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Do You Think Exalted 3rd Edition Can Compete With The Visual Design Of Other Systems?

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  • Do You Think Exalted 3rd Edition Can Compete With The Visual Design Of Other Systems?

    Something that is a major selling point for me in a RPG rule book is the overall visual design of the book. The way in which the pages are laid out, the quality of the printing and paper, and the consistency of the art, all play important roles in defining the quality of a book's visual design.

    Do you think Onyx Path can compete with other publishers like Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, and Fantasy Flight, to create a line of books that has the same levels of consistency and quality?

    Another RPG I backed on kickstarter was Numenera by Monte Cook, and though the books they have produced so far have been quite nice, I still fell like there is one issue that pops up every once in the while and makes me take notice. Much of the art in the Numenera core book has a very similar style, a science fiction/fantasy apocalypse, but every once in a while there is a piece of art whose quality stands out quite jarringly as being lacking. This problem is even worse in the Numenera beastiary which seems to feature more artists, some of which seem to be working in a similar quality to what is expected from the major publishers I listed above, while others seem frankly amateur in comparison. The same thing could be said of some of the 2e Exalted books as well with the quality of the art varying wildly through the course of the book.

    Are there any other pitfalls you hope Onyx Path avoids in the visual design of their books?

    I don't know if it is fair to compare Onyx Path to these other publisher either. There is no doubt that they are a very major player in the world of RPGs, but I feel as if Onyx Path has always cultivated a image of the upstart underdog, doing things that the big publishers would never take a chance on. It might not even be too big a stretch to say that this underdog of the people image can even been seen in the visual design direction of their books.

  • #2
    Strawmaiden Janest says "hi" and "don't worry"

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    • #3
      Honestly, visual design is the very last thing about the book, or the line for that matter, that concerns me.

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      • #4
        I had forgotten about Strawmaiden Janest.
        Not quite in the way that I didn't remember her at all, more in the way that she had left the front of my mind.
        Now that you have reminded me, the goosebumps are back

        Of course, the fiction and the picture were put together to showcase the Exigents and make everybody take note and be excited, but it is also such a good story for a young Solar...



        That said, I can see the point of turkeygiant: with the advent of POD and PDF products, it has become possible for a lot of amateur content to get out there.
        Amateur isn't bad necessarily, but they usually have a lot less means to produce their books, and art is the first thing to suffer - not everybody can afford Wayne Reynolds to draw guys fighting weird monsters for you.



        However, I think we're reasonably safe here.
        First of all, the art we've seen up to now is amazing - I also remember a painting of Memnon doing deals whilst a military parade is marching on, and the map is really beautiful.
        I know that this doesn't address your specific concerns, which are about consistency rather than the top level of the quality spectrum, but other indicators such as the overall level of the comic book art (which I found to be excellent) show me that Onyx Path is committed to putting out not only a mechanically and mythologically exciting product, but also a beautiful object.

        Have you had a look at the WW20 book? I found it to be very very pretty indeed, with great care brought to setting up the visual universe, as well as giving a nod to "historical" illustrators that have made the "imaginary landscape" of the game what it is today.

        So, in conclusion: my optimism isn't even cautious - more like unbriddled

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        • #5
          There were a handful of rather low quality pictures in the 2nd edition core book (page 170 I'm looking at you). By and large though the artwork was good to great in that book. I expect 3rd edition will have good to great artwork as well.

          As the gameline went on though, the artwork in 2nd edition generally declined as well. Of course, White Wolf started having more and more financial issues as the gameline went on, so it's not terribly surprising. Hopefully the artwork will be able to stay a bit higher in 3rd edition.

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          • #6
            The first thought that springs to mind is that the pictures of daiklaives in the 2e core when statting them up are some of the ugliest pictures of daiklaives that comes up when searching on google for daiklaives. But with the art they have released so far for 3e I have no worries. That picture of mask of winters was also really badass




            Also, look at the exalted fan collection that we are making.

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            • #7
              In general, the artwork I've seen for 3E to date has been as good if not better than what I've seen in the Paizo and Fantasy Flight books I've looked at. That said, I've not seen a Wizards' book in a really long time, so I can't compare on that count.

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              • #8
                Exalted 2E has historically been kind of up and down, but it was never as wild as, say, Nobilis 3E. Assuming that the art pieces we've seen so far are indicative of the overall quality of 3E's artwork, I don't think we've got much to worry about.

                I hope we'll see more landscapes in this edition. I like landscapes. I also like dynamic images of people fighting with essence flying all over the place, but I don't know how often it would be appropriate to use those.


                On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                  Exalted 2E has historically been kind of up and down, but it was never as wild as, say, Nobilis 3E. Assuming that the art pieces we've seen so far are indicative of the overall quality of 3E's artwork, I don't think we've got much to worry about.

                  I hope we'll see more landscapes in this edition. I like landscapes. I also like dynamic images of people fighting with essence flying all over the place, but I don't know how often it would be appropriate to use those.
                  I think we're good on the landscapes front, as the most striking piece from 3E I've seen so far is that have an Imperial Army's march through a lovingly-detailed city.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aranis View Post
                    I think we're good on the landscapes front, as the most striking piece from 3E I've seen so far is that have an Imperial Army's march through a lovingly-detailed city.
                    I've listened to enough complaining visual artists to know that detailed landscape/environment pictures are some of the most difficult and time-consuming to produce, especially if you want to do a good job depicting wind, water, and/or shadow. Consequently, these kinds of works are rarer than, say, portraits, and they're usually more expensive to commission.

                    That we have some good-looking landscapes already is encouraging, but that doesn't mean there will definitely be many of them.


                    On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                    Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I demand more action and confrontation shot for Third Edition !



                      The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                        I've listened to enough complaining visual artists to know that detailed landscape/environment pictures are some of the most difficult and time-consuming to produce, especially if you want to do a good job depicting wind, water, and/or shadow. Consequently, these kinds of works are rarer than, say, portraits, and they're usually more expensive to commission.

                        That we have some good-looking landscapes already is encouraging, but that doesn't mean there will definitely be many of them.
                        That's fair! That's one thing that we can't know until we see the core.

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                        • #13
                          Is it me or is the Strawmaiden the least interesting thing in her own artwork? Her weapon looks dumb (to me, if i have to state it's my opinion explicitly) as well and just really awkward to use with that deep a curve on the blade. The funky Fair Folk monsters in the background however look way better.

                          It's just...people go on about the Strawmaiden like it's some kind of truly awesome badass thing while I found the fiction ok, alright, not bad, other noncomittal phrases and her art much the same, bits are good, others really...uninteresting. Basically pepole are telling me 'look how awesme 3e will look, this is the best art to represent just how damned cool it will be!' and the stuff they show me makes me go...'eh, s'alright I guess'.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scutarii View Post
                            Is it me or is the Strawmaiden the least interesting thing in her own artwork? Her weapon looks dumb (to me, if i have to state it's my opinion explicitly) as well and just really awkward to use with that deep a curve on the blade. The funky Fair Folk monsters in the background however look way better.
                            Well, I agree, at least. I mean, I'd call the piece technically proficient, no doubt, but beyond that I find it boring. It's pretty much just the "pre-fight staredown" and generally makes me think that Janest and the Raksha are going to spend the next eight episodes grunting and monologuing at each other, and the actual fight will be about four seconds.

                            I likewise found the fiction uninspired, but in that case it may be because my position on Exigients, Gerrymander Exalts and the Cousin Oliver Exalts has always been "Yeah, yeah, let's talk about them after the real Exalts are provably not shit."


                            Have you ever read a Coik post before, man? lol
                            -Holden

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scutarii View Post
                              Is it me or is the Strawmaiden the least interesting thing in her own artwork? Her weapon looks dumb (to me, if i have to state it's my opinion explicitly) as well and just really awkward to use with that deep a curve on the blade. The funky Fair Folk monsters in the background however look way better. It's just...people go on about the Strawmaiden like it's some kind of truly awesome badass thing while I found the fiction ok, alright, not bad, other noncomittal phrases and her art much the same, bits are good, others really...uninteresting. Basically pepole are telling me 'look how awesme 3e will look, this is the best art to represent just how damned cool it will be!' and the stuff they show me makes me go...'eh, s'alright I guess'.
                              Even if the Janest picture isnt the most interesting I would still be happy if it was used as a baseline for quality and polish. It seems like the sort of quality commisioned piece I would exspect from any of the other big publishers.

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