Rory Groves
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My most recent project Hobby Farmer: The Board Game has a tile placement mechanic where the player scores points by pairing farm animals next to farm crops or habitats. For example, honeybees next to flowers (any side) yields 2 points:



More examples:




I am currently using dots and borders to denote matches (Animal tiles have dots and crop tiles have borders). I don't think this is user-friendly enough. People do not instinctively understand that dots pair with borders.

I am considering redesigning the tile symbols like this:






I thought I'd throw the question out there to other designers to see if there is a better way. Perhaps there is already an approach which is in common usage I can simply adopt?

Thanks for any input!
Rory
 
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Eric Vannoy
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grovesteadgames wrote:

I thought I'd throw the question out there to other designers to see if there is a better way.


The tabs seem a bit obtrusive, and you certainly don't want to encroach upon the art. I would work with the colored circles. The animals could have solid-filled circles. The crops/habitats could have circle outlines (rings) of the same color. So a player would be looking to pair up solid circles with outline circles.

No matter what you decide to go with, be sure to provide plenty of "air" aound the central artwork.

___
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Simon Aubrey
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I would not use a border on the crops but make the entire background the colour for that crop. Then on the animals i would use small squares (instead of dots) to denote the matching colours for that animal.
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Ronny Eftevåg
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If you use the tabs, you can assign slots for yellow, red, blu. (slide yellow right and blue left) When you match yellow bee with yellow flower, they acutally align.
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Rory Groves
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Theses are great suggestions, and I mostly concur. Can you point me to any examples in other games?
 
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Stig
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Borders, or if you could make it a part of the art itself.
Farms have fences right? You could have different colored fences/types even gates.
Good luck on the project, seems interesting topdown designs are fun
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