Author Topic: Aetshetics in game design. Does it affect your purchasing choice?  (Read 809 times)

Silent Disapproval Robot

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I posted a few photos of the solitaire version of Fires of Midway and a few people commented that they weren't fans of the fonts used in the game.
That got me wondering.   Has the art in a game convinced you to purchase or avoid or convinced you to buya game?


For me, I love the game Flat Top but it clearly was a product of its time and by today's standards, it looks terrible.

I won a copy of Undaunted: Normandy at a gaming convention.  It's been getting a lot of positive review but I hate the artwork so much that it's a deterrent for playing it.  I think the aesthetic quality is terrible and the ahistorical nature compounds the offence to the point where I don't want to play it at all. 

I have two other games that have absolutely terrible artwork (The Expanse and Sidereal Confluence. Both from WizKids) but the gameplay is so good that I can overlook the terrible artwork.  Conversely, I have an PC game called Cuphead.  I hate the gameplay (mostly because I am worthless at platformer games) but I love the look so much that I want to keep playing because the artwork is so good.



 



Staggerwing

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Reply #1 on: December 07, 2019, 07:39:05 AM
I'm not too put off by most game artwork unless it's particularly garish. Some of SSG's 2000's-era computer war games' UIs used colors that reminded me of Fisher-Price toys. My biggest put-offs are over-simplified unit counter art (just a silhouette and maybe one number) or overly-cluttered counter art with too much info for my pre-Holocene brain to manage.

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bayonetbrant

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Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 07:49:39 AM
Avalanche Press makes up for their mediocre game systems by putting them on utterly unplayably-ugly maps.  Even with some decent topic ideas, I can't stand them.

But there are some games where the visuals really make you pay attention to a design you might not have otherwise.

My first thought is anything by Niko Eskubi, b/c his counter art is so incredible.

Similarly, Mark Mahaffey's maps look good enough to hang on the wall.  War of the Suns comes to mind as a game I never would've considered until I saw that map.  His portfolio includes some game maps he re-did as personal projects, like Crusader Rex and Twilight Struggle, and they're gorgeous.

An example of a typeface that didn't sit well with me was the way the Worthington Band of Brothers series looks.

The vehicle counters in ASL are a cluttered disaster of numbers and symbols.

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bob48

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Reply #3 on: December 07, 2019, 07:58:38 AM
Pretty much agree with all you say, Brant. One of my favourite  Mahaffey maps is that from 'Bradley's D-day', Its a work of art.

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trailrunner

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Reply #4 on: December 07, 2019, 09:31:03 AM

The vehicle counters in ASL are a cluttered disaster of numbers and symbols.

Blasphemy: they are perfection!

I actually don’t like some of newer games that have too much artwork or style.  To me, it gets in the way of the game, but my first wargame was the original Midway from the 60s.

I’ve spent half my life’s earning on wargames, women, and drink. The rest I wasted.


bbmike

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Reply #5 on: December 07, 2019, 10:02:10 AM
For the most part I'm not to particular about the artwork but there are cases where it does bother me. For example I went so far as to make a custom board for Don't Tread on Me. I also did one for Victory in the Pacific.

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BanzaiCat

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Reply #6 on: December 07, 2019, 01:38:36 PM
I've done instructional design for a dozen years and I know what works and what doesn't work for mass consumption. I gotta SMH at times at the crap that some people think looks good.

Not that *my* opinion is perfect, but I can just hear colleagues and peers in my ear silently throwing up in their mouths too, mirroring my own perceptions.

Aesthetics mean a lot, but they're not the end-all be all. Considering if a game looks ugly it doesn't draw me in that much, I would ONLY play it if it were a review game that I had to play in order to write said review. I would not buy an ugly game on my own initiative.



bbmike

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Reply #7 on: December 07, 2019, 04:27:51 PM
...
An example of a typeface that didn't sit well with me was the way the Worthington Band of Brothers series looks.
...

Other than the typeface, how is Worthington's Band of Brothers? I'm actually watching Band of Brothers right now (for the first time) and could always use another tactical strategy game.

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bob48

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Reply #8 on: December 07, 2019, 04:47:20 PM
Its an excellent game system. it was always planned for a few more expansions, but, a bit like the CoH series, the publishers seem to have lost interest in it. A great shame, because its a fun system to play and has a with a fair bit of variety. The art work is not at all, bad if a little cartoony.

Recommended if you like that scale of tactical games.

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bbmike

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Reply #9 on: December 07, 2019, 05:18:57 PM
Sigh. Sold.

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bob48

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Reply #10 on: December 07, 2019, 05:19:59 PM
lol - well, you did ask...................... ;D

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bbmike

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Reply #11 on: December 07, 2019, 05:27:53 PM
It's just a mild case of Banzai-tis.  :P

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bob48

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Reply #12 on: December 07, 2019, 05:36:07 PM
No hope, then. ::)

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BanzaiCat

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Reply #13 on: December 07, 2019, 05:42:05 PM
None whatsoever.



bob48

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Reply #14 on: December 07, 2019, 05:43:35 PM
Mind you, BoB is a good game - you could certainly spend yer dosh on worse things :-)

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.”

'Gentlemen of the French Guard, Fire!'