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First Look: GFB Game Layout and Updates

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First of all, I’d like to establish a new acronym here: GFB (Go For Baroque). The board game’s full name has gotten to be somewhat laborious as I am now talking about it all the time 🙂

Now for the real news: I’m very excited to show you, my lovely patrons, the very first look at how a layout of GFB will look! Getting to this point has taken much more work than I originally anticipated. Early on, it occurred to me that showing a basic diagram of the game’s layout would be a bit dry as it is really just a bunch of rectangles in a grid. That’s not going to generate any excitement. Enter Blender and 3D modeling!

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This is precisely the reason I have been studying up on 3D modeling. It is simply perfect for this kind of use case in showing how a nonexistent concept might appear in reality.

The bulk of the work is actually done in Photoshop. I created the sketches for each GFB card as separate Artboards in a single PSD file, then exported them out as individual PNG files. Those PNG files were then used as “image textures” for each card object in the Blender file. Basically, an image texture is a 2D image that gets wrapped around a 3D object. In this case, the wrapping is really simple: the image is just on one side of the card to look as though it has been printed. Lastly, I exported a high resolution rendering from Blender, then took it back into Photoshop for touch ups and some subtle atmospheric blending.

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Modeling these “meeple” player pieces was especially fun! Meeples are actual game components that have taken the gaming community by storm in the last few years. There are companies that just make these tiny, adorable wooden people for use in board games. Just another quirky tidbit I have learned since diving into the world of independent board gaming.

Other developments: Since I started working on this new project, I have realized that even if I do not get the amazing opportunity to work in the Adobe Creative Residency, I still want to bring GFB to life. Sitting down and really forcing myself to think critically about how I actually will make this game happen has been very enlightening. While having the support of Adobe would make me totally freak out like that kid that got an Nintendo 64 for Christmas, I know that I can still do this on my own as well. Yes, it will take longer to produce and will probably stretch out into a project spanning at least 1-2 years as I do other things to bring in the bacon, but that’s totally OK!

Given this state of affairs, I am planning a change to how I’ve structured my Patreon. The plan is to change the focus from art and worldbuilding to art and game design.

“Why?” you might ask. Well, I have discovered that there are many Patreons out there that offer incredible tutorials on art and worldbuilding, and a lot of them are from artists that are in an upper stratosphere of their careers compared to where I am at. That’s just fine with me as I’ve always understood the internet to be a very competitive landscape. But, what I haven’t seen so much of are Patreons focusing on the intersection of illustration and game design. I find this diverse mingling of disciplines fascinating! Designing a game takes so many different kinds of skills that I could talk about this stuff for a really long time.

I haven’t had much time to get actual details mapped out, but it will involve some changes to reward tiers and the overall focus of my Patreon in a “relaunch”. A major focus on art will definitely still be present, so not to worry: my crazy detailed tutorials on the creative process will still be part of this!  Game design will just start to play a bigger role and be another facet of what I share with you here. Hopefully, you’re up for all this; I am so happy to have had your support so far and really am looking forward to the next step of this creative journey!

I have to jump back into further GFB concept work, but as soon as this deadline is finished I will be working on details for the relaunch. I can’t wait to share that with you! Talk to all very soon 🙂

– Colin