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Bushido Theme and Art Design Critique

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markgrafn's picture
Joined: 03/01/2015

I've asked for help in the past in this same way and received critiques that helped me massively overhaul the look and feel of Smoking Aces. I'm working on a lot of things simultaneously and I'm now at a place where I'm out of ideas for the card designs of game number two - Bushido. I hope posting here (probably out of place) will help in the same way.

Please, if time permits, look over the card designs and let me know what could/should be changed.

Also, check out Smoking Aces on Kickstarter if you haven't already - greatly appreciated!

Thank you all for the time, help and support

Joined: 08/28/2015
At a glance...

my fist impression is that all the overlapping elements make things a bit busy for my taste and possibly difficult to distinguish.

radioactivemouse's picture
Joined: 07/08/2013
I agree with 537h

The overlapping elements distract from the overall communication. Put things like "Courage" and "Takihara" within the borders; don't make them break out of it as it messes with the contrast.

On second thought, I'd totally eliminate the broken borders from Bushido and Courage altogether. It's very distracting and has no real thematic feel to the game. Is it glass? Is it wood? Is it pottery?

On third thought...why is the bounding areas broken? It would probably be more thematic if you used straight horizontal lines using a Japanese paint brush line. Or, you can make the text box like a scroll (scroll elements on top and bottom).

I'd also turn the "u" in "Bushido" counter-clockwise a tad, it looks like a stylized "c".

On the same card, I'd give more kerning space (space between the letters) on "Virtue Deck". The letters are really close together.

With the Courage card, I'd pull down the opacity of the japanese character in the background to push the red symbol up front; it's distracting from the game element.

I do like the artwork, though.

Joined: 07/26/2015
I agree with radioactive

I agree with radioactive mouse.

Really consider either only using the kanji form, or moving the kanji into the background with lower contrast. As it currently stands, it feels crowded.

The jagged borders feels sort of amateurish, since it was overused in homemade advertisements (blame Microsoft word).

The background is grey. Is there some stylistic reason (match castle walls or something) for this choice? otherwise maybe choosing a parchment color might be better.

The font you chose for the kanji is a standard and tidy font, while the English is probably supposed to be an imitation of more stylistic shodo calligraphy, but because of the difference in the nature of logographic languages and alphabetic languages makes it sort of odd and messy as opposed to cool and wild.

Perhaps consider choosing a wilder font for the kanji, and a more subdued font for English, or just using neat fonts for both. ("書道 勇" image search returns lots of very nice examples of a wilder style)

I like the family-crest-esque symbols. Though you can still faintly feel they're modern design as the heraldry doesn't make sense.

Sorry for nitpicking on the font and crest. I'm Asian, so when foreigners copy the stuff, it just looks somehow a little off.

markgrafn's picture
Joined: 03/01/2015
Thanks all!

I looked over the comments and spent some time today working on re-working the Virtue cards. Please take a look and comment on which looks better (After or Scroll.)

Also, please comment on anything that doesn't look right.


Soulfinger's picture
Joined: 01/06/2015
Your game has the same name

Your game has the same name as an increasingly popular tabletop miniature game with an active release schedule:

How about stressing one element of Bushido as the title, like "Honor Unto Death," or one of the best known examples of Bushido in action, like the "Revenge of the Forty-Seven Ronin," maybe shortened to "Revenge of the 47" or "47 Revenge."

markgrafn's picture
Joined: 03/01/2015
Soulfinger wrote:Your game

Soulfinger wrote:
Your game has the same name as an increasingly popular tabletop miniature game with an active release schedule:

NOOO!!!!! I think I've actually heard about that. I'm really sold on the title "Bushido" because the game heavily revolves around virtues of the Bushido code. But, of course, nothing is set in stone yet.

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