Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Choosing the Bloody Cover

Last night, the child and I started looking at potential covers for Blood and Treasure. I've been chipping away at it in between writing the Hell hex crawl, finishing HCC 6 and putting the finishing touches on Space Princess, and I've so far finished about 90% of the chapter on characters* (still need to work on strongholds, domains and mass combat), have the basic adventure rules finished (skill checks, combat, dangers, movement/time, etc.) and have spells and monsters from A-C written up. So far, so good.

On to the cover mock-ups ...

First image I looked at is one people have seen in my adverts on the back of issues of NOD. I originally found it at Golden Age Comic Book Stories. I like the overall look and feel - descending into the unknown - and it remains a strong contender.


Looking at some other images from GACBS, I found this one which fits the "treasure" theme nicely, but frankly makes the game look like it's about pirates.


Side Note: I have to write a game about pirates now, because this illustration would rock as a book cover. I'll put it in the queue after Action X.


J.C. Leyendecker is one of my favorite illustrators. This illustration of Cuchulain is gorgeous. Very heroic - but is heroic the vibe I want for Blood and Treasure? The interior character art I've commissioned is meant to look like adventurers who are banged up, dirty and scarred. Nice, but I'm not sure it's quite right.


The last image was initially just for fun - I didn't expect I would like it. It is a medieval painting of a cleric being beaten up by demons. No - not the one I just used for NOD 11, but probably depicting the same scene. After I dropped it in, though, I did like it, very much. Even looks like there is a goblin and gnoll in the background.


In the final analysis, for me, it's between the first cover and the last. Unless I find something else, of course. What are your thoughts, gentle reader?

* Races are going to be the traditional human, dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, half-elf and half-orc. Classes are going to be all the classes in the SRD (barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, magic-user, monk, paladin, ranger, sorcerer and thief) plus two of the prestige classes turned into full classes, the assassin and duelist. I think that covers things pretty well.

15 comments:

  1. Your original is still the strongest, but your cropping (which is normally dead-on) is off a bit. You're cheating the design by not including the rats and the lower part of the painting and the left side of the resulting composition suffers. If it were me, I'd see how close I could get the face of the dagger-wielding kid into the upper-right sweet spot (thus bringing some of the right edge of the illo into the cover). Also, that ampersand isn't doing you any good. Good luck!

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  2. I like the first one the most. The second to last is also quite cool, but looks more like an ancient world/mass combat game (like ACKS) than one about grubby adventurers.

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  3. I'm not sure the ampersand is clear enough--I keep reading it as BLOODE TREASURE not BLOOD & TREASURE. Sometimes, script authenticity can get in the way of clarity.

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  4. Not sure how attached you are to that logo, but it's pretty tough to read what the product name is. Looks like "BloodEt Treasure", I had to look at it for a good long while to figure out what it was supposed to say. You may want to consider using a clearer ampersand or something in a different color.

    For my two cents, I agree with the amazing Blizak... I like the first image best. I haven't seen the other crop, but I like the character focus/sizing. My only comment is that the character with the crossbow's eyeline goes off page, might merit flipping the image and putting the logo on the other side so he is looking into the composition.

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  5. First one is my favourite, too...and I agree about the & looking like an E.

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  6. Another vote for number 1. The charioteer picture is nice too, but PCs are more likely going to be delving, right? Agree about a need to find a different ampersand.

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  7. I like #1. The ampersand does look like an 'E'. The last one seems a bit 'busy' and tends to draw away from the game title.

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  8. Another vote for the first cover.

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  9. Well, no question on which image is the most popular. Cropping was difficult to do without covering the top kid's face with the lettering. I'll play with it some more - I hated to lose any of the image. Also agree on the ampersand - I was doing the cover mock-up on my laptop, which doesn't have all my fonts installed, so that was the best one I had to use at the time. I'll revisit this when I've played with the design a bit.

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  10. I like the first one too. I'd love an S&W pirates game.

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  11. First image. The last one is great, but for something else: it doesn't fit thematically.

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  12. I'm a bit late to the party but...

    You score so many points with me for saying "J.C. Leyendecker is one of my favorite illustrators."

    As long as we're on Golden Age of Illustration folks; http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwwltxybrG1ql473po1_500.jpg would be an awesome RPG cover.

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