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Heroes of Normandie» Forums » General

Subject: Language independent??? rss

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C├ędric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Probably this question has been answered elsewhere:
I've seen this Game on Kickstarter a while ago and liked the look of it very much.
But I never thought I'd have a closer look at this game just because i thought it will come out only in english - not that a problem for me - but for my gaming buddies - and I do nat wnat to play a game with (too many) game components, they can not read by themselves. Now I've seen that the rules will be translated in german and i realized, that instead of texts there were pictograms on the cards - no text: So my questions: Is here any text on the cards and other game components at all? and if Yes - on most of the cards / game components or only a few? or will the game components be translated in german as well?
Thx for an official answer.
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G. Uitz
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Hi Cedric,
it's nice to meet you again after the old BattleLore days. I second that question. It seems that the cards will carry icons to show what effect they have, but the card titles will remain english.

Tokens carry english names as well (grenade, etc.), but that should not be an issue.

Apart from that, I think the material will be totally language independent.

Dark.
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clem seurat
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it will be text on cards but a german downloadable version of every card will be available with the german rules.
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Jacek Deimer
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I think that language independant cards with symbols only, look much, much more better.

It's a bit more challenging during first few plays, but after that symbols are easier and faster recognize than reading a card text.

It's also better option if you don't have plans for many localized version.
It will easier for foreign players to learn all symbology than to refer to translation sheet all the time they drew a new card. I know this first hand as many games here in Poland doesn't have localized version and translating cards is usually painfull.

Nowadays many succefull games use pictogram instead of text. Just 2 examples: Race for the Galaxy and 7 Wonders. Race use a ton of different symbols, 7W not so much (but with expansions it's still a substantial amount) and I don't think if they were so successful if they used plain text instead.

The trick here is to make the system as intuitive as possible, that way if you know basics of it, you can easily guess more advanced symbols and combinations.

And to mitigate initial entry barier a good help sheet for each player can do wonders. ALso this way you only have to translate this player aid into different languages and publish on you web site instead of translating all of the cards.

So my vote goes for language independent pictograms (maybe with small reminder text) and good player aid sheet.

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Wulf Corbett
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I vote heavily against a plague of symbols - especially as that is NOT what we're been shown so far. Produce what you advertise, and what we're paying for...
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Jacek Deimer
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@Wulf

I wouldn't disagree with you, if not because of this picture:


It's on the main page of HoN kickstarter.
I'd say it clearly suggest that cards are language independent (at least some them).

My impression was that cards in finalproduct will be language independant and that cards in demo where just older versions with text (because pictograms were not finished for them).


I'd also disagree with this statement:

Quote:
I vote heavily against a plague of symbols...


I'd argue that well done symbology system can have more advantages than disadvantages when compared to plain text,just few points:

1. It speed ups gameplay, pictograms are faster torecognice and decipher for human brain than fewlinesof plain text.

2. Cards looks better and there is more place for the art/picture. In demo you can seen that picture had to be shrinked on "Opportunity fire" because of the substantial amount of text. A lot of people recognize cards by art and it's important for it to be clearly visible/distinguishable.

3. Translation, this is main point for me. Game will be published in English, French and also German I think. Language barrier can be a problem for people in many other countries. I know it will be for my gaming friends and propably a lot of people in Poland that could be interrested in this game.

I've read that DPG plan to publish cards translated into other languages, BIG PLUS for good initiative!
But I'm not sure if they will have enought resources to justify publishing them in Polish, Chech, Slovak, Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Slovene. That's a lot of tranlating and I mentioned only central/eastern members of EU.

In case of pictogram's , an loyal fan could just tranlate the card rules nad publish them here on BGG. With cards it's a lot more of work and need access to files in a manageable format.



Well, I have good feeling about the game in general, I see DPG as a pasionate team that will polish their game very well. So no matter how cards will look in the final product it won't be a deal braker for me, it's just a small part in a biger picture. I just wanted to expres my preference and reasons for them!
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Wulf Corbett
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Reid666 wrote:
1. It speed ups gameplay, pictograms are faster torecognice and decipher for human brain than fewlinesof plain text.
Utter nonsense. if you can read the language you can understand the text. Symbols will all have to be looked up until they become familiar, and even then there will always be uncertainty, regardless of what languages you can read. And how will the symbols be explained? In text, exactly as it would be on the card. If you can't understand it on the card, you can't understand it elsewhere.
Quote:
2. Cards looks better and there is more place for the art/picture. In demo you can seen that picture had to be shrinked on "Opportunity fire" because of the substantial amount of text. A lot of people recognize cards by art and it's important for it to be clearly visible/distinguishable.
Better than what? These just look like a mess of meaningless icons, and they will stay that way without a full sheet of explanations, covered in text. With no explanation at all I could understand the demo cards immediately. Symbolic cards just mean one more delay during gameplay.

There is only one reason for this move to silly little pictograms, and that's to make versions in other languages cheaper. Considering what the game costs in the first place, I'll be very disappointed if they go cheap on this.
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Jacek Deimer
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@Wulf

It doesn't look I'll be able to convince you, as it's apparent you've already made your mind on this. So, I'm not trying to do it. I would just write few more words why pictograms are rather good idea for a game.


Quote:
There is only one reason for this move to silly little pictograms, and that's to make versions in other languages cheaper. Considering what the game costs in the first place, I'll be very disappointed if they go cheap on this.


1. silly little pictograms

I can't understand why do you think that pictogram are "silly"? They are vey efficient way to put all important imformation on game pieces, without extensive use of text. They are well adopted by game designers, just check few top rated games:

Games that use pictograms on cards:

7 Wonders
Race for the Galaxy
City of Horror
Troyes
New Era
(a Polish game, very succefull in our country)

Games that use a lot of pictogram on other game pieces:

Eclipse
Castles of Burgundy
Tzolkin, Mayan Calendar
Village Inn
( card expansion to Vllage)

and propably many more, unfotunatelly I don't know every game in BGG Top 100...

All of the abowe are top rated, successful and recent games. Maybe we should ask designer of those games why they've chosen to use "silly pictograms" instead of plain text?
Maybe because "silly pictogram" really work. They are good new trend in board games that in fact leads to more accessible games for average gamer.

2. ...make versions in other languages cheaper

Well, even games from biggest publishers, like Fantasy Flight Games doesn't get localized version in countries with smaller boardgame market, like Poland and propably most countries of eastern EU. I would really love to see HoN in Polish, but I'm realistic and I don't expect such release from small publisher like DPG. They wouldn't make profit by doing this and I completely understand that.

If they can make professional translation of cards into Polish (and other eastern EU languages) and publish on their web site, that's great. I would be able to print them, sleeve my cards and put printed versions over them. But all translations take time and resources. With so many languages to cover it can be a lot of time and resource, so it may just not happen .

As i said earlier: If game relies on pictograms, you only have to translate rulebook. It's a huge difference!

Also if you make any errata to cards, people will expect you to release .pdf files with corrected cards in all supported languages. I'm still waiting for 5 corrected cards in Seasons to be published online in Polish, so it's harder than it looks like. This is very reasonable concern!

So it's not about getting versions in other languages "cheaper". It's about getting them at all!




Going back to merit points:

Wulf Corbett wrote:
Reid666 wrote:
1. It speed ups gameplay, pictograms are faster to recognice and decipher for human brain than fewlines of plain text.
Utter nonsense. if you can read the language you can understand the text. Symbols will all have to be looked up until they become familiar, and even then there will always be uncertainty, regardless of what languages you can read. And how will the symbols be explained? In text, exactly as it would be on the card. If you can't understand it on the card, you can't understand it elsewhere.


Well, I think you missed a point here:
What's faster to read and recognize, after you know the language: few pictograms or few lines of text? Well, pictograms! You can check it if you wish. That's why road signs have symbols on them instead of lines of text.

Symbols will have to be looked up for the first few games, but if system is intuitive, everything will be memorised after those few plays. And you don't have to learn them all at once, you can be exposed to them gradually throught scenarios. Just give numbers to cards and separate them into groups: BASIC: 1-20 ; ADVANCED: 21-40 ; EXPERT: 41-52

Usually more advanced pictograms are in some way based on simpler one, this way they are easy to memorize. For example: knowing pictograms from base game you coud guess meaning of the pictograms from expansions just by looking at them.

And finally here is big point: If you think that you will get complete explantion of the card on card itself, you are just dissilusioning yourself. Cards have limited space, that's a fact. I don't know the measurment of cards in final game, but no matter what it is, it's a limited space. It won't cover all interactions between abilities and other cards. It won't cover corner cases. And it won't incorporate future errata and FAQ.

That's the truth, Seasons is an great example - every card has some printed text (they have some symbols too), some have a lot of it in fact (so small that it's hard to read), but every card also have separate entry in rulebook that's much longer and desribe cards function in more detail. After that many cards have very long entries in FAQ document available on publishers site. And also 5 cards with errat... During each of 20+ plays we had to refer to Rulebook or FAQ document.

So unless you cover entire card in microtext, there will be still unclear situation when you will have to refer to rulebook/FAQ.

You realize that text for "opportunity fire" is more detailed in rulebook than on the demo card...

Quote:

Quote:

2. Cards looks better and there is more place for the art/picture. In demo you can seen that picture had to be shrinked on "Opportunity fire" because of the substantial amount of text. A lot of people recognize cards by art and it's important for it to be clearly visible/distinguishable.
Better than what? These just look like a mess of meaningless icons, and they will stay that way without a full sheet of explanations, covered in text. With no explanation at all I could understand the demo cards immediately. Symbolic cards just mean one more delay during gameplay.

Sorry for being unclear here:

Cards with big, exposed ilustrations and handfull of symbols looks better than cards with small ilustrations and covered with wall of text (that sometimes can be so tiny that's hard to read).

It's an general statement about cards, not specific only to HoN. It's about aesthetics in general.


Those 3 cards that we can see in the picture from my previous post are quite intuitive. We can't be shure 100% what they do, but there are very few possible options. It's far far away from "mess of meaningless icons".

Yes, explanation sheet would be needed at first, but for how log? Propably just a few plays. That's how usually it is in games with pictograms. People can learn them very, very fast if they are done right. That's how human brain works.

After few plays they will generate less delay than cards with text. Human brain recognize art and symbols earlier and faster than lines of text. So reaction time will be shorter for cards with big art and intuitive symbols. Especially if both players will play several cards in a row.


Only disadvantage of pictograms is that they make entry point a bit higher. On the other hand they look better, so they may attract more people to the game.
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Jacek Deimer
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In previous post I focus so much on translation issues that I forgot to put example how pictograms speed up the game during each round:

1. Each round you will have 4 cards in hands, you can use all of them and propably you will unless you'd like to safe some specific card for later. You draw up to 4 cards and end of round. This means that cards in your hand will change frequently and you will see many of them.

2. During your turn you will propably frequently set aside your cards facedown on the table, to free your hand for actions like checking LoS, moving tokens, rolling dice, flipping orders, reaching far sides of the table (as maps can be of resonable size in this game. It's possible that you will perform several such actions in a row without looking at your cards (that are facedown so opponent can't what you at the moment).

3. And here is minor issue: with cards moving so frequently it may be hard to keep track in your hand at the moment, especially if it's face down on the table. So each time you pick-up your hand you will have look at it and check what cards you have there. Most people will recognize cards by art, but if art is small or 2 cards have too similar art it can take some time. Reading card text on the other hand takes some time and distracts from rest of gameplay. Here pictograms could play important role as ART + PICTOS = INSTANT RECOGNITION OF A CARD.

4. I agree this won't speed up gameplay a lot, but enought to make it more fluent and fast paced. And that's the idea behind Heroes of Normandie: a fast paced combat that you can play short battle in 60 minutes. A game that you can play few scenarios in a row during an evening or afternoon. A game that you can play frequently with scalable level of complexity. And if game will be played frequently, people will memorize cards, no matter if there are symbols or text on them. It's about how fast they recognize them when they draw them or when check what they have in hand at the moment.


5. Another point: people are much more scared of cards that have a lot text on them that by cards with few symbols on them. When people see few symbols, especially familiar ones (like sword, rifle, explosion, dice and some pointing arrows) they think: "It must be something simple, if it was difficult, they would have put a wall of text on it "


Well I don't know what other people think about this, maybe I'm big minority here. I'd would be great if more people expressed their feelings about this case.
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