Poll: item and weapon icons

Here's the place to talk about the features you would like to see in a sequel to KotC.

How important is it for you that every item and weapon be represented by a graphic icon in a CRPG?

Essential: It's so important, I won't buy a game that hasn't got icons.
0
No votes
Important: It makes the game a lot more interesting.
8
40%
Not Important: It's nice to have, but not necessary.
9
45%
Wasteful: It's better to use plain text and focus resources on other things like backgrounds and monsters.
3
15%
 
Total votes : 20

Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat May 04, 2013 11:14 am

Feel free to explain your point of view in more detail below. Thanks
PS: you need to be registered in order to vote.
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Poll: item and weapon icons

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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby SilentLion » Thu May 09, 2013 10:14 am

Voted "Wasteful" and I'm pretty sure most of the hardcore CRPG fans don't care much about the icons, but you may lose some of the not-so-hardcore customers if you don't have them. BTW this could be something for Kickstarter: make a demo without the icons (or with a limited set or placeholders) and use crowdfunding to pay the artist to draw them.
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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby BlueSalamander » Thu May 09, 2013 3:58 pm

Thank you for voting. I'm in the 'not necessary' category because they were good in Dark Sun Shattered Lands, but not really missed in ADOM or the Gold Box games.
I figure it would make it a bit easier to create new modules if there wasn't any need to draw icons.
A middle of the road solution may be to allow attaching a picture (not an icon) to the description screen of certain magic weapons, like in Baldur's Gate 2.
I don't think it would be easy to switch from an inventory screen based on text to one based on icons.
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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby Tiavals » Fri May 10, 2013 4:06 pm

One of my favourite dungeon crawling party based game, Natuk, doesn't have pictures for the items in the inventory, and frankly, they aren't missed. It's a lot easier to check the overall condition of a character when it's text.

In D&D you don't typically change your gear for each encounter so it isn't really so useful, but it's nice to know with a single glance if you're holding your mace of disruption or your flaming mace of sound burst destruction. With text, it's apparent immediately, with icons, it's not. This is especially true for larger parties(in natuk it's 8 characters!), where you don't remember your items or their icons so you won't recognize the stuff so fast. Again, it might not matter for KOTC.

But I'd say it'd be better to focus resources on other things. Weapon graphics, while slightly immersive, is far less important than, say, monster graphics. You see the weapons probably 1/10 the time you see the monsters.
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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby Waterd103 » Wed May 22, 2013 1:05 pm

The reason I love KOTC is how good the interface is, and that is interpreting everthing that is going on, icons really help me to inmerse and to quicly my brain understand what is the current state of things. I really would miss it.
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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby screeg » Thu May 23, 2013 2:45 pm

Have you considered using really simple icons, like vector-based silhouettes? You have one silhouette with a sword, use two different sizes and six or eight different colors and BAM! Suddenly you've got 16 different sword icons.

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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby Marinx » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:19 pm

@Blue Salamander
I have a friend who is graphic designer. Maybe he could help you out with graphic thingies :)
He is player in my playing group (at the moment we are playing Kingmaker - pathfinder adventure path), so he is not newbie with gaming either.
Just let me know if you are interested so I can tell him to contact you.
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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby BlueSalamander » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:40 pm

Thanks for the offer Marinx. However the issue isn't so much about getting an artist to do icons, as it is about whether it makes sense to do icons when you have zillions of possible combinations for the weapons (lots of weapon types + several materials + lots of enchantments).
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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby Marinx » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:14 pm

Np. Just let me know if artist is needed :)

But one thing I don't understand. Why there are zillions of combinations? Even BG2 don't have so much and there are a lot of weapons there.
If I were on your place, I would do icons for every weapon type. Lots of materials. No problem. Just change colour/texture of allready created icons for regular weapons. That's not lot of work for the artist.
For the enchancement (magic wepons), just some (blue) glow around regular icons. Players will anyway read the description of a weapon so there is no need to do something completely irrelevent. That leave us only with icons for special/artifact (named) weapons like in BG.
So if we do some math:
In your weapon list is 46 different weapons
There is 6 different materials
Adamantine
Darkwood
Dragonhide
Iron, Cold
Mithral
Silver, Alchemical
------------------------------------------------
= 276 icons (that's not correct number because some weapons can't be made of all materials, but this is max possible number to simple our calculation)
------------------------------------------------
+ glow for this 276 icons
------------------------------------------------
=552
------------------------------------------------
+ special weapons
---------------------------------------------
= lets say 600
--------------------------------------------
To summ up there are about 100 different icons, rest are only iterations.
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Re: Poll: item and weapon icons

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:59 pm

Why there are zillions of combinations?
Well for example look at the longsword:
- longsword
- masterwork longsword
- adamantine longsword
- silver longsword
- longsword +1
- longsword +2
- longsword +3
- longsword +4
- longsword +5
- flaming longsword +1
- frost longsword +1
- shock longsword +1
- vorpal longsword +1
- flaming longsword +2
- flaming longsword +3
- silver flaming shock longsword +5
- artifact silver flaming shock longsword +5, +10 HP
etc

I've been playing Neverwinter Nights Hordes of the Underdark recently and all magic weapons share the same icon. I think that's worse than not having any icon.

just some (blue) glow around regular icons.
But then every magic longsword would look the same?
Apart from artifacts which would all need their own icon, and there might be a lot.
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