Memory: Das Brettspiel (Memory: The Board Game) features the familiar Memory gameplay, with players turning over two tiles on their turn and collecting those tiles if they match (or returning them face-down otherwise), but in this game collecting the most pairs does not guarantee victory!
The tiles are laid out on a game board that features a multicolored background — green for forests, blue for lakes, etc. — and after you collect tiles, you can choose to return tiles face-up to the board, if the background color of the tile matches the color of the spaces being covered. When you do this, you score 1-4 points based on how many tiles you return; these points are represented by tree segments, with the 4-point tree segment being taller than four 1-point segments.
When the last pair of tiles is removed from the board, players compare the height of their trees, and whoever has the tallest tree wins.
I was delighted when I was asked to work on this project. Working for Ravensburger in Germany is always a treat, as they are a great company with wonderful, high quality products.
Before I started my art directions were to create a game board with a landscape that was supposed to look as follows:
Memoria was an idyllic, peaceful island in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by steep cliffs and resembling Ireland. Memoria has 3 different landscapes: green forests and meadows, yellow farmland and grey mountains. Through the middle of the country a deep blue river meanders his way from mountains to the ocean.
People in Memoria live in little homesteads and small villages. They live of agriculture and livestock. Just like in Ireland, one can find old remnants of times past: stone circles, old ruins, broken down towers, magical castles, etc.
Everything has it’s place in Memoria, until a big storm hits the island. Now you can find fish in the mountains, meadow flowers in the forest, harps in the water ….The players help to clean Memoria up. First players need to find pairs of all animals, plants and things thrown around the landscape, next they need to place them back into their correct landscape.
Aside from creating the game board, the game also needed a set of 30 memory cards, as well as 4 trees, a spring, summer, autumn and a winter tree.
I was given the game board with differently colored squares (green for forests, blue for river, grey for mountains and brown for farm land).
My next step was to envision the island of Memoria. At first I found it a bit of a challenge dealing with the squares, as their shapes made me think I am looking directly from above. I needed to let go of that assumption as a straight down view would make for a fairly boring landscape. I started doing rough pencils sketches over the game board layout.
On this project I omitted sketching in pencil and went straight into sketching in color in Photoshop.
I found that by sketching in black and white only, I couldn’t get the feel for the landscapes with their different colors. To speed things up I opened the game board layout in Smith Micro’s Poser as a background image and placed different elements, like houses, castles, boats, stone henge, towers into the scene. I then imported these elements back into Photoshop. I also pulled a lot of images from the web as reference.
I usually work on three monitors, my Wacom Cintique, as well as a 30″ Dell and a 28″ Acer monitor. On the Dell monitor I always have a second view of my illustration open to be able to view it as a whole (while the Cintique will only show the portion I am working on).
Here is a view of the first rough color sketch with Poser elements placed into the landscapes and a bunch of my reference photos and illustrations.
A more refined and final color sketch before I went ahead and illustrated the actual game board.
The final, completed illustration for “Memory – The Board Game”
These are the four trees I then illustrated for the game.
And last not least the 30 images for the memory cards.
And my happy niece playing the game on her birthday!