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Imperceptible's High Visibility Resource Icons

 
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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Distant Worlds 1 Series >> Design and Modding >> Imperceptible's High Visibility Resource Icons Page: [1]
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Imperceptible's High Visibility Resource Icons - 6/28/2014 1:38:59 PM   
Imperceptible

 

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This is a resource icon mod, designed especially to make resource recognition in game very easy - or at least easier - than the default icons. It is heavily inspired by Sirian's original resource mod and later by Das's icons.

Well, I'm new to Illustrator (all icons are made in Illustrator CS6). I'd never used the program before. It took about a week for me to learn it, then I found that when designing the icons, I'd forgotten everything I'd learned! So, it took about another week to actually apply the knowledge to the task in hand!

I tried (I really did), to make icon based luxury icons, but the subletly of gradients and other shading, and the distinguishing between 4 types of alcohol was... problematical and mainly got washed away in-game. In the end I opted for text and colour. It makes visual recognition even on the Galaxy map pretty easy!

I found two main problems with Sirian's and Das's resource icon mods.

1. With Sirian's, it made most of the resource icons distinct, but still made it difficult to tell strategic from luxury icons.

2. With Das's, the icons are beautifully illustrated, but unfortunately the icons are 'lost' on this game because of the low resolution they are rendered at again making recognition difficult. Can you tell at a glance the difference between lead and carbon fibre? This ultimately was my prime motive i.e. to make things like this a non-issue (hopefully).

With this mod, I have attempted to address both problems and - I hope you will agree - have achieved a good compromise.

All the strategic icons have white text on a black background. All of the strategic icons except gases also have a white square bordering them. Gases are circles. If you see a circle resource you'll need some gas mining!

All luxury icons have black text on a brightly coloured background. They are colour coded as follows:-

White diamonds for the three extremely rare super luxuries, yellow for very rare, red for rare, cyan for moderate, and green for common.

Notes:-

In game Galactopedia help files are also updated appropriately.

As of v1.2 and suggested by Osito below, if an abbreviation coincides with an element name which isn't actually that element e.g. Mn for Megallos Nut, then the second letter has either been capitalised to MN or an additional letter added e.g. Pol instead of Po and Osa instead of Os.

Originally used Shruti bold, then Vrinda bold, and finally Arial bold for the font.

------------------

Hopefully, these will be of use to someone.

Any comments would be appreciated positive or negative. Any suggestions for improvement are also welcome and if anyone wants custom text or colours, just say so. :)

To install this on its own, just extract the folder and copy to the 'Customisation' folder in the Distant Worlds Universe installation folder and choose this as a theme. If you would like to use this with Das's mod (to replace ONLY the resource icons and associated help files), just over-write the 'images' and 'help' folders.

v1.2
30 Jun 2014

ALL resources are now text based for consistency. Similarly there are no contradictions in background colours.
There was a mistake in the spelling of Korabbian Spice .mht help file. One 'r' two 'b', not two 'r' one 'b'.

Thanks to Das123, Sirian, Osito and necaradan666 for the suggestions.

v1.1
28 Jun 2014

Changed moderate luxury icons to cyan background, common to green background. (Thanks to Osito for suggestion).

v1.0
28 Jun 2014

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< Message edited by Imperceptible -- 6/30/2014 7:36:47 PM >
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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 3:03:58 PM   
Imperceptible

 

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v1.2 Icons:-











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< Message edited by Imperceptible -- 6/30/2014 2:39:45 AM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 3:04:54 PM   
Imperceptible

 

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1.2 icons Visual index help file:-










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< Message edited by Imperceptible -- 6/30/2014 11:09:32 AM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 3:27:03 PM   
Imperceptible

 

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Screenshot (1680 x 1050):-









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< Message edited by Imperceptible -- 6/30/2014 1:59:53 PM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 3:42:00 PM   
Osito


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Nice and clear: I like that!

Things I don't like:

1. Lead should be Pb. Sorry, but I'm a total geek over stuff like that. Can you do a 'lead is Pb' alt mod? ;-)
2. Green should be the most common, blue less common (i.e. switch blue and green). Yeah, I played too much WOW back in the day.
3. I'd rather you didn't use chemical symbols for any of the resources, unless the symbol is the correct one. I realise this is just coincidental for the most part, but I'm looking at Mn, Ni and Ra in particular. For the same reason, I don't like Po for polymer; ideally it would be 'poly', but I can seen you might not be able to get the right clarity for that. Edit: Perhaps they'd be better if the second letter were also a capital letter. That would distinguish from the elements. Perhaps all the luxury resources might be better like that, assuming the clarity can be retained. Just a thought.

Anyway, overall, quite nice.

Osito


< Message edited by Osito -- 6/28/2014 5:01:58 PM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 4:01:33 PM   
Imperceptible

 

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Hi Osito.

Thank you very much for the feedback.

I've attached a Pb mod for you. Just over-write the files in the original mod to change.

Yes, I umm'd and arr'd about blue vs green too, LOL. That can easily be changed, though. I can do a separate version of that.

Yes, didn't realise until you mentioned it about those luxury resources being element names. The logic was to use the initial letters of two-word resources, and the first two letters of one one-word resources like Wiconium.

Yes, the trouble with using 'Poly' as a name icon is readability. There is very little you can get away with in-game even with the larger fonts. 'Poly' would probably be almost unreadable. Even 'Cas' was stretching it, but because it is so important a resource, I gave it a cyan'ish background of its own.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Imperceptible -- 6/28/2014 5:03:44 PM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 4:02:20 PM   
Osito


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Thanks :)

See the edit in my post above.

PS I'm glad you did caslon as cas, because ca always irritates me :-)

< Message edited by Osito -- 6/28/2014 5:03:48 PM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 4:20:36 PM   
Imperceptible

 

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I just tried 'Poly' in game. It's Okkkkk, probably because it's one of a kind with 4 letters, but it's not immediately readable, which was the main point of this mod.

My monitor is at 1680 x 1050, and I think people with higher resolution screens would struggle.

I've attached the files anyway, if you want to experiment.

Attachment (1)

(in reply to Osito)
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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 9:36:27 PM   
DasTactic

 

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This is a great idea - especially for people who have a more verbal than visual preference in their interactions. :)

It's funny you tried the extra fonts. :) I had also tried a number of fonts on my mod and even the slightest variation make it really difficult to read. With mine I had to manually increase the stroke-width of the bars in the 'H' icons. In the end I had to check them at 16px x 16px to make sure there was enough difference between icons. The smallest dimension for the icons I could see in game was 14px x 14px but many were 17px or 20px.

The main problem I have is splitting the yellow and green backgrounds. I'm a bit colour blind and that looks almost identical to me. The cyan also looks a bit too close to the white.

(in reply to Imperceptible)
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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/28/2014 10:17:46 PM   
necaradan666

 

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That's a lot of rules to remember! Some rules are unclear even after figuring them out for myself and then reading through your notes, why does Caslon have a blue background and a white circle when Hydrogen is the same as other gases, why do Gold and Steel have icons but Lead doesn't?

< Message edited by necaradan666 -- 6/28/2014 11:23:59 PM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/29/2014 1:23:54 PM   
Sirian


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I agree with Das, its a good idea for people who prefer to read instead of looking at icons.

I would strive for consitency if I were you. So, every icon should have letters instead of an image. Lead shoud be Pb (people understand that...) Gold is Au, Steel would be Fe (for ferrum, originally iron, but... you could use "Fe+") Change the Caslon icon to be consistent with the other gases (black inside, blue circle) The crystals could have hexagonal outline so that they differ from the metals. Ne, Os, Em and Di will be recognized.

Looks good so far.

_____________________________


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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/29/2014 1:36:45 PM   
Osito


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sirian

I agree with Das, its a good idea for people who prefer to read instead of looking at icons.

I would strive for consitency if I were you. So, every icon should have letters instead of an image. Lead shoud be Pb (people understand that...) Gold is Au, Steel would be Fe (for ferrum, originally iron, but... you could use "Fe+") Change the Caslon icon to be consistent with the other gases (black inside, blue circle) The crystals could have hexagonal outline so that they differ from the metals. Ne, Os, Em and Di will be recognized.

Looks good so far.


I agree with you about the consistency. Note that he couldn't use Em for Emeros Crystal, because it's already there for Ekarus Meat - Ec would be ok.

I'd still prefer not to mix up the abbreviations with existing chemical element abbreviations, which means I'd personally prefer alternatives to Ne and Os. I come from a chemical background and can't help reading them as Neon and Osmium.

Edit: all this could be solved (for me, at least) by using capitals to represent two-word resources, so we'd have NE, OS and EC. I'd be ok with Di for dilithium crystal. Or Li2, hehe.

Osito

< Message edited by Osito -- 6/29/2014 2:46:20 PM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/30/2014 1:42:48 AM   
Imperceptible

 

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Hi

It's very late here, so I will respond properly later tomorrow to all the follow ups here, and thanks for taking the time to do so guys.

I've taken on board all that was said and uploaded some v1.2 icons above.

Please let me know if you think this is OK.


Thanks.

< Message edited by Imperceptible -- 6/30/2014 11:45:02 AM >

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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/30/2014 4:23:26 AM   
tjhkkr


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Nice piece of work.

_____________________________

Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.

(in reply to Imperceptible)
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RE: Imperceptible's Hi-Viz SCRAP and GLUT resource icons - 6/30/2014 11:15:03 AM   
Imperceptible

 

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@necaradan666

Thanks for the comment. I've now changed the icons, so that they are ALL text based. Changed Caslon to a black background also to maintain consistency, so that ALL strategic resource icons have a black background now.

@Das123

Yes, I tried lots of different fonts and ended up with the most 'predictable' one in the end! LOL

These icons are all made at 960px x 960px then scaled down. Originally this seemed a good idea with the graphic icons, to help with stuff like anti-aliasing, but it's sort of irrelevant now that the icons are text based. I scale them down to 10% then check the 'Pixel Grid Alignment' and export. At 20% of the final size (about 19px) they are fine. They get a bit indistinct at 15% (about 14px) I found. In your 1.1 version, the 'H' horizontal bar for example looked like it had about a one or two pixel thickness which almost vanished in-game. This game certainly doesn't allow much graphic subtlety with the resources does it? The larger fonts on the side-bar and selection box help a lot nowadays.

Sorry, about the colour blindness. Luckily there's only one 'common' green resource which is Terralion Down. I think as long as you can read the text then the colour is secondary? Also the cyan/white problem should be alleviated by 'white' resources being diamonds hopefully.

Do you have all your icons on one artboard in Illustrator by the way? It's a pretty inefficient workflow here! No slices or anything.

@Sirian

Thanks. I was surprised that people were annoyed by the inconsistencies, so I changed them ALL now. :) At first, I thought it would take a while re-adjusting to the lack of graphic steel and gold and crystals icons, but within 5 minutes, I preferred it!

Changed Le to Pb; Au is Gold. All the crystals too. Changed Caslon to a black background and blue border.

Used St for Steel. Is that OK? Not sure about Fe to be honest.

I did try hexagons for the crystals, but they looked 'odd' and constrained the text to a smaller area, making the readability suffer. Octagons were better in that respect, but looked almost circular in game, which would have conflicted with the gases, which was a no-no.

@Osito

I capitalised the element conflicts in v1.2, changed Os to Osa and Po to Pol. What do you think? Why is Dc not OK for Dilithium Crystal?

@tjhkkr

Thank you.



< Message edited by Imperceptible -- 6/30/2014 2:24:23 PM >

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