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Author Topic: [Graphics] [PSP] Looking for (pixel)artist for status effect icons (zill o'll)  (Read 3221 times)

Mugi

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hey all...

While I generally like doing my own graphics work myself and consider myself decent at it, this is just too much for me so I'm looking for any willing pixel artist to assist me with designing a set of status effec icons for the ongoing Zill O'll Infinite plus translation project.

the problem of these is that due to the UI design of the game, the space is limited to 14x14 pixel squares, and is not expandable without some serious efforts involving redesigning the entire battle UI of the game, so the new icons have to be of this exact size. The problem is that the original japanese icons simply use a single kanji to indicate each effect, which is undoable with english language, so graphical icons will be needed instead.

okay, yadda yadda, here's the images:

orignal icons:


empty template for new icons:


translation of the icons in order of appearance:

First row:
-----------
毒 Poison (self explanatory)
幻 Illusion (hides enemies HP/MP. This skill basically messes their AI because they dont see their own stats.)
石 Petrify (self explanatory)
マヒ Paralyze (self explanatory)
眠 Sleep (self explanatory)
呪 Curse (Im not actually sure what it does but i guess curse is a curse :P Be creative)
黙 Silence (self explanatory)
乱 Confuse (self explanatory)
死 Dead(h) (self explanatory)

Second row:
--------------------
闇 Blind (self explanatory)
速 Quick (agility boost status)
知 Wisdom (magic boost status)
狂 Berserk (self explanatory)
失 Lost (this skill and it's exact name are currently unknown. Translating it is kinda hard with no context.)
力 Power ((physical)power up)
遅 Slow (self explanatory)
生 Alive (this is an auto life skill, that resurrects the character instantly upon dying in battle.)
防 Physical Defence (self explanatory)
防 Magic Defence (self explanatory)


what im generally looking for is the style that the game uses for several other little things such as these skill icons:


however, since the icons themselves do not have clear explanation of what they're used for, they would have to be something that somehow describes the effect itself (like the usual zzz for sleep status you see on all rpgs ever.)

the color used form the symbols in the sample image is #110B0B / 17,11,11 (RGB.)
the image should be full color, but it will be reduced to approximately 128 colors at it's final stage, so a monochrome design is preferred.

If you wish to create an icons set that does not use the above template or style, feel free to do so, but using the template is preferred. For further references of the game's style and look, refer to the prohject thread and screenshots posted on it.


Lastly a disclaimer:

i reserve full rigfht to use all or parts of the icon set posted, and modify them as i wish if i see fit to do so.
i reserve full right to mix & match sets if more than one are submitted.
each person whose submission is in full or partially used will get a special thank you in the project and their chosen name added to the game's credits and patch notes once released.
yadda yadda legal text no one cares about.

thanks for looking <3
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FCandChill

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Gave it a try...


GHANMI

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Dammit, maintenance down time swallowed up my long reply.

In short:
- Sword of Mana uses a 3-letter abbreviation crammed in a 16x16 tile, a big initial and then smaller letters. Color coding also helps better conveying the idea.
- Terranigma's untranslated status effect icons use a stylized font for the status effects. Distorted kanji for confusion, sharp white kanji with blotches of dark blood for doom status effect, bubbles and some shading in the kanji for poison, etc...
- Color coding: green for poison, purple for confusion, white for death, etc...

FCandChill's effort is solid. Suggestions for improvement:

Poison: bubbles instead of drops. Skull+Crossbones is a better fit here than for death.
Illusion: Eye + interrogation marks.
Petrify: some shattered rock pattern
Paralysis: good, add more lighting bolts otherwise it would be confused with the lightning ELEMENT
Sleep: good, maybe a different font (2 bigger z's should be enough?) and less close to the edge
Curse: good, but maybe a more ghostly and angry face instead of a boo
Seal: No entry sign emoji (red circle + diagonal line crossing it), like in other RPGs.
Confuse: 2 Interrogation marks OR shattered heart
Death: White skull without crossbones

Blind: eye + no entry sign. Eye should have a simpler design (resizing artifacts might cause problems otherwise)
Haste: Clock + red up arrow
Wisdom: light bulb
Berserk: manga emoticon for twitching with anger
Lost: reuse the confuse spiral here, with thicker lines
Power up: good, but replace the sword with one from the early (1-6) Final Fantasy games that's thicker and clearer
Slow: Clock + blue down arrow
Revive: Phoenix dawn (the feather should be white), add some sparkles and small vertical lines
Physical Def: good, but use the shield design from FF games
Magical Def: same as Physical Def but add sparkles
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 07:40:54 pm by GHANMI »

FCandChill

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Mugi

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man... and here I was thinking that I'll try knowing no one ever bothers to read.
those icons are awesome !

the improverent suggestions are spot on in some places too but honestly, I like some of the first revisions way more.
that white little ghost and the snail are just cute.

I attempted to give it my own edit and came up with this sort of set, for which i remade the skull, made my own silence icon, and life icon, and edited some here and there. Though all deeply inspired by your sets so all hail to your incredible pixeling skills :P

good?, bad? terrible ?



i also cheated on the life icon since it's basically the healing items cross and halo, just recolored to match the rest of the icons.

also, there should be no worries when it comes to resizing artifacts. the icons are displayed at exactly 14x14 pixels in-game. (see pic)

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GHANMI

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Since you asked for opinions, here's my honest if not a bit blunt take on this.

Your choices are mostly good (the new silence icon is a stroke of genius).

However, I'll be honest and say I had no idea that "Slow" was supposed to be a snail. That one could use a redesign.

The white skull looks fine but I'd add crossbones (like the "toxic substance" warning logos worldwide) because it's not clear enough otherwise it's supposed to be "Poison". FCandChill's icon was good but I almost feel bad insinuating the gorgeous shading work you put into it should go to waste. Maybe you could repurpose it for something else (for example giving it evil eyes for the "curse", or using it for "death")?

About "Petrify", this is one that my suggestion made it actually worse than FCandChill's original designs (not that they were bad to begin with). I had more in mind the "shattering pattern covering the whole tile" part than the rock part. Just some peddles don't mean anything. Maybe a crossed variant of FCandChill's old icon for the "Haste" icon could do the job for the "doesn't move" idea.

The "Illusion" is just an eye. I don't know if the idea behind is clear enough without an interrogation mark. I'd superimpose an interrogation mark.

The "Haste" icon has its arrow cover the clock and it doesn't look like a clock at first glance. Maybe have the clock show a different time?

The "Wisdom" icon is a brain, but I dunno if it's clear enough it is a brain and not a lump of something for a player without the context we have in this thread. I'd suggest something less ambiguous. A book, maybe?

The "Death" / "Revive" logo duality reusing the same basic pattern is an ingenious idea. Having it for other pairs of icons ("Haste"/"Slow", "Confuse"/"Illusion", "Illusion"/"Blind", and so on, could be awesome.)

But besides these points, it should be good enough.

Might be overstepping a bit the topic of this thread, but since you can edit the graphics, please add some 1 pixel black outline for the M/H and digit font used in your picture for MP/HP stats. I shudder just thinking how they would look on the PSP's tiny display.
A standard font like Tahoma is a peculiar choice for a pixel font when there's so many other ones available, but I guess that's a matter of personal tastes.

Looking forward for this translation to come out one day!

Mugi

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I'm still working on refining some things with the icons, but i figured i'll post the first draft before i run off to my daily chores.
as with every single graphic on this game i've so far edited, these icons will most likely go through atleast 20 passes of edits before im even remotely happy with them for more than 2 hours.

I think the snail is genious and imo it looks clear enough to instantly identify it, but i guess that's a matter of who's looking... i'll try and come up with alternatives (like a haste / slow pair)

crossbones is a nice idea for the skull but the space will limit that a lot, which is why i left them out of this design and the earlier black skull design of the stray "death" icon on another icon sheet i posted on the project thread earlier.... i'll try and see what i can do with that.

imho the stones do their job as petrify icon really good (i've seen this in games before too, though not in this small size.) not to mention he did a REALLY good job at drawing them properly with the limited space and even matching colors.

the eye.... i simply reused it from the blind icon because im drawing total blanks with this. The whole status is really weird to begin with. and to my knowledge, is only usable by the player in-game with one single skill (and maybe a weapon status effect.) The sole purpose of it according to the skill description of "delusion" is "hides enemies stats confusing their healing AI"

I noticed the same thing with haste, and changed the time it shows to show the clock hands better already..

The brain icon is cool but I totally agree that it could be more clear on it's purpose, the book is a brilliant idea!

aside aforementioned, i figured afterwards that the shield and the shield with sparkles for P.def and M.def is a great way to do it, so I copied over the P.def icon i have on the previous post and added sparklies on it for M.def. they turned out pretty good.


as far as the HP/MP display on battle mode goes, this is a known bug and im working on it.
The issue is that the font is actually the exact same 9px tahoma that is used elsewhere but the engine has an internal scaling function that reduces it to the shit you currently see on the screenshot and i haven't found the code responsible for that yet. Once it is fixed (i will use 8px tahoma for it to avoid potential space issues) it will look like this:

In PSP we trust.

FCandChill

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Pick a book icon...


Mugi

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Pick a book icon...



awesome!

currently the set looks about this:


added bones to the skull, separated the Z's in sleep a bit to make it clearer, brain changed to book, and snail's shell was made slightly lighter to make it more clear.
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GHANMI

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That's really impressive, considering the size limitations. Good job  :)

Mugi

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indeed!

I'm more than pleased with the results so far.
FCandChill did awesome job with them. And even though i edited them a good pile, it's still all his awesome base work there.
not to mention the critique and suggestions that further refined (and maybe continue to refine) it.

My problem with this kind of things is that while im usually happy with what i can produce myself, if i have to work from scratch im just hitting total blanks. Could never have archieved anything remotely this good by myself.

either way, the current set is now in use in the game, but i will leave the thread open in-case someone comes up with additional ideas on how to deal with some things. (maybe the pairs for haste/slow etc.) and once i figure out the actual use of the "loss/lost" icon, we'll have to see how that changes. (though I went through the entire skill and ability list of the game i have available and there's nothing that refers to a skill like this so the icon might actually be unused. We'll see..)
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Mugi

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okay serious necromancy and a double post at that, plz dun kill me!!

as I said, I left this topic "open" for when we got to the point in the game's translation that we had made sense of all the status effects and maybe revisit the redone icons with that in mind, as couple of the statuses were a little bit of a questionmark at the point when the icon set was created.

we have now completely translated the manual and the status effect bits of the game and here's the page 27 from the manual, explaining them all.

on the page itself you can now see which of the new icons represent which skill and if people think they can come up with more suitable icons, I'm again open for suggestions.

the skill "lost" which we really didnt know what it does, is actually called Faint, and results in the character running out of MP (Mental points in Zill o'll) a fainted character is basically as good as paralyzed or petrified, and is unable to perform actions until atleast 1MP is restored.



seeing the whole list done im actually quite satisfied with how well it worked, and my personal opinion is that basically only Illusion and maybe faint could use some work (both of which were more or less randomly slapped in place with little to no proper context.)
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FCandChill

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Maybe use this for faint and use the spiral for illusion..?

Mugi

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that actually looks really cool, but im not sure if it's clear enough in it's meaning.

the spiral for faint works fairly well and i've been struggling with coming up ideas for that one.
To be honest the illusion bothers me more....

Tom had his own thoughs about improvements to the set too (quoted below) but iv'e been too busy with the texture work to try and draw anything..

Quote from: Tom
Blinded icon - It's a bit hard to see that it means blinded. It just looks like an eye. The slash through it isn't very clear. I think it would be better to have two closed eyes, or at least one closed eye, instead of having an open eye. If you have something thrown in your eyes, blinding you, your eyes generally close up.

Illusion icon - I think the it should be a tripled icon of a person, like it's ghosted to the left and right... They don't know where anything really is because they're seeing double or triple.

Faint - I actually think the faint icon seems okay, since it has a dizzying feel to it.

my own idea for the blind was to just do the usual and use the sunglasses, that i've seen used in some games. And Tom's idea for illusion is nice, but again, im unsure of how exactly to draw that on a 14x14 pixel canvas.

overall im quite happy with the set even if it's left as it is, but as the perfectionist inside me always whispers, there's no such thing as good enough :P
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FCandChill

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I made three variants on the blind icon and one for the illusion icon, although it kind of looks like a human biodiversity icon. :P


Mugi

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i just keep starting the set over and over again and i think i finally realized that my only problem with the set is actually not the fact that the illusion or blind icons are bad, it's that they're next to identical.

so i think i'll just go with the sunglasses for blind and call it a day.
the illusion icon you made with the dublicated/tiplecated person "ghosting up" is having basically the same issue than all the attempts i made to do one did... it's just too busy for that size of an icon, it just gets really hard to get the meaning from it.

your sunglasses icon is really good btw, but i couldn't help noticing that it's a bit lighter than the rest of them. (might not be a bad thing.) i think i'll implement it and see how it works in-game.
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Graphicus

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Sorry for being so late to the party with this question but I was wondering: Is there any reason your template has that darkened bottom-right corner? The Japanese version doesn't seem to have it and it doesn't really help with the readability of black icons on an already limited space.

Additionally, if you're not committed to keeping the same color as the Japanese version, you could up the brightness of the icon's background a bit and that would increase the contrast with its black contents (in the sample gameplay screenshot you posted, the icon is not next to other elements of a similar color or style, so there would be no aesthetic clash, thankfully)

Mugi

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The template is made by dublicating a blank tile that already exists in the game, It's not something I made myself.

Havent had any issues myself, nor the other 2 people working on this game so far with that they would be too dark, but adjusting the brightness afterwards is always an option.
The reason I opted for a monochrome design against colored icons like the original had (green and whatnot) is because the originals are text, and it works okey there, but imho, using such coloring for graphical icons not only makes no sense but also doesnt look as good.
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Graphicus

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Yeah, of course... I didn't mean add new colors. I just meant upping the brightness on that shade of beige, so there'd be a higher contrast with the black. If you haven't had any issues, though, then never mind. :thumbsup:

As far as the blank tile is concerned, the original Japanese tiles just seem to be a square filled with a flat shade of beige with a slightly darker border (plus a drop shadow for the kanji). Like this?


Mugi

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yeah the status effect icons are flat like that, but there was no blank tile of such type in the graphics, so i took a blank tile of the menu element icons and used that instead. (the shaded one)

these graphics of this color and style are used in 3 places in the game, the blacksmith, the skills menu and the status effect icons, so what i did was made them all look the same. (the skills / blacksmith menu contained this empty tile im using at the moment, and it's actually even used by the blacksmith to indicate there is no add-on's on a piece of equipment. See picture.) It was one of those things i did poke around a little on the already existing graphics in order to bring the quality and consistency of the graphical work up a little.

In any case, i'll let it be for now and play with the contrast if it turns out they're too dark at the end.


In PSP we trust.