Just wondering how everyone feels about the direction of the artwork. 99% of it I love. In recent expansions there has been an increase in the amount of “cartoony” artwork. Nothing against the artists… For me it doesnt fit well with Doomtown. I feel like I’m looking at something out of Looney Toons . I like the Mountain Lion card though… Its ironic to have cutesy characters with a dead animal. Just my 2 cents… That’s all folks!
Classic Doomtown was filled with artwork from Tom Fowler, Ron Spencer and Paul Herbert Jr, which were more cartoony than Marcel Stobinsky, whose artwork I love by the way, and their artwork fitted perfectly in the setting.
Different artists appeal to different tastes, that’s all. Everybody loves Ricardo Rullo’s work, I don’t(and I’ve been very vocal here about that) and that’s ok. The main problem I see now is that AEG again relies on artist studios instead of just individual artists and that can tend to see the same style all around and that can be boring. Also the studio can choose to use other artist and the quality can get worse and the do more cards than single artits.
I mean one third of the cards on Bad Medicine are by the same artist, that’s too many eggs in the same basket.
To be honest - the only thing that worries me is the way deeds are portrayed. Many new deeds are portrayed by a facade with a sign over them or the interior, typically a chair and a desk or if a saloon someone sitting and playing cards. Id love if the artists got a bit more flavor in the different deeds.
So far I’ve actually enjoyed the differences in the styles. Gives a little variety, but one thing that has bothered me thou, is that there’s been quite a few times where we’ve been in doubt about what characters that is portrayed on an action card fx.
I know that Marcel Stobinski also has some nicer artworks like Travis Moone Exp, Bai Yang Chen or Hawley’s Rose, but man cards like Joseph Dusty Hill, Framed or Sunday’s Best are really hard to look at.
I am also not a fan of the particularly catoony art.
I didn’t love the art on framed because it just didn’t fit but sunday’s best felt great to me because the card itself has a kind of humorous tone; making my undead clown dress up for church and get complimented by an old lady. I agree the art is kinda silly but as long as the card is kinda silly it doesn’t bother me.
yeah for someone that has a lot of classic, the art feels right at home. I actually kind of agree with the deed art, a lot of it lately is a little too plain
“Comic relief” is super important to prevent things from getting excessively grimdark and self-important. On top of that, if everyone looks grim and serious all the time and there’s nothing light-hearted, then we can’t communicate that a situation has become more serious or dire, because we’ve already got all the Direness Knobs turned to maximum.
As Art Director, I feel I can shed a little light into this that might help make sense of some of this. People see the finished product and then proceed to make assumptions about how it got there, which aren’t always accurate. We have a great squad of artists right now with a varied set of strengths who love working on Doomtown. Everyone has their favorites, which is great, and we’re really happy about that. However, criticisms can pop up from time to time that get directed at artists, but to be fair, they’re really more a result of the process and the challenges that the Doomtown Team are faced with from time to time.
RE: reliance on studios - We only have one studio that we have used since I’ve been handling the art direction, and I believe that’s consistent all the way back to the Base Set, at least for the most part. We use them because they can handle a larger load than most of our other artists, which comes in handy when we have a large order. They also consistently churn out quality work; if they didn’t, I’d be looking elsewhere. They have produced some really great pieces for us that you have seen, and a number to come that you haven’t seen yet.
They are also essential for when an independent artist decides that he/she cannot finish their illustrations as assigned, leaving us in the unfortunate position of having to re-assign pieces for a fast turnaround in a short amount of time. It’s not fun, but some of the artists we use regularly (studio or otherwise) are great for the “clutch” moments when a deadline hits and an artist has to back out on on a commitment for whatever reason. For example, during the Dirty Deeds - Bad Medicine batch, I had an artist back out on three illustrations at the last minute that our studio was able to pick up and turn around very quickly. We have other independent artists that are great resources for that too and they’ve really helped the game out in big ways in the past.
RE: diversification of eggs - If you read Dan Knight’s article on the playtest process, you’ll remember that all of the Saddlebags are created in groups of three. So for example, Dirty Deeds, Foul Play, and Bad Medicine were all created together, which means the art for all three was ordered and assigned at the same time. It’s not until the very end of that process where the allotment for which cards will be placed into which Saddlebag occurs. So while I have no intention of putting a whole bunch of pieces from one artist into the same Saddlebag, sometimes that’s just how things get divided up in the end and there’s not much I can do about that. Those decisions are largely driven by a need for diversification of card types and mechanics as well as the depiction of key story moments, etc.
Personally i’m not a big fan of the overall art direction of Reloaded. Been looking through the old classic cards (ep 1-9) and i must say, for me, they blow Reloaded out of the water.
And i can’t really say why, just a matter of taste i guess. I like the graphic design of the cards a lot more, being a bit more dirty, chaotic and less straight/clean lines. Also both classic and Reloaded have a lot of “cartoony” art (which i have nothing against), classic being more satire/expressive and more in my style.
Something about Reloaded makes a lot of cards look “samey”. Maybe it’s the colours but it can make it a bit bland.
Not to say that Reloaded doesn’t have good looking art it’s just overall, i’m not a big fan. I’m also in a bit of a nostalgic 90’s period so that’s that (: