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Last Train to Wensleydale» Forums » General

Subject: Great colors! rss

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Snooze Fest
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We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
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After all the complaints about the coloring of the map -- and yes, the hills/valleys do look kind of strange! -- I just wanted to say: I finally played the game recently, and I loved that it was so easy to see what to spend on what, and what related to what, based on the colors of the rest of the board! That is, you used brown influence to pay for trains, which are labeled in brown; you use white influence to set play order, which is white; turn order is related to profit/loss, and those tracks match in color as well; etc. etc. Yes, it's a very simple little thing, but it sure did make the first game easier!
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KAS
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I also thought this was a nice design element and I have been sure to incorporate that aspect when teaching the game to new players pointing out the color connections.

BTW, I am impressed that you were able to make your great player aid before playing the game.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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snoozefest wrote:
After all the complaints about the coloring of the map -- and yes, the hills/valleys do look kind of strange! -- I just wanted to say: I finally played the game recently, and I loved that it was so easy to see what to spend on what, and what related to what, based on the colors of the rest of the board! That is, you used brown influence to pay for trains, which are labeled in brown; you use white influence to set play order, which is white; turn order is related to profit/loss, and those tracks match in color as well; etc. etc. Yes, it's a very simple little thing, but it sure did make the first game easier!


What do you spend lung influence on?

B>
 
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Snooze Fest
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We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
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kneumann wrote:
I also thought this was a nice design element and I have been sure to incorporate that aspect when teaching the game to new players pointing out the color connections.

BTW, I am impressed that you were able to make your great player aid before playing the game.


Thanks ! Actually, making a summary like that helps me learn the rules, and makes it easier to later teach the game. Of course, it's best to go back and amend it after actually playing, to add whatever clarifications are necessary (our game, for example, was called early b/c we misplayed the rule about paying company influence to build track -- we thought it was per link, not per company town connected to)!
 
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Peter Mumford
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ceci n'est pas une pipe
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snoozefest wrote:
After all the complaints about the coloring of the map -- and yes, the hills/valleys do look kind of strange! -- I just wanted to say: I finally played the game recently, and I loved that it was so easy to see what to spend on what, and what related to what, based on the colors of the rest of the board!

That's the thing - people take a glance at a board design - Peter Dennis' Automobile, or Wensleydale, and call it ugly by totally irrelevant esthetic criteria. The important thing is not about whether you like or don't like gradient fills. The point is clarity of information.
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Bruce Murphy
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photocurio wrote:
snoozefest wrote:
After all the complaints about the coloring of the map -- and yes, the hills/valleys do look kind of strange! -- I just wanted to say: I finally played the game recently, and I loved that it was so easy to see what to spend on what, and what related to what, based on the colors of the rest of the board!

That's the thing - people take a glance at a board design - Peter Dennis' Automobile, or Wensleydale, and call it ugly by totally irrelevant esthetic criteria. The important thing is not about whether you like or don't like gradient fills. The point is clarity of information.


Indeed. See threads about difficult-to-spot adjacencies between regions (Except for people with superpowers who can see through wooden pieces)

Of course, the lung comments became distracting after the first dozen.

B>
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Jim Cote
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It could easily have gone a different--and completely wrong--direction. Imagine a more photo-realistic map of the area with hills and valleys denoted by subtle icons. The board may have been beautiful, but significantly less playable. This is my beef with many popular artists and publishers.
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Bob Wilson
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photocurio wrote:

That's the thing - people take a glance at a board design - Peter Dennis' Automobile, or Wensleydale, and call it ugly by totally irrelevant esthetic criteria. The important thing is not about whether you like or don't like gradient fills. The point is clarity of information.


I'm not sure that's the only important thing. Clarity of information is one of my biggest pet concerns. I've done UI testing for software, I've created training materials according to very stringent best practices, so I've picked-up a bit about information design along the way. As such, the Wensleydale board actually came-out OK in opinion. It has some issues (the quilt-pattern "texture" fighting with the area borders for your attention being the chief complaint).

There is a valid place for "primitive" graphic styles, as opposed to slavishly following the distorted view most folks have of how to represent reality in a "literal" way. But there is a difference between an intentional (or at least conscious) use of a primitive style, and a simple lack of skill. The Wensleydale board certainly smacks of a lack of skill or experience by whomever they had create the board art.

I agree that there are a few games that lean in that direction at the cost of information design. But I think most games that are hurting in the thought put in their "interface", are just that: games that lack a proper application of information design principles. It doesn't matter if a game calls for just simple geometric shapes or it employs luscious, "painterly" landscapes. The vast majority of games published show some degree of failure on the information design side.
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Bob Wilson
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To go on (wind-bag that I am), many aspects of a game are effected by or should be taken into consideration of its information design. I agree that the cube colors were easy enough to distinguish, but the color choices of dark, deep and low saturation purple along side a deep charcoal disguised as black was just plain mean of them to do for we the colorblind.

Also, there is room for confusion possible with company towns changing colors yet remaining their original color on the map (no tokes, no wooden bits to mark them as a different color). That just smacks of cheap or rushed production. The insistence on pure wood components made another potential for confusion: does cheese get delivered to cities, does stone? Which one gets "consumed" without transport? Counters with some signifying graphic along depictions of either rock or cheese would have been much better choices. These are issues that any half-way decent developer should have helped avoid in the final product. Martin Wallace creates some great games, but he doesn't seem to have a team in place to assist him... certainly not a team with the skills needed to translate his designs smoothly into games. I mean, have you seen how boring the Automobile board is? I can't wait for the automotive factory robot expansion, because the board has lulled me to sleep and I need a robot to make my moves for me.

Info design isn't the only role of graphics. Appealing to a player's emotions is often an important aspect. There are games that the boards just make you think "this is just like being there".... in this case, "there" would have to be on the set of the ancient Disney movie Fantastic Voyage, in the diseased lung scene. The stone pits read alternatively as golf sand bunkers, or giant red scabs... the jump back in forth perception-ally as concave and convex.

Not to mention, do you really want adult non-gamers seeing you play this? It's just plain embarrassing.. GREAT GAME though. Best of the Treefrog games I've played so far.
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