When you see the art for 8 Kingdoms, you'll notice a big difference from our last game, Imperial Harvest. Instead of the colorful, almost living-and-breathing feel of the characters from our last effort, most of the cards in 8 Kingdoms' deck are stark, black and white portraits.
Why so simple? Well, for a few reasons. The first is for gameplay purposes. In Imperial Harvest, you controlled a small band of 3 characters, so it was cool to have them brought to life on your cards. For the games of 8 Kingdoms, you'll be managing many more cards, in hand or in tableaus. In the same way that a deck of playing cards uses simple solid colors to keep things manageable, we did want to overload our cards with too many colors and shades to try and discern what card is what.
Secondly, from a graphic design standpoint, it looks really cool! Every card features a field of color matching it's suit, to aid with identification, so placing a black and white sketch on top of that color lets the art pop of the card vs. a colored piece of art that might get lost in the surrounding color.
Our last reason is more business-oriented, but in the interest of transparency, we think it's worth sharing. We have 180 cards in 8 Kingdoms, each with a unique piece of art, and while our artist, Audrey, is spectacular at what she does, we can't expect her to do 180 unique art pieces in color and still get the cards out to our backers in a reasonable amount of time for both parties. Using black and white art helps speed up our production schedule, and provides a very unique opportunity for our art process, but that's something we'll get into in a future post...