W7 S2: Minimum Playable Product & More Artwork (18th March – 24th March)

Weekly Goal

  • Finalise cards from last week (27),
  • Draft new cards (Items or Weapons),
  • Test Mat & cards,
  • Review minimum playable product and information design,
  • Play Test (Saturday or Sunday).

Contents

Games Development

  • Cards from page one finalised (Monday)
    • Design experimentation is explored,
    • Changes to composition and information are explained.
  • Conversation with Matteo (V&A)
    • Minimum Playable Product,
    • Information Design.

Games Development

Monday: Dark Card Finalisation (1st Page)

On Monday I created and finished artwork for 7 out of the 9 cards on the first card sheet, I decided that two of the designs needed further refinement and I will complete these throughout the week in hopes of completing this first page.

As I put the line-art and colouring onto each corresponding card I was able to explore aesthetics and themes in which I could implement to all other cards. I played around with colour and backgrounds, first exploring a really quick rendering method that used gradient colours to quickly colour each card.

Allfonts_Image_test

I did really like the outcome of this experimentation, however, I wanted to see whether or not it was possible to add more colour and render the cards further. I managed this pretty easily and used this method to render the rest of the designs. Initially the cards looked like they do below – basic cell shading added unique colours to each part of the character and then the grey-scale shading from before was over-layered to add depth.

I liked the final outcome and continued it with the other cards. Once all the colours and depth I wanted was added, I then began to experiment with effects and backgrounds to add further intrigue.

Sai-ryn’s background was already sketched out in her draft. I really liked the depth and energy this background added to the character – so I continued this for the rest of the cards.

img_6932

The fonts and colouring was changed throughout this process as I wanted to avoid legal issues in regards to using other people’s fonts. The fonts created are all unique to the game itself and I feel this element adds style. I am not certain whether this will be the final composition for the cards, however, it works for now and translates the right information to players.

Composition and Information Changes:

  • The attack section was changed so that it was clearer what the section is about. The word attack highlights the section and a uniquely named attack is introduced with the damage to it’s right. This gives this area more visual significance and hopefully translates it’s purpose better to players. The colours have changed from white to orange and red to highlight, two concepts: danger and health damage. The health section of the card is red and so is the attack damage, hopefully this colour grouping is obvious. Additionally reds and oranges grab attention and signify feelings of danger (colour theory), this should tell players that this mechanic is used to inflict damage.
  • More text has been added under each attack in white (to denote it’s significance from an action to information) this text explains where the attacks should go, and whether or not anything should be taken in consideration, such as: defense rolling and recoil.

Work has also begun rendering the rest of the character cards, adding the final line-art and tone to create cards similar to those seen below:

img_6929


Conversation with Matteo V&A Games Artist in Residence

Last week we were visited by Matteo, the games artist in residence at the V&A, he allowed us all time to sit and chat with him about our Games in their current state and help guide us in our endeavours.

Matteo and I spoke about the minimum playable product and information design in aids of producing quicker testing sessions. The two concepts allow for the main (most important) mechanics to be tested without players having to know all the current rules – this allows for speed and ease of testing.

Minimum Playable Product

My minimum playable product model follows the combat system and coin collecting mechanic as these two features make up the bulk play-ability of the concept in it’s current state.

Teaching my testers these two mechanics will hopefully allow me to translate the basics and allow them to play without interference. This will create a much more organic experience and allow for better testing.

Information Design 

Another significant concept explored was information design, in regards to it’s ability to translate important card functions to players without needing to read the rule book. This property is very significant as I want all players to be able to pick up the game and just play – even without knowing all the rules. The cards themselves are the key to success in this matter, the cards need to be able to translate important information such as their purpose, their functions and placements – therefore all relevant information must be placed on each card. I think currently I have managed to achieve this with a 70% success rate, however, improvements need to be made and are being made through the final rendering of each card. I am able to improve the wording and information of each card as the artwork is added. I need to change the fonts of all the cards so this process is happening organically as other changes are being made. This approach is slightly tedious, however, there is no alternative – the process itself is useful as I am able to review each card in detail before finalising them for the final phase of testing.


Tuesday

02.png


Wednesday

Game website creation – lastritesccg.com

What I need to include:

  • About section,
  • product specs and buying information,
  • game concept and information,
  • about the author.
  • Images of the game,
    • concept images, sketches and link to blog.
  • videos of play-testing/trailer,
  • kick-starter link (tbc),
  • any important dates (the show, play-testing sessions),
  • feedback page?

Thursday

Revisiting design – font and text issues

I’ve been playing around with the font sizing, colour and type today in order to make the cards more readable in printed form. One of the primary problems of the printed cards was the size and legibility of the text, especially the smaller white text; additionally, I felt the text with ‘drop-shadows’ looked cheap and didn’t translate well when printed. I did some re designs in order to attempt to fix these problems, below is an example of this redesign:

I am very happy with the size and colour of most of the new text, however, I really must rectify the header font and colour as it now looks far too ‘happy’ and ‘tacky’ – I plan to revert this text back to it’s predecessor; a comparison is shown below: (far right is the most recent change and far left is the first edition)



Testing Prints


Output Total

  • Sheet 1 almost complete.
  • Sheets 2 & 3 drafted,
  • Print testing has begun
    • Heavy stock and transparancies currently not working.
  • Card backs altered.

Not Done

  • More cards to come.

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