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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

First Look: The SGS English Guide Booklet

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:12 AM 14 comments
My jaw hit the floor when I saw what my graphic designer did.

An ancient secret manual?
Artistic talents are rare. In this aspect, my graphic designer is a true genius. I assure you the graphic work for the contents of this booklet is incredibly impressive. Of course, his services don't come cheap, but i'm willing to even make a loss for the creation of this booklet. Does not make sense to you? Let me explain.

You and I both know that my work on this blog will be copied, downloaded, collated on sheets of paper, etc. Not only am i not upset by this, I take that as a huge compliment. In order to really push this game to a bigger audience, I feel that this booklet that I am creating must fulfill the following criteria:

(1) Must be able to fit in the SGS game box.

(2) Must be legible and easy to read

(3) Must be as comprehensive as possible

(4) Must look so good it makes the reader feel proud to have it or show it around.

Criteria (1), (2) and (3) are easily achievable with some common sense, but criteria (4) has been frustrating me for the longest time. In a span of 3 months, I have approached over 15 different graphic designers, some cheap, some dubious, mostly not very satisfactory. To cut a long story short, I finally bit the bullet and went for the loss-making move.

Yes, at the price that YOU expect to pay for this booklet, I would still make a loss. But it is all worth it as long as it widens your circle of friends who are able to join you.

No, I'm not a very smart businessman. Maybe I should start a charity next.

This booklet will be ready for sale come end February. Do keep a close look out for it!

Till then, here's wishing all my Chinese readers a very Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year!




  1. Hey nice, couldn't wait for it. Happy CNY btw. No worries about making a lost, when more ppl join and buy from you, problem solved.

  2. When the book is finished and up for sale, make sure to put up a donations box ;)

  3. Book should only have all the official stuff right? I think that would be more appropriate and minimize updating needs.

  4. Will you still be translating the unofficial cards or are we going to have to buy this book to get them?

  5. @jz: Yes it will only have the official stuff.

    @anon: Yes i will be translating the unofficial cards on this site. It will not be in the booklet in fact.

  6. I see you are quite picky about design that you approached so many graphic designers before.
    I don't know if those designers are just not good enough, or maybe lacks in the passion of playing SanGuoSha.

    As fellow SanGuoSha player AND graphic designer,
    I'm so excited to see the guidebook.

  7. Hi Will, I wouldn't say i'm picky. More like some of the other designers promised the sky but didn't deliver. I was disappointed and i definitely do not want a subpar product.

    I'm looking forward to the booklet too. In your professional opinion, if the graphics aren't up to expectations, please do let me know? I would appreciate feedback from someone in the industry!

  8. I just realized sth when I saw the SGS meeting form. You and most of the community are Singaporean, aren't they?

    I was wondering why you put the guide in blogspot which cannot be accessed from China.
    I am staying in Beijing right now so I am having a hard time opening your blog.

    #So will the guidebook only available in Singapore or you plan to ship them to the whole world?

    #Is it possible to play SGS online outside of China? My friends in Singapore told me it took hours and not even finished loading the game

  9. Well putting this blog on Blogger has both been a curse and a blessing. On one hand, the biggest audience out there (the mainland Chinese) cannot access this. On the other hand, I would like to believe that whatever is here would have been ripped off and reproduced. (Yes i'm being a snob here. Do bear with me. I think the likelihood of this happening is actually rather low. I'm not the only one doing English translations anyway.)

    #So will the guidebook only available in Singapore or you plan to ship them to the whole world?
    >>ANS: I will ship this worldwide, of course.

    #Is it possible to play SGS online outside of China?
    >>ANS: Yes it is. I played it in Singapore once or twice. Sometimes it can load for hours, sometimes it takes seconds. I don't know why.

  10. Well, most chinese people play it on party, on board game cafe, but mostly play it online.
    You always got others who want to play with you, which is awesome.

    I was surprised that you only play the online version once-twice. I know how Singaporeans love to play board game, but I never expected there are so many people playing it there.

    I got most of the rules by playing online, how do you get all this information about those disambiguation and others?
    Do you know the creator team? They are alumnis of a Univ here in Beijing.
    You even gonna release a guidebook, which means you mastered most of the game.

  11. Did the 3rd party create the unofficial cards because YOKA is going to stop making new ones now?

  12. Will: The info on disambiguations are found through sources and discussion forums online. I do my best to take the opinions which are solid and supported by more than 1 resource. Sometimes though there is no agreement, and i highlight this as well on my posts.

    I would REALLY REALLY REALLY love to meet the creators of the game. Since i intend to make this game accessible to the english speaking world, i would love to speak with them and hopefully work something out together. :)

    Anon: I doubt it. My personal opinion is there are still so many characters in ROTK that were not put into the official game. Plus there are "smart ideas" for new cards that random people come up with. So they decided to release their own unofficial versions. As far as i know, there is still one more official expansion pack coming up this year (Hills Expansion 山包).

  13. Oh really? There's a Hills Expansion pack soon to be released as well? Roughly when do you have any idea?

  14. Sorry there is no update yet. But the existence of this expansion has been known since last year. :)


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