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Subject: The 86th Edition of Blott's TGIF Poll rss

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If you want updates on when new polls are posted, go to The TGIF Poll Subscription Thread.

Poll: The 86th TGIF Poll
What do you think about the role of artwork in a game?

(Select all that apply)
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
It is vitally important for a game to have good artwork
16.1% 41
It is useful, but not required for a game to have good artwork
55.3% 141
Good artwork is like a bonus, not necessary, but fun when it's there
54.9% 140
I couldn't care less about the artwork in a game, it's all about the mechanisms
3.9% 10
The quality of the artwork will sometimes affect my decision to play a game
51.0% 130
The quality of the artwork will never affect my decision to play a game
9.8% 25
I have purchased a game before almost entirely because of the artwork
28.2% 72
I have refused to purchase a game almost entirely because of the artwork
26.3% 67
Voters 255
I used the "Random Game" feature that is in the "Browse" drop-down to find 25 random games. All I will post here is the box covers. What do you think of the art on these games?

(Note: We're talking about the artwork, not the quality of the photography, or the title of the game, or anything like that.)
  I like the artwork so much that I might check out the game to learn more I like the artwork The artwork is OK I dislike the artwork I dislike the artwork so much that I would actively avoid this game Vote Count
6.2% (15) 31.4% (76) 46.3% (112) 14.0% (34) 2.1% (5) 242
1.7% (4) 9.1% (22) 37.8% (91) 44.4% (107) 7.1% (17) 241
0.4% (1) 10.4% (25) 46.1% (111) 37.8% (91) 5.4% (13) 241
1.6% (4) 1.2% (3) 21.3% (52) 59.4% (145) 16.4% (40) 244
0.8% (2) 6.3% (15) 26.8% (64) 54.8% (131) 11.3% (27) 239
0.8% (2) 9.2% (22) 35.4% (85) 43.3% (104) 11.2% (27) 240
0.8% (2) 4.1% (10) 32.4% (79) 43.4% (106) 19.3% (47) 244
0.8% (2) 6.3% (15) 41.4% (99) 41.4% (99) 10.0% (24) 239
0.8% (2) 19.6% (47) 39.6% (95) 35.0% (84) 5.0% (12) 240
0.4% (1) 3.0% (7) 39.1% (92) 48.1% (113) 9.4% (22) 235
0.4% (1) 2.5% (6) 25.3% (60) 59.5% (141) 12.2% (29) 237
3.8% (9) 33.2% (79) 40.8% (97) 18.1% (43) 4.2% (10) 238
0.4% (1) 1.7% (4) 30.1% (71) 58.9% (139) 8.9% (21) 236
0.4% (1) 3.4% (8) 37.7% (89) 44.9% (106) 13.6% (32) 236
0.4% (1) 0.9% (2) 29.8% (70) 58.7% (138) 10.2% (24) 235
0.0% (0) 19.6% (46) 44.7% (105) 27.2% (64) 8.5% (20) 235
0.9% (2) 0.9% (2) 19.2% (45) 55.6% (130) 23.5% (55) 234
1.3% (3) 14.1% (32) 40.5% (92) 38.3% (87) 5.7% (13) 227
9.4% (22) 45.5% (107) 34.0% (80) 9.4% (22) 1.7% (4) 235
4.3% (10) 23.7% (55) 57.3% (133) 13.4% (31) 1.3% (3) 232
2.1% (5) 11.4% (27) 38.1% (90) 39.4% (93) 8.9% (21) 236
0.4% (1) 3.0% (7) 10.3% (24) 63.8% (148) 22.4% (52) 232
4.3% (10) 35.2% (82) 42.9% (100) 14.6% (34) 3.0% (7) 233
0.4% (1) 4.7% (11) 39.5% (92) 46.8% (109) 8.6% (20) 233
0.4% (1) 6.4% (15) 29.5% (69) 44.4% (104) 19.2% (45) 234
Total Voters 245
This poll is now closed.   259 answers
Poll created by Blott
Closes: Thu Apr 1, 2010 6:00 am


#3. What game in your collection has the best artwork? (Pictures are appreciated.)

Any discussion is encouraged.
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Simon "that sci-fi guy"
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Blott wrote:
What game in your collection has the best artwork?


Any game illustrated by Michael Menzel!!!
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Randy Cox
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I guess I'm outside the mainstream here at BGG. :) The closer the artwork is to the "cry havoc" game, the better. If all games came in stark white or grocery bag brown boxes with big black lettering, that would be great. I don't need all that busy stuff on the box. In fact, too much and I start to feel like I'm about to have an epileptic seizure.

About the only time artwork would truly affect my decisions about a game are a) if the artwork takes away from functionality (e.g. icons and numbers on cards that are made less readable by the background mess) or b) if the depicted scene is offensive (e.g. violence, smoking). Otherwise, it's just wasted money by the publisher.
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To me, good artwork on the box, might cause me to look at a game, I might otherwise not, but I would always research further before buying. I would never buy a game purely on the artwork and by the same token never reject one, just because it had basic line drawing printed on a tablecloth.

Best artwork in games I own is a toss up.

The Pillars of the Earth


World Without End


Probably predictable choices I know
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Max Jamelli
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Art is nice, but I prefer functionality.

For example, the artwork in Cuba is awesome - but really what makes the game great for me is the gameplay. Similar with Stone Age.

Then again - the art in El Capitán is also awesome, but the font used for the cards and board is a little tough to read so it takes away from the functionality of an otherwise good game.
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Richard Morgan
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Basically I couldn't care less about the artwork. It bears no relationship whatsoever to the game.
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Cliff
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I have to say that despite the importance of presentation, it is the artwork of the board, pieces and aids that I would respond to the most. Some examples for me are Chicago Express, I think I prefer the Wabash Cannonball board more, because I'm overwhelmed by the art. On the other hand Reef Encounter's (second?) non-pastel edition seems the height of graphic and art in such a way that actually boons the experience for me. But I'm from the camp that I'd rather play a great game cut out of cardboard and paper than not at all.

And I couldn't vote for most of the graphics/photography vs. art box-covers because unless it was photography as art, it was hard to cast a vote as art. Though, one time my finger slipped and I cast (a correct) vote. I think I have to distinguish between an art work and the graphic arts (e.g. a game box that has just text/font style and, perhaps, adds only symbols/designs and color choice.
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Cliff
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Schmuggler Jagd? does that play like Schnappchen Jagd?
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I can't believe I'm the only person who "couldn't care less". Maybe my minimalist roguelike avatar has something to do with it.
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Steve Wagner
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The right art can add a lot of theme to the game. So art can be a big thing sometimes.

My favorite game art has to be Railroad Tycoon. The board is way too big, but I love how it looks. Age of Empires III is also very good. (Eagles knew how to make a game look good.)
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SVan wrote:
The right art can add a lot of theme to the game. So art can be a big thing sometimes.

My favorite game art has to be Railroad Tycoon. The board is way too big, but I love how it looks. Age of Empires III is also very good. (Eagles knew how to make a game look good.)


Now I really like both of those boards...I wonder why I was turned off by the Chicago Express board?
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I don't make decisions based on artwork. If a game is good/great and has nice artwork, that is a bonus. I don't play or buy it based on the artwork.

An example is Acquire of which I found a 1964 copy at a thrift store. Boring looking and very ugly. However, the game is great and the artwork is unimportant once you start playing the game.
BGG image courtesy of Joanna Olsen

Another example is India Rails which I am dying to get another play of!! The Empire Builder/Crayon Rail games are pretty plain and boring, especially the cards and load chips. But it is all functional and a very enjoyable game. :shrugs:
BGG image courtesy of Koiv

The games in my collection with the best artwork?
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries - Has a beautiful board and snow-covered train cards. However, since it is still TtR, I'm not always wanting to play this because.........well it's just TtR. (The images in the BGG gallery do NOT do this game's beautiful artwork justice. Looks like I'm going to attempt to get some nicer shots of this game!)
BGG image courtesy of rober

Lost Cities - This has nice artwork on the cards, but again, I'm not always thinking about this game or wanting to play it.
 
BGG image courtesy of -=Dani=-

Hansa Teutonica - I like the artwork on this game, especially the player boards, the Escritoires. They are really pretty and functional with a 3-D look. They could have done plain boring rectangles but they made these instead!
BGG image courtesy of Mod-Games
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Luke Morris
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All those boxes suck and already colour my views on the games.

Except the Schmuggler game which looks to be quirky, wholesome fun.
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Andy
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#3 Tough to say what my favourite artwork is... I know what I like, and artwork is quite important to my enjoyment of a game, but picking a favourite is hard.

I guess I'll say Dungeon Lords, for its quirky, humorous and colourful artwork

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The artwork on the board and bits is the important part for me. Box art is ok, but has little to do with the game other then letting you know about the theme.
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1 - I find good artwork to be like the frosting on a cake. I'll eat cake without frosting, but it better be darn good cake for me to enjoy it. I have made purchase and play decisions based on artwork in the past (part of the reason I haven't tried Biblios yet.)

2 - The ones that really stood out to me were the Constellation game and Don Drago. Time Control is probably the one I'm most curious about, but that has more to do with the title than the artwork. I do not enjoy the minimalist thing going on in Cry Havoc. But it was fun finding these games, and trying to guess what decade they were made in based solely on the artwork.

3 - I have a lot of games that I would say have beautiful artwork. Many of them are so good that I have actually taken time during a game to look at the art more closely to appreciate its quality. But if I were to select one game that is so good I would actually like to frame its boards and hang them on my wall, that game would have to be Lord of the Rings. John Howe is just a genius with fantasy art, and he is superb when painting monsters. Without his art reinforcing the theme, this game could really become mechanical when you turn to the board, but instead it just comes alive.




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Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943 has the best artwork in my collection. The entire series follows this trend though as demonstrated by their box cover art:







 




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Blott wrote:
#3. What game in your collection has the best artwork? (Pictures are appreciated.)[/BGCOLOR]


These are my favorite boxes:


Although far from being the "best" box artwork, I love the goofy style used on this one:



In terms of boards, both of these would look just as great framed and hanging on a wall as they do sitting on the gaming table:


Another good one:
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The best artwork in any game I own is StarCraft.




I would second Pillars of the Earth.

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#2
I think all the games shown have good art work. However, I think the art is moot if the game doesn't have good graphic design/typesetting. Its not just the pictures but the way information is conveyed and the way in which the art both brings out the theme and makes the mechanics more obvious that matter most.

#3
I'm tempted to say Dixit is the prettiest game in my collection but I find the art on San Marco (not in my collection) amazing as well.


Dixit


San Marco

I am curious, how do you factor in games such as Crokinole (sadly not in my collection), that may have great artistic merit and craftsmanship, in which the beauty could be ascribed to the natural beauty of the wood and not an artist.


Crokinole
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Steve Bauer
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DaveD wrote:
To me, good artwork on the box, might cause me to look at a game, I might otherwise not, but I would always research further before buying. I would never buy a game purely on the artwork and by the same token never reject one, just because it had basic line drawing printed on a tablecloth.

Best artwork in games I own is a toss up.

The Pillars of the Earth


World Without End


Probably predictable choices I know


This was my first thought.
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Everett Warren
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Talk about extremes!

For the first portion of the first question, I had to check both "vitally important" and "couldn't care less", because I do appreciate good artwork, and it does help color my experience with a game, but, in the end, it's all about the game itself, and once a game reveals itself to be both pretty beautiful and pretty non-functional, it's done.

Good artwork is what captures the eye ("Buy this book, just look at how nice the cover is!") but it's the gameplay that makes the sale.

While I love fantasy artwork, sometimes it just takes the right use of color in a simpler setting to be attractive, so for #3, I'll go with:


This art ~ a computer generated and rendered landscape ~ caught my eye and that convinced me to look deeper into the game, so it did its job well.

The graphic presentation of the game as a whole does what it's supposed to do ~ it focuses your attention on the gameplay.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is Heresy, which I bought solely to collect the art and have never played:


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Good artwork makes me more likely to play a game, and it probably makes me enjoy the game more. I will play games with bad artwork, but it's a little less fun.

Somethimes, good artwork can interfere with a game, though. I've got Lunch Money

The artwork is great (in a dark, cat-fighty way), but the cards have no useful info on them. I'd much rather have a plain deck of cards that explains which cards must be preceded by a grab and other restrictions.

I've got a lot of Days of Wonder games, and they all have great artwork, but right now, I've been enjoying the artwork on a couple of AEG games, Infinite City and The Adventurers


I also really like the artwork in Carson City

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Jason Lott
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Good questions this week!

1. Although it's not a deal-breaker for me to reject a game, artwork can absolutely push me over the edge to purchase a game.

2. An unfortunate random mix - most of these covers are bad. But the Constellation game looks pretty good. However, this is a good example of how design isn't doing a game any favors if it's done poorly - that Cry Havoc box is Dullsville, Pop. 1!

3. The first thing that jumped to mind was Tsuro. It's easily gotten the most "oohs" when I opened it in front of people. A simple game with gorgeous elements.



As Dave mentioned above, The Pillars of the Earth has a beautiful board and the cards are nice as well.

I'm actually very fond of the art in Arkham Horror which conveys the atmosphere and the Lovecraft style.

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John Bandettini
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aboveriver wrote:
SVan wrote:
The right art can add a lot of theme to the game. So art can be a big thing sometimes.

My favorite game art has to be Railroad Tycoon. The board is way too big, but I love how it looks. Age of Empires III is also very good. (Eagles knew how to make a game look good.)


Now I really like both of those boards...I wonder why I was turned off by the Chicago Express board?


It was obviously too small
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