Grinning Cat Games is a tiny UK-based Euro board game publisher with our first game in the making. Here we'll chronicle our efforts from initial idea to fully realised product and share everything that helps inspire and inform us along the way.
A test pack shot I took – not bad for a lighting set up cobbled together in half an hour using an old vacuum cleaner box, a couple of sheets of white cartridge paper, some tin foil and my girlfriend’s S.A.D.* lamp.
*Seasonal Affective Disorder – basically, if you feel down during the winter due to the lower light levels, using a S.A.D. lamp can help you feel better.
Indie game the movie is a surprisingly good film taking a look at the people creating some of the most innovative indie computer games, providing a really interesting insight into the personalities behind the work.
I’ve had an extended break from designing the board game. I reckon when you’re so immersed in something that requires such a great amount of time and concentration it’s easy to get sickened of it before it’s finished.
Anyway, the rules have been refined (again!) and I’ve started to investigate potential routes for the artwork. The main choice has been between slick Sim City-style computer generated isometric perfection, and a totally opposed, hand made with visible flaws and rich texture approach.
I’ve crudely mocked up a potential style route for the artwork here. All the illustration work other than the train tracks and icons was shamelessly stolen and hacked up from the website of superb illustrator, Abigail Daker (sorry Abigail!), who I’d love to approach to do the artwork for the finished game. It’s not representative of the final artwork, but is rather an indication of a potential route I might take with the style.
I was originally opposed to a hand painted look, as I didn’t want the game to look like it was copying classics like Settlers or Carcassone, but it’s a visual route that fits the themes so well that I think it’s inevitable the artwork will go this way.
Even though it’s a really crude mock up, I think it does a great job of showing the kind of aesthetic potential the game has. Regardless of how the gameplay turns out, if I do manage to get the game published the visuals are definitely going to be a winner.