Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — counter design

COUNTERFACTUAL: WITH IT OR ON IT (by Tom Russell)

COUNTERFACTUAL: WITH IT OR ON IT (by Tom Russell)

I usually handle the counter layout for our games - I can count the exceptions on one hand - but, NATO symbols aside, it's usually someone else doing the hard stuff, drawing the soldier or the horsey or the cannons. Each of those illustrations naturally increases the art budget and pushes our break-even point further down the line. One of the appeals of doing a series like Shields & Swords II is that we could pay for unit illustrations one time and then reuse them in subsequent volumes. In fact, even though the first release, The Grunwald Swords, only used...


COUNTERFACTUAL ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (by Tom Russell)

COUNTERFACTUAL ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (by Tom Russell)

Last year, we purchased a Wacom Tablet, which is a little pad with a little pen-type thing that plugs into your computer and lets you draw on it. As you probably know, I do the graphic design for almost all of our covers, and the layout for almost all of our counters, and I was starting to feel the limitations of what I could accomplish in those spheres with a mouse and the shapes tool in my ten year old version of Photoshop. The idea was that getting the Wacom might allow me to do things that were slightly more...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: "COUNTERFACTUAL: BLOOD IN THE FOG" (by Tom Russell)

FROM THE ARCHIVES: "COUNTERFACTUAL: BLOOD IN THE FOG" (by Tom Russell)

People who don't know us well don't realize how utterly I depend on Mary, and how utterly hopeless I would be without her. It's not just that she keeps me centered, or focused, or that she brings out the best in me, though she does indeed do all of those things. It's not just that she keeps me safe from harm as I wander, Magoo-like, oblivious to the world around me and lacking anything resembling common sense. Though she does that too. Really, there are a thousand-thousand ways she makes my world go 'round, but the thing I'm talking about...


COUNTERFACTUAL: BLOOD IN THE FOG (by Tom Russell)

COUNTERFACTUAL: BLOOD IN THE FOG (by Tom Russell)

People who don't know us well don't realize how utterly I depend on Mary, and how utterly hopeless I would be without her. It's not just that she keeps me centered, or focused, or that she brings out the best in me, though she does indeed do all of those things. It's not just that she keeps me safe from harm as I wander, Magoo-like, oblivious to the world around me and lacking anything resembling common sense. Though she does that too. Really, there are a thousand-thousand ways she makes my world go 'round, but the thing I'm talking about...


COUNTERFACTUAL - THE SCHELDT CAMPAIGN (by Tom Russell)

COUNTERFACTUAL - THE SCHELDT CAMPAIGN (by Tom Russell)

When Mary and I started talking about the feasibility of publishing games ourselves, one of the prime topics of discussion was how to keep down the costs of the artwork, while still paying our artists a rate that we felt was equitable and fair for their labor and talent - a tricky balance, to be sure. I know when I was developing pack-in games for Yaah! magazine that I had to adhere to a pretty strict art budget. One artist completed his work for a few hundred bucks at a hefty discount as a favor to me and to Mark....