28 October 2012 | 22 Comments
About a month ago, near the end of Viticulture’s Kickstarter campaign, the backers voted for the $55k stretch goal to be an alternate art version of the original game board unimpeded by labels (and with arbor card slots). The idea was that Beth, the artist behind the vineyard mats and the vast majority of the cards, had become the primary artist for the game, and we wanted at least one side of the board to be consistent with all of that other art.
Well, we received the alternative art (which followed the exact same layout as the original art so as to not confuse players when they flipped the board) from the artist and graphic designer today…and we were awestruck by how good it looks. It takes the original design to a whole new level, extending the art from edge to edge and enriching all of the colors. It looks right at home next to the vineyard mats that Beth created.
So we began to wonder…why wouldn’t we use this art for both sides of the board? Although the idea of alternative art is neat, the truth is that the two sides of the board are not otherwise equal. One side of the board will have full labels for people learning to play the game, while the other side will only have the action spaces. You’ll probably use both sides of the board with different groups of people.
Having the art consistent on both sides will also help us with future expansions. For example, one of the expansions I’m considering allows you to upgrade the various actions on the board. You would represent that by overlaying a card or tile on top of an existing action. We would use Beth’s art for that card or tile, but it wouldn’t be seamless if you were playing with the original art.
Thus we would like to propose that we use Beth’s art for both sides of the board, one with labels, one without. (As our Kickstarter backers, you would still have exclusive access to the original board in PnP form.) We will only make this change if the vast majority of you all share the same vision.
So please take a close look at the following two versions of the board as they would be if we stuck with the original plan (or the labels would be switched–one side would not have labels), and then vote to decide if you want to stick with that plan or use only Beth’s art with and without labels. The poll will close at 6:00 pm St. Louis time on Monday, as this decision affects a lot of the other design decisions we’re making.