Our latest PnP “That’s Life – A Fishy Tale” for the Children’s game design contest 2015 won in two categories. It won 1st place for “original artwork” and 3rd place in the main awards.
The Children’s game design contest (See the winners) is run by Chris Hansen who say
“Many games designed for young players rely largely on random chance, which I think is boring even for kids. I wanted to find some children’s games that included actual decisions that were simple enough for children but still provide an enjoyable experiences for the parents. Since I have experience running online game design contests, I decided to go that route to hopefully inspire designers to create games like that.”
The awesomeness of this contest is that you are forced to simplify your design. The design we made for A Fishy Tale, is a showcase on how far you can go with a minimalistic style on your game art. On a fishy tale there should be a sense of scale from the plankton to the biggest mammals. The art should be appealing to kids. Actually we tested three different styles and the most “simple” got the community votes. Two new tools in Illustrator CC makes linedesigns at ease – the curvature tool and the quick rounding of corner points. Here is some cards from the game.
It takes time to get the right look on your minimalism – but that said we still find it a quicker way to get a good playable result. Another brilliant example of high quality minimalistic art is the card illustrations by Meckenzie Schubert on the 1400% Kickstarted game Secret Hitler.
One of the built in advantages of games is that most cards and game pieces come in series..and simple things often look much better in series belonging to the same universe. Often the minimalistic design can make a game more readable and spark players own imagination.