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Subject: Poor Design? rss

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A L D A R O N
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Does anyone else feel like the design for this game needs to be redone (even re-themed)?

The artwork is terrible, and the lack of a systematic iconography for the Action "powers" is just inexcusable in the post-RftG age. It's a good, maybe even great, game; but these things get in the way.
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Gunther Schmidl
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Given how many people are turned off by RftG's iconography (not counting myself), might not be a good idea.

I have no problem with the way the cards are written and do my best to not look at the artwork too much.
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1603-1714
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No, sorry - I sure don't. The game is simple enough that no iconography is needed at all. I've never been confused by the actions in the game. As for the artwork, I've also never had a problem with it.

Excellent game that I wish I could play more often.
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Chris Martin
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RftG's confusing, elitist iconography is an abomination before God and man.

In this context at least, I definitely consider myself to be an iconoclast.
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Jeff Wolfe
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I can only speak for myself, but I do not agree with your assessment.

The iconography of Race for the Galaxy makes it very hard to learn, but I can see where it might be desirable due to the amount of information contained on each card. Clearly, Dominion does not need the obscure iconography, and the game is much better for it not being there.
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Tiago Nunes
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jeffwolfe wrote:
The iconography of Race for the Galaxy makes it very hard to learn, but I can see where it might be desirable due to the amount of information contained on each card. Clearly, Dominion does not need the obscure iconography, and the game is much better for it not being there.


Not that I'm advocating iconography in dominion (don't care either way), what I don't understand is when people say the iconography hinders RftG teaching.

I used to be afraid of teaching this game because of what everyone said, even though I understood the icons perfectly from the beginning. Since then I've thought RftG to a slew of people of all ages, none of them had any kind of problem with the icons except for maybe one or two cards, usually Contact Specialist and Space Mercenaries. The cards that give more trouble to new players usually are the 6 cost developments from my experience.
 
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jeffwolfe wrote:
The iconography of Race for the Galaxy makes it very hard to learn...

I've heard that before, but only here. Everyone I've taught or played with in person views the iconography as one of the game's strong points.
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Joachim Pehl
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I also like the symbols and the artwork of RftG, but in my group some others had problems with the iconography.


About a retheme of dominion, take a look at Thunderstone while it losses a lot of Dominions simplicity it seems to fix at least my concerns with Dominion (which is still a great game, especially with Intrigue)

About the artwork in dominion, most cards look good in my opinion, but it could have been better.
 
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Matt Sargent
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Aldaron wrote:
Does anyone else feel like the design for this game needs to be redone (even re-themed)?


Well, if you look in the Dominion image gallery, you'll see several rethemes, from zombies, to Discworld, to rivers. So I don't know about "need", but certainly people enjoy messing with Dominion's visual design.

Aldaron wrote:
The artwork is terrible, and the lack of a systematic iconography for the Action "powers" is just inexcusable in the post-RftG age.


I breathlessly await your future dispatches from Crazytown.
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Dan Beale-C
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The icons in RftG made it harder for me to learn to play it. I needed to refer to the instructions and player cards for several games. Maybe that's just me. And a game like that needs a few plays just to get an idea of the engines and strategies that are possible anyway.

The cards in Dominion are, in my opinion, fine. What kind of artwork would you have wanted to see?

The instructions, for both games, could be improved significantly.

Dominion could have done with a "Dominion: Your first game with 2 players" section. It would walk you through a game, from sorting out the cards, setting out the table, through a few rounds. And maybe include a flow chart. Experienced gamers don't need this, but I'm hesitant to give the game to friends as a gift because I don't think they'd bother ploughing through the instructions. That's a shame, because it is a great game.
 
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Joel Glidden
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I think it just has to do with different learning styles. Some people are not visual thinkers and have a very hard time correlating images with ideas. My wife is one such person. The icons convey a lot of information in RftG, and her brain simply does not use the little symbols to retrieve the information.

We played the game close to half a dozen times in the first few days after we got it and it never got any better. She was constantly having to look things up on the reference sheet to figure out what each card did.

She has no problem with San Juan, Dominion, Puerto Rico, etc. A little text on the cards / components goes a long way.
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Ian Klinck
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Nope, I don't particularly agree. Dominion and RftG are actually my two most-played games, and most of those games were played with my wife, who is really just a "casual gamer" (and wasn't even that before we met).

It did take her a little longer to learn the ins & outs of RftG, but I think that was the actual game complexity, not the icons themselves.

Of course, either one of these games might not suit someone's taste, but I don't think there's an inherent serious problem with either of them.
 
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Yiorgos Golfinopoulos
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chrisjwmartin wrote:
elitist iconography


Cavemen were drawing pictures on their caves. Then, the ancient Chinese said: "One picture equals a thousand words". Icons were used throughout the eons to pass ideas to the illiterate masses.

And in the year 2009 some people are saying: "Well, if it's not written in English, I won't even bother".

So, who's the elitist?
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Don D.
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no.
 
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Jeff Wolfe
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Boofus wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:
elitist iconography


Cavemen were drawing pictures on their caves. Then, the ancient Chinese said: "One picture equals a thousand words". Icons were used throughout the eons to pass ideas to the illiterate masses.

And in the year 2009 some people are saying: "Well, if it's not written in English, I won't even bother".

So, who's the elitist?


The first person to mention English in this thread is you. Dominion was first released in Germany and has been ported to several non-English, non-German languages.

With some of the text-heavy cards, I don't see how you can get away with using only icons. So it's really a matter of which icons make sense. The Coin icon immediately evokes money, so it makes sense. There isn't really an icon that immediately evokes "Action" or "Buy", so it makes sense to just use the word (in whatever language you're using for the rest of the text). Icons would only serve to make it more confusing.

As to the supposedly easy to understand icons, I recently took a four month break from playing Race, and when I played it again last week, I needed to pull the cheat card back out to remember what some of the icons meant. The one that I remember specifically is, "Is that the icon that means you draw a card at the beginning of the phase, or the one that means you draw a card if you play a card during the phase?"

As I said, I think the icons are a necessary part of Race, but they clearly are not necessary for Dominion. I'm glad they refrained from gratuitously sprinkling icons throughout the cards just because they could. They use icons when icons make sense and they use text when text makes sense.
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Joshua Githens
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Greater than Icons, Card Colors

Green = Victory Points
Gray = Actions
Blue = Reaction
Gold = Treasure

Pretty straight forward.

Who wants a card full of this, when it can easily fit with Text?
aristocratgoldencamelindigobaconcoalthumbsdown1vpthumbsup

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Blue Fox
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trolling anyone?

By that I mean, Dominion is fine the way it is. I have introduced several people to both Race for the Galaxy and Dominion. Dominion has always WON out, the symbols in race are confusing and it's just not as easy pick up nor deep as Dominion. I feel like the original poster is just looking to get a rise of people.
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Loc Nguyen
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The only major problem was that the colors for all the treasure cards were all the same.

One other thing I noticed was that the artwork for the first editions of dominion are a little better than the current artwork for the base game. Although, they do come with the insert which makes up for it..
 
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Mark Bigney
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Helios180 wrote:


Who wants a card full of this, when it can easily fit with Text?
aristocratgoldencamelindigobaconcoalthumbsdown1vpthumbsup



Dude, I would totally go for a Dominion re-theme with bacon cards. I would play them all the time.
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David desJardins
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Boofus wrote:
And in the year 2009 some people are saying: "Well, if it's not written in English, I won't even bother".


I played the early versions of RFTG before it had icons. Then I tried playing the versions with the icons and I found it much harder, to the point that it's no fun for me. So I entirely disagree that the problem is "won't bother". The problem is that some people have a much easier time parsing the icons than others do.
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Steven Metzger
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I agree with the OP.

Although I have bought the game, it just smacks of "this is the 1st edition it will be remade in a few years just like Catan has been."

I'm not sure that an out-and-out re-theme is necessary, just a serious clean-up of the game. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the game continues punching out expansions and Wizards of the Coast tries to pick it up.
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Dave Daley
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chrisjwmartin wrote:
RftG's confusing, elitist iconography is an abomination before God and man.

In this context at least, I definitely consider myself to be an iconoclast.

Thumbs up for the sentiment, but, even giving you the unbelievably slight possibility of an omnipotent being, my doubts are that he has issues with RftG's iconography. LOL
 
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Dave Daley
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Aldaron wrote:
Does anyone else feel like the design for this game needs to be redone (even re-themed)?

The artwork is terrible, and the lack of a systematic iconography for the Action "powers" is just inexcusable in the post-RftG age. It's a good, maybe even great, game; but these things get in the way.

Bollocks. The artwork is fine for most of us, although there is a very noisy contingent who doesn't like it. This is fine by me, nobody likes everything about a game. Only on a place like BGG can we sit and stew over the minutia of what one user doesn't like about a game until we are sick of talking about the game as a whole. The game's art is BLOODY WELL FINE for pete's sake.

As for the "missing" iconography, I agree with most here. I really like the iconography in RftG, but I wouldn't like to see it applied to Dominion. The iconography in RftG is good, but complex. Dominion is a simpler game, and having to teach my friends and family iconography would certainly have limited the reach that Dominion has had within these groups - it has limited RftG very much in my circles. Text is just fine, and it suits Dominion well I think.

There are a few cards (The Minion comes to mind, as does the Ironsmith) that feel a bit clunky, but by and large, I think the cards have been carefully worded to cover their points in a small number of words.
 
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David desJardins
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elkabong wrote:
Dominion is a simpler game, and having to teach my friends and family iconography would certainly have limited the reach that Dominion has had within these groups - it has limited RftG very much in my circles.


I don't think Dominion is simpler than RFTG. It does have an easier learning curve, primarily because there are fewer total cards, and most of them aren't in play in any particular game, and all of the cards that are in play are visible all the time so you don't have to remember anything about what you might draw in the future.
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Guys, relax. I was only trolling to see what other elitists from Crazytown thought.

Seriously though, I'm convinced by the compelling arguments presented here that I was wrong on both points.
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