Graphic Design - Add-on or Crucial Element In Board Games?

Graphic design, is it an add-on or crucial for a game? Should it be prioritized? Prioritized over mechanics? Art?

What do you think?

Like| 74 comments | report | subscribe

Please log in or make an account to post a comment.

6 months ago

Mechanics is key. But some people will purchase a game just because it looks good and just display it some times. I think graphic design is an add-on after the fact.

Premium User6 months ago

Have you ever bought a game just for the way it looks?

6 months ago

I did it with #Koi and #Century: Golem Edition

Maybe I just got lucky but I love both games.

Premium User6 months ago

Never heard of Koi but I will agree Century Golem both has lovely art and is a great game! I traded my copy only cause I got an offer I didn't think I could refuse at the time.

6 months ago

#Koi is fun. It was done by Smirk & Laughter games. It's a gorgeous looking game. Aesthetics are part of the game, it's quite interesting.

Premium User6 months ago

What type of game is it? My fiancée can get into some games with nice art as long as mechanically it's fun too!

6 months ago

It's a light programming game. You have moves on cards that you need to play in order to get your koi to eat frogs and dragonflies. However, the environments and other people's fish can provide challenges. 

Premium User6 months ago

Hmm sounds kinda like#Mariposas a little bit, is it similar? Or am I way off? Either way the art does look nice 

6 months ago

Not yet, but there's temptations

Premium User6 months ago

Like the Motown group orrrr? lol

Just kidding. Which game (or games) had you the closest to pulling the trigger?

6 months ago

#Tokaido has been one that I've seen that I remember right now that I wanted without a full understanding of the game. Oh and #Abtei der wandernden Bücher but that is one I know nothing about other than images.

6 months ago

#Tokaido is gorgeous but imo doesn't hold up after many plays.  Its sort of like the new hobby game Candyland. 

Premium User6 months ago

Makes sense. Usually for me it's not a theme that gets me to blindly want a game. I've made some impulse buys just based on mechanisms alone. If they sound cool to me, I'm good with it lol. I did this with#Teotihuacan: City of Gods and I want to say#Lorenzo il Magnifico most notably and I don't regret it

6 months ago

Mechanics have to work smoothly. Pure and simple.

HOWEVER!

I think graphic design (and all art in general) is vastly important to the overall feel of a game. You can play an excellent game with subpar imagery and it's still an excellent game. Add in excellent art and design and you get an experience that is unlike anything else. Just like a movie, though, if you spend all of your budget on super shiney CG things but have a rather abysmal story (sorry, Eragon the movie...) there's not a lot that can save it from itself. That said, a fantastic story with sub-par effects can only immerse you so much, despite the storying being very engaging (and I will still watch these, so it's not like they're bad). But, you get something with BOTH aspects on their A-game and it's on an entirely different pedestal. So my money is on prioritizing it alongside mechanics. In this day and age, it's kind of expected anyway...

Premium User6 months ago

What would you say is the best example of accomplishing both?

6 months ago

Movie or game? For movie, probably something like Avengers (End Game in particular). The storytelling and imagery were handled like *cheff's kiss*

As for games, that's a little more difficult to nail down. I don't expect art or design to be Avengers quality, either. Games like#Near and Far, which has really fun gameplay mechanics and unique art that shows off the world. Or #Unfair that is a blast to play and, while the art isn't necessarily "outstanding," it is still perfect for the game in helping you become part of the world. 

But then that puts abstract games on a wire. Well, art and design can help those games too.#Santorini, for example, doesn't have much art other than character cards, but the presentation is what really makes it the game that it is. Same with#Element. There's not a lot of artwork, but the board, tokens, and pawns are made in such a way that it certainly does help portray the theme, which in turn augments the gameplay. 

This is all my opinion, of course, but I'm standing by it haha

6 months ago

#Santorini has all those cuuuute little houses.  Its a good enough abstract game on its own that you don't even need the cards though they do make for good variability in the game.  But really I could just play around with the houses. 

Premium User6 months ago

I meant this to be a question about games but I appreciate your take on movies as well! :)

I'm admittedly not the biggest theme person in the world when it comes to board games, but I'm certainly not anti-immersion in a game. I've heard of all of the games you mentioned but I haven't ever played any of them. I think Unfair appeals the most to me thematically as I used to love Roller Coaster Tycoon as a kid. Will definitely have to check these out and see if I can't find anyone I know that has them. Thanks!

6 months ago

Roller Coaster Tycoon!!!

Premium User6 months ago

Planet Coaster just recently came out on Xbox game pass too. It's similar enough to scratch the itch but it's just not the same

6 months ago

Aww we don't have an xbox. 

One time we went on a cruise and they had Roller Coaster Tycoon in the teen room so we basically stayed in there for hours just playing that haha.

Premium User6 months ago

Haha that sounds like an awesome time! Sarah wants to go on a cruise like basically daily and I've never been sold on it. If that's something I can do, I might just change my mind lol

6 months ago

Lol I don't know if every teen room has Roller Coaster Tycoon on its computers.  And depending on how old you are, it might look kind of creepy if you're hanging around.  We only got away with it because our youngest sister was actually a teen at the time. 

My friends and I had a dream of going on a foodie cruise and just playing board games and eating the whole time. But most of them are expecting kids in the next few months so that's basically never going to happen now ; ;

Premium User6 months ago

Old enough for it to be creepy without a real life teenager for sure. I would say we could bring my future brother in law but despite being nearly 16 he plays football and is therefore a giant.

They have cruises like that? I almost want to tell Sarah because I know she'd want to go. But that's reason enough to not mention it lol

6 months ago

They have foodie cruises I know for sure.  They do have the JoCo cruise which is like a convention on a boat.  I would love to go on that someday.  And I think BGG runs a cruise as well?  Something about BGG at Sea?  But my friends and I were just going to go on a regular foodie cruise and bring our own games.  We used to play a lot of games together through high school.

Premium User6 months ago

I guess I should be nice and tell Sarah about foodie cruises. She went on one with her family once and has been wanting me to go ever since. I'm not opposed except she wanted it to be our honeymoon and I'm like nah I don't think so lol.

Maybe I'll tell her I will only go if it's the BGG cruise LOL

6 months ago

If she's any flavor of nerd the JoCo cruise might be a better compromise haha.  I'm pretty sure on the BGG cruise there will be just games and lots of them.  But on the JoCo cruise they have a lot of the "internet famous" geek-related entertainment going on.  Concerts from people like Johnathan Coulton and Paul & Storm, famous scifi/fantasy authors that will talk about writing, cosplay workshops, and a bunch of stuff in addition to board games.  Just to give her a break from it all.