||Now that everyone has had a chance to look at the card design I thought I’d take the opportunity to discuss some of the thinking and choices behind the new card design.
With the launch of the starter sets, everyone in the office thought that it would be a good idea to investigate a redesign. Initially it wasn’t guaranteed that any new design that we came up with would get approved, and it was only a theoretical exercise to start with, so I was given free reign to do whatever I wanted. Having played a lot of card games and miniature games that have card gaming elements to them, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do.
|As with any design project there were a few key principles that I had to follow from the beginning.1. The cards had to contain the same key information as the old cards.
2. All the information on the cards had to be more legible.
3. If possible, the cards had to be smaller to fit into a standard card sleeve.
4. Keep as much of the dust flavour as I could.
I have a preference for smaller cards as they reduce table clutter, so all of my initial concepts were at the smaller size first. I figured that if that failed I could always move up a size.
Before designing how the card looked I had to design the layout. It makes no sense to make the card look good before making sure the information would fit. I broke down the old card into its elements, and listed them in order of how important each set of information was.
The most vital set of information on the card in my opinion was the weapon stat lines, so I started there. The most obvious choice was to make the front of the card landscape to make the stat lines as large as possible. Initially I tried to keep the weapon name and stat-line in the same line like the old cards, but it made the information too small, so I went with stacking them one on top of each other. Looking at the arsenals, I also had to make sure that the card design would fit at least 5 weapon lines and a damage track for heroes and vehicles. This would define what space was left for everything else.
In my first concepts I kept the typewriter and Stencil fonts of the original cards, however in the end I had to replace these. My biggest concern with the cards was making the information as legible as possible, and unfortunately for both of these fonts, they were difficult to read. In the end I tried out about 20-30 fonts in each space before settling on the final fonts.
At that point it was fairly obvious that I wasn’t going to be able to fit all of the remaining information on the front of the card. Other than the weapons the most important information to have on the front was; the units name, health, movement, armour class and special rules list. Since there was no room for the unit photo on the front I made sure that there was at least a reference image to make it easy to identify the unit the card belonged to when it’s on the table. As much as I tried I was unable to wedge the points on the front.
With the front now laid out it was now time to actually design the cards!
With so much information in such a small space I made the decision to keep all of the other elements on the card as simple as possible. The main reason for this was that each time you add a visual element for decoration you’re taking space away from, and distracting your eye away from, a more important piece of information.
Compared to the front, the back of the card was easy to layup and design, as it only needed a unit image, the points cost and the special rules. It worked out quite well actually, as when you have a deck of cards you can have them back side up with photos and points up to build your list, then put them front side up on the table when playing.
Throughout the whole process I was canvassing the guys from both Battlefront Studio and Dust Studio for ideas and improvements. I think that between us all we came up with a very good card design that will serve the Dust Universe well.
One of the things we wanted to do was make sure that however the cards came out, that they would be easy to convert across to Warfare cards, as we know that is something that the community wants, So with a texture change and changing the Tactics t warfare on the back, the Warfare cards were done as well. Based off feedback from the forum over the weekend, the Warfare cards will get Weapon zones of fire, that was simply an oversight on our behalf, and my thanks to the community for pointing it out before I’d gotten too far down the path of laying up the Warfare decks.