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SpellMasters — Box Cover

I've started re-working on this design, now that I have "unblocked" a few of the problems with the original design. I was stuck... but now have a NEW direction to explore with more ideas that could work with this design...

I've since corrected the image because it had some pixelation... This was done by improving the DPI resolution and then resizing the various letter tiles using PSP and not PhotoShop/Illustrator.

But overall I like the "direction" of this Box Cover. Makes me want to figure out how to best design this game... even though I have some more ideas to explore.

Comments

I like to have something to "inspire" me...

Generally speaking... Having an illustration, logo, box cover or just maybe a "teaser" helps me invest time and thought into a design. When it's all a jumble or "ideas" without a prototype, it's difficult to judge how good an idea really is...

Which is why I like to have something to "remind" me about what I'm planning to design and some of the cool things that can happen when you design a game that actually "works" (mechanics, theme, game ideas) together as a whole.

Sometime this happens to work and other times, you struggle to get the design to work in the right fashion... It's usually those tough battles where the design just isn't coming together or that I am blocked by a series of topics which aren't working "together", etc.

It's not the best looking "teaser" out-there... But it's still not bad IMHO. Cheers!

Just FYI... logos usually

Just FYI... logos usually work a lot better without a bunch of flames... for one thing, if you’re putting this logo on something, where do the flames end? Will it just be cut off in a square?

For another thing, you need to make sure that that background image is extremely high res (300 dpi x whatever the largest size is that you ever want to use, and CMYK). There’s a reason people do logos in illustrator and not ps...). I gather you know this already if you’re messing around with vectors, but I think the flames mean it bears repeating :)

(Though I have to say, my own game logo is a bitmap, but a high res one :))

(oh, also, are there rules for this up somewhere? Sounds cool)

I agree about the flames.

I agree about the flames. Also, the image and the text part of the logo don't match up with Arcane or spell masters to me. What is the full concept, if you don't mind me asking?

This is just a 500x500 (300dpi) "teaser"

Whomever decides to "publish" the game can use his as a "model" for their box cover if they like what they see. For my own personal usage, it's to serve as inspiration to continue forward with the design...

As far as SpellMasters the "game concept" is concerned, you play one of five (5) Wizards in a co-operative adventure/campaign (which can be random or serialized). The goal is to complete the campaign before any one Wizard is defeated.

You have to spell words to earn Mana and then use Mana combined with other arcane words to cast various schools of magic (there are five types of magic) in order to defeat your opponent on each level of the campaign.

There are no rules as of yet... The design is in a conceptual stage.

But I do have a bunch of ideas that I'd like to try to see if they can work together or not. But again I wanted something "cool" to help me visualize what it is that I want to accomplish with this particular design.

Cheers!

Note #1: The game uses "Game Tiles" which are similar to Scrabbles' Letter Tiles. The tiles are all different in terms of values and quantity and each player has his OWN set of "Game Tiles".

I wanted to design something "cool" that was more "innovative" than the "Lord of the Rings" Scrabble. Have you seen this??? It's ridiculously stupid. At least that is my opinion... And no this is not a Scrabble rip, there is no game board, the tiles have different values and vary in quantity, each player has his/her own tiles, etc. Many differences... The actual spelling part, aside from Combat, is more like "Crosswords" than Scrabble (to be honest).

So I plan to define something NEW in the saturated market of "boring word games" such that I create something innovative which is FUN to play and offers a different challenge than simple Crosswords or Scrabble.

That's why it's the "Arcane" (Mysterious) Word Game... LOL

Update: Right now I am considering that the Spells be in Latin... Just one of the ideas. The levels will be in English because I don't think I want to "translate" all of those. The Latin translation is probably a crazy idea though...

Note #2: Don't worry the image of the flames is VERY "High-resolution" (4000+px). It can be scaled, cropped, resized, etc. All to fit the actual box, which is right now a "Small Pro Box". And right now this is more of a "teaser".

And no, you don't need to know "Latin" to play. The cards come with the Spells and words in "whatever" language will be chosen. Right now I think it would be best to stick to "English" since it is the most common "Global" language.

But down the road, who knows... It could be translated into other languages — maybe. The "Latin" is cool because some words sound better than in English! LOL

Played with the image a bit more

I uploaded the "Stout Box Cover" from The Game Crafter... I will be working on some of the components to the game such as "stickers" for the custom dice. And the next step will be to review all of the OLD ideas that were used for this design ... and update the document to reflect the NEW ones.

I also made the image a bit "grey-er" since The Game Crafter has a color filter that gets applied to images uploaded and it's like about +15 to the saturation.

So I applied a -30 to the saturation and with The Game Crafter the net result is about -15 to the saturation. Which is okay because I don't want the flames to be too overbearing. I prefer a more neutral version than one that is too flamboyant! LOL (Talking about Flames and what appears to be a flood of them)

I went to the "Stout Box" because it's 2 inches in depth. This means it can accommodate the 50 cards for the "Game Tiles" and then add the 60 cards for the custom "Spell Decks" and then left over is the "Lore Cards" and modifiers which account for 30 more cards. So about 140 cards... The box has an allowance of 266 Poker cards. So 140 should be okay and still have room for the rulebook and the custom d6s (7 of them).

So it should be okay... But it might require a larger box to mail the prototypes to the various publishers (but only once I am done with the design).

https://i.imgur.com/NUOOMYe.j

https://i.imgur.com/NUOOMYe.jpg

Here's my rendition of your cover. No charge.

Let it not be said that I disappear for months then come and add my 2 cents.

cool concept. i just wanted

cool concept. i just wanted to advise against latin (unless you speak it anyway). i guess your a native english speaker and latin is not like english. it is really hard to translate word for word and if you get it wrong you get that horrible half latin you find in harry potter (expelliamus?). i would go with the same language throuout (that way its "educational" like scrabble)
but saying that most people wont care if your latin is wrong. unless they are a pedant like me.

Evil ColSanders

Evil ColSanders wrote:
https://i.imgur.com/NUOOMYe.jpg

Here's my rendition of your cover. No charge.

Let it not be said that I disappear for months then come and add my 2 cents.


Nicely done! (even though you disappeared for months)

wob wrote:cool concept. i

wob wrote:
cool concept. i just wanted to advise against latin (unless you speak it anyway). i guess your a native english speaker and latin is not like english. it is really hard to translate word for word and if you get it wrong you get that horrible half latin you find in harry potter (expelliamus?). i would go with the same language throuout (that way its "educational" like scrabble)
but saying that most people wont care if your latin is wrong. unless they are a pedant like me.

Well, Rowling DID put some thought into those spells, silly though the concept is (you just shout in Latin and wave for some things, but Harry can do much cooler stuff by accident before he's even started school..)

Expelliarmus is two latin words smooshed together: "expell arms"

Yeah it was just an "idea" (use of Latin)

But the problem is that I might look "strange" some parts in English, other parts in Latin, etc. Just figured some words are shorter in Latin or easier to use more "abstract concepts"...

For example: If one of the "Sorcery" spells is Word of Power: "Kill", it's probably more acceptable to use "Neco" (in Latin) instead. It seems LESS violent by use of translated words even though they have the same meaning. Or "Nex" (which is translated as "Blood of the Slain")... See how cool the Latin language can be! Or "Nox" (which is translated as "Darkness") ... make for interesting WORDS to spell which all have "N" but are rather SHORT in terms of words.

But I agree having half-and-half is not a possibility. Would just be very STRANGE.

So I think I'm going to follow your advice and stick to English as opposed to using Latin. But some of the words seem cool... As I mentioned above.

Note: I think I should really think about it more. Those examples of "Words" are real cool (In my mind)... I mean "Nex" = "Blood of the Slain"... Come on that sounds fantastic like a Word of Power (Sorcery). Plus it's worth 12 points in terms of damage.

You've got to realize that "smaller" words to spell means higher frequency of "casting". And if there are optional letters like the "e", a player could simply play "Nx" and do 10 points of damage!

And if a Monster is "armored" (which means ignore the first letter), that same spell would be "ex" (10 points) or just "x" (8 points) if the "e" is optional.

After some thinking... I have MADE my decision

So hear me out... What I am thinking is to use a "Latin-based" language which is MY OWN. But the "Lore" cards will be English... But the "Spell" cards will be in BOTH English (A> To understand what the card means...) and a bastardized Latin (B> To inject shorter and varied grammar words).

Why am I doing this???

Because I feel like my own "language" matches well with the "Arcane" portion of the game... It's "Mysterious" and should be cool too!

I'm not going to refer to it as "Latin". But instead say it is "Latin-inspired" but that it is not always a direct match to the real language. Sort of what they did with the "Serpent's Tongue" card game... It features words that may be part Hebrew and part "imaginary". In my case, it'll be similar to Latin but not 100% exact.

So I think this will be the best since the "Spell" cards will TELL you what spell it is in "English" and then have the "Spell Language" in the action area of the card which corresponds to the "letters" (or Game Tiles) used to form/cast Spells.

Example #1: The Spell "Hold Monster" is a Conjuring spell that allows you to hold a Monster in submission (trying to control it's willpower). What this does is effectively "stops" one attack that round (that the Monster would have done).

The Spell Name is "Dominus Spiritus" (Master of the Spirit). I'm thinking this is a "lesser" spell but can have a BIG impact. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "DoMuSPi". "DMSP" are the required letters and each VOWEL "o-u-i" are the number of times the spell can affect the Monster. Three (3) vowels means you can counter/stop up to THREE (3) Attacks by the Monster.

Example #2: The Spell "Counter-Strike" is a Thaumaturge spell that allows you to transform a Monster attack into a player attack. What this does is turn the tables on the Monster.

The Spell Name is "Gladius Contra" (Counter the Sword). This can also be a "lesser" spell but can be used to great success too. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "GLaDiuCo". "GLDC" are the required letters and each VOWEL "a-i-o-u" is a battle modifier which does Additional Damage for EACH vowel used. So if you use three (3) vowels, that means you do 1+2+3 = +6 Additional Damage when you attack the Monster.

This means that the second spell can do +10 Additional Damage IF you have all four (4) vowels used in the spell...

Example #3: The Spell "Kiss of Death" is a Sorcery spell that allows you to steal Health Points (HP) from the opposing Monster and converting them to Mana. What this does is help restore Mana to yourself by absorbing energy from the Monster.

The Spell Name is "Savium Decessus" (Kiss of the Deceased). This can also be a "lesser" spell but can be used to regenerate during combat. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "SaViDeC". "SVDC" are the required letters and each VOWEL "a-i-e-u" is the amount of Health the player may drain. You start with a gain of +2 Mana and for each vowel you get +2 Mana (and reduce the opponent Monster by -2 HPs). So this means between +2 to +10 Mana (and reduced the negative amount from the Monster's Health).

Example #4: The Spell "Inferno" is a Elemental spell that allows you to deal Fire Damage to the opposing Monster. It works well again Earth-based Monsters who are susceptible to Fire attacks.

The Spell Name is "Magna Flamma" (Great Flame). This can also be a "lesser" spell but can be use to inflict direct damage during combat. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "MaGaFa". "MGF" are the required letters and each "a" (Vowel) is the level of the spell. The higher the level, the more the damage inflicted. Each "a" does +2 Damage in addition to a 6 Fire Damage done by the spell itself (Half if attacking a Water-based Monster).

Example #5: The Spell "Burning Touch" is an Enchantment spell that allows you to enchant your weapon to do Fire Damage to the opposing Monster. It works well again Earth-based Monsters who are susceptible to Fire attacks (as Spell #4).

The Spell Name is "Vas Incendium" (Burning Instrument). This can also be a "lesser" spell but can be use to boost direct damage during combat. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "VaSie". "VS" are the required letters and each VOWEL is the duration of the spell. The higher the level, the more rounds that the damage may be inflicted. The spell adds +6 Fire Damage to all forms of basic attack.

Things like this are making more and more sense... As I strive to make words that work for the GAME not for proper grammar! Since it's CO-OP, I believe I will need to "fine tune" HOW players combine letters and work together to defeat the enemy Monster.

Note: In Example #5 ("Vas Incendium") the duration of the Spell varies according the number of vowels. Keeping the actual "Game Tiles" in front of you shows how many turns are remaining (you can discard a vowel after each round that the spell is active in).

So this means that there is no need for "tracking", it can be handled DIRECTLY by using the "Game Tiles"! Cool beans...

Why I think this is the better road...

Clearly you don't want players to have to "Memorize" another "Language". No one is going to be interested in learning "Latin" just to play a game. But if the language is directly referenced on the cards and just some letters are actually used to play the game...

Well then I see two avenues:

1. Hard-core fans are going to want to know letter counts for spells and to know which is the better move (in terms of a spell for any given round).

2. Casual gamers are just going to use the cards directly and play spells as they see fit given the availability of whatever letters and spells the players may have in their possession (hand cards or Game Tiles).

Of course this makes the "Learning" aspect found in other "spelling" games less attractive. Wow, so you know words from an imaginary language used in a game and how to apply them while plying the game... It's not very educational — even if it may be VERY entertaining.

The GOAL is to design a "FUN" game to play where you work with your fellow Wizards (CO-OP) and team-up against level Monsters (Combat) using fierce Spells and Incantations to defeat your opposition.

Tell me... How can that not be FUN???

Some more thinking

Although the initial idea was to have "Tiles" and crawl Dungeon Levels to gather Mana before battling an opponent... This whole process of requiring an "extra" step which seems very "extraneous" at this time.

I'm still in a thoughts phase... But what I am thinking is to REMOVE the whole "dungeon crawling" aspect of the game. Because I think it just DELAYS the "REAL" experience of the game... And that's to use Spells and Incantation to BATTLE the opponent's of each battle.

I may need to think up a NEW and better "win" condition too...

The whole "Crosswords" and "Scrabble"-like Mana collecting is maybe unnecessary ... I still have to think some more.

I will get back to you all, once I have clearer focus. Cheers!

Focusing on the Mastery of spelling

It's odd that I find myself rethinking the whole battle element of the game. I think it's because I've found a compromise with what I want to do. I'll post more tomorrow. Cheers!

Ok so here are some of my "thoughts" on the game

"Crossword" Puzzles are boring if you know the answers. Sure there are video games out there in which you need to place the correct words in the right position... But that is relatively BORING!

"Scrabble" is a game of it's own and allows you to play the game open-ended without any restriction. Whatever words you think up and play affect the score you are going to have and who will win the game. It is more of a "challenge".

Now comes MY game "SpellMasters". With a game name like this, it sets the ground works for an EPIC "Word Game"... Yes I call it the "Arcane Word Game" but... it's got to be more of a challenge in SPELLING words...

So here is MY thinking:

1. Remove the whole Battling/Custom Deck/Magic element from the game. Because this is a DISTRACTION. Yes it sounds so very "cool"... But it takes away from the "core" game... Which is???

2. The NEW version now! Two words will be on the "Lore" cards: A> A starting word and B> An ending word. Somewhere in the middle of the board is a KEY. Your GOAL is to CONNECT the "Start" and the "Finish" PLUS get the KEY...!

Now I KNOW this sound EASY! But it's NOT! That's why the game is called SpellMasters... Not Spell Casters or Spell Juniors... This is a game all about finding the RIGHT words and playing them to create the MAP from start of the level to the lair. Again you need the KEY also to unlock the door to the END of the level...

So VIRTUALLY it's a MIX between "Crosswords" AND "Scrabble". Of course I cannot pitch it like that... But that's what it is...

What does this mean?

Of course it means LESS cards. And it could mean more LEVEL cards (I am currently thinking 50 levels). It's a lot of levels to design but they require NO ARTWORK. Basically the game requires NO ARTWORK. Only Graphic Design to make the "Lore" cards look pretty and that's about it.

I am thinking this will be a CHALLENGING game for Adults to play. Because of the NATURE of the game. You see: "Scrabble" is too EASY, you can spell whatever you like and win. "Crosswords" are too EASY, if you know the answers to them. BUT "SpellMasters" being combination of BOTH is JUST enough DIFFICULTY. Maybe you connect the MAP ... but forget the KEY! You LOSE! Maybe you get the KEY but can't connect the lair... You LOSE!

Some cards will force you to do "Side-Quests" and those will be marked with a POTION. Not only do you need the KEY, you've got to accomplish all those annoying side-quests to BEAT the level.

If there are 50 levels... That's a HUGE amount of "replayability". But will it be "FUN". Knowing what I know ALREADY from previous playtests... It should prove to be at the very least "INTERESTING"!

The thing that I am unsure about is "GAME LENGTH". So it can accommodate from 2 to 5 players... The more players the "easier" the game is ... but still has the fundamental challenge. You play "CO-OPERATLY" and "COMPETITIVELY" too... So it's a mix of BOTH! So CO-OPETIVELY... (LOL)

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