After the Kickstarter campaign for Osprey Adrift has wrapped, I intend on publishing a list of all the lessons learned from the project – not only for my own posterity and benefit, but for your benefit as well, should you be undertaking a crowdfunded game project of your own. That’s really the intent behind The Designer Diaries as a whole – to give you something of value from my own experience, however gloriously messy and fun.
However, there’s one lesson that I want to share with you all now.
I’m so lucky and grateful to be working with two such amazing, talented, and professional artists on this project, but I personally dropped the ball on something that’s small (but really important) when I was planning out the timeline for the overall project: I didn’t think about how having two artists could change the timeline. The work that one artist does might be dependent on having the other artist’s completed artwork.
What I mean by this is – if there’s one artist who’s doing the illustrations and one artist who’s doing the graphic design and overall layouts (as Fiona and von Serrot are doing with Osprey Adrift) then you need to approach the project plan as an art director would, and fully understand what each artist needs. When I was creating the project timeline for Osprey Adrift, I initially saw Fiona’s illustrations and von Serrot’s designs on the same timeframe. Now, this was a huge mistake on my part, because I should have realized that the final designs for the card frames would be dependent on the illustrations. It’s just not possible for an artist to create a cohesive visual theme without knowing how the main subjects will look first.
I should have realized my mistake sooner when I was making the project timeline, but if I had, then it wouldn’t be a mistake (and ultimately learn from it), now would it? Haha! Anyway, long story short, I ended up extending the deadline for the design work, to give von Serrot more time to match the design elements to Fiona’s strong visual style, and complete the final production files. Like I said before, I am beyond grateful to be working with two very cool artists on this project – they are amazing, and I can’t thank them enough for lending their skill and passion to this game.
When all’s said and done, this change in timeline won’t delay the rest of the project. Everything else will still be able to move forward on our original timeline. The only thing that will differ is the blind playtest copies may not have the final artwork; they’ll likely have placeholder frames, fonts, card backs, etc. But that’s actually better anyway; the purpose of the blind playtest is to test the gameplay and the rules, not to serve as a focus group for the artwork. I’m 100% confident that Osprey Adrift will be an amazing game, and amazing looking as well! And I’m stoked that we’ll be able to run our Kickstarter campaign as intended, this summer.
Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky!