December 12, 2010

Photos from the final project.

November 16, 2010

Notes from Playtests 1 and 2:

-Parts with 3 and 4 connection points are very valuable, and not common enough in the deck.

-Multi-connection Gadget parts are also much more valuable and more interesting than the single-stub ones (because playing one gives you something to work for, instead of closing off an option).

-Action cards, as a group, just aren’t as compelling as the basic mechanic of the game. Recommend scratching them.

-The “Points for Complexity” mechanic doesn’t really do anything, as contraptions tend to get complex at about the same rate.

-Because the smartest play is always going to be putting a 4-way splitter on each end of the Engine, why not just have long Engine cards with the things built in?

-Game also doesn’t really need a scoring track, as just looking at the parts in a machine tells you how much it’s worth.

-“It has some flaws, but even with them it’s fun to play. I’d like to play it again after it’s finished.”

November 4, 2010

And That Would Make This Reading 8

And connecting back with the previous reading, this time I’m nodding along with Erik Spiekermann in Chapter 1, along with Shaughnessy’s response to him, when they’re talking about how the best designers don’t let design eclipse the rest of their lives. I feel like I’ve done my best design stuff when I’ve been working on something that wasn’t so much a ‘design project’ as a ‘cool other stuff I’m into project that happens to need my design expertise’. Like what I’ve got for Tinkerers so far, or the All-That-Is Atlas and Guidebook I did two years ago (and then turned into a web page last year). Doesn’t mean I can’t do work on stuff I’m not in love with, but I’m pretty sure that everyone can tell the difference between the final products. Or at least everyone who’s looking for it.

That was both slightly off-topic and somewhat more emotional than I expected it to be. Huh.

Ignore that last bit.

Reading… 7, I think. Wait… Yup, 7.

Sorry about that. Missing my syllabus for a minute.

I found myself nodding about the Paula Scher quote in the Introduction to the Original Edition, the one that talks about “the kind of anonymous bad design that we’ve come to ignore because we’re too busy fighting over the aesthetics of theĀ latestĀ AIGA poster.” There’s been a historical tendency for just about every field of art to get more and more insular and self-referential, and less connected to the outside world. I think it helps that as designers we’re usually required to look at things outside of our own work because, you know, we’re doing them for a client, but occasionally I’ll see things that are beautiful and well-designed and worthless for anything except as eye candy.

And there’s nothing wrong with eye-candy, but if it takes years of graphic design training to see how awesome your design piece is… maybe it isn’t so awesome.

November 2, 2010
A sample machine (worth only six points, I’m afraid).

A sample machine (worth only six points, I’m afraid).

Front-of-box logo.

Front-of-box logo.

October 28, 2010

And sketches for the thesis project.

Moodboardy images for my thesis project.

October 23, 2010
Sample page from Give & Take Record Book.

Sample page from Give & Take Record Book.

October 22, 2010

Some moodboard-type photos for my Give & Take book. The Herman Miller order form comes closest to what I’m thinking for the interior of the book.