Wednesday, September 11, 2013

03: Art is Hard When You Can't Draw

Neither John nor I have any noteworthy 2D artistic skill, which of course poses a problem when you're trying to make something as visually based as a board game.  I mentioned in my first post about our artist Chris Pritchard, but I didn't find him until months into the project.  At the start, John and I were on our own.  Even if we had artistic talent, we still needed to decide what the game would look like.  Not just how would it look but how would it feel?  What would be its style?  John informed me that the board would have to be hexagonal shaped and when I asked why he just told me that just about every space game in existence uses hexagons.  Turns out he was right.

Very early in the project, John whipped up this over the course of a day.

I thought it looked fantastic as a jumping off point and threw some spaceships together by just recoloring some pictures I swiped off the internet.

Before long, we had them printed out and cut out and were well on our way to discovering the look for our game that we wanted.

It doesn't look like much, but it was a very promising start and immediately told us many things.
  1. Our ships were too big.  We would have to make them much smaller.
  2. The cards that kept track of the ship fleets would have to be re-organized.
  3. There was no place to keep your resources.
  4. We needed rules for all of the different locations like planets, asteroids, and various phenomenon.
This may have been the very beginning, but the game is continuing to evolve.  We're on our 5th rendition of the map at this point, and the fleet card is on version 6 or 7 I think and there's another one that will be completed soon.  In another post I'll go over some more modern views of the game elements and pieces but for now just know that it is a very time consuming process to make something and then trash it only a few weeks later so you can make a better version.  It is worth it however.  I'm always excited about how great the next version is going to look.


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