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Thread: RM Skin

  1. #1
    Ardem's Avatar
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    RM Skin

    I know some people have requested to use the RM skin I am making for FRP for standard RMC.

    I made the extention run first so any other extension would run over the top, however if your running FRP extension this is not needed to be activated.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4316559/FRP/skin_frp.ext

    I will continue to update this with each graphic change I make with FRP, but atleast you have a choice from the original design which is not to everyones liking.

    There in no copyright art, the art is either my own design, artwork or free commons artwork which I have heavily modified, except for the RM LOGO *cough, cough*. There are still a number of FG and original RM images, that I have not changed yet. I would prefer if you wish to use any art elsewhere to atleast send me a request for use.
    Last edited by Ardem; May 7th, 2012 at 13:29.

  2. #2
    I've been away for a while, decided to troll around a bit. I'm kinda bummed to hear some people don't like the original art for this ruleset, it was very well received in the beginning. I can completely see why you might update the look for the FRP rules, but is an alternate skin for the original really necessary?

    Some games are really easy to make a theme for, Savage Worlds for example - I love that theme. Rolemaster was tough though... generic fantasy setting, medieval tech, and the original DnD theme had done wood to death. I also wanted to nod to the art we all are familiar with in the books, which is primarily line art.

    There was a good deal of stone in the books so that seemed a good direction, but simply adding line art to gray stone would have been utterly devoid of color. Then I remembered how beautiful medieval copper etching was and thought a warm metal would look great against the stone. I've also never seen that style applied to a role playing game, so it had originality going for it too.

    To each their own I guess. I don't understand people skinning their web browsers either, and that is very popular, so maybe I'm just odd. I'm just glad people are keeping Rolemaster alive in whatever form possible - best RPG ever! That's why I volunteered to help in the first place.
    Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.
    There can be no great talent without an element of insanity.

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  3. #3
    dr_venture's Avatar
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    Hey Ebonfyre - thanks for your work on the original artwork! I'm sorry you're bummed by people's desire to change away from teh original artwork. I'm actually one of those folks. I know how hard it can be to get good feedback, and how subjective feedback can be on something artistic can be (oh, how familiar I am with that), so I wanted to take a minute to help you understand where at least one of those re-skinning folks is coming from. I hope it will be a benefit in your continued career.

    All of the following is just my opinion, for what that's worth, which intended to be constructive.

    For me, the heart of the issue is that strictly one of ease of use. The artwork itself looks fine, some of it really good... but that's not the point. It's simply a matter of 'ease of use'.

    Some of the graphic elements - especially the marbled stone work - distract my eye from the game material. It kind-of competes with the content that I'm trying to quickly navigate to and from. A great example is the Combat Tracker: if I have the CT at a very large size and only have 3 or 4 entries in it, most of the window is filled with a very striking marbled stone that visually kinda overpowers the game entries that I'm actually interested in. It's still usable, of course, but I just find that it's distracting. For me, no matter how nice the graphic is, if it distracts from the content I'm looking for, then it shifts from enhancing the experience to detracting.

    Another example along that same line: the jagged edges on the document pages. The pages actually very nice looking - I quite like them individually! But if I have 4 or 5 documents open, again, it can get kinda distracting and overly busy looking. Also, when the text gets close to the edge of the paper, again the torn edge gets very distracting.

    My other main issue is that the large icons aren't easily discernible - the images are pretty busy and the colors are identical. Of course, if I look closely, I can see what they are, but I don't want to have to look closely - I want to just glance over and know what to click on without paying much attention. I find that in game play, I go more on just a memorization of what order the buttons are in than what the images on them. I'd rather have something simpler to discern at a glance.

    So for me, my desire to change skins is not a matter of wanting to get rid of graphics don't look good, it's more a matter of just wanting a visually simpler, less distracting interface... one that makes navigating simpler and arranging screen elements clearer, like overlapping windows.

    Criticism is not easy to hear, nor is it easy to write (assuming you're not trying to be a ****), but since you took the time to express yourself on this subject, I thought you deserved a thoughtful reply. All the best to you - I hope you continue to participate in the forums and contribute to the product!
    "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - John Shedd
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  4. #4
    Ardem's Avatar
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    I am sorry that I have upset you with this release. It was never my intention but it had been requested.

    Art is very subjective. Trust me I am normally on your side of the coin in regards to what people think about anything I do art side. However with this I cannot take credit either as much of the design concepts & philosophy is taking from the original FRP artist, with my own minor twists.

    Dr Venture is correct in what the issue with the art, although visually pleasing, the complexity of the design, always made it hard to quickly identify the items I wanted. The simplicity of the FRP design is focuses the user eye back to the data and not the art.

    One other point your resolution could of been a little higher in your art, which may given shapes more definition, but as I said art is subjective.

    So in many respects your art is too good, as it challenges the users visual cortex which appealing or not appealing is the prime definition of art. Art does not always have to be appealing it just has to challenge the viewer.

    But I doubt everyone would download this skin, you will find many people will stay with the original, I think choice is the spice of life, you may even find people switch between the two. Humans are finicky creatures.

  5. #5
    My thoughts are similar to those already expressed: UI art has the difficult task of having to fulfill the dual combination of being visually pleasing and enhancing/supporting the use of the software.

    I don't have a strong opinions on the first - I recognized and gave a nod to the branding of the ruleset to the source books. My customization needs came from the second category, as highlighted by Dr_Venture. Some thoughts and suggestions:

    - Small rounded fonts on top of grained textures makes the text harder to read. One of the first customization I did to my ruleset was to replace the beige grain with a flat off-white/blue, reminiscent of the books. It made the fonts much easier to read.

    - Many of the icons are nice art, but their representation were not intuitive mnemonics for me. I still have to hover those I don't use repetitively to see the tool tip and know what they're for.

    - Fonts for heading, titles, etc. should stand out more; the books have examples of fonts size/typeface combinations to make information stand out. By comparing side by side the D&D 4th edition and Rolemaster rulesets, the impact of the "layout" (fonts, paragraph, background) make the D&D4 easier to read.

  6. #6
    Blackfoot's Avatar
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    Having little positive to say here, I won't say much more than:
    I did not care for the original graphics and felt the need to change them immediately upon loading up the copy of the ruleset I purchased.

    Ardem has crafted a nice, fairly simple skin and it is much appreciated.
    Last edited by Blackfoot; March 20th, 2012 at 19:44.

  7. #7
    GunnarGreybeard's Avatar
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    For me it boils down to getting older and the eyes weaker. Because of that I need better color definition of items on the screen so that everything stands out better. I do love the original theme, its classic RM but for me the colors seem to blend together and are not as crisp as I need them to be at my "advanced age".
    Ultimate License Holder: Meaning anyone can join my games, even those with just the Demo . . .
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  8. #8
    Ardem's Avatar
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    Made some changes including making the skin down past RMC Extend so the couple of images I have changed to Dakadin's work looks more consistent.

    Note: If your using the FRP add on you do not need this skin.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4316559/FRP/skin_frp.ext

  9. #9
    @Ebonfyre:

    As a fellow digital artist I know partially how you feel. I tend to get defensive about my own creations from time to time as well.

    But as a gamer and GM, I want and need something that is really fast and simple to use and not least immediately understand, and I have to be honest, the current standard UI that is included with the Rolemaster ruleset is kinda hard to read visually and hard to learn/memorize. As a player and GM, I want the focus to be on the campaign, I don't want to memorize a lot of icons for example, hovering over stuff to see what this and that is
    Last edited by Shockbolt; July 29th, 2012 at 19:41.
    Raymond Gaustadnes - Freelance digital artist

    Skype: raymond.e.gaustadnes

  10. #10
    any chance for the rolemaster skins coming back on your dropbox? thx
    [/SIGPIC]Quark: You see the way they look at me now? I'm not just some venal Ferengi trying to take their money. I'm Quark, slayer of Klingons!

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