02 October 2013

GameTalk - Symbology?

How far from the 'norm' should graphics guys stray when designing wargame counters and maps?  A what point can symbols break the standard NATO/Silhouette paradigm?  How much can/should you move numbers around the counters?  How much can you deviate from normal colors on maps?

By: Brant

1 comment:

Brian said...

I always start by asking myself, "What would Redomond do?" Then I remember I'm no Simonsen, and anyway he would do what worked... he experimented but most of his experiments came out well. Even so, the way he laid out counters gave SPI a look that I suppose is what you mean when you speak of "the norm".

There's a certain amount of art for art's sake in wargame graphic design today that I do not care for. Computers and graphic software have permitted counters to get extremely cluttered, to no really useful purpose. They look great blown up to several square inches on a CRT, but reduce it to a 1/2" cardboard chip and my aging eyes can't puzzle it out.

Yes, we have some conventions in the hobby, but to me they are there to prioritize function, convey information quickly and get on with the rest of the design. Sure, you can colour your lakes mauve and overprint counter values diagonally ascending-right in an obscure blackletter font across a tiny picture of a camouflaged tank (or maybe it's a bunker, I can't tell at this distance) but why?

Anyway, to quote one of Murphy's Laws of Combat: "If it's stupid and it works, it isn't stupid".