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Suggestions for my board map wanted

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Jakup
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Joined: 09/27/2018
1st proto
2nd proto2
2nd proto1
3rd proto
World map dark
world map zoom
world map light
Income Region cards

Hello
How would you like the art design to be on the board in the game you buy?
See atttached world map, which is the version I work on currently. How to make a map as beautiful as possible in a context of square grids? What colour combinations work on such a map?
In my game, tactical battles are fought as in chess, while there at the same time is an income system and area control mechanism. You could say it’s like playing risk , but instead of dice throwing, tactical battles are resolved by chess-like moves.
(earlier post on my game is here, I’ve been terribly bad at posting progress updates: https://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-creation/new-game-ideas/area-control-gam... ).

In my case, I find Inkscape fairly easy to learn and use, while I struggle much with Gimp. I feel like I can’t overcome the challenge to draw a really beautiful map, whether satellite-like or fantasy like.
In earlier test versions I’ve printed, I used maps I found on the internet as background to the square grid, but now I want to produce something that is 100% my own map. It’s fine making hobby maps at home, but I want to work towards being ready to submit the whole game to a manufacturer to produce some samples, and I really need a more beautiful map.

Many players hate squares, but squares are a necessary ingredient in my game, and my challenge is to integrate the square grid in the artwork of the map, to make the entirety of the map as enjoyable and playable as possible.
If anyone is capable of making really beautiful maps I’m interested to get in touch.

Any thoughts on whatever comes to your mind are appreciated - need not only be about map design!

Aside from the map art challenge, I can say that play testing shows that chess players love this game while non-chess players tend to struggle with analysis paralysis, and are often (not always!) outplayed by experienced chess players in the first few games, but tend to close to gap pretty fast the more games they play. It is estimated that there are at least more than one million active chess players in the world, so perhaps the TAM is ok..
I should clarify that Rooks, bishops and Queens do not have unlimited range as in chess, but have max movement range of 4 squares straight/diagonal. I think this is a neat solution when playing on a board that is 6-10 times larger (in number of squares) than a chess board, and allows strategic fronts to develop.

During play testing I have simplified and modified winning conditions to bring down the game time. Some games are resolved in less than ½ hour while some can end in a trench war and last for 2-3 hours.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
i think the first map looks

i think the first map looks good.
if your pitching to publishers that map looks practical enough to play and publishers tend to have artists/graphic designers that will refine it anyway. it depends on the company of course but as a general rule, if your game is a solid one (decent rules, well integrated theme etc) they will over look the rough edges.
if you are planning on self publishing you may need to invest in a graphic designer but thats a good idea for anything self published (well maybe not a free PnP).

somthing else you may want to look at is custom pieces. they will add a fair bit to the game price but they add a lot of perceived value. its the same thing with a lot of card based games, they could be a standard deck and some rules but the custom cards can make it seem like a "real game".

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
I mean, it's a map. You're

I mean, it's a map. You're trying to do this on a real-world map.

If you're a graphic artist, fine, but it doesn't sound like you are.

I'd try to find a map or mapmaker you like online and then license it for your game. If you were trying to invent a world for the game, that would be a little different (though I'd still suggest finding an artist), but there are a lot of real-world maps out there.

Jakup
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Joined: 09/27/2018
Thanks for comments

Thanks for the advice wob and Jay103 on getting involved with a graphics artist, it makes me more resolved that that is the proper way forward, because I want to keep open the option of self publishing. The game has an inherent war theme in that units kill each other, and therefore it may not go down well with established publishers.

Wob I appreciate much what you say about customised pieces adding more perceived value. In my case it’s an important consideration as standard chess pieces can be procured very cheap, but will not add much, if any, perceived added value compared to some more customised pieces.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Is it... gory in some way?

Is it... gory in some way? Because lots of games have things killing other things.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
TradeWorlds has combat too!

Jay103 wrote:
Is it... gory in some way? Because lots of games have things killing other things.

Yeah I agree with @Jason. Many games have some form of DIRECT conflict UNLESS they are Euros. Then there are certain games which don't have it like Apples to Apples, Pandemic, etc. because of theme...

But there is nothing wrong with this. I have yet to see a publisher say that they were NOT accepting games with DIRECT conflict. Most things they are not looking for are like require licensing IP, Collectible Card Games, Derivative products, Children toys and puzzles, iOS or Android apps, etc.

So you should be OKAY!

Look at @Jason's "Heroes & Treasures" (H&T). It's meant for younger children around 5 or 6 years of age and you "defeat" rats, goblins, etc. It's a combative game and kids LOVE playing it!

I don't think you need to worry about the DIRECT conflict. It's a part of your game, embrace it and don't worry that people will frown upon the game because it does have this combative mechanic.

Cheers!

Jakup
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Joined: 09/27/2018
map

Thanks for the comment Questccg. You’re right that the combative mechanics should not be any issue.
By the way thanks for mentioning those games. It was interesting to look them up on Kickstarter, that will perhaps be the way I go when I get that far.
I look forward to keep you updated. For now I try to a find graphic artist.

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