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The Saga Continues

For those resilient enough to follow along with the ongoing Poltergeist Paparazzi story, its pending publication, delays and complications here is an update.

If you want more background on this read the posts

Better Late Than Never & I’m trying to be optimistic

We met with a potential Italian partner last night at a local Coffee house and played the game.

He had seen it before but needed to see it in action one more time. I was there to show the game and answer questions about its play if any arose. Nothing significant did come up about the playability. We instead spent most of the time discussing what king of card racks could be used, having the dies made for the ghosts and such things. The publisher seemed genuinely pleased with the mechanics, length of play, age range, etc... Neither was he put off by the need for custom molded parts.

But wait he did have a concern.

The board is necessarily busy; it just has to be for what the game is. It took me three attempts to do the layout so it was usable. The concern is that the artist won’t be able to take this very busy layout, apply art to it and keep it understandable. For those wondering this game drips theme so it needs the art.

I have been told we should have the artist’s first rendering in 2-3 weeks. Going ahead will be dependent on how happy they are with that.

So if you happen to be an Italian artist doing a haunted house board that looks a bit crazy don’t forget that other people’s welfare is in your hands.


Can you disassociate obfuscating information from the board?

Metaphyscally, what does the data on the board represent?

Instead of making them score tracks with art applied to them, can you make the design, layout, and art all integrate with what the score tracks represent to create a more harmonious whole?

What if you took the tracks and other board elements and broke them out into two or more smaller boards? Would that make it easier to lay out and understand?

(Oops - Upon re-reading this, I realize that I assumed that the board was just a complex scoring track. That could easily be totally wrong. I'm not deleting this because it could still be useful, perhaps...)

If the board is a combination of representational and abstract data, can you pull the abstract data out from the board and put it on its own separate board?

How can I explain this?

Think of the board as 6 overlapping and interconnected flow charts. It will be the routing of the path that will be the issue. They will need to be clearly defined whilst not obscuring the board art.

All joking aside from my previous post I have great faith in graphic artists. Having seen several dozen games go from raw prototype to finished product I know that a skilled artist can work miracles. I also know that the publishers involved have a high standard for artwork. I look forward to seeing the realization of my concept in the visual medium.

Well, okay then...

Dralius wrote:
Think of the board as 6 overlapping and interconnected flow charts. It will be the routing of the path that will be the issue. They will need to be clearly defined whilst not obscuring the board art.

That's a really significant, non-trivial issue to overcome. It also sounds funky and awesome. Color me intrigued.

Do the paths only indicate flow or do they also indicate steps to take at specific points in the flow chart? I suppose that it's six flow charts with commands – not just flow patterns. If that's the case, then...

...well, I suppose I'd try to reduce the text as much as possible by creating a distinctive iconic vocabulary.

Oh, look at the time! Time to go to work. Your game sounds fascinating. You're right that a good graphic designer can work wonders. I wish you the best of luck.

Best regards,

Jonathan L.

This might make more sense

It does indeed indicate flow from point to point yet I might have made it sound more complex then it is because a flow chart often has a decision tree; if A= true then go here. This is not the case, the 6 paths do not branch. Instead they cycle and have points in common with each other.

If everything works out I’ll post the board as soon as a have permission to leak it.

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