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Subject: Suggestions needed for action icons rss

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Michael Tan
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I'm making icons for player actions for my World War 2 game. Most of them were pretty straightforward but I'm struggling to come up with ideas for the BUILD, RESEARCH, and INVADE actions. For the BUILD (units) action, a factory would be great except it's already used for a factory unit. The only alternative I could think of was a crisscrossed wrench and hammer, but that's really a repair not build icon. For the RESEARCH (tech) action, most of the popular icons are too high tech. I need something that is era appropriate for the 1940s. An atom feels too specific for the a-bomb but might be my only option. I also considered a beaker, helix, or microscope but that's too medical - the icon should imply weapons research. I've also considered a cog or gear, but that is the settings icon on your phone... For the (sea) INVADE action, I tried to design an icon depicting soldiers or a landing craft on the beach but that's way too busy a scene for a small icon. They are for card text so size is 10x10 point. My next thought was a shovel on the beach but that more implies entrenching to me (though that's not an action in the game). For context, these are the ones I've come up with so far:

 


Feedback is also welcome on the existing icons...
 
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Sebastián Koziner
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They seems clear enough, except transfer/move and airlift/bomb than look to alike.

Transfer: Two arrows side by side in oposite direction, like this:

--->
<---


Build: A hammer
Invade: A target or aim
Reserach: An erlenmeyer flask (google it )
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B C Z
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BUILD is actually 'produce' - yes? Conveyor belt, box
RESEARCH: lightbulb, test tube/beaker/etc, clip board, scientist in a lab coat, E=mc^2
SEA/INVADE: one of those troop transport boats from D-Day, snorkel/mask, inflatable dingy

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Michael Tan
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SebasKO wrote:
They seems clear enough, except transfer/move and airlift/bomb than look to alike.

Transfer: Two arrows side by side in oposite direction, like this:

--->
<---


Build: A hammer
Invade: A target or aim
Reserach: An erlenmeyer flask (google it )

That's what I had initially for transfer but then I codified everything by color. Green means a non-combat action restricted to friendly areas. Red means a combat action generally in enemy areas. I figured since they are both forms of movement, they could share a symbol. Do you still think both shape and color should be different? I kinda see your point...

For the airlift, I did a box on a parachute but then realized that was going to be my paradrop icon. I suppose I could have a green parachute for airlift and a red one for paradrop, but that's just shifting the symbol confusion over to another action. There is a logic behind it though - you need a bomber unit to conduct either action.

Yes an erlenmeyer flask is not bad, and maybe front runner, but it still connotes biology and medical more than weapons research...
 
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J H
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I agree that transfer icon comment below.

Airlift could be side shot of airplane with arrow below it.

Build could be crane.

Invade could be crosshairs.

Research could be beaker, test tube, light bulb as stated before.
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Michael Tan
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byronczimmer wrote:
BUILD is actually 'produce' - yes? Conveyor belt, box
RESEARCH: lightbulb, test tube/beaker/etc, clip board, scientist in a lab coat, E=mc^2
SEA/INVADE: one of those troop transport boats from D-Day, snorkel/mask, inflatable dingy

Yes BUILD means produce units. Maybe e=mc^2. Yes for sea invade I think maybe just the landing ship and not the beach might work. Ooh, I like the inflatable raft idea too...
 
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J H
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m3tan wrote:
SebasKO wrote:
They seems clear enough, except transfer/move and airlift/bomb than look to alike.

Transfer: Two arrows side by side in oposite direction, like this:

--->
<---


Build: A hammer
Invade: A target or aim
Reserach: An erlenmeyer flask (google it )

That's what I had initially for transfer but then I codified everything by color. Green means a non-combat action restricted to friendly areas. Red means a combat action generally in enemy areas. I figured since they are both forms of movement, they could hare a symbol. Do you still think both shape and color should be different? I kinda see your point...

For the airlift, I did a box on a parachute but then realized that was the paradrop icon. I suppose I could have a green parachute for airlift and a red one for paradrop, but that's just shifting the symbol confusion over to another action. There is a logic behind it though - you need a bomber unit to conduct either action.

Yes an erlenmeyer flask is not bad, and maybe front runner, but it still connotes biology and medical more than weapons research...


How about the atomic symbol for research? It goes with your WWII theme.
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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m3tan wrote:
That's what I had initially for transfer but then I codified everything by color. Green means a non-combat action restricted to friendly areas. Red means a combat action generally in enemy areas.


Consider red-green colorblindness.
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Michael Tan
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robbbbbb wrote:
]Consider red-green colorblindness.

Sounds like an excuse to run red lights...

 
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Marina SC
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Small thing, but I'd move up the card in DRAFT so it looks like the hand is holding it instead of dropping it (as it is in DISCARD).
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C B
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You do realize that the most common color blindness is red/green, correct?
I would pick different colors.

Edit: ninja
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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If you're differentiating between airlift and supply drop:

For airlift use a green airplane

For supply drop a green parachute


For research use the atomic rings

For build use three meshed gears
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Derek H
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Airlift = crate in the foreground, with plane in the background
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Derek H
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m3tan wrote:
Yes an erlenmeyer flask is not bad, and maybe front runner, but it still connotes biology and medical more than weapons research...

How about a radiation symbol? The atom bomb was the "ultimate" product of weapons research in WWII.

EDIT: OK, so the second duplicate; oh well, at least it seems like an "obvious" symbol to use!
 
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Michael Tan
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This is what I came up with. I'm not entirely happy with the perspective on the Higgins landing craft but I can redraw it later...

 
 
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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I really like the research icon.

The others are good too... they get the point across.
 
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Tim Davidson
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Those are looking good.

The landing craft invade one is not as conceptually clear. I like the original Annex one, but you may or may not want to make them similar.


On thing to always be very conscious of when designing a set if icons: fill shape, fill amount, and composition. The long perspective on the ship fills quite differently than the others, and the original Annex one has lot of empty space. Often icons look better together of there is a consistent pattern to their fill amounts and composition. And when an icon has a different fill amount it intentionally means something which is quickly recognizable to the eye.

Another thing to always consider with icon design is line THICKNESS. (like the paradrop parachute.) Even when I'm careful, I tend to design icons larger than they will actually be used. I often end up going back and thickening all lines. In general, you want your icons to work as small as possible (or from far away as possible), so make lines as thick as they can be while still representing what they are. Also, keep thickness consistent throughout the set.
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Michael Tan
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TimST1E wrote:
Those are looking good.

The landing craft invade one is not as conceptually clear. I like the original Annex one, but you may or may not want to make them similar.


On thing to always be very conscious of when designing a set if icons: fill shape, fill amount, and composition. The long perspective on the ship fills quite differently than the others, and the original Annex one has lot of empty space. Often icons look better together of there is a consistent pattern to their fill amounts and composition. And when an icon has a different fill amount it intentionally means something which is quickly recognizable to the eye.

Another thing to always consider with icon design is line THICKNESS. (like the paradrop parachute.) Even when I'm careful, I tend to design icons larger than they will actually be used. I often end up going back and thickening all lines. In general, you want your icons to work as small as possible (or from far away as possible), so make lines as thick as they can be while still representing what they are. Also, keep thickness consistent throughout the set.


Great suggestions. I actually realized a lot of little issues after I posted them - as I created them individually and never saw them side by side until I posted them here. It's amazing how many tweaks you can make once you compare them. Anyway, these are the new icons. Definitely not publication ready, but enough for playtest kits. I still need a separate icon for airdrop and paradrop but I'm kinda burned out on Illustrator for the weekend...


 
 
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Bob West
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For what it's worth, your Annex icon says "Invasion" to me, because why would an annexation be on multiple fronts (as evidenced by the three arrows)? Have you considered two bordering country outlines with a plus sign on the border as you Annex icon?
 
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