Which Grayscale Board Do You Prefer?

14 June 2013 | 36 Comments

Thanks to the $100,451 Kickstarter-exclusive stretch goal, every copy of Euphoria rewarded via the Kickstarter campaign will come with a two-sided board. The first side will use the beautiful full-color art that Jacqui Davis created for the game. The second side will have the graphic design elements in color overlayed on top of a grayscale board for a classic dystopian look.

I learned today that feasibly we could either use the fully rendered grayscale art OR the sketched art that preceded it. A handful of backers have indicated that they like the sketched version better, so I thought it would be fair to put it to a vote.

That said, I think the fully rendered version is better than the sketched version. I think the sketched version looks great on its own, but once you factor in the graphic design elements, it’s a bit jumbled and difficult to read. I’m willing to post the survey for this at the end of this blog entry, but I encourage you to consider playability before you cast your vote.

grayscale board poll
sketched board

grayscale board poll2

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36 Comments on “Which Grayscale Board Do You Prefer?

  1. I think the sketched board adds something unique to the KS Backer edition, which most games are never able to incorporate. So, even though I really love how the B&W rendered board looks, my vote is for the B&W sketch design.

  2. @James Hoover: the good news is that Jamey is posting the file for the sketched board, so those interested can enjoy that board if they care to print it out along with the 2 sides included in the game. Three is better than two, even if you have to print one!

  3. Too bad the sketched version lost. we already have a playable rendered version of the board, it would have been nice to have the sketched version as an homage to the process. Just my 2 cents

  4. Good decision. I really hope nobody will be so up in arms about this decision that they will cancel their pledge, but I also wouldn’t be too surprised if they did.

    I didn’t follow the comments on this project, I just jumped in at the last minute, but it seems like a waste to use this back only for KS backers and have a blank board back in the retail version – but I guess that must have been part of the stretch goal (exclusivity). As exclusives go, this is the way to do it.

  5. Good morning everyone! I’ll attempt to answer your questions below through these notes that I should have put in the update:

    The ONLY thing we’re voting on here is the type of black and white board that will be used for the back side. The vote is not for if the back of the board should be pure art instead of a game board–the fact that it will be a playable board was announced a while ago, and it’s an important part of the game.

    This vote is also not about the colors on the board or the way the graphic design is created–you all pledged to a game that contains this design, and so that’s what you’re getting, as we’ve done a lot of work to make sure this is the best version of the board. Everything is the way it is for a reason (much of this explained in previous updates–I think it was about 3 or 4 updates ago that I shared the near-final board and summarized changes).

    I apologize for posting this poll after the campaign ended. The comments about the sketched board came up in the waning hours of the campaign when I announced that I was giving everyone a high res digitally signed copy of the board art. I didn’t expect that announcement to generate interest in a different version of a grayscale board.

    I also apologize that the vote for this board is on a public forum (our company blog). There isn’t a way to post polls on Kickstarter…yet. I’m going to talk with them about adding polls. Fortunately I think the overwhelming number of people who have voted are backers (most of my blog readers are there for Kickstarter Lessons, not for blogs about Euphoria). Only backers will get the double-sided board–the retail game will have a blank back.

    So here’s what we’re going to do based on the votes, which show the rendered version as the overwhelming favorite: We will post a PnP of the sketched back side of the board (please give us a few days for that). You’ll all have access to that PnP if that is the one true way that you want to play Euphoria. The printed game will have the rendered grayscale version on the back of the board.

    If seeing any of this makes you no longer want Euphoria, please contact me at stonemaiergames@gmail.com and I’ll give you a full refund.

    If I missed anything, please let me know. I’ll post this over on the blog as well. Thank you all for your enthusiasm for Euphoria! The grayscale board is one of my favorite stretch goals, so I hope you can trust me to make it awesome for you.

    1. I agree this is the right move. People supported based on the rendered greyscale so it’s hard to deviate from that. I love the greyscale version. However I was intrigued by the sketched version because it goes well with the Kickstarter feel–getting a piece of the game in its early version as an early supporter was a unique concept. The PnP is a great compromise for those who want it (I may have to get it too)

      Thx Jamey!

  6. Definitely rendered and keeping the gameplay elements the way they are because it will make it easier for my husband who has vision disabilities to see the board better and be better able to play on his own. While I understand that it doesn’t look as good with the bright colors against the grayscale background, for those with vision issues, it’s a great thing.

    But I also know we’re in the minority so it’ll be whatever the majority wants.

  7. I would like the sketched version if it didn’t have the game play elements on it. But apparently people are planning on playing on this side, so I voted rendered. Doesn’t the Stone Age board have a b&w version on the back of the board or the player boards? I remember seeing the extra art and being pleasantly surprised that the print something nice to look at on a place that would be covered 90% of the time.

  8. While I really really liked the sketched version, I think the rendered would be the better choice. That is, unless the sketched cards match the sketched version better..

  9. While the sketched version is unique, the hard lines make it difficult for me to focus on the any one area of the board, or even the board as a whole. Also, the addition of the different game play elements just make the sketch artwork way too cluttered and busy.

    I think maybe as a PNP option the sketched board could be a neat addition for the ones who really want that version, while the fully rendered version should be what’s included in the box for KS backers on the backside of the fully colored board.

  10. Definitely prefer rendered. While a neat idea, the sketch version looks really “cartoony”, which takes away from the seriousness of the theme. I have too much respect for the dystopia genre to let it look like something out of a Saturday morning show for kids; this is a board game for adults.

    Also, I don’t understand everyone’s “sudden” interest in the sketch board (however few or many are interested). I think people are for it just because it’s one more “new” thing that’s added to this game, getting their maximum value for their money. People need to realize, they already got everything they originally wanted, and more. A few backers expressing sketch art we need to put this to a vote does not mean.

    But since we’re here, and I don’t fault Jamey for allowing “the people” to decide: rendered, rendered, rendered!

  11. Simply as a completely different alternative, I lean towards the sketch version. I think lightening the artwork and/or lowering the transparency of the play area boxes would go a long way toward cleaning up the slightly cluttered look. More important than that, however, is the fact that I assume the sketch version more closely matches the style of the special-edition recruit cards. Having a board that matches those cards would make the cards a more worthwhile addition in my mind.

  12. Jamey, since this is only important for kickstarter backers I really suggest thus poll backers only. As I read some people not involved in the kickstarter voted here, and I don’t think they should, as they simply are not affected, while backers are.

  13. Just a followup to the above solid background suggestion. Maybe solid black backgrounds with white high contrast labels would be even better. See the way the tunnels “pop” from the board. The rest of the elements would benefit from this as well and it would make the board more coherent from a gameplay perspective even if it does obscure a bit of the background artwork.

  14. The stretch goal that really sold me Euphoria was the reverse grayscale board. I would give up all the other stretch goal rewards just to have this one if necessary. I don’t even plan on using the color side unless I am playing with people that are completely new to the game. I have been sold on the rendered grayscale since the beginning and I would be incredibly disappointed if it lost.

    The sketched version is interesting and different, but for me that isn’t enough and I have listed my case against it below.

    The sketched version is missing certain details like the Icarites hanging from the Zeppelins, the Euphorians inside of the hamster wheels, and there is no fruit on the Wastelanders trees that are also really hard to see. The sketch art gives the world a far more industrial and polluted feel and that in my opinion would add to the workers dystopian awareness. They are bound to catch on eventually, I mean how are you supposed to mine bliss from stagnant looking smog clouds? Now being from Kansas I can admit to being slightly biased towards the rendered version, which happens to remind me of “The Wizard of OZ” but regardless I feel like it is the better and far more detailed version of the two.

    Please Vote Rendered!

  15. I have a suggestion. Since this is an extra board anyway I would really like to see all of the gameplay elements with solid white backgrounds instead of being simply shaded and possibly making the borders chunkier as well. This would make the greyscale side even better for those who prefer the focus on gaming elements over artwork and presentation while everyone would still have the option to play with the beautiful artwork on the main color side of the board. In this case I would probably go with the sketch version as I think it makes it a more interesting collectible, especially given that the full color artwork is included on the other side anyway.

  16. Fully rendered all the way as far as I’m concerned. The sketched version has too many hard lines which I find distracting.

  17. How bad for readability would dropping most of the color saturation be? Especially the tunnels, which are glaring areas of color…

    That being said, I like the sketch because… different.

    1. I agree, the graphic design color doesn’t quite look right with the grey background. Could we see a version with lower saturation of the graphics?

  18. i only see the header for sketched board, and i’m not sure if that is below or above the sketched image. I’d think it’s below, and the grayscale description got cut off, this is in chrome..

    1. There is only one image descriptor sadly. And it’s under the sketched one and for the sketched one.

      First one is sketched (drawn lines) and second is rendered (smooth transitions.)

  19. Rendered look awesome.

    Sure it’s not all that different from the colored version but if you’re going to look at it for beauty rather than to look at the sketch it’s nicer.

    If you want to look at the actual sketch it would be more interesting as the actual sketch with no game elements on top but now they are there so it by far doesn’t look clean or show of the whole sketch anyway.

    Now if it was a poster and one wanted something special / exclusive then sure (like the art print you thought about earlier. But for an art print I assume one would want to have both sketch and color print in that case.)

    Voted rendered.

  20. I agree with Jacob and would also like an idea on what parts Jamey think will be hard to read…

    …and for the record I wish there was and option for the Kickstarter boards to have BOTH sides be greyscale one the sketch one the fully rendered finished drawing.

    1. Interesting thought but I don’t think so many alternatives is possible :)

      (color – grey rendered, color – sketched, grey rendered – sketched and then the retail board =P)

      I think the options may pop more on the greyscale board and as such actually possibly make it clearer but on the other hand I don’t think the mainstream / first appearance / people would like a greyscale board in general if nothing else because it’s different and they would wonder why.

      Kinda nice to have the option of bringing the colors out more though :)
      (If one played with gamma / levels and colors on text I guess one could make even more pop to it but it would require more work :), one could still mix the colors differently into the greyscale image though but I don’t know whatever that’s a good idea either (because I assume it could make features go missing.))

      1. :) yeah, it would be a lot of options, but I dare to dream. I totally agree that I think the game play elements will “pop” more on the greyscale so regardless of which is select that’s most likely the side I’ll be playing.

  21. Hi Jamey. Not a backer myself but I found the game really interesting and played it once from a friend’s pnp version. I considered to back the KS project but backed down because of economic reason. I think the original (full color art) main board is quite good but to incorporate it into the game play experience it’s less than perfect.
    To this vote, I chose the full rendered grayscale version. The reason is simple, the sketched board has fine and strong subtle lines that really come out visually, this really distract the design element that brought up functions of the game play. That’s why it seems so cluttered and crowded to look upon. I think it’s a great reward to provide double side board with different approach of tone, I had the same wish for Fallen City of Karez, which I think it has so marvelous artworks from the designer but this marvelous thing also create the distraction of design function. It’s hard to discern all the spaces and actions provided on the board. The sketched version looks way easy to discern. Judging from these, I think you’re wise to handle the problem.
    Good job!

  22. Because it is an extra board, graphically I lean towards the sketched one. The fully rendered one is gorgeous, but the sketched one is unique. Before I vote though, can you put out the specific areas you think would be difficult to read, so I can give the proper vote?

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