Skip to Content

Simple Art

4 replies [Last post]
bonsaigames
bonsaigames's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/20/2010

We're developing an asteroid mining game and we've been experimenting with a stylisticly simple art type. We've been really lucky to work with some talented artists so far, but this game feels like a simpler style is appropriate.
I guess the question here is do you feel that a game needs expensive, fancy art to be successful?

seo
seo's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
If the game is good, I don't

If the game is good, I don't think it requires fancy art to succeed, but fancy art will certainly help when it comes to making people who don't know about the game feel interested in it.

That said, there's simple art and then there's simple art. If the art is simple and great, and matches the game theme, and does the communication part of its work well, simple is fine and might even work better than fancy.

But when it comes to sales, you should remember that a lot of people think simple=easy=cheap=bad and fancy=hard=luxury=good. Happens with games, painting, movies, etc.

Personally, I think there's a shortage of good, simple game art, and a surplus of fancy art.

Cogentesque
Cogentesque's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2011
Heya bonsaigames, First of

Heya bonsaigames,

First of all, I was looking over your "ultimate power" ccg - the artwork is AWESOME. (the game has got a great idea as well btw, looks awesome fun) I was actually thinking to myself that if I produced a game I would love the actual artwork (as in , the pictures in the boxes) to be similar. If that is what you mean by simple art (vectors and ink fills) then hells-yes you should stick with it. But I am in total agreement with our good friend SEO here, unless I am forced to buy the game by very-high personal reccomendation from a fellow avid gamer/friend/online review then yes, I will buy it based on the front cover / the back cover / and the pictures on the box of what the inside contains. But remember, that doesn't mean "complicated" that means "effective and visually reassuring". Good example: the "grown ups" [black box] version of Cranium is great. The box is black with most of its pull coming from shiny silver typography and it has some plastic windows that show you some awesome (although pointless) little meeple game pieces ... and you can change their hats o_O. You can see that the production value is high and really attracted me not necassarily the art. But it does help.

But at the same time it can by all means be stylistically simple, but it still needs to be stylistically good. If the art is bad, it will actually way down very heavy on me as I play the game. EG "Fluxx" design is a little boring to me (the actual pictures in the boxes are good, but the rest of the cards like the outside-edge bevel and the backings) are all quite simple. This to me, doesn't fill me with super happiness but the game is a sound, fun, quirky party game. A different example is my recently played horror game: "Mansions of Madness" the artwork and production values are absolutely stunning. There is sometimes TOO MUCH art and fanciness. But this game fills me with "wow...thats awesome" literally every time I open the box or examine the pieces as I play.

A good point to add is that with your company making card games: once you spend time on the standardised card, the rest CAN be simple. As long as the card "As a whole" looks cool, I will definately enjoy handling it. My advice (in your specific example) you will do absoltely no harm having the imagery artwork (again: The pictures in the boxes on the cards) to be simplified and stylistic but I would put a lot of work into the rest of the cards (the fonts / the layout / the bevels / the bezzel / the edge / the backing etc etc etc).

If all else fails: change the card stock to something more fancy or with a sexier varnish on it and/or do it all in black. :o)

bonsaigames
bonsaigames's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/20/2010
Ade Smith Rocks!

Cogentesque wrote:
...First of all, I was looking over your "ultimate [INFINITE] power" ccg [ECG] - the artwork is AWESOME. (the game has got a great idea as well btw, looks awesome fun) I was actually thinking to myself that if I produced a game I would love the actual artwork (as in , the pictures in the boxes) to be similar. If that is what you mean by simple art (vectors and ink fills) then hells-yes you should stick with it. ...

Thanks for the kind words. We were lucky to find Ade Smith on RPGNow.com and developed a great working relationship with him. Did you check out the tutorial video? If you end up picking up the game, I'd love to hear your feedback we want to continue releasing archetype deck expansions in the months to come.

I was actually refering to more of a retro-sci-fi feel with flat shapes for our asteroid mining game. Not because we couldn't get / do better, but because it feels like the right type of art for the game. My concern basically is that because we are small press we will look like small time if we go this route.

Cogentesque
Cogentesque's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2011
Ahh ok ok I see, Regarding

Ahh ok ok I see,

Regarding infinite power : I live in southampton UK - not sure where you are based, but if you can get a sample to me, I will play it to shit with my gaming lads here and give you proper, hard working, honest , helpful feedback that may be either be very helpful for any future releases or similar games or terribly upsetting depending on how we found it play after many games!

As far the retro-sci-fi feel: it's all the fashion at the moment with the kids! But when doing a "retro" vibe, definately a modern stance, with a retro vibe as opposed to an "old" looking game. Perhaps it would be good to mock up a single sample card with Ade Smith (rough and ready is fine), post it up here in the forums and we can give you our thoughts as of course "retro" vivbe (even though I know what you mean) could be one of many different ideas.

On a very broad front, I would probably say that the best format would be retro crossed with contemporary or with minimilism or with epic-fantasy art. So http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retro-futurism would be cool. I think simply having too much http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard-edge would simply - as you put it - make the game feel a little small time - especially so if the mechanics were very simple themselves, I would worry that you would be in danger of counting out the intricate game lover and niche yourself to narrowly.

tl;dr As long as the whole card looks modern, in depth and robust the specific artwork can be as retro and minimalist as need be.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut