color and you can only terraform to your planet, not partially.
 
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krztoff wrote:
It's super troubling to me that the publisher would speak out against feedback the way Frank has here. Makes me appreciate Jamey Stegmaier all the more.

It super troubles you that I have a problem when people tell Dennis and me we should be ashamed, after we spend so much time and dedication on it?
It super troubles you when I have a problem with piss poor art and activly repulsive?

No, I do not have a problem with feedback. We could not do a single game without feedback. But I have a problem with being rude, especially behind the curtain of a web forum. But if you find the above language appropriate, well then we just have a different opinion on human interaction.
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nan3000 wrote:
krztoff wrote:
It's super troubling to me that the publisher would speak out against feedback the way Frank has here. Makes me appreciate Jamey Stegmaier all the more.

It super troubles you that I have a problem when people tell Dennis and me we should be ashamed, after we spend so much time and dedication on it?
It super troubles you when I have a problem with piss poor art and activly repulsive?

No, I do not have a problem with feedback. We could not do a single game without feedback. But I have a problem with being rude, especially behind the curtain of a web forum. But if you find the above language appropriate, well then we just have a different opinion on human interaction.

And yet again...

I'm sorry about that.
 
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nan3000 wrote:
No, I do not have a problem with feedback.

The tone and tenor of your replies suggests otherwise Frank.

Regardless of how rude you feel some people have been, it's disconcerting that you're focusing exclusively on those examples while disregarding the many pages of constructive and respectful criticism the design work has received.

Instead of being so dismissive and defensive about how some of the feedback was framed perhaps you should take a step back and consider why it has stirred up such a passionate negative reaction in so many people.

Obviously taste is subjective and you can't please everyone all of the time but if you look across dozens of forthcoming game forums there are countless threads with overwhelmingly positive remarks about even unfinished prototype design work. You need to seriously consider why it is we're seeing exactly the opposite in this case, especially when it's a project you've invested so much time and effort in.

I've greatly enjoyed Dennis' work in other games so I'm hopeful that the final work in this one may look considerably better provided you don't discount all the people that are taking the time to offer sincere, respectful, and earnest feedback.
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BG.EXE
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Your bar for rude is pretty low. I can agree that "piss poor" is borderline rude because of the light cursing but repulsive is a word from physics meaning "to repel". As in, it drives things away. Which is now what your demeanor is doing.
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nan3000 wrote:
krztoff wrote:
It's super troubling to me that the publisher would speak out against feedback the way Frank has here. Makes me appreciate Jamey Stegmaier all the more.

It super troubles you that I have a problem when people tell Dennis and me we should be ashamed, after we spend so much time and dedication on it?
It super troubles you when I have a problem with piss poor art and activly repulsive?

No, I do not have a problem with feedback. We could not do a single game without feedback. But I have a problem with being rude, especially behind the curtain of a web forum. But if you find the above language appropriate, well then we just have a different opinion on human interaction.

It's troubling to me that you said earlier in the thread that you, or your company at least, realized that Dennis's style wasn't going to be a great match for the theme, yet insisted on using him anyway for the sake of game continuity.
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Andy G
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this was an insta-auto-buy for me after reading impressions from playtesters... but then I've seen the artwork.
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Frank Heeren
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NuMystic wrote:
I've greatly enjoyed Dennis' work in other games so I'm hopeful that the final work in this one may look considerably better provided you don't discount all the people that are taking the time to offer sincere, respectful, and earnest feedback.

I'm very happy for sincere, respectful, and earnest feedback! As I said before, if I wasn't listen to feedback, we could not have finished a single game. And I apologize if I have sounded otherwise.
But the key word here is respectful, and some replies have crossed a border for me. But it's time to move on, I have to ruin some other games laugh
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Big Tom Casual
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I would like to emphasize for franks peace of mind that the 'piss poor' comment wasn't directed at this particular game. That was part of a response to the discussion about whether visual design criticism is a legitimate discussion to have or if somehow people expressing dislike for visual design means they don't appreciate or somehow don't value good gameplay. The dialog had sort of splintered into a broader more abstract debate.

I can see how someone with an emotional connection to the situation would have taken all of that as a direct and hurtful statement toward them and theirs though, so I absolutely apologize for the intensity of the language. Poorly worded, and I don't defend my wording. Please be at peace on that statement- even if it reads otherwise let it be clear now that it was NOT directed at this title.

For the record I think the actual art is nice, it has its own sort of pulp feel that I enjoy. I AM however very very interested to see how the graphic design of that board has evolved because I do have significant reservations about that area of the presentation.

Also please remember that the Internet is a place of hilarious hyperbole. Don't let it get under your skin -- you're creating games and doing what you love, don't let people's online venting stir you up. But behind the hyperbole are your customers, so do take away from what they are saying and realise that even with the too-much language their concerns may be valid. in this context you're not just another one of the masses and are going to be held to a different standard. You're here conducting business, working. Get your PR on!
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Christopher Grace
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nan3000 wrote:
[q="NuMystic"]II have to ruin some other games laugh

That's the spirit, Champ!

It's going to feel very vindicating when this hits reviewers' hands. Maybe we can revisit this thread when that happens for an emotional reunion of sorts?
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