Are we about to ruin our board game with this idea?

great idea-02-01

Some of you may already know that the three of us are working on Ghostel. It’s Bevan’s design but Me and Tony are helping him out with development. We’re getting ready for the Kickstarter campaign and got onto the subject of this blog post: Game Art

So naturally, with 3 people working on a project you’re eventually going to have different opinions on some things. With the game art we had 3 different artists in mind, and we couldn’t decide which one to use.

After a week of light debate (I’m really sorry Tony, I promise the scar won’t be that bad) I had a one of my always brilliant* ideas: Let’s get concept art from all 3 artists and let the backers decide!

So the plan went as follows:

  • Get the same image drawn by each artist
  • Post all three images on the Kickstarter campaign page
  • Let every backer have the chance to vote on which art style they preferred
  • Find out the most popular artist, get the art made, produce board game, win at life.

Getting over-excited, I’d figured out the logistics of how we’d do it and had everything in place. But the same thought occurred to all of us: What if it puts people off?

Without doing a lot of research we were fairly sure this hadn’t been done before in board games (at least, not that we knew of) so the surprise factor would have been nice. A good ‘hook’ to get people to check out ‘that board game that’s letting backers choose their art’ but we decided that going in blind was a bad idea, better to do some research first. So we went to social media, proposed the plan and got some opinions. Twitter was the only place we had much response:

This is what people had to say:

  Then I asked the esteemed Jamey Stegmaier (Prince of board game Kickstarters)

 

So as you can see, mixed opinions. What about your opinion? What do you think we should do?

[poll id=”1″]

*not always brilliant

3 Comments

  • Ryan Mentock

    I was just considering the same type of concept for my game (http://bit.ly/1dhxxRn) as I look for artists. Definitely agree with the main points – could discourage the “losers” in the voting process from backing and also make it seem like there isn’t a definite direction in the project. I like the idea, but agree with the majority that it should be done before the Kickstarter. Thanks for the timely post!

  • Jamie Gibbs

    It’s a tough one for sure. I think a change in artwork can redefine the entire theme of the game, and for some potential backers that’ll influence their enjoyment of the game (and so the likelihood of backing).

    For Ghostel, the game can become a light-hearted take on traditional haunted house stories with a fun and more humorous art style, or it can take a more sinister, Dead of Winter approach where guests are “scared to death”.

    The core mechanics of the game can remain exactly the same, but the art completely changes the tone of the game and so the attitudes of the players.

    I think that nailing the art style prior to the campaign would be better, but I’m completely on board with getting the Ghostel community to collectively decide this beforehand.

  • Emil Larsen

    Hi Gino,

    A very interesting post, I enjoyed it.

    One warning though, the pole you made in the end can’t really be used for anything.
    When you put a very respected and influential person’s response right before you ask people “so what do you say?” … You’ll get a lot of similar answers.

    I respect Jamey a lot, so asking me after I’ve heard what he says makes me biased. It doesn’t work 😉

    Best regards Emil

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