The lastest work is nearing final and can be seen below. The first image again is the board sans bits. I spent some time reducing the contrast of the background blue tiles which narrows the range of values. As you will see in the images to follow, by reducing background contrast, the bits will stand out more and will increase scanability.
You can see the difference between the new board and the old one in this image. While it may not be as nice looking on its own, it will serve well when the bits are added. It turns out the values are approximately where I started off with (in Part I of this series) but had later increased contrast for a little more drama.
Design is a series of decisions, none of which are black and white. Everything is a sliding scale. A minor adjustment can have major implications. This can be seen in game design as well. Add a card to a deck or an extra piece or another resource and a game can shift dramatically.
Below you can see the board with some new bits. Disaster and monument tiles (tile backs) have been added to the mix. Also a small icon for color blind added to leader tokens. After experimenting with the monument tiles, I found the original German board had a nice touch. This was to blend the tile into the background allowing the detailing to focus around the monument like a bulls-eye. Earlier experiments with monument tiles that have higher contrasting outer edges made the monument far too dominent. For the disaster tile, I've chosen to have it recess back behind the main board tiles – as if the earth there has been spoiled. There is so much going on in this game that it is good if some pieces can dominate and others recess.
Circles for leader tokens were a very good idea. The shape contrasts well from the other tiles making for an easier read.
Below, you can see the monument tiles. The gold forms a tight frame around the monument which makes a pleasing visual "ramp up" to the monument piece.
Below comparisons between this new board and the German and Mayfair editions.
I'll be taking another look at this tomorrow, but am pleased at the moment with the results.