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Subject: The Queen Games' Wabash Cannonball artwork is simply beautiful! rss

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John Bohrer
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Some folks have asked me about the artwork that Queen Games will have for Wabash Cannonball. Well, they have been working on it since last May and I have now seen the final artwork. It is just gorgeous. The gameboard is larger and beautifully done, with small painted vignettes in each city. Each railroad's Stock uses art from actual stock certificates and it is quite fetching. Queen also adds Charters for each railroad, very attractive and quite useful. The Box art itself is just marvelous, a fabulous painting by a talented artist, with every detail correct.

I am delighted with Queen's artwork and I expect that it will set a new standard for train games. Bravo!!
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hi,

and there are the pictures?
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Eric Knauer
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Quote:
though I never much of a problem with the original art


I think it's a bit of a stretch to call this map "art". yuk


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Sounds great, looking forward to seeing some preview pictures and I can't wait to buy the new version.
 
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J C Lawrence
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eknauer wrote:
I think it's a bit of a stretch to call this map "art".


Disagreed.
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Michael Longdin
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John Bohrer wrote:
I am delighted with Queen's artwork and I expect that it will set a new standard for train games. Bravo!!

So will Winsome be adopting this standard for train games in future
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John Bohrer
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Not likely, Mike, with an engineer using schematic capture software on a steam powered Macintosh. laugh
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100%Blade wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
I am delighted with Queen's artwork and I expect that it will set a new standard for train games. Bravo!!

So will Winsome be adopting this standard for train games in future


Sure they will, if you are volunteering to cover the costs.
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BrenoK wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
Not likely, Mike, with an engineer using schematic capture software on a steam powered Macintosh. laugh


I remember seeing some good-looking (or better-looking) home-made versions of Winsome games here on BGG. Don't you guys think you would manage to find a volunteer to make the games look better?

It seems that John and some of his customers (clearclaw, cortexbomb to name a few) like the spartan look. So the question is: Would going through the trouble of finding a volunteer graphic designer and paying more for printing (more colors) net Winsome games more sales? I think the answer must be "no". The print runs are small already and they sell out ok (by all appearances anyhow).

Now what I'd like to see is Winsome games adding an option of buying the game files for a discount and not sending the customer any physical items. I would pay for the option to download all the files for Pampas Railroads say, and then make up my own copy. I'd almost certainly improve the graphics (from my point of view) before printing, and then play the games with my friends.
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Michael Webb
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Printing costs would actually be identical for a more colourful board...as Winsome already uses colour, they are already paying for small scale digital or 4 colour plates, it doesn't have anything to do with that.

I think it's simply the latter part of your point: there is no financial motive. Existing Winsome customers know what to expect, and some of us, yes, do think minimalism is good (or at least preferable to the opposite end of the spectrum: garish, which seems to be a design aesthetic in board games right now).

It's not as though I would stop buying Winsome games if John decided to change the art. In the case of the Age of Steam maps, I could see it actually making sense to do so, if only to match up with the existing design aesthetic, but I don't see any real reason to do so either. He has no problem selling through what he produces now, and by all accounts, is slightly overwhelmed by the demand that the Essen set has this year (as a result of opening up the print run and filling orders outside of Essen).

I don't think it makes any sense for John to sell digital files. The financial gains would be scant, and people who want to upgrade their games already have the option of doing so. There might be a few people who want to upgrade the games but refuse to buy the originals at full price, but I would have to imagine that that is a tiny, tiny minority of of an already niche group.

In essence: Winsome customers know who they are. Winsome knows who their customers are. I think both are pretty happy with the status quo. Games that have a broader appeal, like TransAmerica or Wabash seem to end up licensed out, and hence, everyone wins in the end. People like myself who are perfectly content with the existing game keep theirs, those who want something with a more colourful board or bits buy the new licensed one.
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CortexBomb wrote:
I don't think it makes any sense for John to sell digital files. The financial gains would be scant, and people who want to upgrade their games already have the option of doing so. There might be a few people who want to upgrade the games but refuse to buy the originals at full price, but I would have to imagine that that is a tiny, tiny minority of of an already niche group.

I'm part of tiny minority. I'll accept that. But all the people who made new versions of the board and stock certificates for Wabash are using the rules and cubes from their original purchase. Seems like those people would have been better served by just getting the digital copy since they were going to replace the bits anyhow. Right now it's Cheapass Games component quality with big publisher prices. So perhaps people like me, who love nice looking bits and boards are a minority, but I'd pay $15-20 for a digital copy of Wabash, but I won't pay $40 for it when I'd only use the cubes and rules and I've got extra cubes already.
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spearjr wrote:
But all the people who made new versions of the board and stock certificates for Wabash are using the rules and cubes from their original purchase.


The total world-wide printrun for Wabash Cannonball is on the order of 300 copies (probably less). (Remember: The initial print run was 80 copies, as is traditional for Winsome Essen Releases.) I know of 5 people who have drawn their own maps. I presume they have distributed copies to friends. At a rough guess ~20 people are using third party maps with Wabash Cannonball. I suspect that a little less than the same 20 who are using third party maps are using replacement shares. I wager that less than half are using the original game money.

Quote:
Seems like those people would have been better served by just getting the digital copy since they were going to replace the bits anyhow.


Printing a replacement map requires either access to a large format colour printer or the willingness to assemble a map from smaller sheets. That is a considerable up-front barrier to entry. This is as different from someone (with such access) giving extra copies out to friends who also have the game (much as Ted did). There the barrier to entry has already been crossed with the initial purchase.

Quote:
Right now it's Cheapass Games component quality with big publisher prices.


You are comparing apples and watermelons. Winsome Games are a micro-boutique publisher on the fringes of a boutique bobby.

Cheapass didn't laminate their boards or provide bits. Winsome Games does both. Winsome Game's prices are also entirely inline with other publishers operating at similar volumes. Due to their small size they cannot afford the economies of scale of the larger publishers. Frankly, I am surprised that Winsome Games' products do not cost more.

Quote:
So perhaps people like me, who love nice looking bits and boards are a minority, but I'd pay $15-20 for a digital copy of Wabash, but I won't pay $40 for it when I'd only use the cubes and rules and I've got extra cubes already.


No, I don't think your preference is a minority. Within the market for Winsome games your insistence may be. More simply however it is likely irrelevant. All the Winsome print runs sell out very quickly -- ie demand is actually higher than production -- and current volume is near the limit for an operation of that size. In short, Winsome Games is at a happy spot.
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clearclaw wrote:
and current volume is near the limit for an operation of that size.

That is a fact. I am glad I set a Sept 15 cutoff for US Essen Sets ordered directly from Winsome Games. The volume is more than twice what I expected.

We are sending out the games early, just to make sure that those folks who sent a US Postal Money Order get their set in case my plane goes down in the Atlantic on my way to Essen. It also helps with the space limitations here.

I will be leaving Essen early this year, just to get back and crank out all those Paypal & Foreign order 2008 Sets JC is getting at his website. Remember, JC, 100 sets maximum, OK?

meeple
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It's refreshing to see a publisher support those of us in the secondary market by restricting their own sales!
 
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LEHaskell wrote:

My only beef was with the paper money -- which was dropped in favor of poker chips. Will the Queen edition continue to use paper money or some sort of token for cash?


It will still be paper money - no tokens or chips
 
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The new box artwork is posted at boardgamenews.com
http://www.boardgamenews.com/index.php/boardgamenews/comment...

The cover is nice, but a little dull. Did Michael Menzel (Pillars of the Earth, Stone Age, Cuba, etc.) do the board artwork too? That would be good news because his have been some of the most beautiful boards I've seen.
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clearclaw wrote:
eknauer wrote:
I think it's a bit of a stretch to call this map "art".


Disagreed.



JC, you might could argue that the board is functional, or serves its purpose, or is "delightlfully spartan in terms of the balance and equilibrium introduced into perceptory gaming experiences", but art...it ain't.

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franklincobb wrote:
JC, you might could argue that the board is functional, or serves its purpose, or is "delightlfully spartan in terms of the balance and equilibrium introduced into perceptory gaming experiences", but art...it ain't.


I consider the Winsome Games version of the map/board to be art.
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franklincobb wrote:


JC, you might could argue that the board is functional, or serves its purpose, or is "delightlfully spartan in terms of the balance and equilibrium introduced into perceptory gaming experiences", but art...it ain't.



Sadly for you, FC, the only person whose authority matters with regard to what is art is the beholder. But go ahead and lord it over yourself, in that regard--it's your prerogative.
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MisterCranky wrote:
franklincobb wrote:


JC, you might could argue that the board is functional, or serves its purpose, or is "delightlfully spartan in terms of the balance and equilibrium introduced into perceptory gaming experiences", but art...it ain't.



Sadly for you, FC, the only person whose authority matters with regard to what is art is the beholder. But go ahead and lord it over yourself, in that regard--it's your prerogative.




Hey Cranky, feel free to tour it around the museums, nationwide. Maybe I'll find a few fellow "beholders" and feel so much better about myself. I'm sure I could use the boost.


Never said that it not being "art" meant anything other than...it's not 'art'. I'm sure it's perfectly functional, yeah. And by the creator's own admission it's the efforts of one man on a "steam-powered Mac." It's a plain grid with some colors on it. It does its job well, I'm sure. There are plenty of fun games out there that do not qualify as art, right?

Or are games we enjoy granted Messiah status? I missed the memo.


It's not criticism to call something functional and not declare it art. But...uh...knock yourself out anyway, both of you.



 
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eknauer wrote:
Quote:
though I never much of a problem with the original art


I think it's a bit of a stretch to call this map "art". yuk




I hope that's only a play test version.. that my friends, is what in the 21st century is considered fugly. It would be serviceable if it were produced by a mom-and-pop game company from perhaps 1978, the kind that put a tiny add in the back of Dragon magazine. Right next to the stuff envelopes at home advertisement.

(Edited for typo.)
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franklincobb wrote:
It's not criticism to call something functional and not declare it art. But...uh...knock yourself out anyway, both of you.


I'm sure if you stuck it on a pedestal and gave it a title like "Fish Out Of Water" then it would be art; but until somebody does something creative with it, I have to sit on FC's side of the fence (albeit full of FATties over there).
 
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LordBobbio wrote:
I hope that's only a play test version.. that my friends, is what in the 21st century is considered fugly. It would be serviceable if it were produced by a mom-and-pop game company from perhaps 1978, the kind that put a tiny add in the back of Dragon magazine. Right next to the stuff envelopes at home advertisement.
Nope that is what Winsome games look like. Here's the game in it's official packaging:
 
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franklincobb wrote:
It's not criticism to call something functional and not declare it art. But...uh...knock yourself out anyway, both of you.

Accepting that the path to madness is to presume anything about Mr. Cranky's (or Clearclaw's for that matter) meaning, I interpret Cranky's statement as aggravation at the inherent condescenion in one person telling another what art is.

It's not unlike one gamer telling another that they have poor taste in games merely because that other gamer isn't ga-ga over Agricola.

Both assertions are stupid.

By the way, the Rio Grande website shows a little picture of the board for Chicago Express. It looks like the action tracks in Wabash have been converted into dials mounted directly to the board. Each train company has its own individual board to hold money and tracks. And the picture confirms what has been previously mentioned: the money is paper.
 
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franklincobb wrote:
Never said that it not being "art" meant anything other than...it's not 'art'. I'm sure it's perfectly functional, yeah.


I don't see functional as incompatible with art. Much art is very functional, such as the persian rug behind me. Curta calculators are also quite functional and are among the most beautiful machined objects I've ever seen.

Quote:
It's a plain grid with some colors on it.


So are Piet Mondrian's paintings.

LordBobbio wrote:
I hope that's only a play test version.. that my friends, is what in the 21st century is considered fugly.


It is pretty standard for Winsome Games products, albeit more colourful than most.

Quote:
It would be serviceable if it were produced by a mom-and-pop game company from perhaps 1978, the kind that put a tiny add in the back of Dragon magazine. Right next to the stuff envelopes at home advertisement.


Serviceability is not a function of vendor. Either something serves or it doesn't and in this case it serves (functions) quite well.

spearjr wrote:
Nope that is what Winsome games look like. Here's the game in it's official packaging:


I've come to like and even prefer the Winsome Games style of game production and packaging. They are light weight and pack densely compared to more typical German fare. 16 of the 29 games I played in the last month are Winsome games (discounting the electronic games of Clippers). The great quality and depth of the games makes this play rate even easier. This rate, this percentage of play (more than 75% of my playtime), is still increasing. There is so much left to discover.
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