SWOT Analysis

Following is the SWOT analysis for the completed contemporary graphic design project.

Strengths:

  • I produce strong visuals (illustrations) which enhance the look of the overall product.
  • My communication skills are very strong and therefore enable me to successfully communicate the product and what it is about.
  • My passion for video games enable me to understand quickly what is important, also because I can view the product from a consumer point of view, not just designer (e.g. would I buy this game? would it catch my eye?).
  • It is not an out of context produced small piece of work, but in context with my MPP.

Weaknesses:

  • As a personal weakness typography plays a more minor role and could use more improvement and detail.
  • Due to my inability to produce 3D imagery the video game packaging’s back side is not as catching. This is however not only due to the 2D imagery but also to the fact that it is but now only a concept and therefore game play screenshots do not exist.

Opportunities:

  • The knowledge gained from this project about game design will further my chances of eventually working in this field.
  • Through the research for this project I also learned about the marketing of such products, which again is useful knowledge for my further carrier.

Threats:

  • There is a large amount of competition when looking into selling/ producing  a video game.
  • The concept needs to be strong in order to stand out amongst many others.
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Reflective Summary

For this contemporary graphic design project I chose to develop the logo and the playstation3 cover sleeve for my in major practical project developed game concept.

As mentioned in previous posts on this blog during my research I came across two main types of cover designs: one was very visual imagery heavy with only a small logo, whilst the second one had a stronger focus on a stylised logo as the centre piece of the cover and hardly any real imagery. Therefore when developing my sketches I thought up designs for both versions. However I encountered one problem, which I had already suspected during my research. Most of the imagery on the covers where 3D painted images. As i do not have the skills nor resources to model a 3D character and retouch it I decided to experiment to see how 2D digital paintings could work. After drawing several images, scanning them in and beginning the digital paintings I had to realise that it was not going to work for my project. They did not look professional enough and the cover would not look realistically enough to be a real possibly existing game.

Therefore I turned to the logo I was also developing at this stage and decided to incorporate imagery into it. The initial one I had chosen to develop further had the potential to add imagery in it and therefore I went along with that. This worked very well and the result was very pleasing to me. Having now the basic logo I went on to stylise it by adding colour and textures relevant to the context of the game (in this case as the two dragons are coming from a different universe it was stars/ space). This then functioned very well as the cover of the ps3 sleeve.

When developing the whole project I learned much about the layouts of game packaging and how important a eye catching cover is. Furthermore it was a challenge for my typography skills, as I had to think about how the type functions within the whole sleeve and logo.

As future goals I see myself developing my skills even further and combining them with the marketing knowledge I will gain in my Master. Ideally I would see myself getting into the gaming industries marketing side, making use of all my knowledge and skills I have gained through my passion for games, but also my MPP and this project. Potentially I would also see these two projects in combination working as a pitch for a smaller game company, which might have the interest in developing it even further.

All in all I think this project is very successful in its outcome as well as what it has done for me personally in terms of new skills and further knowledge.

 

Final Logo and Packaging Design

After further experimentation with the logo I have completed a black and white, as well as I stylised version of the logo which is the centre piece of the packaging design. The inspiration for this piece was mainly the logo types of the Final Fantasy series and the cover layout of Skyrim. The dragons, which in the storyline are the source of conflict, engulf the world of our character. Whilst the good dragon shines bright, his evil twin appears as hells fire in the dark. As they come from a different universe this ‘view from space’ suits the cover very well. It relates perfect to the storyline and the core conflict. The font used for in the logo is Adobe Caslon Semibold.

finallogos Two versions of the logo.

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Sleeve for print.

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packaging

Realistic view of the logo applied.

Bookbinding: The Final Piece

This is the final printed and bound book. The cover of the book features the main heroine Miya and the title of the game (the same typeface as for the logo developed for contemporary graphic design). The image wraps around the whole book and is printed onto white book cloth. foto11Front Cover.

When initially opening the book either side the endpapers are revealed which show the world map. The map is placed as end papers to make it east for the reader to find it when reading the storyline and needing to check a location. There is also a inbound book mark as the book contains a story with chapters which one might want to mark.

 foto10End Paper with World Map.

The first page is an almost transparent piece of paper with the name of the author, art book and a dedication. Through it is the emblem most of the characters have within their clothing. It is the symbol of the worlds religion, which is based on the prophecy of a white dragon and a hero. As the dragon in the legend is said to be lying in the middle of the lake on the forest nation the emblem has the shape of the lake.

foto9Transparent first page with emblem page beneath.

Following are two examples of what the inside of the book looks like. The spreads differ from simple text, text combined with imagery and alone standing images.

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First spread for Marek of the Sand.



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Final Chapter’s first spread.

foto7Back of the book.

Development: Book Layout and Print

I have at this stage completed all the parts (sketches, colour schemes, digital paintings, etc.) and have combined it in inDesign to a book with 35 pages total. The layout design is very simple as the focus is meant to lye on the imagery. The storyline runs throughout the book introducing the characters as it goes along. Furthermore every character has a short description revealing more about their background story. The map of the world the story is set within will be the end papers of the final book.

The paper used for print is Epson Double-Sided matte paper with a thickness  of 178 g/m². I used matte paper as I did not want reflections of light to interfere with the imagery and also as it makes to colours very bold and vibrant. Furthermore as there is also text involved with the book is is much easier to read. Printing was done with a Canon Ink Jet printer.

Development: Final Map

Following is the map. Whereas before it had only been a sketch I have now physically made the it. For it to have an old and used look I dyed roughly grained paper with coffee, then ripped the edges and burnt them with a lighter. I then left it to dry and afterwards sketched the layout onto the paper with a soft pencil.

The function of the map will be to help the reader understand the story and characters better along their journey, as it is important for the reader to know where the story currently takes place. To ensure this the map will be the front and back paper within the book so no unnecessary flicking through the pages to find it occurs.

 

Map_NEWScan of the map.

Development: ‘Dragon Spirits’

For the two mystical spirits that play the role of a greater good and evil coming from a different universe I have chosen to display them as dragons in the world of our characters. Using the ‘monster mood board’ I published early on in this project’s blog and other imagery of dragons which appealed to the ideas in my head I came up with the following two:

Ulthane ‘The Good Spirit’

Good_SketchThese creatures are ancient being from another universe. Ulthane is the ‘good’ of both (if we put things into good and evil categories for explanation sake). However in his attempt to defeat the evil spirit he used almost all his powers and is therefore very weak when out heroes find him. His appearance was meant to reflect this attributes. T

he form of a dragon worked perfectly as they are not only ancient but also considered mythical creatures. They are large and of great strength and according to most stories almost immortal. Therefore the dragons imagery works very well. Secondly to clearly distinguish him from his evil twin I used as the first main thing that he is white, as standing for the light. His wings are angelic-like made of feathers rather than skin and he has long hair growing along his neck. I portrayed him in a resting position and is weak when encountered within the storyline.

His name was inspired by a character from the game Darksiders. The name barer belongs to the ‘old ones’ meaning he is older than angels, demons and gods.

Asphixious – ‘The ancient evil’

Evil_SketchAsphixous is based on the same dragon imagery as Ulthane with the difference that he is even larger, stronger (more muscular) and has 4 eyes. Furthermore his teeth are far more prominent and his wings remind of the traditional dragon imagery: very boney and with holes in the fine skin of the wings. Rather than many fine scales he has big plates protecting him similar to the exoskeleton of an insect. His stance portrays how powerful he is and the strength this evil creature has.

As for his name it is taken from a monster from the game Warmachine. This character also called ‘The Hellbringer’ , therefore the choice of name.

Adding more Colour.

As mentioned previously after completing the sketches and developing the appearance I add colour by firstly experimenting with sketches done by Copic Sketch markers. Then I move on to creating the computer based colour charts. Following are the the marker drawing for both recently developed characters and an example of their colour charts.

foto4Princess Daphne’s copic marker drawing.

foto5Klaus’s copic marker drawing.

Screen Shot

Head colour schemes.

Character Development: ‘The Knight Klaus’

The Knight Klaus is an old friend of our heroine Miya’s father. He belongs the Princess Daphne’s rebels. Although he is from the sky nation like Miya he was contracted by the princess to help her undercover as a mountain nation soldier. When Miya gets caught this proves helpful as he is able to flee with her.

This character is meant to be a fatherly figure. He is very calm and feels strongly for the main character and wants to protect her at all cost. His costume is simple, mostly metal armour and leather.

foto22foto23This our the first sketches of Klaus’s armour.

foto14Klaus’s facial features are those of a middle-aged, friendly man. Time has taken its toll on his face in form of scares and wrinkles. He has a beard and messy upright standing hair.

foto2Klaus’s final armour design. Simple metal protection, leather belts,boots and straps.

Development and Progress: Logo and Cover Art

During the past weeks i have experimented with the cover as well as the logo, which I had scanned in and redrawn on Photoshop.

After having done several images for the cover, yet aborting them half way I have decided to make the a stylised version of the logo my cover art. I began with playing around with the type, however have not reached a final piece yet to begin with the stylisation.

foto

These are the cover design sketches I made and then experimented with. As a result I came to the conclusion that as I had suspected 2D imagery simply does not suit a game cover design in my opinion. At least not for my specific project.

trialanderror3

First test sketch and digital painting.


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Second sketch and digital painting for cover attempt.

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Third attempt in form of a photo manipulation of hand drawn images from art book.

experimentationAfter deciding to use the logo as cover art, such as seen in some of the examples of game covers in my research, I began experimenting with the type of the logo.