Skip to Content

Graphic Asset Website - Your Wishlist?

18 replies [Last post]
jasongreeno
jasongreeno's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008

I'm starting a website that offers graphic design assets specifically for board games (think card templates, tokens, rulebooks, packaging) that has specific genres represented (fantasy, sci fi, horror, etc.).

You could purchase these art assets and customize to your game design for less money then hiring a graphic designer (the trade off is that the assets might be used by multiple designers). These files would be compatible with TheGameCrafter, and built in Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign.

Thoughts? Opinions? Wishlist?

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
You know what could be real cool...

CARD TEMPLATES!

You need cards with all kinds of stats. If the templates were made with LAYERS that can be added and removed, that would be AWESOME.

Like if a TEMPLATE had three (3) different stats, you could move those stats around anywhere on the card.

If it has like a TITLE section, that could be moved from the TOP to the MIDDLE, etc.

An AREA reserved for card ARTWORK which could be on one of the more BOTTOM layers, etc.

But things like NICE background (colored textures), instead of JUST single colors like Black.

I would really love to share my ideas about this TYPE of TEMPLATE - because it could REALLY HELP designer PROTOTYPE nice cards. And then when they Kickstart, you or another Graphic Artist can design a CUSTOM template for their final product...

The BIG problem is going from NOTHING to FINAL design... Designers need a middle ground that looks PROFESSIONAL and can be customize by moving objects on different layers, etc.

If you want to discuss this further, please let me know. I don't want to "monopolize" this thread.

jasongreeno
jasongreeno's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Yes!

Love your enthusiasm :)

Since these are created in Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign the customizable layers are definitely there. I'm happy to offer these templates as turnkey products or starting points that I help folks customize afterwards.

Here's a look at a few test runs:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Oo8ztBwsUhNkd6SnBJS1RiS2M/view?usp=sh...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Oo8ztBwsUhVEI1MzNvdC14SGc/view?usp=sh...

Happy to hear more of your thoughts and suggestions.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Not quite what I had in mind...

I was more thinking about more STANDARD types of templates. Those two (2) samples you put up look very SPECIFIC.

I'm not saying rip-off Magic cards, that wouldn't do... But if you could design TEMPLATES like Starcat had designed by some Graphic Designers (http://www.legacytcg.com/images/jpg/cards_1.jpg) ... in that vein.

BUT something more GENERIC looking.

There could be ways of discussing more STANDARD version of templates. But Starcat's version is a version, I could propose others...

His templates are CUSTOM for his game even though they appear to be generic.

BTW I'm not suggesting that his CUSTOM templates are the way to go... I'm just illustrating the LOOK & FEEL which can be seen which is more generic than the samples you proposed.

Update: Here is something SORT of what I am talking about... But still would be better to be more generic.

https://mcdn1.teacherspayteachers.com/thumbitem/Trading-Card-Template-Pe...

Update #2: Something BETTER than the following: http://bighugelabs.com/deck.php

rjb
Offline
Joined: 08/01/2015
AWESOME idea!

This is a great idea! I like your ideas about more specific templates and also questccg's idea, that are more generic, for those who would prefer that style.

Would you have templates for the actual boards or the ability for someone to design a board? I have a ton of ideas, so feel free to send me a PM if you would like. I don't want to take over this discussion, either. If you can make this work, and work well, it would be fantastic!

chris_mancini
chris_mancini's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2015
This will be a fantastic

This will be a fantastic short-cut to designing games/prototypes with some good looking graphics to them! My 2¢:

Make the site and the design components as modular as possible. Perhaps offer some completed templates (fully layered so that designers can manipulate them on their computer) as well as a "modular" section of the site where people can design then download from a selection of many components and styles. Completed templates should also have the ability to be dragged into the modular interface so they ma be altered as well.

Borders, text boxes, stat "buttons"...offer all of the core components in a wide variety of styles for designers to pick and choose. You could create categories by theme (fantasy/political/wargame/sci-fi/horror/etc.) as well as design feature (borders/text boxes/stat buttons/etc.) to make searching the content easier. Offering these different means of search based on the intent of the designer, as well as the ability to move an in-progress design between these categories, will be key (if say I'm making a zombie cthulhu wargame set in space).

If you offer fonts (which you probably should) these should come downloadable as well...you'll have to assume that designers may not have as much PS/AI experience nor a wealth of fonts. You can't charge for these fonts due to copyright laws (you'll probably be using open-source fonts anyway) but you can offer them for "free." A blurb on how to install these fonts will be helpful, too.

As far as the risk of multiple designers using the same assets, perhaps a range of color options per "large" assets like borders, backgrounds and text boxes plus a dizzying selection of "smaller" assets will create such a wide selection, the chances of 2 designers creating the exact same design will be minimized.

The trick will be creating a "storefront" which designers believe they can find everything they'll need to make a quality prototype, regardless of theme, with ease and at a great price. Making that storefront extremely user-friendly and a pleasure to experience through the online design through to the at-home download/modification/print. Perhaps also offer the ability to save a design to a creator's online account, as many designers may spend an hour on something and still not be sure it's right and want to come back to it later.

As for pricing, try and keep it as simple as possible. Keep the designer focused on design, not worrying about being nickel-and-dimed at the checkout. Perhaps a basic charge per component, regardless of the chosen final layout ($4.99 per complete card design, $0.99 per token design, etc.).

Lastly from a marketing perspective, making this an online experience where designers spend quality time on your site building their design offers fantastic opportunity for unobtrusive advertising. Other sites like the Game Crafter, Panda GM, WinGo Games, etc. would love to have a banner on a site like this. It makes for great passive income, and for those not wanting to design online, you can have a quick shopping cart checkout to grab-and-go. Again, unobtrusive is the key...no pop-ups or annoyances that takes the designer out of the experience, but to the side/above like BGG would be fine.

This could be an incredible resource for the industry of gaming if done properly...I look forward to seeing more of it!

jejboulet
jejboulet's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/11/2014
Great Idea

I like the idea. I could imagine using this for an upcoming prototype which badly needs some artwork but for which I may not be able to spend the time to design from scratch or money to pay the pros. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Out of curiosity, how close are you to starting up? Make sure to let us know when you have and where to find it.

jasongreeno
jasongreeno's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
All great feedback...

I will offer game boards (think a global map that could be used for a globetrotting game like Pandemic or a war game). Tokens, game mats, tiles etc.

I'm taking notes and excited to show you the something soon. Thanks for the ideas and feedback. I'll check back to see if there is more you would like to see. I appreciate the talk of pricing.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Be more REALISTIC...

chris_mancini wrote:
As for pricing, try and keep it as simple as possible. Keep the designer focused on design, not worrying about being nickel-and-dimed at the checkout. Perhaps a basic charge per component, regardless of the chosen final layout ($4.99 per complete card design, $0.99 per token design, etc.)

I don't think you understand the VALUE of said TEMPLATES. $4.99 is an insult when it can cost $100-$200 per TEMPLATE. If they are more generic and easier to manipulate with LAYERS... That's worth more than $4.99!

How much more? I would say more like $20-$25.

But the template needs to be flexible enough... So if you get 10 buyers, you basically re-coop the cost for making the template. If your templates are REAL GOOD, well then people will probably download them and pay for their use... And at $20 a pop, this would be a WORTHWHILE investment of time!

Hit me up (by PM) if you would like to discuss how it is possible to generate a more GENERIC template with movable elements.

Cheers!

Note: You can also choose to offer a DISCOUNT price for non-commercial usage like "Prototypes" (not final consumer products). And then maybe then it makes sense to charge around $5.00. BUT if you want to use the TEMPLATE commercially (in a game - final look & feel), I would suggest something more realistic...

MAYBE Black & White Illustrator cards for prototypes (of the Colored ones available in Photoshop). So Illustrator templates could go for $5.00 for Black & White design and different color scheme templates could go for $20.00...

Just some ideas...

Update: Just remember MOST card makers (like The Game Crafter) use ROUNDED card edges... So Starcat's designs don't necessarily work because his cards have SQUARE edges.

jasongreeno
jasongreeno's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Timing

I'm creating the content now. Hope to soft launch within a week and continue to get your feedback on how to improve the experience.

jasongreeno
jasongreeno's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Paperize

Just to be clear, for rapid prototyping, there is a great solution being developed by the guys over at Oil & Rope called Paperize:

http://paperize.io/beta

I've helped them out with a card template design and I don't want to imply I'm competing with their product. I'm looking to provide a source for the production ready designer and to encompass more than just cards.

chris_mancini
chris_mancini's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2015
True custom graphics by a pro

True custom graphics by a pro cost far more, but here's the crux...

Any designer looking to license their game to a publisher knows that the art will be tossed aside, however there's value in testing and presenting something that looks good...which is where this service comes in. Pricing too high will exclude a huge portion of those whom I think you intend to make use of this service, and with free icon sites already out there, it's too easy to simply make due with those. You can't think of this as a "Hired Pro VS. This Service" kind of comparison...there's much more to it, and you have to consider the target customer, including but not limited to yourself.

The only publishers I can see using this service (who would be willing to pay a "premium") would be small startup operations, of which how many are there? That's where your idea of different pricing tiers, one for prototyping, one for publication, makes a lot of sense. There will have to be trust that a designer won't pay the proto price and use it for publication anyway, but I think this is the only way you could get away with charging double-digit figures for designs. If you start and end at that price, I think the service is sunk in the long run.

Pricing, like with any service, will be key to the success of this. Personally I'd rather have 1000 customers on my list paying $5 per card template rather than 250 paying $20. It's about building and servicing a solid customer base, first and foremost. Passive advertising revenue will also help bolster your numbers while delivering incredible value to the designers. I've been in the business of toy design and marketing for over 15 years, and pricing is king there as it is here...or anywhere for that matter.

Price for the home prototyper, the "garage designer," the person who has always wanted to make their own game. Make it easy for these people to say yes to buying another template, another icon, or buying a few just to play around with options.

Deliver value in both the art and the cost, and you've got a service which will be tough to compete with. You are building a service and a business, and you're currently competing with free...always remember that.

If you'd like to talk further about clever pricing strategies and how to deliver great value to your customers without feeling like you're giving away the farm, I'd be happy to.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Not impressed...

chris_mancini wrote:
True custom graphics by a pro cost far more, but here's the crux...

Any designer looking to license their game to a publisher knows that the art will be tossed aside, however there's value in testing and presenting something that looks good...

But the templates can HELP anyone who wants to KICKSTART a game to have nice looking prototypes to submit to a publisher also... BEFORE FINAL ART.

SERIOUSLY $4.99 to have NICE looking cards to submit to a PUBLISHER???

I think the "crux" of the problem is that you are trying to "undervalue" the time it takes to design well layered templates and have generic movable component for each card such that you can add differentiation to your cards versus someone else who uses the SAME template...

chris_mancini
chris_mancini's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2015
From what I understand,

From what I understand, publishers can be often turned off by a game that's already been through Kickstarter. You've basically made a bunch of sales which would have otherwise gone to the publisher. You've also taken all the "sizzle" from promoting an exciting new game away from them. There are distribution partnerships to be had with a successful game already on the market, but those are very specific deals. Exceptions always exist, of course...

"SERIOUSLY $4.99 to have NICE looking cards to submit to a PUBLISHER???"
As for the thought that quality art really matters to a publisher, it certainly does not. What matters is that the game fits their current line plan, is unique, fun, proven through playtesting...and affordable. They will most certainly not want to use art which is available for anyone else to use as this service provides, so yes any art you pay for/create for your prototype is exists solely for show to a publisher. It helps make the game look better, sure...but it will not sell any game on its own.

I do not think the best route is to serve self-publishers alone...but to serve all designers who want to easily and affordably get their ideas to a place to test with friends and strangers alike. Offer tiered pricing to serve both, but to exclude one for the other would be a mistake.

At the end of the day, this is simply my opinion...that's all.

jasongreeno
jasongreeno's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
I appreciate people's

I appreciate people's perspective. Let's set the cost discussion aside for now and talk product offering.

Here's a more generic template.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Oo8ztBwsUhMGFtclJzQXFPUE0/view?usp=sh...

Thoughts? I think it will be packaged with 4 other cards for a total set including:

Character Card Template
Action Card Template
Location Card Template
Event Card Template
Item Card Template

chris_mancini
chris_mancini's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2015
That looks nice...again the

That looks nice...again the key will be offering a wide assortment of styles for designers to choose from and the ability for designers to customize/utilize all of it to suit their game.

Bundles are good as long as designers can purchase templates individually as well...not all games will require Events/Locations/etc. You basically want a "buffet" of art where designers can take as much or as little as they need at a time, and offering bundles for larger sets of art is a great idea for those who just want a lot to dive in and play with. How you create those bundles, targeting particular customer types and needs, will be key.

jasongreeno
jasongreeno's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Thanks Chris. I'm in

Thanks Chris. I'm in agreement.

Here's how the 5 card set turned out. I'll try to add the "buffet" elements next:

Updated link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Oo8ztBwsUhY3NPVnVvcmJOaGM/view?usp=sh...

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Improving the template

Here are some "ideas" on how to IMPROVE the fiver (5) template:

  1. Instead of the Coin in the Top Left, make one a ball of energy to signify MANA. Most games require money and mana.
  2. The Attack and Defense stats are good. And easily understood. BUT in the purpose of a TEMPLATE it might be "nice" to have 2 stats on the Bottom Right hand corner using smaller icons with the values next to each STAT.
  3. Card Type and Subtype are cool and obviously you can play with the transparent color to have a different look (based on the card type).
  4. The TEXT AREA with the "Ipsum dolor" should go HIGHER upwards. Meaning if you move UP the separator and the Card Type, there should still be MORE TEXT AREA underneath...

Because with USEFUL templates means that you artwork section may be smaller on some cards or your TEXT AREA may be bigger, etc.

That's my input...

Note: personally I really like this template. They are very clean cards just need to add some elements to allow more flexibility.

Note 2: For the TEXT AREA, I'm NOT suggesting you change the layout. BUT if somebody WANTS to (like I said a smaller piece of artwork), they can do so knowing that the background you have used will continue...

jasongreeno
jasongreeno's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/31/2008
Sounds right to me. I'll

Sounds right to me. I'll report back with some of these suggestions soon.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut