Thursday, July 10

Carpe Astra Prototyping

The last couple of days have felt a bit like returning to my roots. I finished by last copy of Border Reivers well over a year ago, that was the last time I had to glue artwork onto thick board and then cut it out with craft knife and steel ruler. Until today.

I spent Monday and Tuesday getting some artwork together for new Carpe Astra prototypes and a new version of the board for Codename: Ancient. Wednesday I went round to Paul's for playtesting in the afternoon as usual but I availed myself of his garage first to do the gluing (it needs to be done in a dry, well ventilated space). Today I've spent most of the day cutting out the bits for three prototypes, one for me, one for Ted and one for another playtesting group in the States.

I though I'd show you what I've got so far. Bear in mind that as yet I have no artwork from the artist, so this is all placeholder stuff I've done myself. Still, both Paul and The Wife like it!

First up a network card. These are used to form positive connections between your character and some of the guilds in the game. As usual, click on the image for a bigger version. I've used a thumbs up icon in the top corners so you can quickly look at your hand and work out whether the cards are positive or negative.

Next up is a slander card, used to form a negative connection between another character and the groups. Note the red thumbs down icon in the top corners.

The final type of card is an event card, used to describe events happening in the Empire during the game that boost the power of one of more guilds temporarily. This is one of three types of event, and displays the 'Immediate Event' warning sign symbol to show that something unexpected has happened:

The final image shows a few of the thick card components: the character and Imperial Senate single hexes, a few double hexes showing the symbols for The Military, Priests, Settlers (which don't look so hideously cyan in real life), Traders, Engineers and Politicians (placeholder art!). At the top there is also example 1 credit and 5 credit coins and in the both right are some scoring tokens.

I'd appreciate some comments on the card layouts, bearing in mind all the art will change.


Steve said...

Hard to tell without playing the game, but I thought it might be useful to have title bars on the network and slander card, like the one on the "Alien Relics" card, to give a clear overview of the "story" (if you follow?)
It might also make sense if the thumbs up/down icons and the yellow warning icons appear in the same place on all types of card?

On the whole, and given the available evidence, I would trust your judgement more than mine though :-)

Dan said...

Steve said exactly what I was going to say! Other than that it's hard to give feedback not knowing how the game is played.

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Guys,

Thanks for the feedback.

The reason the 'Immediate Event' symbol is not in the same place is that it's optional on an event card, most of them don't have it.

The reason that there's no title bar on the network/slander cards is there's no room on the three guild version (see the slander card shown).

I'll see if I can jiggle things to make room though.



Jackson Pope said...

It's also worth noting that you never have event cards in your hand - they are kept separate, so don't need to be easily distinguished at a glance.



Avantman42 said...

The text on the network card isn't very clear to me - I had to read it a few times before I understood it.

I'd suggest changing "recommending" to "to recommend" and/or change "to reduce piracy" to "in order to reduce piracy". Not sure if that would fit, but even commas after "shows" and/or "shipments" would help, I think.


Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Russ,

Thanks for the advice. Hopefully my playtesters will spot more issues like this with the flavour text.



Custancia said...

Paul likes the icons being so clear and uncluttered. I'll be one of your proof reading team for your flavour text if you'd like...!
The cards are certainly clearer than the ones I'm used to :) but I think I'm too used to playing with those to have any objective opinion now!

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Custancia,

I can leave you my copy for a few days if you'd like to go through the cards :-)



Jason said...

If the event cards are never in hand, then they do not need to follow the same layout.

Without knowing the game mechanics, I do think it would be good to have a name for each card, if for no other reason than to make it easier for players to refer to a certain card.

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Jason,

In the rules they are referred to as Network, Slander and Event cards.