Okay, so I don't know if this is the right place for this, but I have this card game pet peeve and a second edition of AGoT seems like a good excuse to start a discussion about it! So, here goes:
I hate the graphic layout that everyone uses for competitive card games. I have never played one where the card art wasn't crushed into a little box, taking up around a third of the card's total real estate, surrounded by a bunch of wasted negative space. And I don't get it. Well, I mean I get it: Magic cards have looked like that since the 80s and nobody wants to stray too far from the great grandfather of competitive card games. It's an instantly recognizable look and people are comfortable with it—and there's nothing inherently wrong with that.
But I think it's time that someone decided to do justice to their artists and rethink the way card layout is designed and implemented. And, given that FFG produces and commissions the highest quality card art in the industry, bar none, it seems like they're an ideal candidate to mix things up a bit.
Well, all right, they've already done that. Sort of. Take a look at Android: Netrunner's promo card layout:
And compare with the regular version:
The former centrally showcases some fantastic art by Wylie Beckert; the latter showcases a lot of empty space and some cool border design (and also half an illustration by Henning Ludvigsen). What is weird to me is that the regular card manages to look both cluttered and empty at the same time, at least when compared with the elegant, richly colored, open design of the promo card.
So what I would absolutely love to see is an FFG card game that does justice to the beautiful work created by their resident and freelance artists. It doesn't have to be exactly like the Netrunner promos—I do understand that certain issues arise when you have longer ability text. But card games (and gamers) shouldn't have to settle for slightly tweaking the Magic graphic design formula forever. It's time for something better.