Sunday, October 28, 2018

Box Art Opinions

When I began in Game Design I knew that designing the right types of components, having the right amount of players/game time, and having fun and interesting mechanics would be critical to the games success.
What I didn't plan on was how many thoughts and opinions are out there in regards to the actual game box.  When you think about it this is the one thing people can look at in the stores, should your product be sold in a game store.  The cover has to be eye catching, intriguing, and make a player who likes your genre want to grab it, look at it in closer detail, and most importantly, make them want to flip it over to see the back.
The back has to be the equivalent of an excellent sales sheet.  It needs to show the theme, it needs to highlight core mechanics, it should have a great visual of what makes your game special and different, and a list of contents can help as well.
The tough part about both of these is that players also want to read as little as possible.  Time is precious and images speak much louder than words.
I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what piece of art looks the best on a box, best represents the fantasy setting, and will make people really want to pick it up and look at it (or in the case of online it needs to make them want to click for more information).  At one point I had considered the Dragon art, but that seemed to cliche' and overdone in this type of game.
For the back it takes even more time and consideration, and I'm pretty sure I need to start from scratch to make it work properly.
I write this post just to let game designers know that what you think might be a simple copy/past of an image and a logo may actually take you several hours of work, and several re-dos to best market online and in physical stores.
I have used Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to get some gamer insight for this topic, and each time there are multiple opinions and suggestions.
A few that have stuck out are:

  • One large image is best, if you try to make a collage of images or scattered images the feedback is not good.  If you have an artist create a piece that is an intentional combination of people/creatures that is fine, but it should be one piece of art (not a photoshop mash up).
  • The name of the game should stand out very clear, and somewhat centered on the box.
  • Your name, artist name, and company name are not required on the box cover.  If you can make it work then great but don't let it be more important than the game you are trying to market.
  • List of contents on back of box, with a visual of full game laid out on a table for player perspective.
  • Brief backstory of the game world (if any).
  • Clarification of why your game stands out and is different from other the tens of thousands of games in existence.
Good luck when you design your game box images, when its complete it does feel like a milestone has been achieved!

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