Monday, October 24, 2011

Thy Kingdom of Solomon Come

I was going to approach this Minion Monday thing with some semblance of the chronological order the games were made, but after addressing card production with Nile, I think it’s worth staying on topic. Last week I said there were two ways to go about card sheets. With Kingdom of Solomon, though, I developed a third method, one that combines the aesthetics of the double cut with the economy of the solid border.

As you can see, the Kingdom of Solomon Building Cards have art right up to the edge. That normally requires using bleed and the expensive double cut — that is, unless every edge matches seamlessly with its neighbor. As long as that is so, for all intents and purposes it performs the same as a solid border. Shift it up, left, or right, there will never be anything glaringly obvious on the final card. The principle is similar to creating “tiled” backgrounds for webpages and desktop backgrounds. If you ever tried such a feat, you understand it can be a troublesome undertaking. The simplest approach is to make edges mirror images of one another, though quite a bit of tinkering is warranted if you don't want your final cards looking some kind of textural kaleidoscope.

This approach also has another pitfall, and that is you need bleed for it to work.

“Bleed‽” you cry in dismay, having long searched your emotions for a proper use of an interrobang, “But you said you could do this with a single cut!”

This is true. But sadly the sheet of cards you’re creating is not an infinite plane. There will be cards that have no neighbor when you reach the outskirts of the sheet. With the solid border method, this is a simple exercise in using the paintbucket, but here you will have to once again revisit a proper seamless edge. It’s a bit of extra effort, but it can really make a card design shine without breaking the bank.

Kingdom of Solomon itself is not a card game, but a worker-placement game where you manage resources and show up your fellow players in the eyes of King Solomon. The Kickstarter video surmises the gameplay in as good a way as I can imagine. If this sounds up your alley, you can preorder now at Minion Games and get a special bonus Building Card not in store-bought versions. With the game arriving in a matter of weeks, there's no time like the present!

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