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A Touch of Evil: The Coast» Forums » General

Subject: Card backs darker than base game rss

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Joanna Griebel
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I just picked up a copy of The Coast and noticed the card backs are a lot darker than the base game - especially the Secret cards. They are A LOT darker, so it is very obvious that an elder has an expansion secret card or not. The only thing I can think of is to sleeve the cards (which I hate doing), but I'm not sure what size of sleeve fits the best. Has any one else run into this problem? What did you do?
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Rich Moore
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Same problem here...not a big deal for most of the cards, but with the secrets it's particularly annoying. Still, I haven't bothered with sleeving (yet). You know they've got a secret from the coast but you still don't know if it is a good, evil, or neutral.

Sleeving would be a good solution, if only of the secret cards...I might give it a try as well.
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Jack
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I hope FF is going to offer replacements.
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Joanna Griebel
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I contacted FFP and this is the response I got:

QUOTE wrote:
Hello Joanna,

We understand your concern about color variation in card backs. As gamers, ourselves, this always bothered us when playing our favorite games and having cards not match. We've made it a priority with our manufacturer in China. However, we've come to realize that there are always color variations in printing that cannot be helped. The variation shown in your photos is within the range of variation that we get in the printing process. I'm sorry for the difference in tint that you're seeing. Card replacements would also have similar variations.

Thank you,
Chris Kemnow
Flying Frog Productions, LLC


I guess I'll just have to deal with the color variation or sleeve the cards. Does any one know what sleeve size fits FFP cards? If I do sleeve, I'll just do the Secret cards, since I really really really do not like sleeves. Oh well.
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Brian Cwikla

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What?? I'm looking at your photo and they're saying that the variation shown is within the range they get in the printing process?? I used to work for a printing company and they would fire someone if that was their opinion. The difference shown in your photo is not an acceptable variation by a reputable printing company. Yes, there are color variations in printing, but the differences should be so slight that an untrained eye would hardly notice.

For example, take a look at the backs of Magic the Gathering cards from various printings over the years and see if you can notice a difference in color. A trained inker from a printing company might, but you wouldn't.

This is too bad. I like FFG but this response from them is not cool.
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Jack
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iguano wrote:
What?? I'm looking at your photo and they're saying that the variation shown is within the range they get in the printing process?? I used to work for a printing company and they would fire someone if that was their opinion.


Brian - I'm with you. The fact that they brush such a serious difference off so easily is disheartening.
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Joanna Griebel
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senorcoo wrote:
iguano wrote:
What?? I'm looking at your photo and they're saying that the variation shown is within the range they get in the printing process?? I used to work for a printing company and they would fire someone if that was their opinion.


Brian - I'm with you. The fact that they brush such a serious difference off so easily is disheartening.


I'm glad you guys think so, I was trying to be a "good sport" about it... but the expansion cards are basically dark grey and the base game cards are almost white. And it does seem pretty crazy that the company is accepting such a huge range of tone.

And you're right, MTG card backs are almost identical from printing to printing. And even Fantasy flight games reprinted cards from the base game of Mansions of Madness when they came out with their print on demand expansions because the card width wasn't the same as the base game and they wanted to make sure it wasn't obvious which cards were from the base vs expansion. Flying Frog is a smaller company then WotC and FFG, so maybe its a cost thing? Even so, it's still a big disappointment... I mean, as consumers we pay a lot for these games and it should be their duty as a game publisher make sure the components of their games are up to a certain level of quality and consistency, right?
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Tristan Hall
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Wow. I really love FFP games but that is truly shocking, and a shocking response. It literally looks like they ran out of ink but ran the prints anyway. shake
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Wulf Corbett
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ninjadorg wrote:
It literally looks like they ran out of ink but ran the prints anyway.
Wrong way round - the new ones are darker. Mine are too - but nowhere near as big a difference as illustrated. Doesn't worry me in the slightest. "Oh, look, it's one of the new ones. I wonder what it is?" will be the maximum extent of my reaction. It's not as though all the new cards were radically different in content to any of the old ones. Even if anyone is anal enough to memorise the entire new set of cards, they still can't tell which one it is, or what it does, from the back.
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Wulf Corbett
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iguano wrote:
What?? I'm looking at your photo and they're saying that the variation shown is within the range they get in the printing process??
That photo in no way at all reflects the difference in my cards. There is a difference, you can see it easily, but it's not anything like that obvious.
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Amy
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They should have rejected the lot from the printer. If the printer gives them difficulties it is time to find a new printer. That isn't a slight variation in color.
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Jack
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It would be like hiring someone to do your roof with shingles and they turn up and do it with sheets of aluminum. It's functional, but it isn't what you paid for.
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MoonSylver
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My Coast card backs are, sadly, darker. As others have mentioned, you really only notice it on the Secrets, where I will admit, it IS quite noticible.

I shuffle without looking, draw from the bottom of the deck, & make sure each Elder covers their secret(s) completely.

Problem solved. (For me anyway).

It was a minor quibble for me, but IN NO WAY a deal breaker. The rest of the components are the usual quality of other FFP games, & once I delt with this one issue the great content of The Coast MORE than outweighed the minor inconvenience required.
---MS

*EDIT* And yeah, the above photo DOES exagerate the differnace. Looks like too much glare on the "regular" Secrets. making them look MUCH lighter compaired to the darker Coast ones. shake
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James
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It would be nice if Flying Frog made card sleeves with backings for their games, this way it wouldn't matter if the card backs were darker.
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Joanna Griebel
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M00NSYLVER wrote:
My Coast card backs are, sadly, darker. As others have mentioned, you really only notice it on the Secrets, where I will admit, it IS quite noticible.

I shuffle without looking, draw from the bottom of the deck, & make sure each Elder covers their secret(s) completely.

Problem solved. (For me anyway).

It was a minor quibble for me, but IN NO WAY a deal breaker. The rest of the components are the usual quality of other FFP games, & once I delt with this one issue the great content of The Coast MORE than outweighed the minor inconvenience required.
---MS

*EDIT* And yeah, the above photo DOES exagerate the differnace. Looks like too much glare on the "regular" Secrets. making them look MUCH lighter compaired to the darker Coast ones. shake


I took the picture at a 45 degree angle to prevent a glare. And even if the secret cards would appear lighter from the light, both sets would be lighter. One wouldn't appear lighter and the other darker. The darker cards were actually under the light more directly than the lighter cards.

And I didn't say this was a deal breaker for me; I'm just frustrated I spent $43 on a game expansion and in addition to the cards being significantly darker than the base game (all decks, The Secrets were the most extreme) all of the chits were printed off centered and were also darker. I only mentioned the The Secret cards because it's important for the game that they are not distinguishable. I can live with the other components being too dark because they don't affect the game.

And also, I agree the Coast is an awesome expansion - so far I like it more than Something Wicked, but that also makes me more bummed that the print job wasn't done well. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't care as much.

That being said, I like your solution better than sleeving the cards, so I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Anthony Duda
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I don't yet own The Coast but, from the photo, that degree of color variation is absolutely not acceptable. That lack of QC would never be acceptable even at the small printing company where I used to work, and for FF to say otherwise is wrong.

If anyone from FF would like proof of this, they should walk into any supermarket. Rarely will any variation be found on the packaging of products we use everyday; Tide laundry detergent is always the same hue of orange, Barilla pasta is always the same shade of blue, etc. While it is easier to achieve color consistency with large, virtually endless runs of any packaging, it is still certainly not difficult for smaller 'stop and start' runs that FF's printing company would do for their game components.

What should FF do? Insist on less variation from their current printer or, if that isn't possible, go with a new company. In the meantime, they should replace the lighter cards if requested by owners of The Coast.



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Jack
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Phantasm wrote:

I don't yet own The Coast but, from the photo, that degree of color variation is absolutely not acceptable. That lack of QC would never be acceptable even at the small printing company where I used to work, and for FF to say otherwise is wrong.

If anyone from FF would like proof of this, they should walk into any supermarket. Rarely will any variation be found on the packaging of products we use everyday; Tide laundry detergent is always the same hue of orange, Barilla pasta is always the same shade of blue, etc. While it is easier to achieve color consistency with large, virtually endless runs of any packaging, it is still certainly not difficult for smaller 'stop and start' runs that FF's printing company would do for their game components.

What should FF do? Insist on less variation from their current printer or, if that isn't possible, go with a new company. In the meantime, they should replace the lighter cards if requested by owners of The Coast.





Perfectly said.
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Rich Moore
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I think that, though the color difference is obvious, the flash in the photo exacerbates the difference to the point where the older cards almost look white/bleached. I'm not making any excuses for FFP, but I think a photo in natural light might illustrate the difference more clearly (accurately?) I tried taking a photo myself with a flash and the image looks similar, though to the eye it isn't so profound.

I'll try to do this if I get the chance.
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Tom T
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horfrost3 wrote:
I contacted FFP and this is the response I got:

QUOTE wrote:
Hello Joanna,

We understand your concern about color variation in card backs. As gamers, ourselves, this always bothered us when playing our favorite games and having cards not match. We've made it a priority with our manufacturer in China. However, we've come to realize that there are always color variations in printing that cannot be helped. The variation shown in your photos is within the range of variation that we get in the printing process. I'm sorry for the difference in tint that you're seeing. Card replacements would also have similar variations.

Thank you,
Chris Kemnow
Flying Frog Productions, LLC


I guess I'll just have to deal with the color variation or sleeve the cards. Does any one know what sleeve size fits FFP cards? If I do sleeve, I'll just do the Secret cards, since I really really really do not like sleeves. Oh well.


Assuming the photo in the first post is a reasonably accurate reproduction of the two printings, then the complaint is justified and the response mystifying. I've been in publishing for 35 years, and I have never, NEVER, seen a reprint of a job that was as far off as those cards in the picture. I never worked with a printer who would dare to even show me results such as that, let alone expect me to accept it. To say that this is "...within the range of variation..." is laughable. A range of variation would be something to the tune of a few percent ink/color density--a barely noticeable difference when compared side-by-side.

I suggest you guys get yourself a new printer, and maybe a new production manager/print buyer while you are at it.
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Wulf Corbett
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Here's a pic of mine. No flash, but even so, I feel the contrast has been exaggerated by the camera. Nowhere near as extreme as the OP's pic.
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Brian Cwikla

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Wulf Corbett wrote:
Here's a pic of mine. No flash, but even so, I feel the contrast has been exaggerated by the camera. Nowhere near as extreme as the OP's pic.


Not as extreme, but still wouldn't pass the scrutiny at a decent print shop. At the place I used to work, those would have been tossed out, inks remade and the run of those cards reprinted.

I wonder if FFP missed this in a proof copy they received (if they did that which they absolutely should have) and now are stuck with a very poorly calibrated print run. This is a shame, because I like their games and will now end up really hesitating before getting any expansions. Hopefully they rectify this some way.
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Ben Boersma
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Not acceptable.
Much like the board colour changes early on. Are their printing company screwing them over?
Disappointing.
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Jack
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I think that if you couldn't tell the difference in the small pic, then it would be easier to defend FF. Even with the tiny pic and my eyes, I can clearly tell the difference. It is something that would annoy me if they weren't sleeved. So are all of the card backs this dissimilar from the other sets?
 
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Joanna Griebel
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I took some more pictures of the cards, this time I went outside since the lighting is better and more accurate.

These were all taken outside. I had to put a cloth down on the table outside because I didn't want the cards to get dirty, that's why one pic has a tan background.







All of the cards in my Coast expansion were printed darker than the base game cards. The locations and events were more subtle, but the Secrets and Mystery cards were more extreme. Also the extra investigation tokens that come with the expansion were noticeably darker than the base game. I didn't feel the need to mention these earlier since they don't affect the game play in any way. Here are pics of those as well.

It looks like a shadow is over half of the investigation tokens, but there isn't. They are that much darker than the base games.





Here's a picture of the Mystery cards from the base game, Something Wicked, and the Coast. All have different hues, but The Coast's are significantly darker. The base game are the lighter brown cards, SW are greenish, and the Coast are dark brown.

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Joanna Griebel
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rcmoore4 wrote:
I think that, though the color difference is obvious, the flash in the photo exacerbates the difference to the point where the older cards almost look white/bleached. I'm not making any excuses for FFP, but I think a photo in natural light might illustrate the difference more clearly (accurately?) I tried taking a photo myself with a flash and the image looks similar, though to the eye it isn't so profound.

I'll try to do this if I get the chance.


I uploaded pictures taken outside during the day in my last post before this one.

Also, for the record, I didn't use a flash. I tried a picture with the flash, but got too much glare. So instead, I used a table lamp above the cards and took the picture from a 45 degree angle to prevent glare. I agree the colors are off, but that's what happens with yellow indoor lighting. Both sets of cards are a little lighter from the lamp. The outdoor pictures I took are much more accurate.
 
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