Valley Games’: Municipium (Cover and Cards)


After having completed the board, I've taken another look at the cover. The evolution of the board did not go in the direction that I had originally taken for the cover. So I found a little disconnect between the two. Not that they have to match, but I did think I could do better here. So, I've restyled the cover with a mosaic and picked up the various characters from the board. I'm quite fond of this. It has the richness I often like to do in these pieces. It also – in a way for me – goes back to the original concept which was more abstract in nature. One thing I have always tried to stray from is a literal interpretation of the implied game story. Such covers tend to look trite to my eyes. Here, with the characters simply lined up, there is no stiff reinactment of a scene or literal story being told. It is more abstract in nature allowing the viewer to imagine.

Card backs: Common card (gray) and family cards with family names
Card fronts from various families


Also, here we can see some of the cards for this production. Again, I think a nice rich touch that ties things together with the mosaic.

– Mike

Supernova Alien Screens and more

Here we can see player screens with the aliens and icons which correspond to board pieces. They gray type and such will actually be silver, so the contrast is not as you see here. Throughout the program we are planning to use silver which should really be lovely and through a future feel to it against the white.


Some more research cards with silver icons.

Colonization cards with silver

The Colonization cards should really look nice with the silver line work against the green – very special and high tech. It will have a very nice feel as one holds them in ones hands and tilts from side to side.

– Mike

From the Vault: Arte Moderna

I had the opportunity to play Arte Moderna for the first time a few weeks back. I'd been trying to keep the copy I had unpunched and unused, but the money had mostly fallen out of the punchboard and my friends and I were “in the mood”. I hadn't looked at this for a long time and it brought back a lot of memories – this was my first art to be previewed in a published game. There were quite a few little things the publisher and I put in the game, from a portrait of his wife, to her favorite flower to… Derk, just because.

So, with memories spinning around, I dusted off the old backup hard drive and took a look at the files. One thing I had totally forgotten was the other artists I had created as part of the selection process for the publisher. Some I'd wish were picked, but oh, well. No biggie. I really liked one of them, so I thought I'd share that and a few others that were created for the first presentation.

The first one is based off of one of my long favorite artists, Cy Twombly. While I did not want to mimic other artists (Iike Mayfair’s edition did), I didn't mind this series of paintings. To most gamers, Cy’s work would not be recognizable and would probably seem new and totally alien. One thing you will see is the English rather than native text as this was a first presentation. Also, the format was changed a bit. If I had it to do over again, I would have coded it on both sides for left and right handers, but now I know better. Note here, for the icons, I had proposed an O for open, 1 for once around and 2 for double. This seemed more logical to me than trying to interpret an icon as in previous publications. In the end, the publisher was looking for a stronger connection to the native language, so this was put aside.

Here, we have a few more artist styles that had been presented in the initial concepts. In the end, I'm fine with what was done. There are things I would have done differently. But oh well, live and learn.

Back with my buddies, we played our game of Arte Moderna and had a very good time at it. Although my incredibly poor performance in this session confirmed that I should stay far clear from opening my own art gallery. :D

– Mike