.RaiMember Since 24 Oct 2009
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Posted by .Rai on 13 May 2013 - 05:33 PM
Text really just fades into the thing quite needlessly. If it adds little impact, you might as well get rid of it, in case it becomes distracting.
Posted by .Rai on 13 May 2013 - 03:16 PM
The whole thing is crying out for a darker background. More of my attention is brought to the large block of saturated red, rather than the largely black render (which has already been broken up with distracting tiling). The background should compliment, therefore it should be darker and less colourful. It also gives you an opportunity to boost up the contrast on the render. Define a light source too. In this, an ambiguous splodge of white cloudy light is coming from behind, yet does not emit any sort of effect on the render. By the same measure, there seem to be various coloured patches all on the render. Unless there is a clear light casting that colour, then it's irrelevant. Try soft-brushing colour with a brush on a Screen or Dodge style layer mode. Also, you can try finding some resources for this same purpose. Search DeviantArt for various things: bubble C4Ds, fractals. Stick them on in educated positions for additional lighting and ornamentation. Some practice should account for it.
A few more minor things. Text is distractingly unnecessary. The font is perhaps gaudy, and clichéd, and the black border is really very dark and distracting. Remove that and instead just darken the entire background as mentioned. Also, consider moving the render to the right until it's about two thirds to the right. This is for composition purposes. See the rule of thirds and search it for some more info.
Posted by .Rai on 20 April 2013 - 06:40 PM
No. Stop. That song is f*cking amazing. The lyrics themselves are like as if Shakespeare has been reborn into modern times and then sacrificed himself to some greek god in order to create...okay, I'm done. I can't kid about it any longer. That song is one of the worst I've ever heard.
Correction being that you actually don't like it. I've always had a pet peeve between misusing the notions of 'disliking something' and thinking something is 'bad'. Different things. Musically, it's a pretty decent piece of pop music. Nicki Minaj's hushed verse is fairly decent for a change, and Alicia has a powerful voice that is used to great potential. And that frigging beat. I mean, Alicia's husband's production is on the quirky side. Which is undoubtedly good. The lyricism is simple because it's really supposed to be simple. If the message comes across, it's fine.
Although, you did mention that you don't enjoy music on a regular basis. I pin it down on that because pop music is a music form there mostly for enjoyable listening.
On another note though, will.i.am's stuff is irkable. Same-y production and dodgy melody lines, coupled with a misuse of autotune, leads to rather average dance songs.
Posted by .Rai on 15 April 2013 - 09:06 AM
Skip to 00:16 C:
This please, I would love a special short segment on lessons for artists without tablets. I have an iPad, but it's too much trouble drawing with your finger.
Posted by .Rai on 27 March 2013 - 10:35 AM
Needs a more uniform colour scheme too. First off by removing the purple-ish bits in the middle of the bubble C4Ds. Now, half your tag (on the left) is cyan-blue; the other half (on the right) is chartreuse, yellow-green. Take one path, not both. The benefits of shifting everything to the blue-side is that you have a better contrast between the yellow of your render and the background. You could take make it a more analogous colour scheme by just shifting everything to that yellow-green. I'd go for the blue in future, because a phenomenon in which our eyes are biased towards finding a pure yellow (i.e. you can't stick yellowish-greens next to pure yellow, because we find fault in the yellow-green compared to the yellow). Colour geekism.
All in all, I can't say it's an awful attempt for a first on PS. Improvement is virtually guaranteed from you though, Smeary <3
Posted by .Rai on 26 March 2013 - 05:23 PM
Power creep is the gradual unbalancing of a game due to successive releases of new content. The phenomenon may be caused by a number of different factors and, in extreme cases, can be damaging to the longevity of the game in which it takes place. As new expansions or updates are released, new game mechanics or effects are introduced, making it increasingly difficult for older content to remain in balance without changes. Usually, this means new content releases grow successively more powerful while older content becomes relatively underpowered.
The blog post is confusing. Mainly because he rarely differentiates between complexity creep and power creep. Half of the time, he's talking about power creep when he really means complexity creep.
We need to remember that the main reason for Power Creep is the continued efforts by the company to keep the game interesting and fresh.
Power creep doesn't make a game fresh and interesting. If suddenly YGO printed slightly stronger variants of our favourite broken cards in a new set, it's not 'interesting and fresh'. Complexity creep is what increases how enjoyable a game is. Slowly increasing the complexity of a game makes a game more interesting (which is what he is really talking about during the section about interactions with 'previous generations of cards').
Harkening back to the definition of power creep, one of reasons why Magic is the most long-lived of the big TCGs (and essentially the first one), is that power creep has been curbed. Magic has various formats, each allowing a range of sets. The 'oldest' formats are those which allow you to use older sets. If you look at those formats, they remain relatively unchanged with the release of each new set. Competitive power in Magic creeps. But relatively slowly.
Besides, when people talk about power creep, what are they talking about? The relative power of an entire set, or just the power of the big splashable competitive cards? Look at any average set, and the average power is probably just about the same. A TCG company usually pushes a few cards competitively, while pushing everything else back.
Another strategy of reducing power creep is to increase complexity. It gives the illusion of increased power without it being there. An Escher's staircase, of sorts, as one of Magic's founders, MaRo, would say.
A big part of it is incomparable theory. See my 'Additional reading (generic) section for further details.
Additional reading (Magic):
Additional reading (YGO):
Additional reading (generic):
Posted by .Rai on 16 March 2013 - 07:00 AM
4 Squirtle BCR
3 Blastoise BCR
3 Keldeo EX
2 Black Kyurem EX PLS
4 Professor Juniper
4 Rare Candy
4 Energy Retrieval
4 Ultra Ball
4 Pokémon Catcher
1 Max Potion
1 Super Rod
1 Scramble Switch
Posted by .Rai on 24 January 2013 - 12:53 PM
For each, it's pretty much been: Coloured background -> Effects -> Paste Render -> Possible G-Maps. You have your work cut out simply because of how Pokémon renders are shaded.
Work on adding in light sources to your tags. Soft brushing colour on with a Screen/Add/Dodge style mode. Brush on extra shadows and highlights onto the renders to blend them in, and making sure your lighting is accurate. Less motion blur. You end up with strange halos around your renders that don't work in integration. It undoes your lighting.
You want to work on depth too: background's out of focus, and usually the extreme foreground as well - only keeping your render and the middle ground in focus.
A few specific examples. Butterfree tag's lighting is weird. The lighting is from an upper source from outside of the tag. Meh. Not helpful. What you have to do is recognise that, and add a second source. In this case, it's the gigantic raw fractal behind it. The light should permeate through the Butterfree's wings, lighting up the face and especially the eyes, which should probably reflect some of the light back and absorb some of it. The tag should overall be lighter.
The Beedrill tag is almost pure yellow. Avoid it. Our eyes are really, really partial to yellow, and it's the most overwhelmingly bright colour in the spectrum. If the C4D is metallic, light is reflecting back onto the Beedrill from the light source (which shouldn't be yellow, because it simply doesn't occur like that), leaving your Beedrill generally less contrasted. I would have suggested on the first/second third of the tag, and keeping that second/third third for lighting: a bubble C4D, some soft lighting, or something else.
I really, really suggest going back over the Butterfree tag and just improving it as much as you can. It's better practice than doing loads more, because you have a starting point of what you've done right, and you are able to recognise from the stuff you have done of which bits you've done wrong, and can fix.
Posted by .Rai on 16 January 2013 - 12:59 PM
And that's all that matters.
Absolutely. As we all know, YGO is ultimately all about the competitive environment and replacing design with his corruptible brother, corporation.
I sigh because of it, but alas. If you can't beat them, join the competitive orgy.
The thing is. There's only one effect that's like that, being the banishment effect. The rest are pretty good. And the condition is good.
It's glue-gun design. It's a bunch of effects that synergies as an engine put onto one card, just because you can. You end up with wordy, complicated cards that are incredibly inelegant. The combination of the effects put together is a design blasphemy. The individual clauses themselves aren't /awful/, although some of them are dodgy.
I wonder if there's any design blogs for YGO. I'm sure it would do great good for anyone in TCG. The other TCGs are great advocates of design and plenty of people (as well as their actual design teams) write about TCG design.
Posted by .Rai on 12 January 2013 - 08:30 PM
Posted by .Rai on 05 January 2013 - 02:45 PM
1. They made a game tie-in to that god-awful movie?
2. Why do people judge it by how much of an efficient competitive orgy Yu-Gi-Oh! is?
Take the definition of game from dictionary.com:
1. an amusement or pastime: children's games.
3. a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators.
It's perfectly understandable that YGO is a competitive game. Therefore, one of the things to take into account when improving the game is improving the competitive experience. As such, it's the same with every TCG.
Yet, we look at the 'big 3' of TCGs, and on the terms of simply how well they were designed, Magic would come top, Pokémon a close second, and YGO overwhelmingly last. If all three TCGs have both a casual and competitive scene, why is YGO so far behind? And this is unarguable, by the way. There is no opinion in how well a game is designed really: the only variable is how enjoyable a game is (but a game can be badly designed, and still enjoyable).
The clue lies in the fact that YGO has almost forced itself into a competitive environment. They strive for money, and keep their casual scene limited to those who like the anime. Their business is almost exclusively on the competitive scene: not only does it completely limit their market and number of new players, but it makes the competitive scene stale and dangerous. It's a cycle of endless power creep, and purposely delegating design to second place in return for making more powerful cards with competitive prices.
1. CFV isn't competitive yet. The game still relies way too much on luck for any major portion of the playerbase to realistically call it a competitive game.
2. Yugioh makes an absolute s***-ton of casual cards that the casual players generally don't even try to give a s*** about since all they do is b**** about meta decks.
There isn't really much more wrong. It's down to whether the game design is the player's cup of tea or not, and those who prefer a slower game should play something like mtg.
Of course I agree that price is one of the biggest reasons why YGO is not as good as it should be. It makes the game inaccessible, and intimidating, for new players, as well as making the game about money, rather than skill. I was simply saying, that on the level of 'how to make a good game', YGO fails quite badly for reasons outside of finance. It fails the test of design itself. When it comes to award ceremonies like the Golden Joystick Awards, if they had a TCG category, YGO would probably never be nominated.
There's definitely a difference between casual cards and filler. YGO has a lot of filler, not casual cards.
Posted by .Rai on 04 January 2013 - 01:39 PM
Posted by .Rai on 02 January 2013 - 04:26 PM
- As long as it doesn't get Azorius Charmed.
- As long as it get blocked.
- As long as it doesn't get countered in the first place.
And a general host of other problems.
I saw this on MtGSalvation:
this card sucks. here's another way to read it:
Creature - Sucky Fake Planeswalker
Gideon cannot block.
: put (a random number between 1 and 3) +1/+1 counters on ~. If you do, Gideon cannot attack this turn. Play this ability at most once each turn.
that is what this card ACTUALLY does. its awful.
Posted by .Rai on 01 January 2013 - 06:21 PM
1: A little strange, because of how little emphasis there is on the render but it's aesthetically pleasing.
2: Super pretty stuff. It's always my favourite style. Love it.
3: Good. Random red lighting on the render means lighting from behind though.
4: Nice to look at. Simple, but stylistically well done.
5: Feels too bright and too smooth, but that's sheer style. Overall, well done.
6: Could do with a subtle sharpen, but it's decent.
1: Contrast is nice. Still would have loved a Lighten layer for those dark tones. Preference on my half, but whatever.
2: I like it. Low number of tones is cool, and is really pleasing to look at.
3: Render feels squashed? Feels a bit forced and slapped-together really. A bit WIP-ish, but nowhere near bad.
4: Bokeh is cool here. Would have liked a light background to blend the render in. The dark brown feels off.
5: I like this one a lot. Not too much to say.
6: Probably needs some additional glowy lighting to enhance the style.