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Card Game Art

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schaur
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Joined: 08/20/2010

Hello Forum.

I'm new here, but have liked reading the threads so far.

A general question about card games:
Is it recommended to have more than one artist, or is it preferable to have a consistent style throughout the images of a card game? Currently, I am designing a card game consisting of ~44 unique cards. I have one artist willing to do all of them, and I really like their style; but I was wondering if its a good idea to put all my images in one basket, or if I should try to diversify.

There are benefits to both I suppose (different card types having different styles to help differentiate, same style throughout adds a sense of cohesion, different styles helping to attract a wider audience since appeals to wider range of aesthetics...)

Anyway, just wondering if there was a general rule in the game designer world.

Thanks for your consideration.
schaur

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
I think it depends on what

I think it depends on what type of game youre doing. But Me personaly like one artist and if you like the art the artist have made go for it.

(one of the fue times difrent artists are a good idea is for instans magic tcg, or when you have really manny cards then you may want to think about a second or third artist to spead up the art making process)

schaur
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Thanks hulken.

Since you say "depends," what makes the difference?

Is it because Magic has 5 different sects (colors), or because it has different card types, e.g. spells, creatures, enchantments, artifacts, etc.?

My game won't have different "colors" but it does have different card types, e.g. attack, defense, unique. I think having different styles (not necessarily different artists) would be helpful to quickly differentiate between the card types.

hulken
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Mostly I would say it is all

Mostly I would say it is all about the feeling you want the game to have (or comunicate).

In youre case I guess it is a card game onley? You said you hade 44 difrent types of cards. I would say going with one artist is to prefer. This gives the game a more solid feel I would say. But it can depend on wht types of cards you use also, for instens if youre cards have picturs of a "postcard" feeling (nice vjues) then it can be prity hard to tell artists apart so there you can use difrent artists. But if you have people, buildings, artifacts then it usualy becomes mutch easier to tell artists apart, due to the fact most artist tend to use one stile with one game. (the stile they fell is best suted for the game or the stile agreed upon). Here I would say atleast in my book it is better to go with one artist to give the game a more homogenic feel.

Also if you have a gameboard then it should also be the same artist I think. Or atleast the same type stile. I have seen some games that uses difrent stiles on both cards and board and to me that gives of a feeling that one does not belong. It can be a simple thing, take the game pillars. There the card and game board gives of the same feeling, a feeling of "thees people actualy lives here". But if you had used cartoony artwork for the caracter then there would have bin a clash of stiles and one hade to go.

So maby what I am saying is use the same stile for al components of youre game, easiest way to acive this is using onley one artist. Also I would presume it would be cheaper using onley one.

Yes and the pint you made about magic having 5 difrent collors, using difrent artist can, and I say can if done right, enhance that feeling.

irdesigns510
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Joined: 06/24/2009
it really just depends

first, look at magic: the gathering. since new sets come out all the time, the aesthetics of the game runs very much like an art gallery. and that part lends itself very well to expansions, new sets, promotional art, etc.

Then look at "zombies!!!". all the art is the same, and it looks good. but when i play zombies!!!, i WANT that art style at that moment.

is your game a single-shot, closed title? or is it going to eventually be open ended.
(expansions count as a closed title, as Settlers of catan's expansions match the art of the first game.)

One IMMEDIATE benefit as a designer is TIMEFRAME, and since im assuming this is kind of a hobby right now, ill imagine that your timeframe is rather large.
1 artist doing 2 pieces = 2 time units total
2 artists doing 1 piece each = 1 time unit total

another is artist PAYMENT, as sometimes artists will give a little breathing room if they are doing alot of pieces for you.

the other thing is this: is the artist famous? will people flock to a game because of the artist? YES!
just look at greed quest. (probably the worst game of all time, and a complet waste of phil foglio art!)
if they are famous, stick to the same person.
More on the famous part...do you have alot of friends that know this artist? sometimes you just need to make an impact in your immediate area (as far as sales go) rather than thinking big to start.

but, if you are just doing this as a relaxing project, stick with the one person, so you can both have something special to share (assuming you are friends).

schaur
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Joined: 08/20/2010
Thanks

Thanks Hulken, and IR.

Both of you have made great points, I think I"ll stick to one artist and differentiate in a way other than art.

Receiving feedback/support on my first post gives me a good impression of the community here.

fecundity
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Joined: 07/28/2008
One thing to ask is whether

One thing to ask is whether you are going to manufacture the game yourself or submit it to game companies. If you are submitting it, then don't spend too money or fret too much about final art. A company won't care too much about the art on your prototype. And if they accept your game, they will want to do their own thing with the art anyway.

red hare
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Joined: 11/09/2009
credit for artists

Not to highjack this thread, but it was mentioned that a publisher will probably do their own thing with the art design when they produce a game, and that the art work of the prototype will be discarded. What about giving credit to the artist who did the illustrations for the prototype? Will they not get credit as one of the artists/ illustrators when the game is published?

schaur
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fecundity: Yea, I've read that while researching the whole process. Currently, I don't think the chances of getting published are high. The goal is to make a play-test prototype, then go to a publisher like thegamecrafter.

Getting it truly published is beyond my expectations at this point.

I know we don't need art for a play-test; but I typically start things without seeing it all the way through, so I want to get the images made. Also, in my play testing so far, its hard to keep the cards strait without the images because I have to reread a lot of the cards.

red hare: You certainly are not hijacking the thread. Your concern is dependent on the expectations set with the artist at the beginning. At the start, I mentioned that we would probably only get to thegamecrafter stage; and that if the game were ever fully published, the odds of the original art being used is quite small. So we are considering a flexible cost structure: only play-testing: flat fee, thegamecrafter: additional flat fee or comissioned based (artist choice), truly published: if publisher is interested in original art, then the artist and publisher talk directly (though odds are practically non-existent, since they probably want to have popular artists for sales)

fecundity
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schaur wrote: I know we don't

schaur wrote:

I know we don't need art for a play-test; but I typically start things without seeing it all the way through, so I want to get the images made. Also, in my play testing so far, its hard to keep the cards strait without the images because I have to reread a lot of the cards.

I would use the Google image search to find pictures for the playtest cards. You won't be able to use them in the end because of rights issues, but nothing stops you from making a playtest set using them.

I suggest this because playtesting will probably lead you to change the distribution of cards, to drop some cards entirely, or add some that you won't think of until after you've playtested a lot. Whichever way you decide to get consistent art - by relying on one artist or by coordinating many artists - you don't want to have to go back later to add cards and make them fit the graphical style you've already established. It's better to make the art once you are pretty confident that those are all the cards you'll need.

All that said: I rarely follow that advice. I often draw or design components as I am thinking about the game. Sometimes, like with the Decktet, I make the cards before I even have a game for them. However, my cards are an art project for me. I enjoy drawing them. If I had to requisition art from other people, I'd follow the advice I've given above.

red hare
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Schaur- exactly, I don't want

Schaur- exactly, I don't want to ask a friend to do some design work for free or at a low rate for a prototype and promise that it will be used in the finished product if it gets published. That's good to know.

Thanks Fecundity for the advice on when to use an artist in the design process. it's so hard to know when the game is finished and it's time to have the game illustrated. There always seems to be one more change to make WHILE the artist is working on your designs...

schaur
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Red - Am I to take it that you are also developing a card game? If so, I hope it turns out as you envision it.

Fecundity - I see your point about grabbing images from googles images, and their new page layout makes it so easy. It's just so hard to curb my enthusiasm. This is my first game after all.

I have to admit that I am slightly envious that you can draw...

red hare
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event cards and map

Thanks but I haven't developed a card game, yet. At the moment, I am working with a friend of mine on a war game that needed a rather large number of event cards, tokens, and boards to be designed. Luckily I knew another board game junky who volunteered to do the art work. We're assembling prototypes this week... it is so much work!

And ditto on being able to draw... wish I had that talent!

Good luck on your card game as well!

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