Tempus Box Cover III

I still like it today, so I’ve continued with some refinements. Often times composition is tweeked in this stage to better give order. I believe there was a comment to this effect in the previous post. In this case, the buildings have been nudged here and there according to a proportioning system. This heightened sense of order seems appropriate to me given this streamlined game. Boiling down the history of human endeavor into a few simple rules strikes me as very severe. So then, a highly structured cover. Below you can see the underlying structure and how things fit together.

For the sides, I have alternated warm and cool panels of clouds. It looks quite nice and is a good contrast to the solid harder objects on the front. The clouds then add the the sense of the passage of time, which is nice.


– Mike

©2006 Mike Doyle

Tempus Box Cover II


Above pictured is the evolved cover for Tempus. I liked the main concept from before but have given more interest and warmth to the piece. Mark’s suggestion (previous post) was a good one I think – that is moving the buildings up on the plain. By doing this and placing as I have, it adds to this abstract feel of the game and provides depth. Also adding to the abstract nature of the game is the paper thin buildings and their flattened non perspective. Adding cool colors to contrast give the piece a sparkle and increase drama which I enjoy.

Now, for the hypocritical part. Again to add warmth and interest, I’ve included bits and pieces of historical material – a battle, a train, an Egyptian farmer, etc. Yes, I certainly did say before that I didn’t think the game need to explain everything out. Well... I would say in this case, rather than portray the “reinacted” events in windows as the published version did, the collage here serves as an abstract texture. One can read the details or not, it mostly doesn’t matter. So long as one gets the feeling that there is a progression through time – that is enough.

I’m now liking where this is heading. Let’s see if I feel that way when I wake up in the morning. :)

– Mike

©2006 Mike Doyle

Tempus Box Cover

I recently acquired a copy of this fascinating game of civilization building and advancement through time. Shame about the cover though. One thing I think many publications suffer from is this need to over explain a game’s theme. In so doing, the cover promises far more than the game really delivers. In this case, the cover filled with technological advances from farming to airplanes implies a rich texture of far reaching goals. It suggests managing railroads and fighting with a broad sweap of weapons through the ages. While this is so – to a degree – the game’s simplification of concepts blurs these ideas down to cloudy notions of advancements. Now this is not to discredit the game, as this seems appropriate from a game standpoint. Only to say that I'm not feeling the railroads or planes in any real way while playing the game.

As Tempus has gone to great lengths to collapse the wide rift of time into a relatively simple game, I believe the cover could go a long way to abstract this notion of the advancement of civilizations. Architecture often is a good measure of a wide array of advancements, from building materials, techniques, organization, sanitation, city density, military stability, etc. Also, as the game rewards city building, it seems appropriate to highlight this progression through architecture. Here, the architecture is presented in a simple, iconic way against a dramatic sunrise background. The look and feel is murky and shimmering.

While I like the look of this, it is still lacking. So, I continue work on it...

– Mike

©2006 Mike Doyle