So I was thinking.
The dice in Pyramid Arcade are almost universally attractive little objects with, in my opinion, one slightly disappointing member of the team - the Treehouse die.
It's not that it's ugly, exactly, it's just... words on a box. I am no graphic designer, and certainly not one with any measurable talent, but I thought I might take a shot at making a graphological alternative. I set to work with my ballpoint pen and my drafting cards across the course of the day and came up with the following:
Now, I know there are some other games that use the die, like Looney Ludo/Martian Coasters. I would probably "solve" this by also having the words on the face. Chunkier dice are my preference anyway, so increasing the face size to accomodate that extra detailing would not bother me in the least. I'm sure there are others that feel differently, though! Alternatively/additionally, another "skin" could be devised to account for Martian Coasters. Are there any more published or really popular games that use the THoD?
Let me know if you have any comments, criticisms or corrections. I'm going to work on converting it to some kind of nice, clean vector image. Maybe we'll make the black sheep a purdy new jacket to wear!
I really like your ideas. I probably wouldn't have the words on the new dice though, and would just swap them out when need be. In regards to Martian Coasters/Looney Ludo dice, you could probably design some extra dice for that as well which would be really cool. Having a number 7 instead of TIP maybe. Not sure what you would do for DIG though.
Thank you! I do think they came out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself.
You're probably right that a separate style for Coasters would be more appealing than adding the words to the current design. "Dig" does present a challenge in that way, though, and may require colored icons to solve satisfactorily. I'll think on it and see what I can come up with! I love the idea of just having a giant 7 instead of "Tip" with no other numbers on the die at all, and I think it'd have to go opposite the wild symbol for the aesthetics.
I think all the arrows would be kind of confusing on a small dice face. And the words surprisingly lend themselves well to be used in other games. A game I'm designing actually uses them for events and more graphics would just muddle that up.
Sure you need a chart in most games that use it to remember what the words actually means But I think it gives a bit a theme to even an otherwise abstract game like treehouse. I'm not just repositioning a piece, It's digging underground!
For sure - I'm not really proposing a replacement so much as an alternative. Part of the fun of the Icehouse system is having the pieces to play a huge number of different games, but that's not to say more specialised components can't have their place.
And yeah, I agree that the design could be too fine for a small die. I'd prefer a chunky one myself. At least "Seasons"-size, if not bigger!
I like the reticule idea for "Aim"! I'd be concerned that the "Hop" and "Dig" were too similar to be easily discernable at table-distance, but I'm sure my design suffers the same limitation.
I guess I'm just ideologically tied to the idea of the faces having pyramids physically represented on them. Dubious reasoning, I know =P
Maybe you could make arrows that use pyramids for the points?
It's smart though, some of the moves can be a little unclear, if it could be clarified on the dice itself it would be cool.
For Treehouse, I like the visual reminder of which move can be done from which position. It's probably not a problem for players who are more familiar with the game, but extra help for newbies like me is always appreciated!
You forgot Timelock and Black Ice. I play Martian Coasters, Black Ice, and Timelock the most (especially Timelock). I almost never play Treehouse, and I'm not sure how well the graphical dice would lend themselves to those other games.
Obviously we must make dice for every game!
I am tempted...
In Arcade, Black Ice actually uses the graphical "Lightning" dice, funnily enough. Are you familiar with any other games that use the THoD? I'd be interested to see how else it's put to use.
I'll look into Timelock.
You're gonna be busy! ;)