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Old 09-03-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
demonsbane
 
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Default The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by Toadkiller_Dog View Post
September 9th is a pretty much impossible date for Monsters 1 - it's not that far along yet.
I want to make a constructive comment about this upcoming book, and at the same time to express a concern mine. (I already posted it in other thread)

It's about the art here in DF 13: Monsters 1: since a considerable amount of the art in the PDF releases by Steve Jackson Games consists on "recycled" pieces of art from third edition publications (and never before published pieces, too, years ago produced for third edition books, but then discarded -for reasons of space, or other different ones), I wonder how these new monsters are going to have corresponding illustrations.

Sure not all of them need to be "new monsters" requiring specific brand-new illustrations, and I acknowledge not every single monster is going to deserve a particular illustration, but still . . .
...And I'm aware SJG's PDF releases are including some new, original art pieces specifically designed for the release at hand, too.

Of course, having this volume (or volumes, in the future) illustrated in the same way than the series Creatures of the Night would be great, but I'm not expecting such thing.

OTOH I acknowledge there are people who don't want pictures in role playing game book. However I regard illustrations here as a complement to the written description, not as a limitation to the imagination of the people reading it. So, a kind of "vague" or "approximative" pictures could be suited.
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Old 09-03-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by demonsbane View Post
Of course, having this volume (or volumes, in the future) illustrated in the same way than the series Creatures of the Night would be great, but I'm not expecting such thing.
Just out of curiosity, but why? The entire CotN series seems very similar in both concept and implementation - a series of PDFs full of monsters. You probably won't get an illustration for each entry, because the DF entries are likely to be shorter and there will likely be more monsters in each book, and that's a LOT of money to spend on art if they do keep an illustration for each entry... but a lot of the entries are going to be things they have prior art for anyways, or don't need a separate illustration for.

If you have three different orc statblocks (Orc berserker, orc warg rider, orcish assasin, as a random example) I personally don't think you need an illustration for each one. You could do one illustration showing all three, posing dramatically, or you could just do a single orc picture, showing a generic orc.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

We can't say anything definite at this distance in time. Monsters 1 is in peer review, and hasn't even progressed to a final draft, much less an edit. It needs to get past all of those steps before it arrives in layout, which is where the question "What art do we need?" will be tackled. The answer will depend on the size and shape of the art holes that result from cramming the text into a particular page count, on e23's remaining art budget, and on other boringly technical factors.

I can say that e23's budget is limited, and that money spent on art is money not spent on other parts of the project. It isn't as if we can afford to order custom art for every PDF. It definitely isn't the case that we can afford to bump preview PDFs to artists so that they can read them, get inspired, and create actual illustrations of the text content. That would be wonderful, but it would be flying first class and staying at the five-star hotel. We fly economy class and stay at the three-star place out of necessity. Things might be different if we knew we'd sell hundreds of thousands of copies instead of a few hundred.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Just out of curiosity, but why?
One of the reasons for me thinking that, is something you already said. So let me quote a few lines of your post:

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
there will likely be more monsters in each book, and that's a LOT of money to spend on art if they do keep an illustration for each entry...
Other of my reasons is entirely different: we are used to the B/W simple art style of the Dungeon Fantasy releases. If DF 13: Monsters 1 is going to be illustrated a la Creatures of the Night (more complex and displaying greater quality), that would be a great aesthetic and design change, and that would be unexpected for me.

OTOH I understand and agree with your points. Maybe you're right here, and that would be great IMO:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
The entire CotN series seems very similar in both concept and implementation - a series of PDFs full of monsters. You probably won't get an illustration for each entry (....) ... but a lot of the entries are going to be things they have prior art for anyway
And I think we know almost nothing about this upcoming book that should be important for the Dungeon Fantasy sub-line, and I'm dying out of anticipation ;^)
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Just out of curiosity, but why? The entire CotN series seems very similar in both concept and implementation - a series of PDFs full of monsters.
From memory, the CotN series seemed, to me, to focus on monsters that were more strange than direct combat oriented, ones where an entire adventure (or campaign) would be spent trying to deal with, rather than ones that would work for an encounter or two; I'd imagine a book of DF Monsters would be more... Straightforward combat-oriented...
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by Gizensha View Post

From memory, the CotN series seemed, to me, to focus on monsters that were more strange than direct combat oriented, ones where an entire adventure (or campaign) would be spent trying to deal with, rather than ones that would work for an encounter or two; I'd imagine a book of DF Monsters would be more... Straightforward combat-oriented...
There is that. DF is comic-relief munchkin fantasy. That's how it was born, that's how it was written, and that's how I've seen it played at cons (I've even played in a few games!). It isn't about deep scene-setting or storytelling. It's about whipping out a combat map and slaughtering things to bits for rewards . . . kind of like Munchkin, with GURPS rules. As such, the monsters are liable to emphasize getting the combat stats and balance right over getting the pictures right.

A straight, serious Fantasy Bestiary would be another kettle of flesh-eating, undead fish.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by Kromm
A straight, serious Fantasy Bestiary would be another kettle of flesh-eating, undead fish.
Zombie piranhas, eh? OK, I'll bite... Possible encounters for the proposed Pirate class?
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
A straight, serious Fantasy Bestiary would be another kettle of flesh-eating, undead fish.
We should have included zombie fish. Oh well, they'll just go in Monsters 2.

As for art, I have put in a suggestion or two for artists to Kromm. I doubt it'll happen, but yeah, I agree, this book would be enhanced by the inclusion of some awesome art.

Otherwise you'll just have to settle for sick, twisted, and demented monsters and versatile tools for expanding on them. Which isn't so bad, either, since Kromm is one of the sick twisted minds . . .
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
There is that. DF is comic-relief munchkin fantasy. That's how it was born, that's how it was written, and that's how I've seen it played at cons (I've even played in a few games!). It isn't about deep scene-setting or storytelling. It's about whipping out a combat map and slaughtering things to bits for rewards . . . kind of like Munchkin, with GURPS rules. As such, the monsters are liable to emphasize getting the combat stats and balance right over getting the pictures right.
Which makes me curious to ask, could you use Munchkin art in a GURPS Monster book?

That'd definitely be a step up in general art quality...
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: The art of Dungeon Fantasy 13: Monsters 1

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I can say that e23's budget is limited, and that money spent on art is money not spent on other parts of the project.
In that case I'm fine with no art at all, actually. Yeah, it's fun to look at but the writer is hopefully good enough at descriptions that art is optional.
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