Ystari’s Premium Limited Edition of Caylus II

Here, we have a few more images of this project. We decided to keep the back cover clean and simple with maximum room for an impactful image. Given that the purchasers of the game will have played the game or could already own it, an explaination of the game and storyline seemed of little value. Since this is a very special game there is a need to rise above conventions. Reducing the back to a simple image adds value as it looks “class” and carries itself with authority through understatement.




Here is a good look at all the tiles (at lower resolution). I chose to illustrate each tile as if part of an illuminated manuscript rather than illustrate the buildings. Some individuals miss the literal interpritation of building actual buildings, but I find the look to be exciting and fresh. I absolutely love playing Caylus and think it a great game, but not for a second do I really feel like the game is reinacting some moment in history. This gives license to explore alternatives that are predicated less on recreating a literal narrative and more on sprinkling in the program the romance and the world of that era. There is a good reason why publishers go back to medieval and renaissance Europe – it has atmosphere, it has ambience. The overall ambience and romance is the story to be told rather than the made up storylines that find themselves on the back of boxes. By infusing the program with something a little unexpected we have a look that is iconic, memorable and contributes to this ambience of romance.



For the back of the punchboards, I had wanted something a little special, particularly for the collectors. So, I chose to enclose a darkened image of the cover that forms a large image across the entire punchboards. This rewards collectors who wish to leave the set unpunched with something that others – who do punch their set – won't have. For the vast majority who do punch their tiles, the backs still look very nice on their own. I also like it when components have some unique aspect to each unique one. The building names are on the back for those who wish to know. Given the building names are really just a dash of flavor that plays little part of the game, it seems no loss to have the names on the back rather than the front.


For the rules, we have a front and back cover much like I did Hannibal, with a simple seamless illustration front and back. This gives a special folder or book like effect to the rules. Below you can see the opening spread to the rules. I found inspiration from some illuminated manuscripts on the format here. So, the columns are very rigid and solid. Additionally, note the detailing of the sentence structure which is like verses from an old manuscript. Each sentence is set on a new line with a colored first letter. This actually makes the rules quite easy to read and scan as you can’t get lost in wordy paragraphs. The font is Trade Gothic Bold Condensed, which is easy to read. Mainly though it has a structure and rhythm much like the old Germanic Gothic typefaces as is set for the first letter of each sentence. Like the Germanic Gothic (or fraktur type), Trade Gothic has a very strong vertical emphasis to each letterform.

3 flavors

The column structure is solid like an illuminated manuscript might be. Here the sentences are set like a chapter of verses – each sentence on its own line beginning with a highlighted letter.

– Mike