Friday, July 2, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I put together the pieces for FMB over the past couple days, gluing the paper printouts onto foam board to give them some thickness and strength.  Some of it worked out really well, some of it merely okay and some of it ... not so good.  First, the Good.  The basic board works great.  I had to do some chiselling and chipping and such after I cut it out with an Xactoknife, but now it both looks good and seems functional.  There are 2 pictures to the side that show the game set up and a side shot of the pieces so you can see the thickness.

All this chopping and pasting and such was the reason I failed to post on Wednesday.  I was terribly busy wearing my fingers to nubs on an Xactoknife and trying to poison myself with spray on glue.  The glue works wonderfully, by the way, but if you believe the bottle it will kill everyone who lives in my condo for the next 50 years.  So many warning labels!

The Bad:  This is the game pieces all separated out into plastic baggies as it traditional for these things.  The big pieces worked out well, but the little ones were tricky to cut right because of the thickness vs. the length and width.  They ended up kinda okay but a little bit uneven and not perfectly flat.  The colours also didn't print out correctly so the bits are too similar to the terrain.  The colours I can fix with a new printing, the warping is much harder.  Getting a picture of them that really showed this was tricky though, so you have to take my word on it.

The Ugly:  I don't know why Blogger turns this picture sideways.  I can't seem to make it do otherwise though.  The issue here is that
it is hard to tell at a glance which units are which.  The units with the triangles at the top are ranged units but to know which units are fast or strong you have to be able to make out the numbers.  It turns out this is pretty annoying to do and the units don't work at all as smoothly as I had hoped.  I need to fix this so I came up with some ideas.  My plan is to print out units with symbols on them instead of numbers:  -> for a fast unit, the same triangle for ranged that you see here, and either a sword or a clawed hand for a strong unit.  I have put a random jpeg I was doodling away on below so you can see what I was working on.

Your mission is to look at the two sets of units at the bottom and tell me which looks better, the ones with the clawed hand, or the ones with the sword.  If you have other potentially better ideas feel free to comment also.

Edit:  My latest set of unit pictures is below.


  1. The problem with using any symbol at all instead of a number is it screws with your deck of cards. Sword on blank, what does -1 do? With numbers it's very straightforward. With symbols you need a look-up chart of some kind. Not the end of the world, of course, but still a little annoying I think.

    One option is to replace the number with a set of symbols. Instead of a 1 or a blank, give him a sword. Instead of a 2 or a sword, give him two swords. (Either one beside the other or crossed.) This also allows you to replace the triangle which doesn't have intuitive meaning with a different symbol for the ranged units. Give them fireballs instead of swords for their power icons. Or bows/arrows. Or guns! Pew pew!

    I guess you could do the same for speed by putting a row of feet on them, but that might get a little cluttered. Small foot for 3 and big foot for 5? A foot with a +2 in it for fast?

  2. You are right about the numbers. Putting multiple sword symbols or somesuch on there could work, but I ended up just using 50% bigger numbers than before and bolding them. They look drastically more visible, enough so that it should work. I also have already changed the ranged symbol to a target, though I did draw up a bow and arrow and try that out too. I think I will leave the speed as it is, that symbol seems to represent it quite reasonably and I can come up with other ideas if I actually want a unit of speed 2, 4 or 6 if necessary. I have edited the post to add my new set of unit pictures in.

    So basically you are right on all counts.