I finally got myself in gear and made an agreement to get art made for Camp Nightmare. The artist is a friend of mine Nathan Nun who stumbled into it somewhat randomly - he played the game with me once and then was excited to work on the project. Serendipity, that, especially because after seeing the first drafts of the cards he is designing for me I am really excited. I was somewhat concerned about what this whole thing would cost as when I consulted another friend about what I would expect to pay he gave me a range of $1,000 to $250,000. That is ... quite a range, and the top end is not exactly doable.
Heck, anything much above the absolute minimum is a bit worrisome!
At any rate, the aesthetic I was going for was not perfectly realistic artwork, but rather a bit of a cartoony, silly feel to go along with the flavour text and theme that is undeniably goofy. Nathan described his idea for the Huge Backpack card, which was a small man struggling under the weight of a backpack three times his size. That was exactly the thing I was imagining when I thought about that card so it sure seemed like we were on the same wavelength. The first two samples Nathan sent to me are on the left side here.
I am really pleased with the results. The pictures are evocative, the cards are organized the way my brain had imagined they would be, and they look appealing. The look isn't exactly the way I would have built it, but that is why I got someone who knows about art and design to build it! I know that there are a million things about this that I don't know and trying to learn it all is silly when there are other people that already understand it and can do it in a tenth of the time. Moreover, I would almost certainly end up just getting irritated at the process and stop rather than spend the outrageous amount of time it would take to get it right. This just in, specialization is fantastic.
The current theory is to have symbols on the Disaster cards to designate things like weather or critters. Those symbols will appear where the ! symbol does on the lower card. The Gear cards on the other hand get their own little text box to tell people how they work, like whether they are Equipment that sits in play or Single Use Items that are discarded right away.
Now I really have to get specifics from production companies so I make sure I don't waste time building pieces that aren't going to be necessary or wasting time on design that isn't quite right. Designing a 20x20 board isn't much use if I end up having to order the board in a 24x16 size after all.