Hello Gamecrafter community!
I wanted to share with you all my first ever game design, entitled the Beekeeper's Year. I've had numerous conversations with fellow beekeepers about how there are not many games based on the beekeeping hobby. As a result, I put my graphic design skills to use and designed this game.
The Beekeeper's Year is a family-fun board game based on the real activities of a beekeeper. Players move around the board collecting honey and turning it into cold hard cash! Players pass through all four seasons and may experience events that could benefit the player, or be a total loss!
I put nearly two years into this game. It has many components, up to four players and can be played for hours. I am looking for playtesters, reviewers, ratings... any kind of feedback, suggestions or advice. Please check it out!
I haven't played your game, but I will pause long enough, tonight, to give you some feedback based just upon what I see about the game.
1. I like the fact that the game is about bees.
2. The name of the game is boring.
3. This image is the best image of the game that I encountered, here on The Gamecrafter site:
It's bright. It's colorful. It really grabs the eye, especially all of those bright yellow pieces that I assume represent honey. It is an image that has a lot of visual interest and visual variety in it. It really stands out, for that very reason.
4. The header image on your game's page, which I think that they call your Shop Backdrop image, is visually attractive. That grabbe dmy eye, when I clicked on your game to give it a browse.
5. I like the fact that you have the rules available as a free download.
6. I love the fact that your rules can be printed on a single page of paper. I printed the rule sout on my color laser printer, and they look great!
7. This image has kind of a "meh" feeling about it:
The money for the game looks bland, and bland is the visual equivalent of boring. Having the board and that dice behind the money in that image makes a better visual pitch, than the money alone would have.
8. This image is attractive, but the design of the board, as far as what the eye can see from this picture, gives me second thoughts about the game:
Overall, though, the image still has more going for it than against it, due to the visual variety on display before the eye.
9. This image has me loving the box, but not the game board, so much.I really like the bright yellow movement spots that stand out well, visually, from the blue sky and white clouds background of the board.
The movement path around the board is just a big circle, from the looks of it. Yet, bees zig zag every which way. It ends up being a lot of wasted whitespace of blue sky and clouds on the board, and the geometric perfection of the circle path is at odds with what my mind and my experience and my eyes have taught me about how bees move. Granted, the path is for the beekeepers and not the bees, but even still, going with a simple circle for a movement path costs you something, from avisual perspective. The board is risp and clear, for the most part, but in and of itself, that's not the same thing as visually tempting.
10. The movement path is formed by bright yellow circles. I think that hexes would have been a better choice than circles, even if the overall path of movement, itself, remained in a circle.
11. Here's an image of your game's money:
This image is visually drab and visually boring. Meh! This was a wasted opportunity, and really stands out as an odd choice, since you could have made the money a lot more visually fun - plus, much of the rest of the game just oozes a bright and colorful and cheerful look - just noty the money. For a game about bees, the imagery that you present on your game's page on The Gamecrafter is largely an exercise in bees gone missing. Where are the bees? Shouldn't they be everywhere, from a visual perpective? A game about bees, that is string on the visual depiction of bees. Why? That strikes me as a counter-intuitive approach.
12. This is an image of one of the game's cards:
Finally, at long last, a bee has arrived in the game. Nothing visually spectacular, mind you, but an injection of color, nonetheless. The text is straight-forward and clear, which are good, but the card as a whole is uninspiring. The bee could have been made visualy interesting. It wasn't. This is another lost visual opportunity to connect with the person browsing your game.
13. I like this image:
It's OK. It attracts my attention. The Hobbyist card is more visually boring than it has to be. There's an excess of unutilized shite space on the card. Again, this injects a crisp look into the cards, but you fail to capitalize upon these individual instances of visual opportunity to really inject some visual zing into various game components. If you want the game to wow people, then you should consider revising numerous visual elements of your game. It's an attractive game, and certainly far and away more attractive than most of the board games that I've browsed on The Gamecrafter website. Yet, it doesn't floor me. It doesn't make me crave the game enough to reach for my wallet. The price, once I noticed it, kicked a lot of wind out of me, from an interest perspective.
14. I like this image of a swarm:
The word "swarm" is a good example of text commands interest. A swarm conjures up a hive of bee activity in the mind.
I don't love the image, but I do like it.
15. I really like this image:
Lots of color, lots of visual interest. The close proximity of the playing piece to the camera and the deck of cards in the distance behind it treat the eye to an interesting visual moment. Good picture!
Not sure if any of this will be helpful to you. I hope so!
Good luck with the game!
- Charles -