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Subject: [Retheme] [WIP] My Little Dominion rss

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Artur Szpot
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Hey look, a pony!
Smile :)
Hello all pony fans! And greetings to those others who decided to check the thread out as well, all are welcome.

Apparently my coming has been prophesied: Rule 85 tells it all. Yes, we're talking My Little Pony meets Dominion.


To be honest, it all started a few months ago, during a game of My Little Pony: Collectible Card Game. I've never been a huge fan of CCGs, TCGs, what have you, but throughout the years my need for putting ponies wherever possible has not waned a bit. After ponifying Völuspá, Decktet and Hive (as of yet not shared at BGG) I wanted something even more satisfying. And by satisfying I mean having a lot of big colorful pictures. For a few days I've looked for a promising candidate among games owned, wanted and unknown alike, with no sensible results.

Enter the pauper's light bulb: random Google search. Dominion ... any retheme ideas? - and specifically the first item featured, provided me with the perfect candidate: thousands of card to work with, with not-so-much text (leaving plenty of space for pictures) and all tied to a fantastic game... I knew my destiny at that moment.

Before I go on, I need to make clear my approach to theme in board games - and specifically, in retheming said games. While in some rare instances theme really takes the game to a new level, more often than not it's more of a flavor added onto what would otherwise be an abstract game. It's great when the theme fits every detail snugly, but if I had to choose, I'd pick a glitch in theme over abuse of an underlying rule ten times out of ten.

With the above in mind, I'd hope my decision to just wing it as far as the game's goal can be justified and understood. If not to all, it sure is to me.

But without further ado...

Let's start with the accursed basics:
Curse = Friendship Problem
Copper = Smile
Silver = Bit (i.e. a gold coin)
Gold = Gem
Estate = Friend
Duchy = Party
Province = Key Location

Those I've hardly touched as of yet. And yes, the aim of the game is to amass friends at parties in various locations known from the series, using smiles and various currency to achieve this noble goal... which surprisingly makes some sense after all. Again, not that big of a deal whether it does or not.

Just to give you a hint of the cards' layout:

Similarly to the original, I'm trying to keep Treasures, Victory cards, reactions and actions easily discernible by using varied styles for the top section:

The best part? The amount of space available for images. Because if you thought there's a few dozen pictures in every Dominion set, I've got news for you: there's hundreds! Below is just a single example of a set of cards - which might yet grow, mind you - from which I'll have to cull just 10 that will make it to printing stage.

The abundance of a certain lavender pony in the above examples is not a coincidence -- nor is it due to Twilight being the best pony. The latter might have influenced the decision to theme the basic Dominion set after her, however.

That's right, I intend to connect the sets with main characters. It's a great exercise in understanding the depth of each of them... and in a way that lets the cards' titles & functions actually fit together

I'm having a blast playing with the graphics as well, like three-dee-fying the cards: (I intend to make quite a few of those)

Another experiment is to completely forgo the background in top and bottom parts of the cards - and while the effect is rather satisfying, it's also very rarely viable, and sadly crashes with the whole "discernibility" point made earlier.

In closing...

A week hence, I will have been at it for three months. I've hardly went over a fifth - maybe a fourth part of available material, and already I'm sitting at more than 2.500 frames captured and nearly 400 used as card images, in many cases already with a good margin to be trimmed, as illustrated above.

Expectations? I would like to be able to finish any ten cards from the basic set, if not the whole thing, before summer's end. The probability is low, but even if I fail, the journey itself is providing me with a lot of joy. And I just know that once finished - if ever - this will be one of my most satisfying achievements.

Have a nice day everybody, and thanks for dropping by laugh
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Artur Szpot
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Hey look, a pony!
Smile :)
Aha! In a short space of 9 months since the project begun, I am moving to the closing stages for parts 1 and 2 - Dominion (Twilight Sparkle) and Intrigue (Rainbow Dash). The latter has a teensy bit more image collection to be done, so it will follow shortly (aka at latest in a few months laugh).

As there is 10 copies of every Kingdom card in the game (with some exceptions, yes), I now have to trim down the possibilities created thus far. There are so many great shots to choose from that I don't think the search will ever truly be complete - especially as long as more episodes are coming out, and that should never stop. I am fully aware and ok with the fact that I will desire some new images over those chosen at present - I will just have to prepare, print and replace them. Easy as pie.

I haven't yet chosen my own picks, and I won't be swayed by any community vote, but if someone would like a go at it, the images are neatly numbered to refer to choices. The ordering is chaotic at times, I know that - there's nothing to it, just the way they were created. Once the final product is ready, I may be coerced into preparing files with different choices than my own however, should there be any interest in such.

As for the aforementioned 3D-fying, that is a stop down the line as well. After I choose which pictures to keep, I'll scour them for possible and appropriate "corrections" -- and, well, apply them.

Another topic entirely are the basic cards (ugh). There's a lot of work to be done there, so I'm through with setting any deadlines. I am going to work on them though, no doubt about it!

Here's a list of the cards and links to the choice-related images:

Artisan = Element of Magic
Bandit = Pent-up anger
Bureaucrat = BBBFF
Cellar = Dragon mail
Chapel = Book
Council room = Exhausting studies
Festival = Number One Assistant
Gardens = Magic of friendship
Harbinger = Starswirl the Bearded
Laboratory = Bookworm
Library = Library (surprise!)
Market = Owlicious
Merchant = Dress like a Princess
Militia = Outburst of frustration
Mine = Friendship report
Moat = Magic barrier
Moneylender = Scientific research
Poacher = Powerful spell
Remodel = Transmogrify (yes, I know there's a card named that way in Adventures)
Sentry = Future Twilight
Smithy = Careful studies
Throne room = Freakout
Vassal = Flying lessons
Village = Checklist
Witch = Severe mental distress
Workshop = Mentor's attention

When choosing the titles for these cards, I follow a few guidelines. I try to explore the depth of each character and make the name of the card fit its effects (I can justify most if not all of my choices, yes). Only when there appear significant troubles with finding appropriate shots do I consider changing them.

I wanted to include Teleportation at first, but it's impossible to make it work with a single image - you'd need a moving picture to illustrate that. I'm still amazed that Transmogrify managed to work.

Book was supposed to be Masterful organization, because that's an important part of Twilight's character, but again - finding images for that was very difficult. I had five, and didn't like all of them.

Another funny story was with Starswirl - I had the card flagged as 'ready'... and then Season 7 happened. Yeah, that's how long this has been in the works laugh

If there are any questions, or any other form of interest, I'll be glad to hear it. Otherwise, expect another rambling post at an unexpected date, either with the final batch of Dominion cards, or with a post similar to this one about Intrigue.

Until then, stay friendly!
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