The ART (tips) of Moogh

Moogh is a game that I both did the game design but also illustrations and graphic design. The great thing about being 360 is that you shape the story you want. I am so proud that the game is out there being played as Print and Play but I am also very grateful to anyone who backed the campaign.

I want her to tell you how I worked on Moogh illustrations. See the campaign here

Imagining a world long time ago

I think one af the big difficulties when illustrating Cavepeople and prehistoric animals is that the preserved history is made of some cavedrawings and archeological findings. So I wanted everything to feel like part of the Moogh universe – all from icons and interface to illustrations. But I also wanted to add flavour to the classic view of cavepeople, giving them more character and funny clothing. During the development icons changed several times but my original caveman laid the style. The following writing is more tips for illustrating than a Moogh specific story.

Size and format

Having to redo artworks can be a pain. I always try to get the right resolution and aspect on my artwork before I start. I Sometimes make sketches to test the full workflow from sketch to game. I often use https://www.boardgamesmaker.com/ to find templates for standard cards.. When all is right format and color space I can start. 

Scale

cmyk, rgb, 72 dpi or 300 dpi or a4  etc. This is something many designers want to know. I often hear designers say “ I don’t want pixel size – just centimetres” or “you don’t measure in pixels for print – you use dpi”.  Fact is that dpi, pixels and measure are a holy triangle. Change one and at least one of the others needs to change. DPI (dots per inch) makes most sense for printing material since it measures how many “pixels” will be put on the paper in each axis within one inch (2,5 cm ish)  – so you shouldn’t think or talk about dpi when you make anything online. But a monitor is often 72 dpi or 96 dpi if you really want to have a measure.

Imagine you got a facebook post – which is normally 1080×1080 pixels. How long is that in cm? well it depends on the dpi. If you print one dpi then it will be 1080 inches long (762 cm). So if you change the pixel amount – you either need to change the dpi to keep the length or visa versa. I probably lost you by now.

For print 150-300 dpi is sufficient. Print Shops usually want 300 dpi  . But when you make a standard card this is not very many pixels (about 1122px high). When I say not many – I mean for artwork. If your artwork is only in poker card size 300 dpi.. You won’t be able to scale it much up. So for cards I often use 600 dpi for the artboard – and then I later have the option to crop the image without losing quality (for a 300 dpi print)

Colour

Everyone learns that print art should be cmyk (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). And our game should be printed right? What colour space do I use for illustrations then? RGB. Yes, that’s right. Why? Well because you are probably not only going to show you art on print but also online lots of places. A monitor (since it emits energy from each led) can actually show more vibrant colors that we can put on print. Choose the most saturated pink in photoshop in cmyk and then change to rgb and you will be able to make it even more vibrant. This is the simple reason you make art in rgb and converts it to cmyk – because if you go the other way you will not have the best looking images.

rgb (lots of colors) -> cmyk (less vibrant colors)   /  cmyk (less vibrant colors) -> rgb (still not vibrant) 

Sketching

For Moogh I tested to sketch in Clip Studio Paint instead of Photoshop. I just love CSP – it is super responsive with your pen and has awesome functionality like using sketch layers lines to control fills on different layers or gap closing lines when you fill. I am also thrilled about CSP blending brushes – but with Moogh I exported the sketches with some fill layers to photoshop for painting.  Over time I have collected and sorted photoshop brushes and I keep trying to make groups of brushes that relate to a project so I can always go back and ‘replicate’ the initial style.

Coloring

Go wild. In moogh I really played with many different tones of skin color – and I really like that. 

Import to indesign

Sometimes I import a photoshop with several artworks into illustrator. The problem is that if you at a later stage change anything in layers visibility – InDesign will lose the connection and all images already placed will often swap. That is why it might be better to export each separate artwork in the file..

Moogh art has been done with care. I really tried to incorporate a lot of stone, plants and leather. And the characters should range from cool to dumb. I really hope you like the art and will have fun playing Moogh.

Secure your MOOGH copy here. Campaign is live

Best Niklas

The ultimate challenge – almost.

In this post I will talk about the 18 card game contest that Button Shy Games has initiated this month. And there is still time for you to enter with a winning design – but I will assume this will be a contest with a humongous list of designers participating – and I will elaborate why.

To spark creativity in group you can make a lot of different sprint type exercises. Do an association play where you must generate new thought from one keyword. Or make reverse brainstorm where everybody should try to think about the worst possible solution – sometimes the right solution stands clear after this exercise. It is all really about setting boundaries – narrowing your mind’s playground. If you really want to generate interesting new ideas you should set a clear goal and a very confined play area. Our brains are wired to find the keys we need (In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, states that our brain is bad at multitasking -and prefers to solve one single task at the time).

Button Shy Games as many of you already know is a small publisher of pocket-sized games – and more particular often 18 cards. They have put out an open contest to create a game of well… 18 cards – but with the small twist that it has to be 18 IDENTICAL cards. And this is the escape room for designers. Your first thought might be impossible (mine was) – then you might think ‘uninteresting and boring output’ and in just a few moments your mind is starting to work the problem and think ‘hey it might work’.

Continue reading “The ultimate challenge – almost.”

Mindblowing ruler system in the new Hej Stylus V3.4

Hej Stylus continues to impress with new features. We all know (I guess you do) that Photoshop introduced an integrated pen smoother and that Clip Studio has a Stabiliser as-well. BUT for some reason, I continue to go back to Hej Stylus for more control. I think the new bend and circular rules look rad! Check the video or click the button to get your own version (for Mac) of Hej Stylus v3.4

Whirling Witchcraft. Design diary by Erik Andersson Sundén

Whirling Witchcraft (or as my family calls it, the cube game)

The short description of the game

Whirling Witchcraft is a game for 2 to 5 players, where all players are witches. The witch sitting to the right of you is your nemesis and, of course, the one sitting to the left of you considers YOU to be their nemesis. Your objective is simple; be the first witch to clear your workbench of magical ingredients, or flood the workbench of your nemesis by more magical ingredients than they can handle! Each turn, you will choose a new recipe that converts your magical ingredients to more refined ingredients.

Continue reading “Whirling Witchcraft. Design diary by Erik Andersson Sundén”

5+ Best apps for making tablet art

There’s is definitely a shift towards making MORE art directly on your tablet since Apple released the Apple pen for the iPad Pro. Many artists do like Ryan Goldsberry – creating most of their work on the tablet instead of their computer. I wondered if the tablet art could stand up to my demands for an art creation software? You can read more at gajotres.net to find out– I went through testing the most popular painting apps and will share my experience with each of them here.

Continue reading “5+ Best apps for making tablet art”

Flatlined – and back

Yes I know. You visit the pretty little place called GreenHookGames to get a dosis of great art – but there’s NOTHING there! My fault. The short story is that all my time was filled up with other exciting things that I will list here for you.

  • Family 
  • Work
  • Making new Hero art for Skrald that we now gave an english title
  • Making a few sketches on characters for a Uptimegames
  • Helping with protoype art on a game by the Designer Erik Sundén
  • Trying to fix some ideas for a more compressed Cathedraw
  • I will be working on art on a new upcoming game by Fabricio Leotti
  • and finally making art and design for my own game “Party Survival” that will be on Fastaval 2019.

There are usually not so many comments on this website – and I have considered it being the fact that interviews don’t demand for commenting. But it could be a huge motivation factor for me. Therefore I will ask you – who is your favourite board game artist at the moment?

Cyberpunk-themed game

I will soon show you some of the art I’m making for Fabricio.

Whirling Witchcraft

Erik Sundéns game is called Whirling Witchcraft and will hopefully be featured in an article here soon.

World of Waste (Skrald) 

will be produced in a small batch soon to be used with school kids. Were are planning to pitch some publishers to see if we can find someone that wants to have this awesome set collection game in their portfolio. To that we also made a game page you should chack out (currently only in Danish).

Party Survival or Survival Party?

My game Party Survival (that I have been told does not really qualify as a party game ) has undergone a lot of changes and could have its own article. I am really thrilled on how it plays now and will need to test test test before Fastavals deadline.

You need warmth to survive in Party Survival

Juggling art and sculpts in making a Brutal PVP arena game.

When you see a game like Brutality you immediately know that there must have gone a lot of time into making the world come to life. I was surprised to see som many artists on the credits list, so I really wanted to interview the designer Stephan Frost on his process. Let’s begin.

 

 

Tell us about yourself and how you got into board game design?


My day job is in video games, and at the time I was working on an MMO. These are massive games with complex systems and dependencies for development. I wanted to work on something where I could do everything by myself (mechanically), then when it was ready, get some artists involved. One night about two years ago I was about to fall asleep when I thought of an idea to make a straight forward PVP arena board game. I wrote down some ideas, thought of some characters and attacks, drew some rough sketches, and went to bed at 2am. About 2 years later, here we are with Brutality on Kickstarter.

 

Pick a team of two medieval badasses and go to war against two other badasses

 

Tell us what the game Brutality is about?


Brutality is a medieval combat brawler board game with grim-yet-high-personality characters that players control. Pick a team of two medieval badasses and go to war against two other badasses.

Continue reading “Juggling art and sculpts in making a Brutal PVP arena game.”

Designing for game competitions

,For the last couple of years I have participated in several design contests driven and curated by the community. The most recent one being the Hookbox challenge by The Game Crafter. I haven’t used TGC before – but the title of the contest just pulled me in. Again and again I wish I had done things differently and better and that is why I want to share a few thoughts on how to get the best out of board game competitions.

Understanding the premise

A contest is by definition a competition where there is one or more winners and entrants are rated by judges.  This is some contest you might come across:

  • Contests that is community driven: This is like on Boardgamegeek forums or Bgdf. You will have a lot more openness and interaction during development. You and the other participants are the judges.
  • Contests facilitated by publishers with an intention of publication.  This can be a publisher looking for a new way to play an existing game or need another game of a specific type.

If you want a game published you might be using your time better that entering design contest  – but if you want to improve your design skills and challenge your passion it is a great way to interact with the community. Some games get picked up by publishers like the games of Todd Sanders or online casino games where you can be the best one checking the info from 388casino.info.

Continue reading “Designing for game competitions”

Art matters – even in indie game contests

The Hookbox challenge semi finalists has been chosen, and I am thrilled that Downhill Daredevils is among them.

Now it is time to conclude my experiment. I looked at all games before voting in this last article. Even if it NOT fair to only rate a game by the cover – this is what I did, to see if there is a connection between visual appeal and votes in contests like this. I wonder if the order of appearance on the site reflects the number of votes? 

 

My favorites  Semi-finalists
 Gunplay  Yes
 Mission Control  Yes
 Mine, Mine, Mine  Yes
 Smuggles N’Snuggles  Yes
 Gluttony 18
 Duelling Dinos  Yes
 Empire of Swords
 Battle Stations
 Turris  Yes
  Do not open
 A kings Jest
 

 Looked good

 Doomsday Device
 Saloon Goons!
 The Coup
 Totem’s Call  Yes
 Fury Road
 Crazy cat laydy
 

 My Close-ups

DomiNations
Commons
Canyon Racers
Heist
DuelofTheDungounDesigners
Starfighters
Shields Up  Yes
Armour Up  Yes
Inconceivable

 

Games I choose that looks good and could be printed in colour.

Since 20 of 129 entries was selected it is 15,5 % of all submission. If I selected 10 random of the 129 entries approximately 1 or 2 of them would be selected as semi finalists. Now there is 6 (60%). This to me indicates that the looks is a huge factor. This should off course be held up against how good all games where to play… because maybe the art is irrelevant and these games just was better in play.

 

Games that I think looked good but did not have a free PNP download

Only 1 of these was selected and this could indicate that the community don’t vote on thing they can’t test or see properly.

 

Among the semi-finalist there is a couple great looking games that I oversaw, like Reign.

 

The conclusion must be

When entering a board game contest – Hooking up with an artist friend is a good idea and remember to share your files with the community