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Subject: new kind of Animeeples in production, need your help, free stuff rss

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Tyler Tinsley
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So I'm going to test the water with a newish kind of gaming product. seeing everyone's creative solutions to Agricola components i can tell there is a need for something a little nicer.

So I'm going to release a VERY cheap solution for this, but i need your help to know what the player base would like, at least two people who help will get a free Animeeples pack.

From my basic understanding these are the components people would like to replace.

5 family member discs
21 white cubes (sheep)
18 black cubes (wild boar)
15 brown cubes (cattle)

Also i have a very precise control over the final look of the Animeeples. So should I make them very realistic pieces or very cute?

Also are there pieces in the game that players don't like and would also like replaced? Also could someone give me good measurements on the disks and what kind of space is allowed on the board for the Animeeples.

thanks a bunch!


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Tim Harrison
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Plastic or wood?

I'd be careful. I know of at least two other companies doing the same.
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B C Z
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super... wrote:
So I'm going to test the water with a newish kind of gaming product. seeing everyone's creative solutions to Agricola components i can tell there is a need for something a little nicer.

So I'm going to release a VERY cheap solution for this, but i need your help to know what the player base would like, at least two people who help will get a free Animeeples pack.

From my basic understanding these are the components people would like to replace.

5 family member discs
21 white cubes (sheep)
18 black cubes (wild boar)
15 brown cubes (cattle)

Also i have a very precise control over the final look of the Animeeples. So should I make them very realistic pieces or very cute?

Also are there pieces in the game that players don't like and would also like replaced? Also could someone give me good measurements on the disks and what kind of space is allowed on the board for the Animeeples.

thanks a bunch!




It sounds like you don't own the game yet?

I don't have the answers you seek immediately handy, but I'm positive they've been asked in the past, so some searching might help you out.

Or measure your set, I'd think.

As said already, you aren't the only one trying to fill this need, and there's only so many games that have been purchased, and of those, only so many are willing to buy someone else's pimp pack.
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Mike Banks
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Sounds interesting!!

I, for one, am NOT in favor of replacing the family member discs -- as nice as some of the custom ones look, they can't easily stack & be moved to and fro like the discs can. Plus, the couple of sticker sets available suit my customization needs just fine -- I should add that both of these points also apply to the resource discs, IMHO.

Whereas, I would like very much to replace the standard 3/8" animal cubes with some sort of animeeples. My eyeball guess is that the maximum size they could be is approximately 5/8" long, 3/8" high, and 1/4" thick -- if I ever find the time, I might try to mock some up on my bandsaw (yeah right!)

Design-wise, I'm quite fond of the original pre-order ones, and rather less so of the aftermarket ones that are starting to show up lately -- especially the cow with its turned head perspective. The standard profile seems to be the way to go, I think -- and keeping the original color scheme intact would avoid needless confusion with the board's artwork.

I'm anxious to see what you come up with!

cool



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James Fung
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super... wrote:
5 family member discs

You'll have to replace them in 5 different colors and color match the existing ones or they won't match the stables and fences.

I would not go with plastic components; something half-wood, half-plastic does not sit well with me unless you go whole hog and revamp all the components so they stylistically fit together like here. As such, if you go wood, I don't think you can get much detail, so cute would be the way to go.
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Tyler Tinsley
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GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
Plastic or wood?

I'd be careful. I know of at least two other companies doing the same.


Thanks for the notice!

I heard a few others were taking a traditional approach, my approach is radically different. Even if it totally fails i will only be "out" a few days of work, i also plan on recycling some of the assets for a game I'm working on anyway.

I may have a solution for the resource counters, (if they need one) they would far more graphical

33 dark brown wood counters
27 light brown clay counters
15 white reed counters
18 grey stone counters
27 yellow grain counters
18 orange vegetable counters

Would it be helpful to cut down on the total number of pieces by including some resources in varying dominations (like one piece for three wood) or are the total resources limited by the piece count.
Any measurements on the size of the counters?

as some of you may have guessed i don't have a copy of the game.

Given the feed back so far I'm leaning toward a more realistic look for the pieces matching the cover art.

 
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Jed Hastwell
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Super... wrote:

Given the feed back so far I'm leaning toward a more realistic look for the pieces matching the cover art.


I would describe a lot of the graphic disign in the game as beeing 'cartoony' in style and would suggest considering approaching your designs from this perspective so as to fit closely with the existing graphics.
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robert cabrera
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The resources discs are 15mm x 4mm
Not sure about the farmer discs, but I am pretty sure they are an inch in diameter or about 25 mm
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Herb Petro
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super... wrote:

33 dark brown wood counters
27 light brown clay counters
15 white reed counters
18 grey stone counters
27 yellow grain counters
18 orange vegetable counters


That is correct, but don't forget the FOOD counters. They came as cardboard tokens!



super... wrote:
Would it be helpful to cut down on the total number of pieces by including some resources in varying dominations (like one piece for three wood) or are the total resources limited by the piece count.


The resources are NOT limited. There are cardboard counters in the game that represent higher quantities of the resources and food. Having at least the same number of single value tokens plus some multiple value tokens is necessary. Personally, I would just prefer to buy two sets of the single value tokens and dispense with the multiple value, if they are stackable in some way, otherwise the multiple value pieces are required.

super... wrote:
Given the feed back so far I'm leaning toward a more realistic look for the pieces matching the cover art.


There are always some who will disagree, but matching the style of the original game is generally the way to maximize appeal to the customer base.

badfish20 wrote:
The resources discs are 15mm x 4mm
Not sure about the farmer discs, but I am pretty sure they are an inch in diameter or about 25 mm

This is correct
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Herb Petro
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The bits counts are:

5 family member discs in each of the 5 player colors
4 stables in each of the 5 player colors
15 fences in each of the 5 player colors
33 dark brown wood counters
27 light brown clay counters
15 white reed counters
18 grey stone counters
27 yellow grain counters
18 orange vegetable counters
21 white cubes (sheep)
18 black cubes (wild boar)
15 brown cubes (cattle)
36 yellow food markers
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tim
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Get rid of all the cubes and disks. My opinion is that they should be replaced with something to better represent what it is. They can't look like they are homemade. They have to be better quality than the current mix of wood and cardboard.

You've got a tough task ahead. You should invest in the game before traveling to far down the path of mass producing bits for it.

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Todd
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Here's some ideas/thoughts I'd like to share.

1. Denominations

Denominations would be cool for the different building resources such as the stone, clay, reeds and wood. Food should have denomination resources as well. There's been a couple games with my boys where the wood really piles up or they are competing to see who can get the most of a particular resource and we've come close to running out before I broke out the multipliers.

-- OR --

The game provides some multiplication tiles with 3x, 4x and 5x which are either blank (4x) or have preprinted resources on them (food I think).

One thought I had is this: if you created stackable denomination chips, one color/style for 3x, 4x, and 5x and the chips had a indentation to put the resource in, that would be pretty cool. I'm thinking like the old A&A where you used chips to stack beneath the tank or soldier to represent another 1 or 5 of that type.

2. Resources

I saw on a different thread some different style cubes for different resources. Right now we have 2 shapes to use, disks for building materials and food, cubes for animals. It seems like you are going to create little animeeples, so the cubes go away. With the other resources, what are your thoughts on those?

black/gray cube = stone
light brown rectangle = clay
dark brown sticks = wood
white sticks = reed
yellow ??? = grain
orange ??? = veggies

3. People

I agree with an earlier poster about being able to stack the people disks. If you create little people, they would have to be able to fit 2 into a 1" to 1.25" square (i.e. a room in the house). I don't have the specific dimensions at the moment.

4. Misc

There is a start player marker that is currently a yellow cylinder which I've seen some people swap out for some kids play farmer or some such.

Final thoughts:

It looks like Mayday games will eventually produce a full replacement "pimp" kit and they seem to be your major competition besides the official animeeples which will be sold later this year. If you are serious, hopefully you can start to post some idea pictures to get people excited. I'm eyeballing the Mayday set but I'm waiting until I see how they are doing the farmers, resources, etc.

I think this is a great idea and love to see different ideas and have more choices.

I don't know how tech savvy you are but if you need help getting a website together, let me know.

Maus
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David Tolin
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Maus wrote:
I agree with an earlier poster about being able to stack the people disks. If you create little people, they would have to be able to fit 2 into a 1" to 1.25" square (i.e. a room in the house). I don't have the specific dimensions at the moment.


To be fair, the need to stack people discs is not even an issue until very late in the game (stage 5?). At that point, it's not really a problem to stand one of the people right next to an occupied room.
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Inno Van
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Quote:
Personally, I would just prefer to buy two sets of the single value tokens and dispense with the multiple value, if they are stackable in some way, otherwise the multiple value pieces are required.


Especially given card like "Clay Deliveryman" and "Maid" that have you place a resource on all of the 14 turn spaces remaining in the game so you receive that resource at the beginning of every turn.

And yes, we tend to stack resources like poker chips also. A stack of 5 wood and 2 reeds to build a new room is pretty easy to see. You could always go with a component system like Stone Age --the only shape that doesn't stack easily are the gold bars --which are also the rarest and hardest to get, so players generally don't have enough to stack.

The challenge with replacing the player tokens is color matching the remaining part of existing sets --a big pain. The player tokens, fences and stables all have to be exactly the same color and shade. You're far better off just replacing a whole shared resource component (like all Sheep in the game) than color-matching existing components for only part of a player's set, and then getting complaints that it's a different shade of blue/red/green/purple/brown than the game's fences and stables from people.



That said, in our games the main components that get stockpiled enough that denominations would be useful are: Food (we've seen as high as 16 food per player), Wood (15 per player), Sheep (10 per player) and Grain (10 per player).

If you're using an abrasive waterjet table with a CAD program, scaling the same silhouette to different sizes should be easy. Or another possibility is just making round tokens with the game icons cut through the center.

The resources of the game are:



The July 2008 printing uses icons for the resources on all the cards and boards, so some people have just made sticker sets to match them:





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Innovan wrote:
The challenge with replacing the player tokens is color matching the remaining part of existing sets --a big pain. The player tokens, fences and stables all have to be exactly the same color and shade. You're far better off just replacing a whole shared resource component (like all Sheep in the game) than color-matching existing components for only part of a player's set, and then getting complaints that it's a different shade of blue/red/green/purple/brown than the game's fences and stables from people.

If one was going to replace the fences and stables as well, that would probably entice a few people, as no-one is doing that as of yet. Could be pretty cool to have detailed fences & stables in addition to everything else.
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Tyler Tinsley
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thanks for all the help guys! I'm fairly sure I'm going to limit the first set to just the Animeeples.

With any luck i will have some prototype images up in a day or two.
 
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Just throwing my two cents in...

I think the size would have to be very similar to what the originals are, as well as stackable resources. The ability to have more resources than what came with the game would help eliminate the need for the multiplier tokens, though larger versions to create a different denomination could be cool.

I also think that the slightly cartoony look should be used, as it would match the art in the game.

Jim

EDIT: Added info about slightly cartoony look.
 
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And as mentioned above, please do something with those food counters, they stick out like a sore thumb
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Inno Van
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Cute vs Realistic animeeples?

I'd say slightly cartoony with a "I'm good eatin'/Cook me over the fire and make me into food" look if possible.

Many, many times in the game the animals will be converted into food through the Fireplace and Hearth. There are 4 of these and they are Major Improvements that are almost always built.

Sheep -> 2 food
Pig -> 3 food
Cattle -> 4 food

Sometimes they're cooked because you need the food, other times because you need space for the baby. They get cooked into food almost always.

Or just see this comic:


http://www.boardgamenews.com/board2pieces/board2pieces080828...

What people definitely don't want is something that says

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Todd
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super... wrote:
thanks for all the help guys! I'm fairly sure I'm going to limit the first set to just the Animeeples.

With any luck i will have some prototype images up in a day or two.


Maybe design them in such a way where one can stack on the back of another!

"I have a tower of 7 sheep in this field!"

Maus
 
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Inno Van
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Yet strangely, Hans im Glück hasn't sued Lookout Games for using their pig-meeple from Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders. Because he emailed them and asked first.

I don't think Uwe (or Zev) is that frightening and scary that you can't send him an email asking for permission to make animeeples based on their artwork --he's been pretty reasonable so far. The main issue is he only owns the original artwork for the sheep and cattle, not the pig, which is owned by Hans im Glück. So you'd have to do a 3-way negotiation with two different companies asking for permission (possibly as easy as two emails sent) ...or just do your own original artwork.

In fact, given that Lookout Game's original source for wooden bits has gone out of business, and the tremendous lead time delays the hobby industry is facing in getting wooden components from europe (order in August, get them five months later, in December!), you'd think they'd be glad to be contacted by US-based shops able to fulfill orders for them and would be encouraging new businesses to enter the arena. Especially with the weak US dollar.

JKLM entering the arena with metal figurine manufacturers is also interesting. http://www.jklmdirect.co.uk/gamesin.php?no=449

Creating wooden parts for an already published game is one thing. What they really need is new easy-to-work-with woodshops able to quickly create affordable game parts for their games still waiting in the pipeline to be published. And able to do the paint job in house correctly with environmentally friendly paints that meet German import standards... without any excess coming off on people's fingers later on.
http://bgg.cc/thread/332889
http://bgg.cc/article/2564959
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Todd
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What if, instead of flat tall animeeples, they were more cube-like?

I was looking at the pictures of the Mayday games version in a prior post and was thinking those are about 3-4 times as long as the width. Would it be possible to be more cube-like and still be a recognizable animal?

Cubic animals would be different than the current wooden animeeple and would be closer to the fimo creations that a lot of Agripimpers are doing.

Maus

Edited with more ideas...

If the animeeples were made out of resin poured into rubber molds, that could produce a nice little model. Can resin be found in white, black, and brown?

I know people like the wood, but since they are painted anyway, why wouldn't alternate materials like plastic or resin be just as good (and cheaper)!
 
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Tyler Tinsley
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http://www.papercrafted.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/proto...

Here is a prototype image

As you can see the animeeples are made from printed card stock! you can cut and assemble them using only a pair of scissors! no glue or difficult razor cutting necessary

These desings are still getting a few kinks worked out of them, but what would you like to see in the final PDF download

Larger paper toy verstions of each Animeeple included with the download

Another choice for textures, like say some more abstract/cuter vector art?

How much do you think you would be willing to part with for the download? 1$ 3$ 5$?

This product is a test to see if there are board gamers out there willing to build their own bits if it means having a much nicer looking game. If this is successful i would love to launch a line of my board game designs.

thanks for any help

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Those look really nice, but how big are they?

The smallest fenced in pasture in Agricola measures 1.75" x 1.75" and can hold a stable and possibly 6ish animals given the right card play (water trough or something like that). Usually a stable and 4 animals, but I plan for the worst.

Maus
 
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Tyler Tinsley
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they are 3/4in long 1/4in wide

it would be very easy to scale the miniatures down
 
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