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Old 06-16-2018, 07:31 PM   #41
GlennDoren
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Melee Cover Preview

SJG et al are professionals. They've been around for 30+ years. They should be able to handle (and should want) honest criticism/reactions to their product--ESPECIALLY at this early pre-release stage. The goal is to make the product better--not to make sure everyone goes home feeling good about themselves, even at the cost of the product and revenue.

If our collective negative reaction convinces them to take another pass at art direction, it benefits EVERYONE in the long run.

If this were someone's hobby project, and they weren't asking for critical feedback, then sure--be considerate and respect their "personal project".

BUT... this isn't the case. The sooner they get valuable feedback from the customer, the better. And the art is a serious red flag right now (aside from some sample counter images that look pretty fun).

I've spent many years creating AAA-quality computer/video games with some legendary industry figures (some of whom know Steve Jackson personally from the golden days of paper n pencil games, in the '70s/'80s), and I guarantee: when quality is suspect, whether it's code or design or art, people don't hide their opinions "out of respect". Testers and/or playtesters, and team members simply playing the game internally during development, will sometimes bluntly react when something, well, "sucks". And it's said because they want the final product to kick ass.

Let's make this TFT release kick ass! And let's be honest about what's not working sooner than later... so it can be fixed.

I hope Steve and/or Phil read this and understand our reactions are out of love and respect for a game we've spent many years playing and enjoying. We all want it to get the attention and treatment and respect it's deserved for a long time. And you only get one shot at making that "do-over" first impression in the marketplace. Let's make it LOOK great!
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:36 PM   #42
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Melee Cover Preview

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I have the same complaints with this art that I had with the Wizard art. ...

Some examples of artwork that I think are superior -

Game Products
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CIznFmbpj...pshevshi5b.jpg
http://cdn.paizo.com/image/product/c...FTPKBC004E.jpg

Artwork Only (All of these show actual conflict, which is sorta the point of Melee)
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bb/80...a3456d4f6d.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/74/01/98/7...an-warrior.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/54/2b...0f951e6fc0.png
https://pre00.deviantart.net/9a5d/th...an-d6yhsx8.jpg
https://www.walldevil.com/wallpapers...rk-warrior.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/75/16...0a32e7a028.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/28/22/bc/2...ek-warrior.jpg

Single Figure Artwork (Note how well done the FACES are; that catches the eye)
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e8/5d...1b92b750a6.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/10/a5/ec/1...ntasy-girl.jpg
https://cdna.artstation.com/p/assets...jpg?1446055158
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ae/46...a5243c28b2.jpg

A spartan warrior similarly posed, but technically far superior - https://orig00.deviantart.net/4051/f...na-dar1htr.jpg

A bit cheesecakey, but very striking - https://pre00.deviantart.net/946a/th...er-d2gizf0.jpg
Hi all, Ty.
Wow! Nice list.

I am not fired up by the Melee art, but like it a bit better than the sample wizard art we saw. I agree that making it historical is a bit weird.

I would like the art to give a sense of motion, ideally with a few figures that tells a story. To me, the biggest advantage of TFT is maneuver and terrain, so those should be featured.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:44 PM   #43
GlennDoren
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Melee Cover Preview

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Funny--the gladiator v lion piece... I saw that online and thought it looked great. Had no idea it was used for a pathfinder cover(!)

I also saw it mentioned elsewhere re: the old Conan The Barbarian covers... Frazetta... I had those specifically in mind when I thought of the quality we should expect. Those Conan covers sold books, guaranteed! TFT deserves similar dynamic covers, quality-wise.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:09 PM   #44
Shostak
 
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This is a critique of the art direction for both Wizard and this possible Melee covers.

Given that TFT is among the oldest RPGs and that there is at least some gamer interest in the Old School Revival, why go for this updating of the design at all? Why not instead present an old school aesthetic? I'm suggesting simple brush-and-ink blackletter typeface and correspondingly graphically strong illustrations that grok the essence of TFT (like those Pat Hidy Death Test inks) and that look handmade instead of feeling like somehow a computer was involved. After all, handmade graphic design is cool again, thanks in part to hipsters.

The new logos and proposed illustrations for the covers try too hard to look fresh but just wind up coming across as cartoonishly unimpressive. Sometimes the best way forward is to go back to basics.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:19 PM   #45
Jim Kane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennDoren View Post
SJG et al are professionals. They've been around for 30+ years. They should be able to handle (and should want) honest criticism/reactions to their product--ESPECIALLY at this early pre-release stage. The goal is to make the product better--not to make sure everyone goes home feeling good about themselves... even at the cost of the product and revenue.
Well said. This is a business. And, The Fantasy Trip is a product.

And if a group of business professionals can't handle the honest feedback of their most loyal supporters, without being emotionally triggered into fits of hysterical offense, I would have to not only question that persons' suitability as a business professional, but moreover, their psychological motivators in play, if not their emotional stability.

"Everybody gets a trophy" does not exist on a P&L sheet in the business-world; any more than it has any business in TFT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennDoren View Post
If our collective negative reaction convinces them to take another pass at art direction, it benefits EVERYONE in the long run... And the art is a serious red flag right now (aside from some sample counter images that look pretty fun). I guarantee: when quality is suspect, whether it's code or design or art, people don't hide their opinions "out of respect". Testers and/or playtesters, and team members simply playing the game internally during development, will sometimes bluntly react when something, well, "sucks". And it's said because they want the final product to kick ass... And you only get one shot at making that "do-over" first impression in the marketplace. Let's make it LOOK great!
And some of us have been loyally and steadfastly waiting for 35+ years for this "do-over" to hit the marketpplace and penetrate with double-damage, *and stick this time*; nor have any desire or interest in seeing The Fantasy Trip go down the tubes *for a second time* in well-intended, yet misguided, cartoon-technicolored flames.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk View Post
SJG is a successful game company, as far as I can tell. And Munchkin, for instance, seems to be one part of their success. What is appealing about that game? Card play, easy to learn, comic situations, comical art.

It's not my cup of tea, but maybe SJG is taking a clue from what has worked in the past...
It seems to me The Fantasy Trip did just fine in it's time all by itself... and without requiring any *help*; and by the collective reactions on this thread, I would say the point is proven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
The new logos and proposed illustrations for the covers try too hard to look fresh but just wind up coming across as cartoonishly unimpressive. Sometimes the best way forward is to go back to basics.
BINGO! But in order to do that, the helpful *let's up-date it for everybody* influence needs to stop.

One either understands and trusts The Fantasy Trip product for what it is at it's core, or they don't.

For those who do not already understand what the whole TFT experience is, there is no explanation which will ever satisfy; and for those who already understand and *trust* TFT at it's core - and there are *a lot* of us on the forum - no explanation is needed.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 06-16-2018 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:20 PM   #46
CJM
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Melee Cover Preview

When I learned that SJ got the rights back for TFT I figured that he would do it right as far as the mechanics go. I was worried about the presentation though as that is one of the things that drew me to the game at first, it was just so cool. So I asked my boys what they thought of the new art and if it was on a box, would they want to buy the game. They are in the Junior High age group. Both of them didn't like the Melee cover as the youngest said it had no fantasy element to it and assumed it was a game that was history based (he is not into history). The other thought it was just OK and thought it was a historic tactical game (he is into history). Neither would buy the game off the shelve. The Wizard box cover was different in their response. The youngest is the wizard type and would buy it as he loves magic and that is the kind of Player he would run. He liked the art, my other boy didn't like it but he is the warrior type. He could take it or leave it. I had them look at some of the art that Ty had linked to and it was interesting to me their response. my warrior guy really liked this one; Myhttps://i.pinimg.com/originals/bb/80/b5/bb80b51f7358117d99c5b4a3456d4f6d.jpg but my wizard little man liked the art that showed a fantasy theme, fighting monsters and all that good stuff.
I think the cover art on the melee box should show the action (Combat) between two or more opponents as that is what the game is about. Show two wizards blasting away at each other for Wizard as well. It is a game of action, show it. Make a would be customer want to open that box and get playing, going beast mode on all their opponents. Because at the end of the day it is a competition and we want to be the last man/woman standing....and if we don't make it to the top...we had a lot of fun trying.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:32 PM   #47
Kirk
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: Melee Cover Preview

Hopefully it is obvious to everyone that TFT is beloved by a dedicated player base that, in spite of no real new material, have continued to play this game for over 40 years!

I just introduced TFT to three 14 year olds to see how they responded to it (and, of course, for their gaming edification).

One seemed the most interested, took home copies of the weapons and talent sheets and started cooking up characters. He mentioned that the game has some similarities to Halo, Minecraft, and a couple of other computer games he is familiar with. I informed him that TFT pre-dates and perhaps even inspired the concepts he enjoys in those games. While creating his characters he drew accompanying artwork depicting them.

The two others enjoyed playing, but were slower to pick up the interactions between attributes and talents and tactical skills, and probably left the game mentally when they left my house.

These three teenagers are probably very representative of the general male teen audience that would be fundamental to TFT success, IMO.

I do really wonder if any market research of any type is supporting whatever decisions are being made to select artwork, layout, presentation or if it is primarily driven by prior business experience and current dedicated talent in the craft of designing and selling games.

Ultimately SJG has to get the TFT plane airborne and at altitude, and I imagine that if there are any doubts or questions that opinions from the general public and forum users will be solicited by said professionals.

I know we are all looking forward to an initial product that is as inspiring to a new generation of gamers as it was to us current grognards, and sometimes, after all has been said, you just have to wait and see. :)
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:55 PM   #48
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk View Post

I just introduced TFT to three 14 year olds to see how they responded to it (and, of course, for their gaming edification).
....

The two others enjoyed playing, but were slower to pick up the interactions between attributes and talents and tactical skills, and probably left the game mentally when they left my house.

These three teenagers are probably very representative of the general male teen audience that would be fundamental to TFT success, IMO.
I’m curious - did they have any issues counting the 3 dice up? I’ve found that younger players pause a bit longer on that than I recall having to do. Anyhow, a friend who studies learning tells me that dice with pips are best because the brain recognizes them as patterns and doesn’t have to *read* them once it learns the patterns.

As an aside, I was discussing fantasy art with my daughter and I mentioned that for commercial projects you have to keep the artwork appropriate. She asked me to define inappropriate. I said, “think of what a 14 year old boy would most want to see...”

Last edited by tbeard1999; 06-16-2018 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:19 AM   #49
Andrew Hackard
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Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: Melee Cover Preview

Right now, it seems like this thread is running around in circles. It's clear that a few vocal people strongly dislike the cover art for this game. Until Steve gets back from Ohio and has a chance to catch up on this thread, I don't think there is anything to be gained by further criticism of the art (and nothing at all to be gained by criticism of the artist or art direction - some of these posts are hewing VERY close to the line of personal attacks in a way that is anathema on these forums).

I'm closing the thread for now. I'll make sure Steve and Phil are aware of its existence and they can reopen it for further discussion or not, as they choose.
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