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Working on new layouts before printing with TGC

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adversitygames
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NL_BMFront.png
NL_TGC_missionfrontdemo.png
NL_TGC_missionfrontdemo2.png

I've decided to do the next prototype for my game with The Game Crafter, this is going to be version 19 of the game and I'm hoping that version 20 will be the finished game!

So I'm rebuilding the cards a bit to fit TGC templates, adding bleed, going to full-colour, etc. I'm also trying to make them look a bit more visually appealing, since I'm going to be using this prototype for blind playtesting and trying to get reviewers to look at it.

Anyway I'm not primarily a graphic designer, so I'd appreciate any criticism of this design.

I Will Never Gr...
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Font choice +

I would strongly suggest a better font choice. This is the biggest issue I can find with this image.

Those fonts are very 80's looking and difficult to read. Make sure you check the kerning on the fonts too. Words like "Stealthy" look to read like "Steal thy" because of the spacing issue with the font.

The "Loadout" and "Payment" headings seem to be lost in space .. what do they belong to?

The color choices seem off for the theme. I don't know the game, but judging from the text, the theme looks to be dark and gritty, while the colors are bright and cheery.

richdurham
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Colourrsssss

Building on the previous comments -

There's a lot of theory that's worth learning regarding colour choices. Here's a quick lifehack guide on the basics of choosing colours..

If you just want to choose some colour schemes to use, you can use handy sites like Color Combinations and choose your favourite.

On fonts: You're printing this, and the font needs to be instantly readable. Here too it is worth a bit of theory to keep some principles in mind.

And if you would like to pair some fonts (though admittedly this is for classic print and less stylised for games) you can refer to here

Best of luck!

adversitygames
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I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
I would strongly suggest a better font choice. This is the biggest issue I can find with this image.

Those fonts are very 80's looking and difficult to read. Make sure you check the kerning on the fonts too. Words like "Stealthy" look to read like "Steal thy" because of the spacing issue with the font.

The "Loadout" and "Payment" headings seem to be lost in space .. what do they belong to?

The color choices seem off for the theme. I don't know the game, but judging from the text, the theme looks to be dark and gritty, while the colors are bright and cheery.

The two fonts I'm using here are Coda (the chunky one) and White Rabbit (the smaller one)

I'm quite attached to White Rabbit but yes I see the kerning issue, I'll see if I can do something about it or switch to a different font. I can ditch Coda for something else. It's helpful to have a fresh view on how legible it is.

I want roughly those hues of colour for the red and green (they add extra information about the flow of the card which I think is very helpful - these cards are pretty important to the game), but I could reduce the saturation to make it less bright.

Thanks for your input. I'll come back with a revised version soon.

adversitygames
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richdurham wrote:Building on

richdurham wrote:
Building on the previous comments -

There's a lot of theory that's worth learning regarding colour choices. Here's a quick [lifehack guide on the basics of choosing colours.](http://lifehacker.com/learn-the-basics-of-color-theory-to-know-what-look...).

If you just want to choose some colour schemes to use, you can use handy sites like [Color Combinations](http://www.colorcombos.com/) and choose your favourite.

On fonts: You're printing this, and the font needs to be instantly readable. Here too it is worth a bit of [theory to keep some principles in mind.](http://www.awaionline.com/2011/10/the-best-fonts-to-use-in-print-online-...)

And if you would like to pair some fonts (though admittedly this is for classic print and less stylised for games) [you can refer to here](http://www.fontbureau.com/ReadingEdge/)

Best of luck!

Thanks for the links, they have some useful information in.

I'm looking at new fonts (I'm considering ditching White Rabbit now as well as Coda):
Coda replacement (for headings)
Furore

White rabbit replacement (body text)
Orbitron

No more kerning issues and I think they're both pretty clear fonts.

adversitygames
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Ok I've moved around the

Ok I've moved around the layout a bit which might make things clearer. I've kept with White Rabbit for the fluff text only and switched everything else to what seem like more easily read fonts.

I also played around with some more effects.

(new file in OP)

adversitygames
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Added new image to the OP.

Added new image to the OP. Trial design for the next card type.

Corsaire
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I found the coloring a bit

I found the coloring a bit muddy and the kerning is problematic in places. One thing that can help letters pop is having contrasting borders or glow. What I've found is that truetype uses fill for the letter bodies in many graphic packages, if you give the font a fractional point border in a near white color and places a copied of the text above it, letters lift up aginst any background. Some software I can do it with glow, some with chisel or embossed, others shadow, depends on the software and the font.

Look at titles on books, many games, etc. and once you know to look for it, you'll see most of the best looking ones do that.

Also, for the red and green, you may want to fiddle with tone to give color blind people an option to play.

adversitygames
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Corsaire wrote:I found the

Corsaire wrote:
I found the coloring a bit muddy and the kerning is problematic in places. One thing that can help letters pop is having contrasting borders or glow. What I've found is that truetype uses fill for the letter bodies in many graphic packages, if you give the font a fractional point border in a near white color and places a copied of the text above it, letters lift up aginst any background. Some software I can do it with glow, some with chisel or embossed, others shadow, depends on the software and the font.

Look at titles on books, many games, etc. and once you know to look for it, you'll see most of the best looking ones do that.

Also, for the red and green, you may want to fiddle with tone to give color blind people an option to play.

Where did you spot kerning issues?
(I know there are slight issues with the fluff text font - used at the bottom of the gun card, but I thought the other two fonts were solid)

Good point about making the text pop better, I'll give it a shot.

Also good point about the tone to help colour-blind people out.

The red and green are a bit muddy-coloured because I desaturated them a bit, I thought it look a bit garish/colourful with the brighter colours. I deleted the original image from the OP, but I'll re-add it just for comparison's sake.

jonathanflike
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Hmmm

What programs are you using to create this? I could offer some visual suggestions, but not sure what you are using and what limitations there are graphically.

adversitygames
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I'm using GIMP.

I'm using GIMP.

jonathanflike
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oh okay

I haven't used that program myself, but it looks a little more limited than the Adobe Suite. Have you thought about getting Adobe CC? I'm not sure what you long term goals are, but it's worth the investment I feel, and sometimes for icons etc. it's much easier to work in vector rather than raster etc. Like the icons you have on the card might be cleaner as a vector rather than a raster image. They also give you access to a professional font library that'll give you a solid collection to choose from that won't have the kearning issues you're having. If you're unable to go that route with the GIMP program I would just try to clean up the muddy gradient, add some borders to visually separate items from one another, and if red is a must, I would go darker as a background and then have text and images sit on top of a light-colored placard or something. If you go the Adobe route just hit me up, I'd be willing to convert some of your raster to vector for ya.

adversitygames
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Long term: I want to focus on

Long term: I want to focus on the mechanics and commission the graphic design work (as part of a Kickstarter campaign). I'm just trying to make something that looks nice for a prototype - not something for a final game. I don't think investing in Adobe CC would suit this purpose.

Thanks for the feedback. Good point about putting text on a placard - I'd forgotten that it's hard to see things against a red background in particular.

gilamonster
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Not relevant now as it is

Not relevant now as it is just a prototype, but if you want to go the open-source route with vector-based graphics, look at inkscape. I personally found the learning-curve quite steep, having previously also used the gimp quite a bit (gimp is an open-source photoshop-like program, for those who don't know it); I find it easiest to think of a vector-based image as being made up of layer upon layer of coloured paper, which you can then add smooth gradients to, rather than painting or drawing directly, like in gimp. One of their great advantages is that they can be scaled up as much as you like without showing pixels - actual graphic designers will probably know of other advantages besides this.

adversitygames
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Yes I'd read about that after

Yes I'd read about that after jonathon mentioned vector graphics and a few sources suggested it for use with GIMP.

This discussion has shown me that I'm a bit stuck in a raster graphics rut, I think I'll give vector graphics a try on the next game I work on.

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