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Card Art - Looking for feedback

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Aerjen
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Wakefulness A
Wakefulness B

Hi everyone,

Since I got such great feedback on the previous cards and poems (http://www.bgdf.com/node/12656) I asked about, I thought it would be fun to reach out again.

I attached two versions of the Wakefulness card for Pleasant Dreams. Players use this card to keep track of how awake/asleep they are in the game. Reach 5 points and you lose immediately.

Anyone have a preference for either card or suggestions for change?

ThisIsMyBoomstick
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Perfection

I think the card looks great as it is. Keep up the good work!

Aerjen
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Sweet :)

Thanks for the feedback. Compliments are fun :)

Did you have a preference for either version?

MikeyNg
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I like the art

I like the art - although if this is a major mechanic for your game (I'm assuming) - is it best on a card?
Have you thought of using a die as a counter for this? Just a thought

Between the two, I find the card with the quote to be much more ominous - so it depends on what flavor you want your game to have. But A is decidedly scarier than B, imo.

Aerjen
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To use a die or not to use a die

Hi Mikey,

I have considered using a die, but prefer to stick to an all cards game. Just easier to publish and cheaper to print. On top of that, players will be adjusting this score about every 10 to 15 seconds, so it's nice if you can just move a chip up and down real fast.

I'm trying to build up tension in the game, so that would be a vote in favor of version A.

silasmolino
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Version A

This is a really neat concept with great art work. Is the art work original or edited from other work to fit your theme?

(I could imagine this game will give me nightmares if I play it too late)

Knicksen
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Text and shadow...

...for me. Depends on your audience and, if youngsters, you don't want to scare them *too* much.

Nice cards.

Aerjen
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Age range?

Re Silas: Thanks. The art is original and created by the amazing(!) Wayne Dorrington

Re Knicksen: That's a good question. I've mainly been playtesting with adolescents and adults, but I'm thinking of 8+ Originally the bear actually had intestines showing, but I decided that was definitely too scary, so it got changed to cogwheels. I'm not really sure how to determine how scary something for an 8 year old can be. Or whether I'd be better of setting the game for 12+

Any thoughts?

Stormyknight1976
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Maybe an edited and unedited version?

Edited version for the younger audience, seeing the bear with cogs for the 8+ years and up and the unedited version with the intestines for 12+ and up? Or later on some how combine the two versions together with a storyline?

ilSilvano
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A wider track?

I think the second one is more subtle and scarier, because it looks all childish on the left until you notice the shadow on the right.

Also: it would be better - if possible - to spread the track numbers all around the card, like 3,4,5 on the left side and 2,1,0 on the right. By doing this, you have much more distance between the numbers, and it is easier to keep track of the current number if the card is slightly moved (because your hands are shaking for the fear!).

Aerjen
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Extra editions

I'm actually figuring out whether I can release this on Kickstarter or not. If I go that route, I was planning on releasing it as an 8+ edition only and possibly have an extra dream as one of the later stretch rewards. The extra dream would be either based on an Edgar Allan Poe or a Lovecraftian horror story. It would have the same mechanics, but an increased difficulty level.

Aerjen
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Track adjustment?

Hmmm, I'll have to playtest that at home for a bit. It is definitely an interesting idea. What I wonder about is, since there's a lot of adjusting to be done, whether it's annoying to need to move your counter around the card more.

MikeyNg
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Counters

It's possible that it can get annoying, depending on how often you need to move it.

Additionally, if it's too fast, and players are in charge of their own counter, there is a possibility that they might cheat. You obviously can't account for all the ways that players can cheat, but it's something to keep in mind.

Mike Atencio
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Joined: 07/04/2013
Nice artwork

Keep em like they are. No changes needed. Clean, simple and easy to read. PERFECT!

Traz
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A or B?

Is the text necessary, or just there for flavor? If necessary - then it's necessary. If it's just for flavor, then I suggest you drop it. The image then becomes the most powerful part of the card and I don't have to divide my attention any more than required.

Aerjen
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Suggestions

Re Mikey: thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

Re Mike: thanks, I'll pass the compliment along to my illustrator

Re Traz: text is not necessary and is just for flavor. What I'm trying to get at is that player's can see what a card does at first glance and also immediately has nice artwork to look at. This should already be enough, but I want to "reward" players that spend more time with looking at the cards... If they spend more time with it, they should be able to notice the poem and if they spend more time with it subtleties in the art.

Silverdreams
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I vote A

The text in no way detracts from the atmosphere, in fact I think it adds to the creepy factor. When reading the first card I didn't see the shadow at all, until I looked at the second one and spotted it right away. I then went back and realized it was also on the first card. It sounds to me like this game thrives on subtlety, which is lost in version B.

Aerjen
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Subtlety

Thanks SilverDreams. Yeah, the game seems to be already quite engaging without art, so I'm using it to increase the atmosphere of the game. I feel this game does not need very "in your face" kind of art, so I'm trying to make it subtle. I've been playtesting it with some blank playing cards on which I wrote text with a sharpie and I already have playtesters playing it over and over again (without me asking).

Toombs79
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Dark Art

I love the art, really fantastic. However, I was listening to a recent podcast from Plaid Hat Games who have said their last two games, after production, came out darker than they wanted. A lot of it, they said, was the manufacturer seemed to be over saturating the prints. The art designer said that was something he has taken away, and he said he will lighten his art a bit in the future.

Aerjen
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Production

That's interesting, I would expect that this is something that would show up in the printing proofs (and that it depends a little on the printer). I'll have to look up their podcast and see what else they said about it. Do you remember which episode it was?

SLiV
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I prefer B

I've read your other topic, where each card has two sides and each half of the poem is on either side. That's an amazing piece of design / flavour. I feel like putting the entire poem on one side on this card (which I assume isn't flipped over during gameplay), detracts from that.

Although the flavour text is nice, I'd skip it (on this card) in favour of the clouds. From a gameplay standpoint, the numbers on card B are more clear and easily readable as well. With card B, it's immediately apparent what the purpose of the card is and how it should be used, whereas card A is slightly more cluttered, in my opinion.

Aerjen
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Thanks

Hi Sliv,

Thanks for your feedback and for comparing them to the other card. You're correct in your assumption that this card is not flipped, whereas others (like The Bear) can be.

Stormyknight1976
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I vote for B version,

I didn't see the number until looking at both pictures closely on my phone. I like picture B because it represents a dream sequense. Clouds with numbers looks like the child in the bed is dreaming and the lurking monster waiting for the right moment to turn the dream into a nightmare. IMO the clouds adds a little atmosphere to the other aspects of the cards already. A little light at the end of the tunnel. A little hope may help the players turn the tide in Pleasant Dreams.

Aerjen
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Stealing your quote :P

Hope you don't mind if I use that as a quote when someone asks me about the card designs... "Well, what we were trying to evoke is this feeling of dread but at the same time hinting at the possibility of there being some light at the end of the tunnel" I like it!

Stormyknight1976
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Lol.

Feel free to use the qoute. Thanks and enjoy. :)

Toombs79
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Joined: 04/18/2013
Production

Hey Aerjen,

The Plaid Hat podcast I was speaking of was episode 97. They start talking about the production around the 41:00 mark. They mostly spoke to the box art, but I'm sure it would apply to the rest of the printing. I think you are right that you would probably catch that in the proofs.

Oh, and I like the second version of the Wakefulness card better. I think it pops more with the clouds, drawing the eye to the values on the cards.

Aerjen
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Podcast

Thanks Toombs, I'll be sure to listen to that one. There don't seem to be too many podcasts out there that really get into the production and marketing aspects of designing games, so anything I can find is helpful.

radioactivemouse
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Don't know if it was

Don't know if it was mentioned (I looked through the post and didn't see any mention of it), but the quote, "Your Dreams I reap" is hard to read. It's a cool color on top of a cool color...in addition it's purple on purple. The "Go To Sleep" quote color is good because it's yellow on cool colors; very easy to read.

Solutions could include: Changing the color of the "reap" text, putting a drop shadow on the text so that it pops out from the card, or placing the text in a different location where it can be seen better.

Hat-on-a-stick
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Both look fantastic, however

Both look fantastic, however for me the second card has the edge. The text may be ominous, but that shadow jumps out at you when your brain finally processes what your eyes are looking at. Also I find the card with the text to be slightly "busier" than the one with the shadow.

BTW, and I realize this might not be an issue for you, the less text on cards you have the less you have to translate (and reprint) should your game end up being sold in countries where English is a second (or third) language.

bonsaigames
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Agreed!

Hat-on-a-stick wrote:
Both look fantastic, however for me the second card has the edge. The text may be ominous, but that shadow jumps out at you when your brain finally processes what your eyes are looking at. Also I find the card with the text to be slightly "busier" than the one with the shadow.

BTW, and I realize this might not be an issue for you, the less text on cards you have the less you have to translate (and reprint) should your game end up being sold in countries where English is a second (or third) language.

NoxArt
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I also like the second one

I also like the second one better because it pronounces the left side, which is surely related to game mechanics. While I acknowledge the power of art for immersion (although on the other hand there is nowadays imho underused -by myself included- power of imagination), elements related directly to gameplay should be clearly visible and be large enough to spot and interact with easily.

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