We got this game for Christmas. I like the art on the tiles, and felt a bit frustrated that we weren't given the names for all the places shown. It doesn't affect gameplay, but it would be nice to know their names. I wrote Fantasy Flight with a list of my guesses, and they said "Believe it or not, there is no 'official' designation to any of those district tiles. Your naming convention seems as logical as any other."
That was mildly frustrating, but I still liked dealing with them. Our copy of the game had two copies of the cardboard tile sheet #6, and none of #1, and FFG's customer support was very quick in providing a replacement -- much more important than the name question.
Still, I wanted to know, so I wrote Tobias Mannewitz, the artist who did the tile art, and he was gracious enough to respond, giving some corrections and comments to my guesses.
So here is a semi-official list of names of the tiles. The names not mentioned in the rules are underlined; Tobias' comments are in italics:
1 - Palace
2 - Cathedral
3 - Wizard's Manse (*Evil* wizard's manse )
4 - Graveyard
5 - Marketplace
6 - Garrison
7 - Prison
8 - Tourney Grounds
9 - Sorceress' Tower
10 - King's Gate
0 - Pub
1 - House (Correct, but more in the sense of slum houses)
2 - Shops ("Commercial district", so to say)
3 - Barracks
4 - Manor (Yupp. Upperclass housing)
5 - Keep (Can't remember it's name, but, yeah, seems to be a keep)
The new names above are my own guesses, with two exceptions that Tobias corrected: I called District #2 "Inn" instead of "Shops", and Location #10 "City Gates" instead of "King's Gate" (D'oh! Of course...) So they may not be the "real" names, but are probably close enough.
Finally, with permission, here are Tobias's notes:
We [Marko Djurdjevic and I] shared the work on this game: I did all the tiles, and Marko did the box cover art. We also collaborated on Atlanteon (he did most of the drawings, I did most of the colorwork), maybe you know this game, too.
I spent many hours on these tiles, since digital painting -- that makes illustrators' life much easier today -- wasn't really on my agenda back then. Looking back at my old work, I can see some problems. If I had to redo them nowadays, I would have cared more about clear readability of the various buildings. I had also lowered the detail grade (I didn't know the tiles would become THAT small!), but had payed more accuracy on silhouette an colors, to achieve instant recognizability. Also, I didn't know that FFG was to put these huge shields on each tile. If I had known, I would have tried to avoid any overlappings. But, nevermind...
King's Gate was actually one of my first works in the field of illustration, so there was certainly a little lack of experience. The idea of creating a fitting "city texture", on which the several buildings can be put, was mine, and I still like it.
Rio de Janeiro
Thanks a lot for posting it! I was also a little bothered by not knowing the names and had thought of asking FFG. Really nice!
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Yes, I really am that awesome.
Nifty. I just got my first play the other day, and it's interesting to hear the artist's take on what went wrong. If you look at the tiles up close, the artwork is pretty neat - but put it all together and it's awful, maybe the worst graphic design of any game I own. Somebody at FFG should have noticed what a train wreck it was and made it go through a redesign before it went to the printer.
ceci n'est pas une pipe
Thanks, Barliman, for working to revive interest in this sad flop of a game. I think it has potential, maybe it would be as good a game as Samurai, or Through The Desert, if given decent production. I can't separate the design and production of a game from the mechanics. for me a satisfying experience has to involve both.
It is possible that the masks and icons by Barliman will make a pretty good fix to this game.