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Subject: Which of these abstract games do you think is most publishable? Why? rss

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christian freeling
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milomilo122 wrote:
Anyone else with feedback?
I think it's a rather kitschy representation of the idea.
 
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Myron Samsin
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It doesn't really suggest circle of life to me, either. Umm.. In what world do snakes eat tigers?
 
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Nick Bentley
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Christian: can you elaborate on what you mean? I want to understand what makes it that way.
 
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Nick Bentley
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althus wrote:
It doesn't really suggest circle of life to me, either. Umm.. In what world do snakes eat tigers?
Noted
 
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Nick Bentley
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rayr wrote:
I really like the picture, but I don't know if I would recognize it as representing a "circle of life". I kind of want more fading from one to the other or something symbolic of one stage absorbing/eating another stage.
Another question: what do you mean by "fading"?
 
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Ray R.
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milomilo122 wrote:
rayr wrote:
I really like the picture, but I don't know if I would recognize it as representing a "circle of life". I kind of want more fading from one to the other or something symbolic of one stage absorbing/eating another stage.
Another question: what do you mean by "fading"?
I'm not entirely sure. The current picture shows each animal as fully distinct, including a bit of a white border around each one. I guess I want to see a progression or transformation or absorption/assimilation of some sort. The picture is too static. I want an implied action.

That other picture you used* had a bit of that.

Sorry I can't be more help. I'm afraid I'm only a critic

* can't find the original context
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Nick Bentley
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rayr wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
rayr wrote:
I really like the picture, but I don't know if I would recognize it as representing a "circle of life". I kind of want more fading from one to the other or something symbolic of one stage absorbing/eating another stage.
Another question: what do you mean by "fading"?
I'm not entirely sure. The current picture shows each animal as fully distinct, including a bit of a white border around each one. I guess I want to see a progression or transformation or absorption/assimilation of some sort. The picture is too static. I want an implied action.

That other picture you used* had a bit of that.

Sorry I can't be more help. I'm afraid I'm only a critic

* can't find the original context
Np. Talking about graphic design is tricky.
 
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Cody Kunka
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milomilo122 wrote:
Anyone else with feedback?
- I'd like to see the "hexagon of life" idea.
- The image feels too flat (i.e., little visual depth). With some more depth, the colored-pencil style could like neat with (I forget the term) the typical KS box upgrade with the shiny coating.
- The degrees of mouth opening differ alot. Compare the gator to the bear. I'd like to see some more consistency.

As a side note: I'm still curious how you'll theme the pieces themselves. Something like the box graphic could surround the board... but I don't know what to do with the hex grid or the pieces.
 
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Nick Bentley
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
Anyone else with feedback?
- I'd like to see the "hexagon of life" idea.
- The image feels too flat (i.e., little visual depth). With some more depth, the colored-pencil style could like neat with (I forget the term) the typical KS box upgrade with the shiny coating.
- The degrees of mouth opening differ alot. Compare the gator to the bear. I'd like to see some more consistency.

As a side note: I'm still curious how you'll theme the pieces themselves. Something like the box graphic could surround the board... but I don't know what to do with the hex grid or the pieces.
Cool. Note we tried the hexagon idea and it looked like ass. I've added your comments to my notes for possible revisions.
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Daniel Piovezan
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milomilo122 wrote:

I had a little dough burning a hole in my pocket, so I commissioned the box cover art for Circle of Life that I had in mind:


It's pretty. Probably the kind of pretty that sells.

I personally still prefer the other, B&W, image. It's pretty too, in a different way. I like clearer, more minimalistic art. I like it that it's more brutal too. But it's not a popular style. I remember folks talking shit about the art in Time Barons, tho I personally think it's pretty badass.

So, I guess maybe if the colorful one can be made more brutal? Not sure if brutal is popular, but this game needs at least some brutal.

Brutal.
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Nick Bentley
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BozoDel wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:

I had a little dough burning a hole in my pocket, so I commissioned the box cover art for Circle of Life that I had in mind:


It's pretty. Probably the kind of pretty that sells.

I personally still prefer the other, B&W, image. It's pretty too, in a different way. I like clearer, more minimalistic art. I like it that it's more brutal too. But it's not a popular style. I remember folks talking shit about the art in Time Barons, tho I personally think it's pretty badass.

So, I guess maybe if the colorful one can be made more brutal? Not sure if brutal is popular, but this game needs at least some brutal.

Brutal.
Heh. One of the key design guidelines I gave was that it *shouldn't* be brutal. I wanted to make it more abstract/symbolic/dreamy, for two reasons:

1) I thought it would have wider appeal

2) The macabre nature of the original image is not at all in keeping with the kind of game this is. I would expect something more Ameritrash if I saw the original image on a box. I feel strongly there needs to be a consonance between the spirit of the game and its visual representation.
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christian freeling
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milomilo122 wrote:
Christian: can you elaborate on what you mean? I want to understand what makes it that way.
It's only my impression. As to its effectiveness in terms of marketing, maybe it does represent the spirit of the game but I'm the worst person to judge. You know what it says on our homepage: "Games have a spirit - the ones of Chess and Draughts have been implemented in one form or another by almost every culture in the world". In that context Chess might be considered an abstracted representation of war, but making Draughtsmen look like soldiers doesn't really add anything. So to me the 'spirit' isn't directly linked to appearance. I care about the engine, less about the bodywork, and for me the 'spirit' is to be found in the former.
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Michael Amundsen
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I like the colors. But, ironically, the animals look dead. They are not animated. They look like they care about nothing, like their souls have left their bodies. It looks like they just happen to have their mouths open, as opposed to doing something that involves opening one's mouth (like eating).

I get that the other (old) picture is a bit to "jokey", but that one has life. I have never played the game, so I can't tell you what I think would convey the feeling of playing it. I'm sorry to say that I hope this art gives me the wrong impression.

Speaking of impressions: I'm very exited about the possible publishing of this game, and I think it is the right choice! I will definitely buy it, with or without art that speaks to me. I'm just trying to express my impression as honestly as I can.

An congratulations on becoming a father!
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christian freeling
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michamund wrote:
I have never played the game, so I can't tell you what I think would convey the feeling of playing it. I'm sorry to say that I hope this art gives me the wrong impression.

...

I'm very exited about the possible publishing of this game, and I think it is the right choice! I will definitely buy it, with or without art that speaks to me.
Out of curiosity, you've never played it and you hope the artwork (that you don't like) gives you the wrong impression. But you'll definitely buy it. I'm curious what quality made you decide to do so.
 
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Nick Bentley
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michamund wrote:
I like the colors. But, ironically, the animals look dead. They are not animated. They look like they care about nothing, like their souls have left their bodies. It looks like they just happen to have their mouths open, as opposed to doing something that involves opening one's mouth (like eating).

I get that the other (old) picture is a bit to "jokey", but that one has life. I have never played the game, so I can't tell you what I think would convey the feeling of playing it. I'm sorry to say that I hope this art gives me the wrong impression.

Speaking of impressions: I'm very exited about the possible publishing of this game, and I think it is the right choice! I will definitely buy it, with or without art that speaks to me. I'm just trying to express my impression as honestly as I can.

An congratulations on becoming a father!
Thanks so much! I think there will be plenty of time to revisit the art if it gets picked up, so all this feedback is interesting and useful. Thanks.
 
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Michael Amundsen
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christianF wrote:
Out of curiosity, you've never played it and you hope the artwork (that you don't like) gives you the wrong impression. But you'll definitely buy it. I'm curious what quality made you decide to do so.
I thought you'd might react to that

Buying this game will (i) support a designer I like, (ii) give me equipment to play hex-games in general, and (iii) give me an opportunity to play this particular game with my wife.

I like the idea of the game – its concept. It is one of those few abstract games that are suggestive (sparks the imagination) without being arbitrary ("this piece does that, only these can …"). It wears (a mark of) its diversity on it's sleeve (there is difference within the game), while letting us discover its unity (it all flows from a principle). Go is the opposite: It wears its unity on its sleeve (everything is the same), and makes us discover its diversity from scratch (it turns out there is loads of difference in this game). I like it when a game gives me somewhere to start, and in the best cases it is literally the game (not its inventor) that provides that starting point.
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Ien C.
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michamund wrote:
I like the colors. But, ironically, the animals look dead.
Good observation. I think a relatively small tweak -- adding eyes -- could bring them to life quite a bit.
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Nick Bentley
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ghopper21 wrote:
michamund wrote:
I like the colors. But, ironically, the animals look dead.
Good observation. I think a relatively small tweak -- adding eyes -- could bring them to life quite a bit.
The artist originally presented some eyes with pupils and some without...and I much preferred the eyes without! I liked the more symbolic/dreamy quality it created.
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dale walton
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milomilo122 wrote:

I've been thinking about how to publish at least one of my good abstract games for a long time. ... I don't want to unless there's a chance of making a hit, something on the order of say, Onitama or Hive.
[/o]

I haven't read through the whole list, and this is probably obvious to you, but a success like Hive was not merely publishing a game. The author was personally involved in marketing and promotion for many years, arranging for his own production, and manning his own booth at Essen, and initiating competitions, etc.

I think your games could be worth this effort, but no matter how much effort, the results will always be risky.

I hope the responses here in this list have helped focus on which one to go for. Wishing you luck in the endeavor.
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Russ Williams
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milomilo122 wrote:
ghopper21 wrote:
michamund wrote:
I like the colors. But, ironically, the animals look dead.
Good observation. I think a relatively small tweak -- adding eyes -- could bring them to life quite a bit.
The artist originally presented some eyes with pupils and some without...and I much preferred the eyes without! I liked the more symbolic/dreamy quality it created.
FWLIW the white eyes seem a bit weird/creepy to me; and a symbolic/dreamy quality seems perhaps at odds with the "circle of life" animals-eating-other-animals theme, which seems very natural/concrete/harsh.
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Nick Bentley
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dale walton wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:

I've been thinking about how to publish at least one of my good abstract games for a long time. ... I don't want to unless there's a chance of making a hit, something on the order of say, Onitama or Hive.
[/o]

I haven't read through the whole list, and this is probably obvious to you, but a success like Hive was not merely publishing a game. The author was personally involved in marketing and promotion for many years, arranging for his own production, and manning his own booth at Essen, and initiating competitions, etc.

I think your games could be worth this effort, but no matter how much effort, the results will always be risky.

I hope the responses here in this list have helped focus on which one to go for. Wishing you luck in the endeavor.
Oh I'm VERY aware. I work in board game publishing professionally.
 
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Nick Bentley
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russ wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
ghopper21 wrote:
michamund wrote:
I like the colors. But, ironically, the animals look dead.
Good observation. I think a relatively small tweak -- adding eyes -- could bring them to life quite a bit.
The artist originally presented some eyes with pupils and some without...and I much preferred the eyes without! I liked the more symbolic/dreamy quality it created.
FWLIW the white eyes seem a bit weird/creepy to me; and a symbolic/dreamy quality seems perhaps at odds with the "circle of life" animals-eating-other-animals theme, which seems very natural/concrete/harsh.
Noted. Seems like a number people aren't feeling the eyes the way I do.
 
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Ien C.
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I for one do like the symbolic/dreamy direction, and wouldn't necessarily like actual pupils -- makes me wonder if there is an abstract yet more alive feeling design for the eyes. Makes me think of for instance animal jewelry -- sometimes they really feel alive even though they are rather abstracted designs.
 
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Tor A
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FWLIW, I really liked the original proposal here:



It had character and flair, and I love the expressions of the animals.



I'm not nearly as impressed by the new colorful one. To me it's just a fuzzy mess of lifeless animal faces pasted on top of each other, in a very generic style that vaguely resembles the cover of
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn
.

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Nick Bentley
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ccxvii wrote:
FWLIW, I really liked the original proposal here:



It had character and flair, and I love the expressions of the animals.



I'm not nearly as impressed by the new colorful one. To me it's just a fuzzy mess of lifeless animal faces pasted on top of each other, in a very generic style that vaguely resembles the cover of
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn
.
Noted!
 
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