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Subject: Alternative Ship Board Design rss

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Alvin Helms
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It may be a bit presumptuous, but I took the liberty of playing around a bit with the design of the ship board. This image is scaled to fit the actual board size exactly (130mm x 180mm).



Although they are not the only changes, the three most noticeable differences are:

1 - I made the background grid smaller, inverted the colors, and added a dot on every other intersection, just to make the texture more interesting.

2 - I changed the text to Orbitron Medium (instead of Light), and added titles to each ship section in Orbitron Black.

3 - I arranged the red bars that mark the locations of the Threat cards such that all of them fit entirely on the board (and each one still has a white space above and below it), and relocated the boxes for the Damage Track numbers such that they will be aligned with the numbers on the cards. (However, the main reason for the latter change is simply to keep the uppermost box from being too close to the top edge of the board.)

Opinions?
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Jonan Jello
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Really nice work, Alvin.
Weird, I perceive an almost wavering optical illusion with the dot among the background grid. Perhaps it's non-existent when printed on paper.
 
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Pauly Paul
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Where is the infirmary though?
 
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MadLad Designs
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venrondua wrote:
Where is the infirmary though?
I think the Infirmary and the Returned sections are going to be on another board.

I still like it though.
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Alvin Helms
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Thanks, Hex. Glad you like it.

And the floaty effect on those dots was semi-deliberate -- I noticed it too, and figured it would help convey the illusion that you're looking at a futuristic monitor screen that has some small amount of 3-dimensional depth to it.



And yes, MadLad, it's my understanding that there will be a separate board for the Infirmary. However, even if there weren't, I suppose you could just put injured Crew inside the Medical section of the ship board.
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Daniel Theuerkaufer
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Well done, I like it. I like the shadow of the ship that makes it fly over the background pattern.
 
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Tony Go
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Ooh lookin good! I'm interested in seeing how it prints out. I'm worried about too many shades of gray and how it looks from a distance.

Here is something I wrote about drop shadows and glowing effects in another thread:

Quote:
A glow would be an entirely new design attribute. There are no glowing (or gradient for that matter) graphics anywhere else in the game. An outline would be a better fit.

In the 1970s, many game companies used a 1 color print technique known today affectionately as "stippling". A gradient would be designed in this manner. It would work, but if the intention is to create a graphical delimiter between two symbols, it would end up blending the two together.
 
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Alvin Helms
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Horror Leader wrote:
I'm interested in seeing how it prints out. I'm worried about too many shades of gray and how it looks from a distance.
I forgot that .png files won't hold resolution settings -- they're always 72ppi, even though the .psd original was 240ppi -- so if you do print it, the scaling should be 30%.

It looks fairly good coming off my printer, except that it's an inkjet (and I only used regular copy paper to test), so of course the colors didn't come out as vibrant as they ought to be.

You may be right about the grey. In retrospect, I think that if the background grid is inverted (as here), then it might be better if the Hull damage boxes were a different color altogether. It also might be better to scale that grid back upward a bit -- because while it looks fine close up, from any real distance it just blurs into a featureless light grey.

I still like the gradient 'shadow' though. While it admittedly isn't something you would have seen in a CYOA book 30-40 years ago, neither are colors, really.

 
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Rob Koch
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What does this look like if you inverted the background and removed the drop shadow? The optical illusion of the background actually makes it very difficult to look at and very distracting to me. All I keep getting is flashes of little boxes between the grey squares: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_illusion
 
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Matt Simpson
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robkoch2112 wrote:
What does this look like if you inverted the background and removed the drop shadow? The optical illusion of the background actually makes it very difficult to look at and very distracting to me. All I keep getting is flashes of little boxes between the grey squares: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_illusion
I unfortunately have to agree
 
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Rob Koch
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I took Alvin tweaks and did two alternate designs... Hope you don't mind Tony!

Standard display with Alvin's inverted background:


Going all icon crazy ....


-Rob
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Stephanie Tennison
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Wow, you weren't kidding about Icon heavy. I found that one a little too busy and hard to understand. The inverted background looks good though.
 
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Rob Koch
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amethyst246 wrote:
Wow, you weren't kidding about Icon heavy. I found that one a little too busy and hard to understand. The inverted background looks good though.
It kind of isn't a minimalist graphic design, but I was trying to see what I could do to make it as language independent as possible. I added elements for the infirmary (cross), returned (rocket), any role (multi-die), and many others... it's not as clean as the text but the original design.

I might also try the background lighter and/or slightly tinted (blue?) ... just having fun with the design in general. Takes me back to the original microgame era (Metagaming Concepts / Dwarfstar games).
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Rob Koch
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Here is it with a lighter blue grid .. I think it needs to be more subtle though.

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Alvin Helms
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Okay, here's a different take on it.

Changes:

1 - Inverted the grid, but then made every other line 3pt (instead of 1pt), and enlarged the intersection 'dots' by 150%.

2 - Added text titles for HULL and SHIELDS, made background for SHIELDS icon 80% grey (like the HULL), and changed damage tracker boxes for both to color step-gradients.

3 - Reluctantly removed outer glow (shadow) from around ship outline. (But I must confess that I am not at all convinced this is an improvement.)

4 - Changed boxes for the three Threat Detected icons to match final Threat icon box, and added a horizontal line to better suggest the connection and progression.

Better? Or worse?



Oh, and I also darkened the background on the Tau Leader Games logo to 80% grey.
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aron craig
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I think it's an improvement overall, absolutely.

Don't like: Rainbow gradients on Hull & Shields. Think it goes into color overload by doing this. A single color gradient along each might work, but even that I think might be working against the '70s printing tech' aesthetic Tony's got going on.

Like: Pretty much everything else. Grid looks better (at least on screen anyway) scaled a bit and and removing the glow does keep it better with the style. The Threat track changes are good and help add clarity imho.
 
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Stephanie Tennison
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I agree that the rainbow is a little too much. Wouldn't mind a gradient of along the given colors for shield and hull though.

I miss the shadow of the ship; I really liked that detail.
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Alvin Helms
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Yeah, the "rainbow" sounded like a better idea in my head than it actually was. Plus, I don't think the text labels for the Hull and Shields really helped at all.

So how about this?



Changes:

1 - Gradients for Hull and Shields boxes, with an outline in the same color as the darkest end, plus a bar to connect each track as a whole.

2 - Some Sensor rings, just because.

3 - Thickest lines in background grid made thinner.

4 - The "shadoow" is back, but now as a fake halftone screen in the same color as the box for the Shields icon.

5 - There is a very thin grey dashed line inside the thicker black outline of the Hull.
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Stephanie Tennison
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Ooo. I like the green "shadow"
 
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Alvin Helms
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Or how about a totally different kind of background "grid?"

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Tony Go
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I like what you've done with the hull and shield track- connecting the squares. Is the spacing the same between each grade?

I like the shadow but as a space nerd I'm always hesitant to depict a shadow that would convey a source of light. A shadow as shown in your renders are appropriate when the lighting is directly above the ship. That causes it to look more like a jet skimming a surface rather than a ship lost in space.

With that said, the fake halftone type shadow looks awesome!

Somewhere along the line I made the mistake of mentioning that the player ship board was supposed to look like a computer screen or some analog. In reality, that descriptor was just a misnomer for "not an actual ship in space".

There's a level of abstraction in all tabletop games, but the important thing is to ensure that the level is consistent throughout the presentation. The more changes made to the ship boards, the more the the other components fall out of line. And it's an endless design circle of making ends meet. I'm not going anywhere with this statement, just pining at the auspice of design.



I'm glad Deep Space D-6 has been able to provide you with some fun design work! I'm paying attention to tall things said and done because it's clear the game has longer legs than I anticipated. I strive to meet the goals that DSD-6 has in inspired in gamers for future releases with larger scopes.
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Alvin Helms
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Horror Leader wrote:
I like what you've done with the hull and shield track- connecting the squares. Is the spacing the same between each grade?
The physical space between each box is indeed the same; I left the icon boxes unconnected to avoid giving the impression that they were part of the count. Note that the icon boxes at the top have solid color backgrounds; the gradients in each track begin (at their tops) with that same color, and are also framed by it (for added contrast with the background), and fade to roughly 50% of the CMYK values at the top.

Horror Leader wrote:
…the fake halftone type shadow looks awesome!
Once I went green with it, I was thinking of it less as a 'shadow' than as a representation of the shields… but even though I like it, I'm not completely convinced that it's necessary.

But yeah, of the various kinds of 'shadows' that I have tried, the fake halftone seems the most interesting — and the most appropriate, I think, given the premise of a 70s-80s design feel.

Horror Leader wrote:
Somewhere along the line I made the mistake of mentioning that the player ship board was supposed to look like a computer screen or some analog. In reality, that descriptor was just a misnomer for "not an actual ship in space".
That's pretty much how I took it, too. I only ran amok with the circuit board 'grid' because it occurred to me that my dotted grid kind of looked a bit like a circuit board anyway, and I wanted to see how a real one would look.

And I do think it's an interesting look, but probably too distracting.

Horror Leader wrote:
I'm glad Deep Space D-6 has been able to provide you with some fun design work!
If my dabbling provides you with any ideas you consider worth incorporating into your own designs, that would be great. If not, that's okay too — either way, it's still good practice for me, as I am preparing to launch a Kickstarter project of my own (a deck of playing cards, to be precise).

Following along with projects like Deep Space D-6 is not only inspirational, but educational. That I will also get a cool game to play is like icing on the cake.
 
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Tony Go
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If you need any help with your Kickstarter, I'd be more than happy to look it over and provide feedback. I still get messages about how I did some of the stuff I did back on the Hunters of Arcfall campaign.

I'm quite familiar with printing decks of cards too. Namely, the pain it is to work with USPCC...



 
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Rob Koch
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Tony,
Glad to hear you don't mind if others play around with your original designs! My fear is always offending the creators of artist works. It is my hope that you've taken what we've done as an homage to what you have done. Every single player has preferences and as long as you back DSD6 anyone can create their own personal styles.

Ultimately this is your baby and you need to produce what you prefer ... we're all in either way!

-Rob
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Alvin Helms
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Horror Leader wrote:
If you need any help with your Kickstarter, I'd be more than happy to look it over and provide feedback. …
I shall definitely take you up on the offer for feedback. I have shown some of my designs to various friends and family members and asked for their opinions, but none of them really understand anything about Graphic Design, so their opinions generally amount to "Yeah, I like that" or "No, I like that other one better" or the like, with no particular explanations for why, which isn't really all that helpful.

I'll put together a few examples and send them along for your inspection.

Horror Leader wrote:
I'm quite familiar with printing decks of cards too. Namely, the pain it is to work with USPCC...


Well, that sounds ominous, because USPCC is one of the three companies that I was considering to print my deck. (The other two are Legends and MPC.)

What special irritations would I be dealing with at USPCC?
 
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