Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Rulebook goodness

Publishers putting PDFs of their rules manuals online is like crack to us game-graphic designers. With GenCon coming up fast, Fantasy Flight have gone into overdrive and put three manuals up in the last couple of days. In addition, the Dark Age ruleset has also been posted.

Short of buying a game, manuals are the next best thing for designers because they show what the thing is going to look like. Gone are the days when the rules were a dodgy mono pamphlet with the odd ham-fisted illustration. Advances in DTP mean that full colour layouts with lots of photos are the norm. Thus we get to see samples of the components and all the gorgeous artwork which has been commissioned.

By the looks of things, the Dungeonquest box is going to be a slick (if slightly unimaginative) affair with high quality visuals. The long-awaited Cadwallon; City of Theives looks suitably bonkers and features the amazing illustrations from Rackham’s back catalogue. I was a bit disappointed by the Dust: Tactics rules, which are pedestrian in their layout and feature little artwork. Finally, the Dark Age quickstart rulebook is quite text-heavy but manages to include some good photos and some of Brom’s excellent paintings. I am not a fan of the title font they have used though, which I find very difficult to read.

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