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Can I re-use the images on several cards?

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eyerouge
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WTactics Re-usage

(0. Devs are still wanted for our game.. >> http://chaosrealm.net/wtactics - contact me now.)

1. We have a limited amount of artwork and all of it is of creatures. This makes it hard for us having exciting art for instant/magic/event-cards, but, could something like the below picture work?

To clarify, the question is if normal players would accept that the instant/event/magic-cards only had a re-coloured version of a unit on them, as seen in the attached picture. We do plan to select as relevant units as possible for the instant/event-cards (i.e. a Healing event would show a Druid, a combat event would show a warrior etc) but I'm still not sure people would accept this...

What are your thoughts? Personally I'd play it, especially since the game is totally free and open. That said, I don't know about average joe's reaction to this approach...

Thanks in advance. :)

Edit: Original image >> http://www.ubuntu-pics.de/bild/48071/testset_ysSmdh.jpg

eyerouge
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edit

Forgot to post link to the orginal image >> http://www.ubuntu-pics.de/bild/48071/testset_ysSmdh.jpg

Edit: Hrm... can't delete this post.. oh well */hides in shame*

tomi71
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My opinion is that your cards

My opinion is that your cards look beautiful and I wouldn´t mind if they used same images many times. In that way the images can be seen more "symbolic" or something in that spirit.

So: I would say it´s ok and maybe "less is more" applies here. I like your style of doing cards. Very refreshing and easy on eyes. Good work!

eyerouge
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thanks...

Thanks for the encouraging reply tomi...

I'd like to give the credit for the card design to Gary Simpson that created the original unit template we use. (Even think Gary is around this forum :) ) I've only done the event-cards and the (bad) re-coloring this far.

Keeping it easy on the eyes is super important to me, and it's quite often a struggle to let both aesthetics and functionality meet without one giving way to the other. I know the templates aren't 100% done yet but I think we're closing in as time goes by... and happy that you like them.

More thoughts people? Are all as forgiving as tomi? ;)

larienna
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Many games reuse art.

Many games reuse art. Sometimes you can see on a card a part of the box picture. I have seen in arkham horror an NPC picture being used also for a spell picture. So Yes, I think you could do it.

tomi71
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larienna wrote:Many games

larienna wrote:
Many games reuse art. Sometimes you can see on a card a part of the box picture. I have seen in arkham horror an NPC picture being used also for a spell picture. So Yes, I think you could do it.

As the creators I think we have something to say about how things can be done and not to think how they were done before. It´s called inventing.

I mean this in a good way of course :)

scifiantihero
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I like the art!!

It's very nice :)

Resizing things could be an option too. Like, that one with a the chick holding out her hand with stuff kinda floating from it, could be turned into just her hand for a spell or something.

:)

Pastor_Mora
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The differences are subtle

I don't know if I'm getting the full picture here, but differences look quite (too) subtle.

If the artwork is too similar, you could try lowering it's relevance in the template. Maybe using them as a background watermark. I'm thinking perhaps it's too late to try that now.

The thing is, that between 2 and 3, the only visible difference is supposedly a letter in the top right corner. And that is not clear enought to figure out at first sight. Maybe you could bring forward the top right corner detail and step back the central artwork.

I think the art repetition is not the problem itself. But that the repeated art weights to heavily in the overall card template.

Nice art btw. Keep thinking!

eyerouge
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@scifiantihero: Agree on

@scifiantihero:
Agree on resizing/cutting as a method to get more art out of the same art work, but we can't do it because of the original resolution of the works.

@pastor:
You're right - there needs to be cleared difference between the different types of event cards. Will fix, probably by using different colors for the box that has the letters.

I'm not sure I fully understand your thoughts on the weight of the art in the overall card template: We're talking about the event cards now, right? (Yellow ones, small artwork).

We have a delicate problem of lacking art for event cards and this was my first attempt on a "solution" to it. The problem is that while most in here seem to find it satisfying enough for it to not be seen as a problem, I fear that common CCG people will not tolerate the approach since they're accustomed to unique art on ever card/no art re-usage.

Biggest problem with the re-usage, as was pointed out by Trevor elsewhere on the net, is the fact that it makes the cards harder to recognize. Artwork is _iconic_ in ccg:s and makes identifying a card very easy once you learn to associate the art work with the cards effect. If we re-use art that will be much harder to do - when you see the art work you know that x number of cards use it, but you can't possibly know which card it is you're holding in your hand unless you are forced to read the name of the card. And I think this is a major problem...

Here is the way I've tried to solve it:

http://www.ubuntu-pics.de/bild/48323/testsetcolored_Ul1RhH.png

Solutions 3 & 4 are the ones I'm in personally in favor of: They solve the problem - by just looking at the card art the player would know what type of event card it is (A, T or C) and also properly use the card art as icon to identify what the card actually does, much like any unique card art would work.

scifiantihero
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Why . . .

I ask--without going to your site and doing any research--are you limited when it comes to art? It seems like if you needed pictures of towns/spells/faeries/swords/whatever-else, it would be possible to acquire SOMETHING for probably nothing if you just asked around amateur artists on a website like deviant art (that's really the only one I've been to) for help with art for a game (that's free, right?)

And if you were willing to shell out a few bucks(and I do mean a few), I imagine there would be plenty of people willing to help!

I dunno. This is just based on how I would feel about helping if I could, and the artsy people I've met/known/dated. (If you wanted spaceships, I'd be happy to help, but elf chicks might be a little bit out of what I've had much practice drawing!)

So yeah. Just rambling in an attempt to be useful.

:)

eyerouge
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because...

i) You are right that I could come by _something_. I've had great experience of "art-begging" in the past, and usually, the greater the art the less likely you get to use it. I have event kept statistics of my attempts, and my experience, after contacting hundreds of artists, is that about 2-5% will be interested. This can of course depend on the community, on the "begging" and a lot of other factors. Let's just say it's a tedious task and that it usually amounts to nothing good if you have any specific standards or special criteria for the project.

ii) The fact that we're GPL licensed makes art begging much much harder as most artists either want to sell their rights or keep them. In our case none of those options are functional.

iii) Speaking of which: I want the game to be _coherent_. I don't want random styles/artists/artwork all mashed up. I know many CCG:s do it that way, but this particular game should not. It's an purely aesthetical decision. Personally I also relate it to quality. (Not saying using stock doesn't lead to quality. Just that mixing much stock easily causes problems.) In any case I rather have a game with my above solutions than one which relies on a combo of good luck and charity.

iv) If the game is any good I would happily hire artists or buy stylistically compatible artwork. At this point it's too early to invest money in the project. To me the most important part of the game is the rules. Theme comes later on, and I'm not all too worried about it becoming a non-solvable problem. Even though I appreciate all the advise and great input from you guys I'm confident the art related problems will be solved in one way or another. A part of that solution is "how do we make this work, the best way possible, with _what we actually got_?" :)

scifiantihero
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Well . . .

. . . it's interesting to hear about your experiences with finding art and trying to solve this problem!

I imagine I will find myself in the same situation sooner or later. I think I may just have to learn to draw ships and pirates . . . >.<

But I really like the art you have . . . maybe kidnap that person for a while and make them draw you more?

:D

Taavet
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Wesnoth

Your artwork reminds me a lot of Battle for Wesnoth (www.wesnoth.org). It's a free turn based game. Not sure who did most of the art for it but I would assume they did it for free. Of the scenarios that I have played through the art is fairly consistent. You could try contacting them and finding out who did their art.

I don't think reusing art is an issue.

Adjusting the format should make each picture unique. Smaller/Larger, fliping image horizontally (mirror), using only part of the image, changing the coloring of image or borders on cards, ect.

I think it also depends on the size of the game. If the game is as large as one MtG expansion then it shouldn't be an issue. If it is going to be as big as all the MtG expansions thus far then having that many of the same image/artwork will definately cause confusion to the point where players would have to read the cards. I think at most each image should only be used about 5 times, and those 5 times should be different size/color/perspective.

eyerouge
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@Taveet:

Your artwork reminds me a lot of Battle for Wesnoth /../ You could try contacting them and finding out who did their art.

It is the art from BfW. Also the name of the project is WTactics, where the W stands for "Wesnoth". :) I've been in touch with the main artist that set their latest style and something might happen on that front. We have also hired an artist for 2-3 cards and are currently reviewing his work.

I think it also depends on the size of the game. /../ I think at most each image should only be used about 5 times, and those 5 times should be different size/color/perspective.

I fully agree, and would even consider only re-using once or up to 3 times (as shown in examples above). Never more since, as your write, it would be very confusing and hard to differentiate the cards in the end.

I have no aspirations whatsoever to release as many cards as MTG - they have over 10 000 cards at this point. Actually I think one of the design goals should be to never have a card in more than 1 version within a faction and that the distinction between cards, function wise, should be as great as possible. Thus, I wouldn't want to create a game where there are 5 differerent healing cards that are all siblings (Heal 1 HP, Heal 3 HP, Heal 10 HP etc). Sadly many ccg:s don't share that notion, but I guess it's understandable when you look at the way CCG:s are traditionally distributed (people pay for a random product, rarity, boosters, etc etc)

Redcap
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Can I ask why you don't just

Can I ask why you don't just get more art?

Never mind you answered this above, but anyway, I love art and personally would rather see different artwork on the cards.

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