Author Topic: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup  (Read 2338 times)

Malagar

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Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« on: October 31, 2011, 04:10:13 PM »
I design templates of fictive franchise based games whenever i got spare time.

this is a mockup from a fictive Aliens Vs. Predator CCG. Its work in progress,
and please only judge the design as there are no rules/cards to support this
template. Feedback appreciated.

* I still work on blending the background colors of the text and number boxes better.


Malagar

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011, 11:49:16 AM »
I had enough time today to add all the finishing touches to the template.

* Blended all the colors and agreed on blueish-purple color for alien cards
* Added a texture to the background of the card
* removed the stripes from the left of the card (they where obsolete)
* Updated both the textbox font as well as the card title font
* updated the collectors information and rarity (the purple dots on the lower right)
* added labels to the attributes
* added a border to the picture and darkened the borders a bit



Feedback still appreciated!

Cyrus

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2011, 07:01:07 PM »
Looks really good, I wish the actual AvP game looked near this good

INWO911

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 02:46:25 AM »
Holy cow! that looks amazing!

Trevor

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2011, 03:33:52 PM »
Looks pretty good. I suggest changing the card text box font. Times would be easier to read. I also suggest making the text box lighter in color, and making the text in black.

Ascent

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2011, 04:00:28 PM »
I think it looks fine as is, though I might choose a more unique and stylish sans-serif font for the text box and type line. (SWTCG uses Dax, one of the most beautiful sans-serif fonts around.)

People, almost always near-sighted people (typically older), often suggest Times, but it always looks terrible when applied. It's because Times isn't made for graphic presentations like this. The best looking cards always use sans-serif fonts. But if you want a serif font, go with Advisor SSI or BenjaminSerif (Benjamin Franklin). Avoid fonts that have skinny bars or ankles, small holes and abrupt serifs like Roman or Times New Roman. There's really not a lot of fonts that can pull it off. The fact is, skinny ankles, small holes and serifs get lost on graphic backgrounds and really only look good on plain white paper. Even on plain white paper they're not that spectacular.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 04:20:09 PM by Ascent »

Trevor

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 12:15:20 AM »
Times was devised to fit the most characters in the space, while maintaining the best readability. As it's name suggests, it was developed for newspapers, where those issues are the most important. Those same qualities make it ideal for a text box.

Funky fonts can be interesting looking, but utility is far more important for the text box.



I also think the non-rectangular text box is more trouble than it's worth. I suggest making it more rectangular (talking about the right side), and incorporate those circles in a more compact vertical way.

I suggest having a symbol for the aliens, a symbol for the predators, and a symbol for the humans faction. Maybe put it at the top left or top right. Also, have a symbol for card type.
Instead of the stats using a letter, maybe have symbols. Make it simple and iconic and you can even use it in card text boxes instead of using the stat name.

Seems kind of like a starcraft theme. I think starcraft borrowed the idea if the humans VS the Zerg from Aliens.

A common mistake CCG template designers make is to design things at a high resolution. With large dimensions, there is a tendency to not allot enough space for text that it needs to be readable. That's why I suggest all template designers try shrinking things down to a width of around 200 pixels and see if things still look to be in the correct proportions and are still readable.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 12:52:58 AM by Trevor »

Ascent

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 06:55:54 AM »
Dax isn't a funky font, nor did I encourage funky fonts. It's quite plain and very legible.

Malagar, card development has two separate aspects. One working out the text (Function), and one working out the card images (Form). The form of the card only needs to give way to function as far as it is absolutely necessary. Thus, the graphics only need to make sure you have enough room on a card to provide most effects and numbers without shrinking them. What matters most to the graphics is form, not function. The card as you have designed it looks great from both a form and function perspective. You have room for all the stats and text and that alone is what matters. Squares, circles, etc. mean nothing as long as there is plenty of room for text and the text doesn't have to dodge random graphics. Design the card as looks good to your eye.

If you want dark, then go with dark. The only thing you need to worry about is making sure that you can see the white text on the dark background. Thus, you want to reduce contrast on the background. Currently you have a fairly high contrast on the background behind the text, causing parts of the text to be hard to read. So I suggest reducing the contrast of the text box. That's the real trick of Trevor's card there. It has reduced contrast, allowing you to see the text better. The text is also presented in the Strong text format, which makes it more clear. What's important is that you're able to read the font clearly. You don't need a white background for the text. You only need low contrast in the background and high contrast between the text and the background.

The symbols idea is interesting, but in playing games with symbols, I've found the symbols often hard to distinguish. Use your discretion in that matter. Just make sure if you use them that they are easily identifiable at a glance within the text line for someone without 20/20 vision. Some card games using them can take a couple of seconds to discern the symbol and cause eye strain.

I'm a graphic designer by trade and a card graphics designer (SWTCG) by hobby for the last 5 years. I'm keenly interested in how cards are designed graphically and have years of training to go from. Trust me, your cards look great. Just reduce the contrast of the background in the text box and you'll do fine.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 07:58:14 AM by Ascent »

Trevor

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 07:23:18 AM »
When you come up with symbols, its nice to have them able to work as symbols.

Take a look at this card:


The symbol at the top of the card identifies it as the sauron faction. This symbol is also in the text box, but in a small black icon version.

Ascent

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 07:37:37 AM »
By the way, reducing the contrast on the background may cause the lighter and darker areas to gray out a little. To combat this, use a color layer with the color of the mid-tone over the text box.

Ascent

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 07:54:17 AM »
I did a quick patch job to demonstrate what I'm talking about with the background.



As you can see, the texture is still visible, and the color is still there, and now the text is easier to read with a low contrast background and Strong formatting on the font.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 08:21:01 AM by Ascent »

Malagar

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 10:27:54 AM »
Hey,
thank you all for the informative feedback, i wasnt at the computer for a while.

1. Fonts = the fonts are currently placeholders while i am searching through freely available fonts for something better. @Ascent: I will surely check the Dax font out. Main apsect is readability.

2. Icons = @Trevor, yes i will add icons for sure. Im trying to find good aliens icons right now, your LOTR card is a perfect example. yes for icons.

3. Background = this is the only point where i disagree. As the design of the alien faction card is right now, in my oppinion a almost black background with white font looks better than vice-versa. but the patch Ascent did is quite interesing, especially the light shadow in the text increases readability a lot.

sorry for the short answer, im quite busy at work at the moment - i post another mockup as soon as the template was updated. I also have plenty of templates for other game ideas, i will post more in the future (as said in my first post: designing templates is some kind of hobby to me).

@Ascent / @Trevor thanks for honest and indepth feedback to my initial post!

PS: @Ascent the card layout of SWTCG was one of my sources of inspiration

Trevor

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 11:28:00 AM »
The font for the card title is way too big. What happens if you have a card name that needs to be twice as long? You'd have to change the font size or it wouldn't fit.

Vanilla cards, cards with no text in their text box, are a very important aspect of CCG design. It's very smart to have a certain number of them in your game. If you design your template cleverly, you can omit the entire text box in that case, allowing for a huge awesome piece of art. Your template is almost ready for it now.

I suggest you move the collector and copyright info to the bottom of the card, and make a little horizontal  area for it that will also act as a border. Take a look at how they did it on that lots card. You barely notice it, and that's exactly what you want for that info. It should be on the card, be only noticeable if you're looking for it.

Ascent

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2011, 04:03:54 AM »
I agree with the need for the size of the title font to be reduced.

I have heard the argument regarding vanilla cards before, but I did a survey of vanilla cards and found that they actually make up a very small percentage of cards in most games, usually starting with little more than a handful for the first set and then dwindling down to nothing or 1 or 2 by the fourth set, meaning all the remaining sets are effects heavy. The only thing vanilla units are ever good for are bookmarks and coasters. Now, if a game thrives on command cards providing effects to vanilla cards, that's a different story. Other games, on the other hand, provide no vanilla cards and are just fine. So it really depends on the mechanics of the game. But most games rely very little, if at all, on vanilla cards.

Of course, it might also depend on your definition of "vanilla". If you mean cards with just 1 or 2 common keyword effects, then yes, they should make up at least a fifth of the cards in pretty much any game. Text-heavy cards should make up less than a fifth of the cards and be reserved for really important cards to various themes. The rest should be everything in between, usually involving unique effects designed to further various themes and strategies.

I believe the vanilla argument comes from a misreading of the articles by Mark Rosewater that mention that the variance between weak and strong cards is essential. Though the point is valid, it is unnecessary to state because there's no way those variances can't exist in a card game possessing themes. He actually uses these variances to justify a card company's corrupt tactic of tossing in crappy under-developed cards so that people have to buy more cards to get the ones they want. His words regarding such very openly deny it, but in fact end up adroitly acknowledging the fact between the lines. He has been busted for it by the MtG fans more than once. One time he even tried to say that if a player doesn't recognize the latent potential of these cards, they're stupid. You will never hear Richard Garfield make such a claim.

However, that said, Malagar has clearly stated that he's not looking for game advice. As he said at least twice already, he specializes in designing templates, meaning the card graphics, not game design.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 04:33:06 AM by Ascent »

Trevor

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Re: Aliens Vs. Predator Card Mockup
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2011, 04:39:01 AM »
However, that said, Malagar has clearly stated that he's not looking for game advice. As he said at least twice already, he specializes in designing templates, meaning the card graphics, not game design.
Template design and game design are 2 sides of the same coin. They both affect each other and need to be designed at the same time... unless he just wants aesthetic suggestions like "use a different background texture or font".

Vanilla cards can be very powerful. Savannah Lions and Isamaru were commonly used when they were standard legal in magic. But most cards are what's referred to as "french vanilla", i.e., a card with no other abilities except for common keyworded abilities. And just because true vanilla creatures may not be incredibly common, or among the most powerful cards, they form the backbone of a lot of decks, especially while drafting. While there may not be so many different true vanilla cards, they are a lot more frequently encounter than those statistics would suggest because they tend to be printed at common rarity.

There are also only so many permutations of stats and costs. But french vanilla cards provide a ton of complexity in gameplay. For example, in magic, a 1/1 creature with both deathtouch and first strike is very powerful and there is a lot of strategy involved with those abilities. Really, keyworded abilities are the same as cards with proper game text boxes, but they are frequent enough to warrant keywording. What abilities you decide to keyword makes a huge impact on your entire CCG.

And even with french vanilla cards, I would like a template that allows for the omitted game text box with symbols for the keyword ability making a text box not necessary. Consider how VS uses symbols for common keyworded abilities.

If this Superman card didn't have that Cosmic game text ability, you could have omitted the game text area and had a huge cool piece of art, while still having the french vanilla symbols (flight and range in this case).
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 04:47:05 AM by Trevor »