Artwork is an important part of a board game. If done well, artwork and design have the potential to take your game to the next level. While some games just need some colors and simple illustrations to to achieve this, others have a harder time getting to the right spot illustration-wise. The choices you have to make in this area are of course dependent on your game. What is your target audience? What’s the story behind your game? What did playtesters think of the chosen artwork, etc.
At the moment, I’m still very busy making the Fameroo! commercial (check out my trailer! on the pre-order page!). Artwork is a very big part of that, seeing as we wanted the commercial to consist of artwork that is present in the game. So, the whole day I’m being greeted by artwork of happy cows, grinning goats and jolly farmers, and I hope the different elements in the commercial will really show all the choices a publisher like Quantuum Magic has to make before a game gets to the final design.
Fameroo! was specifically designed to function as the first board game that parents are able to play with their children. Every choice along the way has been made with that simple concept in mind. It shows in the story, the gameplay, and especially in the artwork. The final design of Fameroo was made by Dutch artist Miriam Bos. The first thing you notice about her drawings is how colorful and happy everything is. The big eyes, the big expressions… Its kind of her trademark. And it really suits a happy little game like Fameroo.
So, being as interested as I was in her artwork, I decided to call her for a little chat. Just to show you game designers out there that it isn’t hard to reach out to cool artists.
So how did you join Fameroo! ?
Quantuum Magic contacted me! They probably stumbled upon it unintentionally, my sister is known to show my artwork around on twitter and in her shop. They must’ve seen it somewhere and contacted me.
Edit: Not true. We keep tabs on a lot of artists we eventually want to work with. Whether they know it or not! Miriam is an example of an artist that has been in our art portfolio for quite a while.
What happened then?
Well, they already had a design. The inventor of the game had made a lot of illustrations to clarify his idea (pitch tip!) which I could use as a starter point. Quantuum Magic was looking for artwork especially made with kids in mind, so I drew some sketches and showed it to them. They thought it fit the game really well, so after that I could start drawing the final design.
Edit: This is always a magical process for both publisher and game designer, to see an idea come to life in illustrations. It really is something else.
Is it different to draw for a board game?
Not really. Not the drawing itself, anyway. Usually I just make illustrations in photoshop and send that to, for example, a publisher. That publisher then takes care of the rest of the design. Not here, I had to make the designs as well. I designed the logo and the back of the box for example. This was exciting, because I had never done it before. Luckily for me I got help and feedback from a good friend.
What do you think of the final result?
I think it turned out pretty well! Am I allowed to say that of my own design? Hahaha. I was really nervous about the design as a whole, because I didn’t know if I was doing it correctly. But it turned out I did, and I am very happy with the final results.
And I can’t say she’s wrong! All the art for Fameroo does exactly what its supposed to do, display what kind of fun and happy game this is. THAT is what good artwork can do for your game, it can emphasize the strong suits of your game and really breathe life into your concept.
Well, that’s it for now. If anyone is intrested in Mirian be sure to check her twitter @irrimirri, and I’ll see you next time! If you have any questions for me, ask me on the @quantuummagic twitter!