New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

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Titanoboa
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New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by Titanoboa »

While I'm not a graphics artist by any means, I want to draw attention to this. Hopefully we can conjure up something good as a community! :)
Z-Man wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:12 pm
Name: I'd go with Armacycles, like on Red Hat. There is too much to worry about already and I'd like to steer clear of trademark trouble.
That means we need a new title screen. Personally, I'd just make it look like someone erased the tron and replaced it with cycles written with a sharpie :)

Marketing Material! Every game needs a store page with screenshots, videos and text. This collection should describe the what and how:
https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/store
Any help would be appreciated there, but take your time. I haven't even begun reading this stuff. If you write texts, they should obviously avoid referencing Tron in any direct way, but I suppose links back to here (Wiki, Forums, Main Page, GitLab/Hub pages) are fine. We don't want it to look like an asset flip by some unrelated jerk who does not even give proper credit.
First, let's try Z-Man's sharpie idea. Or, if you have a different, amazing idea, present it to us here!

Then, some high quality footage for a trailer video would be nice. Perhaps one made in Yellow Sub and one in Sumo, because that's our most active gamemodes at the moment, only makes sense we'd want to market that.

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Tank Program
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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by Tank Program »

I recently discovered PowerPoint can render 3D models and animate their movement to a limited extent. I'm in the middle of making a video for another project using that, and it might be an easy way to get some controlled effects that look decent.

*PowerPoint can also apparently be used as a programming language. Who knew?
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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by SoulOfSet »

I like to think of myself as a visionary.
Armacycles.png

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Z-Man
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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by Z-Man »

Right, oh my, Steam has some extremely specific and weirdly mismatching requirements for its image assets.
The relevant information about what the individual pieces are for is is publicly available here: https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/store/assets
EDIT4: (I had accidentally copy/pasted info from pages where they might have been covered by an NDA, but it really was just the same stuff as on the public page. The public page is even better.)

I put in some work, one might even say effort, to create each. Since I lack talent, I use screenshots, copy/paste and filters. I did use my wife's ex-graphics tablet (we have an informal arrangement, if I gift her tech and she doesn't use it, it's mine) to restore the background of the erased text in the title and kill off the jpeg artifacts.

Everything is in this git:
https://gitlab.com/armagetronad/steam-art
My stuff is in 'bad'.
I'm using Krita for the composition, it seems friendlier than Gimp and easier to actually draw in.
Merge requests welcome, and of course you can drop improvements just here.

The Hero and Logo images are combined for a game's individual page in a user's library like shown in Hero+Logo, you see an only roughly defined section of the Hero with the Logo superimposed on it. Not really happy with it right now. I'll try rounding off the edges of the logo and give it more of a drop shadow/silhouette thing.
Hero+Logo.png
The tall image library_capsule.png is, I have to assume, what is shown in the library overview, see Library.png. They don't show a sample of mine :(
Library.png
Oh yeah, the title screen as of now (Just for the Steam version, not integrated into the build yet):
game_title.jpg
Attachments
SteamStorePage.png
Last edited by Z-Man on Fri May 01, 2020 11:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: NDA Annoyance

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sinewav
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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by sinewav »

What's going on here? I haven't been paying attention. Is this in Steam? Where? I couldn't find it.

I'm not convinced these are the best images to promote the game, heh. I would like to help, but I'm super busy with a huge project for the next few weeks. This will be called Arma Cycles on Steam? What is that typeface you used? I feel like this game has never established any strict branding guidelines, but defined branding can add a lot of cohesion to marketing assets. Maybe I can help there?

I'll check back in a couple weeks when I finish my project (which I will eventually post here because I'm proud of it).

@Ritsuka: If you are reading this I didn't forget about those Twitch assets you wanted. Do you still need them? Text me.

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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by Z-Man »

sinewav wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 2:47 am
What's going on here? I haven't been paying attention. Is this in Steam? Where? I couldn't find it.
My bad, I only announced going forward with it by necrobumping one of the "put it on steam, plox?" threads. It's not live yet, it should appear at https://store.steampowered.com/app/1306180 when it's unlocked. They have a mandatory "14 days in coming soon state" period.
sinewav wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 2:47 am
I'm not convinced these are the best images to promote the game, heh.
I am absolutely certain they are not :)
sinewav wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 2:47 am
This will be called Arma Cycles on Steam?
No! Armacycles, one word, and I dropped the capitalization, because there is a whole other trademark kerfuffle waiting to happen there. Frankly, I'm a bit of a mess about it and would actually much rather go with an entirey new name, probably with cycles in it.
sinewav wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 2:47 am
What is that typeface you used?
Dunno. Whatever was in the title screen plus scrawly handwriting.
sinewav wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 2:47 am
I feel like this game has never established any strict branding guidelines, but defined branding can add a lot of cohesion to marketing assets. Maybe I can help there?
I would be delighted!

The original plan was to release this ASAP, because the whole Covid-19 situation makes people hungry for games; also it gives me a bit of more free time to work on stuff, and boy is that needed. We'll have a new automated build system that no longer relies on very specifically set up build virtual machines. It's almost done, just the deployment step is incomplete. Also, we have sort of a 20th birthday coming up, the oldest release file on SourceForge is from May 18th, 2000. The real first release was earlier, of course, so no biggie.

Anyway, the work won't go to waste if we wait with the release, and it may be better to start with the right art (and name?) than at an opportune time forced on us from the outside. If that is a shared sentiment and you want to take over the branding stuff, I can delay putting up the "Coming soon" page.

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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by sinewav »

I'm looking for some feedback on my variations. I recreated the Main Capsule with mirror on (because shinny things), FOV 50 to reduce camera distortion, and cycle colors that show more contrast. Contrast is key, this is a battle of opposing forces!

I discovered the typeface on the title screen and attached it here. Also, I thought "Retrocycles" is a more descriptive name and might help people find an old school lightcycle game.

I am still working on a color palette and I'm considering doing some original art for the Steam page, though I don't know what that would look like exactly.
Attachments
main-capsule-1.png
main-capsule-2.png
title-screen-font.zip
(18.66 KiB) Downloaded 5 times

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sinewav
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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by sinewav »

Alternate title screen.
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title-alt.jpg

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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by Z-Man »

I dig Retrocycles very much. I love how it pretends the game's scrappy tech is an artistic choice made now and not the result of it genuinely being old :) It's better than Armacycles for sure. Arma doesn't mean anything on its own anyway. Do go ahead with it!
IRC wrote:<guru3> I'm OK with rebranding to RetroCycles
...
<Lucifer_arma> as for names, please don't go with ArmaLite Cycles, that's an obvious joke that may only be obvious to a subset of americans
Ok, I don't get that joke, but I suppose that means no objections?

Color wise, I'm for blue vs yellow; but you should not listen to me.

(Sorry for the silence, I'm pretty busy with the build system stuff myself. It's a lot of work, but I'm sure it will pay off. If you saw some 0.0.0-versions popping up or WIP-ones, that's me experimenting.)

Titanoboa and Ninja Potato made a Dev Chat channel on Discord. That's great! Except that I don't know how to get anyone into there. I'll ask them :)

There is also the need for a gameplay trailer. 1920x1080, ideally 60 Hz, really mostly gameplay. I suppose it's best if we all just share clips and someone cuts them together. It doesn't have to be long, 30 seconds total would suffice. Go straight to gameplay, a title splash can come at the end. I have the tools to cut stuff together, but no education or experience.

This seems relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eok0W1n ... e=youtu.be I have only watched sniplets myself so far, but they made sense.

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sinewav
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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by sinewav »

I'm going ahead with Retrocycles using the old font. I'll start by working on capsules, but it would really help if I had a checklist. I'm feeling lazy and don't want to get too deep into Steam documentation.

I see in the git/bad folder there are icons. I'm going to go ahead and make some nice vector icons for you since I already have the cycle drawn as SVG (see my avatar). I'll just color it blue with some nice shading.

After watching that Steam video you linked above I thought seriously about how to really make the game tell it's story at a small size. I worked on a 1-color design (think positive/negative space, not the number of colors) and came up the the attached image. I looks good at small scales and the lightcycle image is so iconic you immediately know what kind of game it is.

Also attached, revised main capsule image. Seems like there is plenty of room on some of these for a tagline. Do we have a tagline other than "a Tron Clone in 3d"?
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main-capsule-3.png
one-color.png

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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by sinewav »

Yo dawg, what do you think about these icons? let me know if I should tweak the colors. Otherwise I'll post the finals along with the source.

Note: I got a new monitor recently and I don't really like it. I don't trust the color and I'm not used to the gamma. The old one had better color, but it was smaller and not as crisp. I might have to actually spend money on something good rather than taking leftovers from work...
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icons-1.png
icons-1.png (14.63 KiB) Viewed 484 times

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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by sinewav »

Z-Man wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:02 pm
There is also the need for a gameplay trailer. 1920x1080, ideally 60 Hz...
Did you mean 60 fps, not Hz? This is an area that makes me sad that I have never owned a computer fast enough to do intense graphics work. I don't know how all you people can afford these gaming computers that can capture FHD video, but you should feel damn privileged. I can't even play FHD video without dropping frames.

I have lots of ideas for video. I might capture a bunch scenes at low resolution and see if anyone can recreate what I'm going for in hi-def. In my head I have a whole bunch of animated slides that introduce different aspects of the game, but I simply don't have the hardware/software for it.

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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by sinewav »

Please check out this draft video for what I have in mind: https://youtu.be/0NWtfEZE8yg

I'm looking for someone to take dramatic sweeping shots using Free Cam: low to the ground, circling the cycles, and massive zoom ins and outs, ...that kind of stuff. We only need 15 - 20 seconds of good footage, the rest will be text.

The video I made above used some (but not all) of the following settings which I think show the default game in the best light:

Code: Select all

UPPER_SKY 1
RIM_WALL_STRETCH_X 200
RIM_WALL_STRETCH_Y 100
FLOOR_MITTOR 1
FLOOR_MIRROR_INT 0.1
START_FOV_1 50
ALPHA_BLEND 0
TEXT_OUT 0
SHOW_HUD 0

#
# local game settings:
#

AI PLAYERS 0
BLAST RADIUS none
WALL LEGNTH 1600m
WALL DELAY 4s
ARENA SIZE -1 or 0
SPEED -1
MIN TEAMS 4
MAX TEAMS 4
MIN PLAERS PER 2
MAX PLAYERS PER 2
We should come up with some text for the title cards, something that highlights the best aspects of the game. Here are a few off the top of my head:
  • Continuously populated servers since 2002!
  • Customize colors, textures, and environments
  • Different game modes
  • Host servers from home
That's probably all we need. We only have between 30 seconds and a minute. Any music suggestions? I have tons of my own music I could use if no one has anything better.

Finally, I'm perhaps willing to pay someone to work on this with, so let me know if you are interested.

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Z-Man
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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by Z-Man »

Checklist PMed because I don't want to go looking where that information may be publicly available and the way I got it is on restricted pages.
sinewav wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:49 am
Also attached, revised main capsule image. Seems like there is plenty of room on some of these for a tagline. Do we have a tagline other than "a Tron Clone in 3d"?
Those capsules are amazing, I love the gradients. Don't worry too much about colors, 1337 g4mrz have TN screens and won't see them the same way as you do no matter what.
An alternative tagline we have somewhere is "Dumping cores since 2000/2001/2002", but the images should be free from it.

The icons are splendid, too. I suppose the source is transparent? Of course, they'll be put into a square in the end when they are desktop icons. I'm fine with a little empty space on the top and bottom.

Trailer: Yes, 60 FPS. Those are some good shots! Only the first sequence would be too shaky to use for real.
Maybe you can do a debug recording and someone else transforms it into a video? You can use

Code: Select all

armagetronad --record raw.aarec
to record the gameplay, then do a camera edit pass with

Code: Select all

armagetronad --playback raw.aarec --record edited.aarec
and move just the camera around. Careful, if you press any gameplay relevant keys, you'll desync. Time travel rules apply.

In the first recording step, you can reduce the screen resolution/window size and details if that is what gets you to stable 60 FPS. Sadly, debug recordings will play back at exactly the original FPS, but not at original graphics settings. To get better control of the camera, in the camera edit step, you can additionally pass the --benchmark flag and up your graphics settings; with --benchmark, the playback will not drop frames and thus run slower.

I think I can do the video capture, I just ran a test with SimpleScreenRecorder. Heh, before you do any work, we should check whether I can play back your debug recordings, that's no given :) Can you post a really long one? And before that, check whether you can reach 60 FPS, whatever it takes (yes, floor off is an option).

If you're paying someone, let me at least cover half of it.

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Titanoboa
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Re: New Title Screen!? and other cool stuff

Post by Titanoboa »

Z-Man wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:22 pm
If you're paying someone, let me at least cover half of it.
Or, we (the community) finally have something to donate $$ towards! (Re: donation button thread from a while ago)


By the way, that looks amazing sine!

This might just be me, but due to the position of the lightcycles, the first "Retrocycles" image (yellow & green cycles) looks super cosy and inviting, while the other one (yellow and blue cycles) looks way more competitive, action-centered in a way. The colours factor in as well, of course. Not sure if I have a point with that, just thought it was an interesting observation.

The red & blue colour gradient on the last "retrocycles" looks amazing. And you absolutely nailed it with the name.

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