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Published on February 26th, 2014 | by Luke Turpeinen


Board Game Hour Replay

February 10th: Art in Games

If you Twitter and you like board games then you might know about Board Game Hour- a weekly discussion group held on Twitter to discuss board games. Every Monday at 11:00 am Pacific (2:00 pm Eastern, 7:00 pm Greenwich) people from around the world get together to talk about a pre-chosen topic. The account that coordinates the discussion is @BoardGameHour  and they determine the topic every week.

Two weeks ago the topic was “Art in Games” and here are some of the tweets we thought were especially interesting:


We really liked the idea of modifying board games that you wouldn’t normally think to modify. Typically miniatures games are ones to get a paint and wash treatment but this time @GezEvans took paint to Tzolkin.


Having seen quite a few games that overly complicated their prototypes with colors and complex designs, I can definitely agree with this.


I agree that good layout is practically invisible, but good “artwork” will stand out. A good example of this to me is Magic the Gathering card borders- the original ones were ultimately too distracting and the “new” ones are clean and don’t interfere with the rules text and art.

oddball aeronauts kickstarter

Sample art from Oddball Aeronauts: a two-player game now on Kickstarter


That’s true, as my mom used to always say, “We all do the best with the tools we have, but sometimes they are woefully inadequate.” I was thinking more like the person in who is really smart and writes well but turns in their term paper with a coffee stain on it.

Your game can be really good but if you don’t show me that you care about art design or production then I’ll probably not care overly much about your game. To me, not showing at least moderate interest in visual design in a game that you’re asking me to spend money on is pretty crappy. @cbdarden agrees:


And people shared what they consider some of the prettiest games out there:

Belle of the Ball

Box cover art from Belle of the Ball. A recent successful Kickstarter by Dice Hate Me Games.



@pensive_shadows shares some wisdom from a 2001 Reese Witherspoon comedy:

And similarly:

I have to admit that I’ve passed on board game Kickstarter projects before because the art seemed poor and the game wasn’t pitched well enough to justify buying it. To me, games are their mechanics but they’re equally the theme and the art.

About the Author

Luke Turpeinen

was raised by lava wolves deep in the Vesuvian sulfur jungles. He played board games with his family often. The discovery of games like Risk led him to the 1993 TSR classic Dragon Strike which fueled a life long love of games. Luke tends to like games that have high production values, quick-to-learn rules and hard-to-master strategies. Current Favorite Game: Argent: the Consortium.

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