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  • Andrew Jonhardt

PsychicScrapRace Update 12 - Sizeable cutting

My next bout of testing has been delayed due to the gathering of test images, the designing of a new Distance Track, and the printing of 3 copies of each card for 4 players.

I've purposely put off the gathering of test images, or imagery on cards that helps to convey and immerse test players into the world of the game, as long as possible. Gathering card art is a distraction from designing mechanics. However, now that my mechanics are fleshed out, the biggest complaint I get is the lack of pictures. I love card art, so I get it.

Gathering art for each of my unique cards probably took me an hour. It's good practice to time yourself, at the very least to figure out your overall labor cost once a project is complete, but it was Thanksgiving and I couldn't make myself care. I expected the process to be easy, and I was surprised to find it was not.

Rare examples of when I could find the right image

The card Rabbit is a rare example of when I easily and quickly found an image that perfectly conveyed what I wanted. I was surprised by how difficult it was to tease compelling racing imagery out of Google's results and, as in the card Played Possum, it was far more common to spend more than 5 minutes sifting through boring results for 1 gem.

On a side note: Played Possum is a terrible name, and I'm very much trying to think of a better one.

Wasn't sure what to use for these

There are a few cards where I had to settle for something that is only close to what I envisioned. The above cards, Catch Lost and Active Defense, are a good example of what happened when I wasn't even sure what I was looking for.

Catch Lost is a fun card mechanically, but that image is literally only there because I like it. Active Defense makes some sense (the original image, which I had to slim down to fit, was of a shield. Combined with the snarling, possibly living lion head, the shield seems the very definition of an active defense), but all I get from the splitting head with a skull is a sense of death.

I'm not convinced all of my imagery fits the game, but I am convinced that a publisher will want to change everything I do. So, I'm going to continue focusing as little on it as possible.

The Distance Track took a sizable portion of time because I used its creation as an excuse to experiment with GIMP. Making the Distance Track in Photoshop would've taken me only a few hours, but in GIMP I had to re-learn how to do alot of things.

Distance Track V1

My current Distance Track design is above. It's not great, but I can't blame GIMP for that. I'm just not an artist.

The most interesting thing about making the Distance Track was learning some of the little differences between Photoshop and GIMP. Photoshop allows for easy layer management, while GIMP requires you to chain layers together for some tasks. Photoshop has tools to generate 2D rectangles and circles that will automatically fill with color, while GIMP forces you to stretch out rectangle and circle selections and then fill them manually. In a word, GIMP has a tendency towards tedious extra steps. However, GIMP is not unusable or particularly awful, and it's free.

I'm probably going to stop paying for Photoshop and stick with GIMP. Maybe. Still thinking about it.

Now, the reason I printed 3 copies of every card for 4 players is because I want to test some deck building. I have this idea of producing more randomness by including extra cards with the game that players can user to mix up decks. Of course, this requires that every extra card add value or be as valuable as the base cards.

I'm not convinced deck building is the way to go. However, testing more cards gets me closer to the original ideal of there being 4 unique decks, and having this as a fall back could only be a positive.

At the moment, I'm stuck cutting out cards. I haven't even gotten a chance to test the game with Events. I expect to have more testing done next week.