Dune Board II

Now that I have quite a few characters, I had wanted to continue work on the board where I had reserved room for some tone and manner art. Yes, unfortunately I have only 4 factions represented, but that’s the way it goes. I tried a hexigon board shape to allow for 6 pictures, but in the end, the strong hexigon shape competed too much with the circle – which I really like as a thematic device. Here, as you can see, I have characters which appear ghosted out of the red sand. Next, in some manner, I will be integrating text from the book. I think it needs to be a good chunk of text as it will be small and probably a border treatment. Any suggestions for copy??? It needs to be more than “He who controls the spice, controls the world.” :)

As a sidenote, I love integrating text, whether it be period poetry or some such into boards as texture. Words tend to really humanize the experience. It’s one thing to see illustrations of a person or army or house or artifact from a period. It’s quite another to read a line or two of something some guy actually wrote thousands of years ago. This particularly if the words have relevance to the subject – war, harvest, etc.

As for the Bene Tlailaxu Tanks, I want to have a separate board which can separate the leaders from different factions. Or perhaps this will be a sort of player mat in which the screen will split in half – a hidden area for cash and army and the tanks in front of the screen. I’ve not given it too much thought except I thought the little area in the corner of the board wasn’t ideal for organizing them.

– Mike

©2006 Mike Doyle

Creative Update

Currently, I’m working on two games for publishers both due out next year. I can’t talk about them, but they should be very nice. Also, I’m having such a good time with the Dune set that I’m continuing work on this. At the moment, the leader tokens are a fascination for me. I’ll be adding to them in the previous post daily until either I burn out or finish them. Either way, I’m pretty satisfied – if for no other reason then they are very fun to create.

– Mike

Dune Premium Limited Edition Leader Tokens

--Update-- I’ve been adding to this post each day as I do more of these tokens. I’m having such a good time with them, that this game element is hard to put down. At this rate, I hope I might actually finish them all.

Above are leader tokens that I painted to accompany the board in the previous post. Having the portraits all looking forward in a common position helps to create a power to this piece. I chose a more realistic portrait to add richness to this program. One thing I’m never a fan of in games are the “reinactment shots.” Those are the character portraits that try to help players “picture” actions in the game. For instance, a character with a knife in the hand. I find my imagination much better than can be portrayed particularly when the art tends to fit in a small area. It usually lacks power and effect. This is one issue that I have with Magic and other CCGs. To set up a situation in these cards, the characters tend to get tiny and less effective than if they were pictured close up to the viewer.

I really like the way these are looking and am looking forward to continuing with other elements of this game.

Close up of a few pieces

– Mike

©2006 Mike Doyle

Dune Premium Limited Edition Board

... well I can dream, anyway.

I had a chance to play this for the first time this weekend and ... I loved it. It’s a strange wild ride of a game. I’m told much like Cosmic Encounter from the same designer and, from what I have heard of CE, it seems that way. Going into the game with the understanding that it is as much an experience as anything, I enjoyed the ride. The graphics really show age though. Typical for the time and AH, now by our standards it is quite shabby.

I know this game is quite popular – though more an occasional treat for the Dune heads than a gaming staple. That’s ok though. What suprised me was to see it ranks 49 at the moment. The game seems to have a cult following. Not suprising given the rich material that oozes from this piece.

Cult games have the potential for special edition releases as followers can be passionate enough to look for an expensive upgrade. Unfortunately, being under the AH badge, I suspect this one is buried deep in the Hasbro vaults never to see the light of day. While they brought back Cosmic, I suspect they lack the dna to get such a game right for my tastes. These cult games have the potential to rise to a higher standard.

Above, a board that I have begun to create. (Note above is work in progress). This would simply be printed, not actually made of wood and such –though I understand some have made custom boards of wood. This story is one of legend and prophesy. As such, I would create a game of timeless beauty. Though science fiction, the most appropriate feel for this seems that which borrows from antiquity. Circles also seem important to me. AH did take care to emphasize the circle. I would take it a step or two further with the graphics supporting the shape whenever possible. Inlayed wood, gold leaf and mother of pearl touches all make up the details. I like the feel of this. It seems very rich and reverent.

– Mike

©2006 Mike Doyle

Own a custom Doyle meeple avatar

I've had a lot of requests for these digital images so... for some GG you can stake your claim into meeple territory in style. Each meeple will be sold to only one individual. So once you recieve your meeple, it's yours and yours alone for life. Along with a handsome avatar sized icon, you'll also get a printable plate with my signature – again, yours and only yours. Use it as a screen wallpaper if you like. Make a t-shirt out of it... and sell it. Whatever you want. You'll be the only one who can use it.

To buy, please reply to this thread on the Geek with the character you want. I will reply by geekmail to the first response for each character. After you receive a confirmation geekmail, please send the appropriate GG and email info, and I'll send you the files. If I don't receive a response to a geekmail in 2 days after I send it to you, the character will be up for grabs again.

Please don't make the request on this blog or by geek mail as it will be difficult to tell who claimed what first. Only those who first request a character in this Geek thread will get to take advantage of this limited time offer.

The cost is variable depending on the avatar. By far the most requested has been ... you guessed it ... 7 of 9. Most are 20GG, but the most desirable are a bit more.

- 7 of 9: 50GG
- Picard Locutus: 40GG
- Darth Vader: 35GG
- Picard (Normal): 35GG
- Wesley Crusher 5GG (bc I can't stand him)
- Miles O'Brian 5GG (he's a bit nondescript – pictured below the Wesley)

All others are 20GG.

Best of luck! May the force be ... er... live long and prosper.

- Mike

Modern Art Preview V

This is the final preview in a series of five showcasing the style of one of the artists for a new edition of Modern Art shown with generous permission of the publisher. For more information and release date you may read the first installment.

Here you can see all five of the artists together. Each artist focuses on a different subject matter to aid in recognition. For example, artist one will equal birds, artist two will equal letterforms, artist five flowers and so on.

I hope you enjoy.

– Mike

©2006 Mike Doyle

Caylus Board Development II

Below the latest development on my personal exploration of this board. The primary evolved feature is the overall aesthetic. I went for a manuscript approach as I wanted to lighten the board. This helped me control some of the values like the pink tile spaces. Mostly, I worked on some of the smaller details. Some of the developed tiles are pictured on the board as well – though, as you can see, they are incomplete. A border detail was added within the playable tile areas, to help the eye track along this strip and call out playable spots. It also adds to some of the thematic detailing. Tile VP values dropped out by mistake but will be dark to pop. Additionally, the outer track still needs to be developed.

– Mike

©2006 Mike Doyle