Nathan Little
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These are cards for my team-based zombie survival game: Posthumous. For the last couple months I’ve been working on a graphic overhaul.

These are just 15 of the 60 different item cards. Each of the human ‘characters’ start with a couple and can acquire more by going to certain parts of the board or random events.

The cards were created in Corel Draw X3. They are all scalable vector graphics (this of course is a jpg export of them). A simple contour drawing is done on paper, then scanned and converted to vectors, then begins the laborious task of ‘coloring.’ Each drawing has somewhere between 100-300 shapes, mostly solid and gradient fills, with some texture/transparency overlays to add ‘grit’ when needed. Doing 15 took probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 hrs. The cards are 1 5/8 inch by 2.5 inches, mini-card size (think Arkham Horror). The plan is to get short-run digital prints of normal sized cards with 2 of these minis on each, then guillotine cut them in half-ish (slightly less than half) and 1/8th corner round them, as getting custom cards printed of mini size seems to be much more expensive for short runs.

Rather than having the cards be just cards, I thought it’d be more interesting if the cards themselves were themed to look to look like something real, but appropriate. For the item cards, that’s a flattened cardboard box.

Each card is unique, even if they do identical effects such as the first 3 cards. Rather than just having a ‘pistol’ card, I thought the aesthetic variety would improve the atmosphere.

Included (but not limited to) in the list of ‘not shown’ items are a katana, a chainsaw, a wwII medic’s pack, duct tape, a mysterious green plant, a variety of rifles, a 9 iron, and 3 more pistols.

The game has 300 cards… all unique. I’ve gotten 120 of them done so far (fully art’d up). Thought I’d throw some of it out there and see what people think.
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Martin Ethier
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Looks very good. I don't think I would have the patience for that many cards and I love doing the graphics of my own design . Keep up the good work.
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James Bentley
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Very good work!
 
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James Hébert
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These look terrific! Great redesign. Your art style is very appealing.
 
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Dan Squires
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Really nice work!

My one piece of constructive criticism is about the wiggly text - I don't like it and it kind of gives me a headache.
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o0dano0o wrote:
Really nice work!

My one piece of constructive criticism is about the wiggly text - I don't like it and it kind of gives me a headache.


Actually that's just a result of file compression and the text just being slightly rotated (it actually isn't skewed, curved, or enveloped). With the actual card in hand people naturally tilt the card- in which the text is just normal.
 
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The art is great. One very small nitpick: the item subtype label for "melee" and "gun" do not read nearly as well as the one for "bomb". I'd vary the font and color on those, too. The yellow "tag" blends in too easily with the yellow info area and gets visually lost.
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Roman Serebryakov
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Please, please, please! I beg ya, lose the Comic Sans Serif font! cry

There are so many other good fonts out there, Comic Sans in a graphic design world is like the worst cliche' used in a novel with pretty book cover, it doesn't add anything but instead spoils that awesome graphics you have there. Everyone uses Comic Sans only because it's free AND/OR because it looks "cartoony."

I beg ya, pick another typeface, here I will list you where you can find other (free) fonts:

www.dafont.com
www.myfonts.com

I have a lot of font families, just let me know what you are looking for.
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orange_wacko wrote:
Please, please, please! I beg ya, lose the Comic Sans Serif font! cry

Agreed.

But other than that, you have a good design going.
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really nicely done. I especially like the use of perspective.
 
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orange_wacko wrote:
Please, please, please! I beg ya, lose the Comic Sans Serif font! cry

There are so many other good fonts out there, Comic Sans in a graphic design world is like the worst cliche' used in a novel with pretty book cover, it doesn't add anything but instead spoils that awesome graphics you have there. Everyone uses Comic Sans only because it's free AND/OR because it looks "cartoony."


Actually was using it for its softness and legibility. Space is a premium and it's only in 8pt. Not many fonts hold up at that size, end up too difficult to read, or too distracting. Mundane, legible, and not angular like Helvetica.

Didn't realize so many people took umbrage to that particular font. Curious what you would suggest in its stead. Not above suggestions-

Bomb tag was an experiment- The original Item cards were completely yellow, and I was trying to maintain that 'tone' to keep different card types distinct. The rule of thumb was you had to be able to tell what type of card it was out of the corner of the eye. Seeing as that doesn't seem to be an issue, I'll go and jazz up the tags in like style. More dramatic font, and probably red for guns and a blue-ish grey for melees. Not sure what I'll do for alcohol cards. Eh, it'll come.

Anyway, that's for what has been written and keep the critiques flowin'. It's the only way to make something truly awesome.
 
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Thisisacow wrote:
orange_wacko wrote:
Please, please, please! I beg ya, lose the Comic Sans Serif font! cry

There are so many other good fonts out there, Comic Sans in a graphic design world is like the worst cliche' used in a novel with pretty book cover, it doesn't add anything but instead spoils that awesome graphics you have there. Everyone uses Comic Sans only because it's free AND/OR because it looks "cartoony."


Actually was using it for its softness and legibility. Space is a premium and it's only in 8pt. Not many fonts hold up at that size, end up too difficult to read, or too distracting. Mundane, legible, and not angular like Helvetica.

Didn't realize so many people took umbrage to that particular font. Curious what you would suggest in its stead. Not above suggestions-


There's nothing wrong with Comics Sans Serif. People make fun of it to appear smart, but it's an attractive highly readable font, especially, as you noted, at small font sizes. It's not "professional," so I wouldn't do my resume or PhD thesis in it, but as a font for a zombie game, it seems appropriate. There are certainly worse fonts you could choose. But I'd be concerned about gameplay and balance more than I would font selection.
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Roman Serebryakov
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Unfortunately, because of people like you, who don't understand basic rules of clean and good design (for example, never use cliches either in writing or anywhere else, it is overused things and they are not making you look professional), we see crappy designed things everywhere, TV ads, newspaper ads, games etc. And it's getting worse... Do whatever you want but I just wanted to let you know that by having a good graphics it is only half the battle, good and clean typography is another part. You don't have to use the font that everyone has on the computer, there are thousands of choices of font families that are far more full and prettier.

Just a thought, Tim Seitz, some people are nerds and some people are creative. You wouldn't be the right person even to suggest something like that, it doesn't look to me you have any clue what you are talking about. So I would keep my mouth shut on this one, go play tetris somewhere. wow

peace

out4blood wrote:
Thisisacow wrote:
orange_wacko wrote:
Please, please, please! I beg ya, lose the Comic Sans Serif font! cry

There are so many other good fonts out there, Comic Sans in a graphic design world is like the worst cliche' used in a novel with pretty book cover, it doesn't add anything but instead spoils that awesome graphics you have there. Everyone uses Comic Sans only because it's free AND/OR because it looks "cartoony."


Actually was using it for its softness and legibility. Space is a premium and it's only in 8pt. Not many fonts hold up at that size, end up too difficult to read, or too distracting. Mundane, legible, and not angular like Helvetica.

Didn't realize so many people took umbrage to that particular font. Curious what you would suggest in its stead. Not above suggestions-


There's nothing wrong with Comics Sans Serif. People make fun of it to appear smart, but it's an attractive highly readable font, especially, as you noted, at small font sizes. It's not "professional," so I wouldn't do my resume or PhD thesis in it, but as a font for a zombie game, it seems appropriate. There are certainly worse fonts you could choose. But I'd be concerned about gameplay and balance more than I would font selection.
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These are absolutely gorgeous. And I actually like Comic Sans, at least for this use. It fits, and it's legible.
 
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I had 3 first thoughts:

- Fantastic illustrations
- Great solid layout (and interesting to look at)
- Lose the Comic Sans font

Though I am not as vehemently opposed to the use of it, it is an overused/abused font. From a designer's point of view it is a very elementary font. And in the case od your awesome looking cards, seriously detracts from the overall look.

As for suggestions (and obviously you would have to test them out at your current sizes):

- What about the "comic-y" font you used on this cover - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/542971/posthumous
- Any Sans Serif font is a good start, even something basic like Arial Black
- Balloon, Helsinki, or Komika (if you want to keep with the "fun" look)
- Keep in mind you could use all caps...it works well/looks good with some fonts

Ultimately you need to do what feels right for you. But realize that "designers" will give you the same reaction to that particular font (Comic Sans)...but the "average person" (and I don't mean that as slander) doesn't care.

All in all, an excellent looking product you have there!
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orange_wacko wrote:
Just a thought, Tim Seitz, some people are nerds and some people are creative. You wouldn't be the right person even to suggest something like that, it doesn't look to me you have any clue what you are talking about. So I would keep my mouth shut on this one, go play tetris somewhere. wow

peace


I love how you make a baseless assumptions and a personal attack and then end your comment with a self-righteous "peace." Us nerds call that irony.

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My assumptions are based on your baseless comments, which showed that you have no clue what you are talking about. And sorry if you feel like you have been attacked, I apologize for that I care. I care about modern design and sorry but that's what I do for living... I have 99% of each graphic design work to redesign what nerds like you think of a "good" and "pretty." If your nerd club is using Comic sans for its fliers, it's fine, but don't encourage other people to do the same, it's wrong and it makes me angry, especially when advices can hurt and not help.


out4blood wrote:
orange_wacko wrote:
Just a thought, Tim Seitz, some people are nerds and some people are creative. You wouldn't be the right person even to suggest something like that, it doesn't look to me you have any clue what you are talking about. So I would keep my mouth shut on this one, go play tetris somewhere. wow

peace


I love how you make a baseless assumptions and a personal attack and then end your comment with a self-righteous "peace." Us nerds call that irony.

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orange_wacko wrote:
My assumptions are based on your baseless comments, which showed that you have no clue what you are talking about. And sorry if you feel like you have been attacked, I apologize for that I care. I care about modern design and sorry but that's what I do for living... I have 99% of each graphic design work to redesign what nerds like you think of a "good" and "pretty." If your nerd club is using Comic sans for its fliers, it's fine, but don't encourage other people to do the same, it's wrong and it makes me angry, especially when advices can hurt and not help.


Talk about nerdy. I’ll bet 99.9% of the world’s population has never even heard of Comic Sans Serif, let alone know that it’s been declared “wrong” to use by the elite designers. It’s only a “cliché” amongst typographers and pompous graphic designers upset that the unwashed masses might have a font they can use on their own. Did you ever stop to consider that it gets used a lot because people like the way it looks, and not because they are complete and utter idiots?

The real cliché here is the pompous designer guy literally crying over someone else using Comic Sans. Did you just graduate from art school where they told you it was a sin?

Instead of the typical knee-jerk reaction, a professional designer might take a holistic perspective: It's a game, with cartoonish art, about killing zombies. The whole zombie genre is all One Big Cliché. Using Comic Sans for card flavor text is probably appropriate.


That said, he should probably find a heavier font for the box art.



That way, when we use it on our fliers, people will think it's pretty.
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Nathan Little
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mantooth012 wrote:

- What about the "comic-y" font you used on this cover - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/542971/posthumous
- Any Sans Serif font is a good start, even something basic like Arial Black
- Balloon, Helsinki, or Komika (if you want to keep with the "fun" look)
- Keep in mind you could use all caps...it works well/looks good with some fonts

Ultimately you need to do what feels right for you. But realize that "designers" will give you the same reaction to that particular font (Comic Sans)...but the "average person" (and I don't mean that as slander) doesn't care.


Balloon and Komika will be more difficult to read (oh if only the world possessed 20/20 vision). The font of used on the old box, sadly, does not scale down very well either.

A Helsinki font might work. Clear, but more interesting than arial without being distracting. I was at one point in time using stencil- not very successful. It would move the font style back to a 'boxy' corporeal object feel for the items.

I am a bit intrigued that there is such a vehement minority that despises Comic Sans. You'd be hard pressed to find a person that hates a trite poster more than me (uhghgh clipart), but even agreeing with many of the arguments presented I'd still only consider the font use/misuse in this case a minor to moderate issue. Using it on the entire card, or on a thesis- that would be a serious screwup.

Again, thanks for your input. Will take it to heart.
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I'd like to take this moment to ask people to please do not antagonize each other. We're on the verge of entering just about the dorkiest subject for a flame war ... if you're angry I suggest writing out your post in notepad. If it still feels manly after a couple hours, go ahead and post it.

and now for something completely different

out4blood wrote:

That said, he should probably find a heavier font for the box art.

Oh I'm redoing everything, including the boxart. Once I get all the cards done... and the board ... I'll redo the box to be something more in the vein of Frazetta, and use an appropriate font. Something that says 'ridiculous but awesome." Or maybe 'ridiculously awesome.'

Thank you for the suggestion. My efforts will follow it.

EDIT:
out4blood wrote:

That way, when we use it on our fliers, people will think it's pretty.


Whah?
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Joe Mucchiello
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I am a bit intrigued that there is such a vehement minority that despises Comic Sans.

I'm a geek* and I consider Comic Sans a bit unprofessional. I noticed it right off and was surprised by the choice but it did not offend me. Zombie games aren't my thing and I just assumed it made sense for a Zombie game.

I would pick a serifed font for printed cards because I think they are easier to read on physical media.

* Full disclosure - I suppose I was the graphics designer for the RPG PDFs I sell so perhaps I'm a crossover.
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Cool Nathan. Certainly what is important is that YOU like it... it's your creation after all. =)

Comic Sans tends to be a joke font around the office (i'm in marketing). That being said, it is NOT without it's uses. But there is no reason for anyone to be arguing about it one way or the other...It comes down to personal taste.

Anyway - Love the work - keep it up! thumbsup
 
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Gary Simpson

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Quote:
Comic Sans tends to be a joke font around the office


We used to make flipbooks animating fonts luchadoring each other.

Comic Sans would always win for the hero side, Papyrus would always win for the villain side. ¡Viva Fuente Lucha!
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mantooth012 wrote:
Cool Nathan. Certainly what is important is that YOU like it... it's your creation after all. =)

Comic Sans tends to be a joke font around the office (i'm in marketing). That being said, it is NOT without it's uses. But there is no reason for anyone to be arguing about it one way or the other...It comes down to personal taste.

Anyway - Love the work - keep it up! thumbsup


I think this might be one of the widest misconceptions about anything Designer designs, especially for mass market.
Unfortunately, if you "like" something doesn't mean that whoever might buy your product will like it. The reality is hard that way. Most of the time, you are wrong and you need to know ahead of time what works and what doesn't for your market, not your personal taste. Fortunately, many popular game companies got that part right and their layouts and art work are just pure example for strong design work. That's why if I am going to buy the game, my second thing I am looking for is the artwork, quality of game pieces, layout, typography, small details, etc. Sometimes even, I find some layouts so cool that I show them to my clients because I believe designers of that particular part did an amazing job. But if I see all those misused fonts, especially in the title, I am giving buying that game a second thought (which mostly not getting it), because I know designer didn't want to buy a good font, or was too lazy to research a better one, or maybe didn't know what's the difference between good or very bad typeface, and no excuse for a budget.

My advice is to look at Days of Wonder or even new Fantasy Flight game cards, the one that have lots of text or graphics and text on a single card. Look at the layout and see how they use typography and what the margins are, especially from the top edge. If you find any Comic sans, Papyrus, Arial, Impact, or Curlz Mt in the text as a header or contextual text in one of the famous game companies, I would give up and leave this post alone. I will admit I am wrong and you can do whatever you like because it is your game anyways. Papyrus is still misused thoughshake for game titles...

READ THIS SHIZZLE

Another thing you can do is do a separate post with the POLL, that will show different versions of one game card, maybe each card has different placement, different typeface, different color theme etc. and see what people like. I think it might be the most fair way to see if the design works. Just remember that you wouldn't be the one buying the game, someone else will.
Also, as a creative designer that makes a product (any product), we have a very big power to effect what people think of "good" or "bad". If there is a high level of expectation and high level of quality of modern games, people are getting used to that and when someone comes up with the "okay" game design, it won't go too well. And degrading that truth is not going to make those expectations higher... It just doesn't work that way, and this is not a small thing at all. All details are the part of the single experience.
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Quote:
Unfortunately, if you "like" something doesn't mean that whoever might buy your product will like it.


100%

It's a misconception that game designing is the same as game developing.
 
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