1

Topic: New coin textures?

Wow. Mere hours before what is supposed to be the 1.6.0 release date, the main coin texture that had been stable for, like, a decade is suddenly replaced without so much as a prior announcement, let alone a discussion?

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Re: New coin textures?

I figured I would wait for a discussion to start. Take the fact that I committed them as my part in the discussion.

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Re: New coin textures?

parasti wrote:

Take the fact that I committed them as my part in the discussion.

Well, then take the fact that I just reverted the commit as my part in the discussion. No, wait, I didn't. But let's just say that when it comes to development practices, making this change at this time strikes me as questionable. I mean, even the help shots had already been made release-ready.

Regarding the coin designs, if you view them side by side in a browser window, the new ones look more pleasant, if a bit reminiscent of buttons on e-commerce websites circa 2000. The question, though, is, do they fit in with Neverball's style? Part of that style is that the basic game elements have a simple and iconic look. In the case of the grow/shrink items, we went from a detailed texture to a shape-based solution with a simpler texture. The new coin textures with their shadows, gradients and thinner lines seem like a step in the opposite direction.

As for the $/5/10 labelling, there's the obvious inconsistency of having the currency (but not the value) on one and the value (but not the currency) on the other two. But even if one regards that as a clever pattern break, we already have the colour to signal the difference. Do we also need to change the text? I'm not sure.

Finally, if new coin assets do get made, I'd prefer them to use a higher resolution (at least 256x256). There are too many in-game situations where they can end up looking pixelated otherwise.

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Re: New coin textures?

I guess I'm to blame for this, because I didn't do my testing earlier. I started to fiddle with the design, because the Korean sign can't be made properly with the old style, unless you want to draw the sign from scratch rather than using a font.

Whichever design you go for, just let me know which resolution you want and I can provide. The $ and € will look a bit different though, because I don't know which font was used originally.

I would enjoy having the symbol on one side and a number on the other, although that will of course take some work on the programming/mapping part. Having the numbers would certainly help new players, because they won't have to remember what the colours mean.

5

Re: New coin textures?

Here's a 256x256 version of the dollar coin that's true to the original style.
(But even committing this could wait until after 1.6.0.)

Post's attachments

coin.png, 6.07 kb, 256 x 256
coin.png 6.07 kb, 75 downloads since 2014-05-24 

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Re: New coin textures?

Elviz wrote:

Well, then take the fact that I just reverted the commit as my part in the discussion.

Gotta admit, it was very tempting.

Elviz wrote:

No, wait, I didn't. But let's just say that when it comes to development practices, making this change at this time strikes me as questionable.

Same here.

parasti wrote:

I figured I would wait for a discussion to start. Take the fact that I committed them as my part in the discussion.

You figured this, but you didn't tell anybody that that was what was happening. Who knew that you were waiting, and who knew that it was up for discussion? How many contributors was this visible to? How would you have felt if one of the other contributors with repo write access had reverted the commit without discussion in a similar manner?

I'm pretty much feeling everything that Elviz is. Mixing currency symbols and numeric values feels like a poor decision to me, and this soft edged look doesn't seem to mesh well with the rest of Neverball's established look and feel.

GunChleoc wrote:

I guess I'm to blame for this, because I didn't do my testing earlier.

I dunno - you made some stuff and shared what you'd created in  your thread[. It feels like that is a good prompt for discussion. It's committing it without that discussion having ensued that seems to be the point of contention.

GunChleoc wrote:

I don't know which font was used originally.

I've always used extra bolded Bitstream Vera Sans as an approximation. I think rlk used whatever Bitstream Vera Sans was inspired by (I can't recall what that is off the top of my head).

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

7

Re: New coin textures?

Elviz wrote:
parasti wrote:

Take the fact that I committed them as my part in the discussion.

Well, then take the fact that I just reverted the commit as my part in the discussion. No, wait, I didn't. But let's just say that when it comes to development practices, making this change at this time strikes me as questionable. I mean, even the help shots had already been made release-ready.

I'm sure that you're well aware that out of the list of questionable pre-release changes made in the past week, this one is at the very bottom of that list. And even then, so what? Is there something special about releasing 1.6.0 that I'm not aware of, that prevents 1.6.1, 1.6.2, 1.7.0 and so on from ever being conceived? That commit from being reverted the next day after 1.6.0 and 1.6.1 being released a week from now? Am I blaspheming by suggesting that the obligatory five year cycle between releases be broken once again, as it once was after 1.5.0?

No discussion took place because I didn't personally care and knew full well that if anyone cared they would start a discussion. The conclusion that reverting the commit is an equivalent response, according to my own standard, is patently wrong because any conflict or hostile action necessitates discussion. The act of me adding textures isn't a conflict or a hostile action, the act of you reverting it, is.

But I digress.

On the topic of coin textures, I'm not attached to the old designs and I'm obviously okay with the new ones that GunChleoc came up with. I could get picky of course, but I don't care about them that much as long as they look good.

The reason for adding custom textures for 5- and 10-valued coins was for localization purposes, to avoid collapsing different materials to the same texture in the translation. E.g., if item/coin/coin5 was localized to item/coin/euro_coin.png, and we decided to change the coin5.png texture, all of the translations would need to be updated.

I totally agree that they could be higher-res. That applies regardless of whether or not the new designs get adopted.

For everyone not following the commit log, I have reverted the offending commit.

8 (edited by GunChleoc 2014-05-21 12:34:46)

Re: New coin textures?

I have created a 256 + 256 set with the old style, which I posted in the other thread.

I also had another stab at a redesign (see attachment). I feel that the old style coins don't fit in with the rest of the graphics, so I'm trying to create something new. How would you guys like these?

I also think the target is too low res, I'll have a look see if I can find the texture and recreate it in a higher resolution. ETA: found it, there is already a 1024 resolution version, so I don't know why it looks so low res in my screenshot.

Post's attachments

coin.png, 23.57 kb, 256 x 256
coin.png 23.57 kb, 73 downloads since 2014-05-21 

neverball-coins.png 457.51 kb, 46 downloads since 2014-05-21 

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Re: New coin textures?

I don't want to sound annoying, but:

  • No korean coin has the whole word in it, I'd rather prefer to see the ₩ symbol. It's like writing the word "dollar" in a dollar coin instead of using the $ symbol.

  • I don't like the new style. I'm sorry but I just don't like it.

  • What's the problem with localizing the 5 and 10 coins?

~DEV

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Re: New coin textures?

GunChleoc wrote:

How would you guys like these?

I think there's a lot of possibility space to explore here (not just for look and feel, but for differentiation between denominations). Coins are some of the most prominent elements in Neverball, and refactoring them is something that deserves a bit of exploration and deliberation.

I feel much warmer toward the most recent images you've posted than the earlier ones, but I feel they still need some work. They're much less readable at extreme angles than the originals are.

My suggestion would be to continue to refine these ideas and slot them into 1.6.1.


ht-never's point on localisation of the 5 and 10 images is something I'd meant to mention in my earlier post. If numeric values are to be displayed on coins, these need to be translated as well, and perhaps should also be left for 1.6.1.

I find the 5 and 10 images, both the ones currently in the repo (they're still using different images in the repo if anybody misunderstood parasti's post) and the ones in the above screenshot, are harder to discern than the dollar sign, especially on the blue coin.

Edit: Whoops! I'd accidentally written 1.7.1 instead of 1.6.1

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

11 (edited by GunChleoc 2014-05-21 14:32:32)

Re: New coin textures?

I have researched the number thing and all of the languages we are localizing into seem to use arabic digits for their numbers. We should still keep them localizable individually, so future languages will have the possibility of having coins with different scripts on them. I'm fine with numbers or symbols on the coins. I'd like if we'd make up our minds somehow one way or the other, so we can commit the version we want and I can update the language files accordingly. Even if we kick the numbers off the repo for now, they will still be attached to the forum, so nothing will be lost. I will need to know if we go with numbers or symbols though, because I will need to change the translations accordingly.

@ht-never: Thanks for your feedback, I will change it to the ₩ symbol then.

A friend who speaks Cantonese has helped me with find a better font for the Chinese symbol, and he has also given me the symbol for the traditional version. So, new files in a minute in the other thread!

So, how many commits have I generated now with this? Thanks for putting up with me! smile

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Re: New coin textures?

GunChleoc wrote:

I have researched the number thing and all of the languages we are localizing into seem to use arabic digits for their numbers.

Ah well, that answers that then! Good work on being thorough there.

GunChleoc wrote:

Even if we kick the numbers off the repo for now, they will still be attached to the forum, so nothing will be lost.

The release has been tagged, so it's in there now.

GunChleoc wrote:

So, how many commits have I generated now with this? Thanks for putting up with me! smile

I count six. It's great to start to look at these assets and reassess them - please don't feel that your work is something to be "put up with"! smile


Having one symbolic and two numeric coins feels like it's a consistency issue that doesn't quite work. I find the idea of having differing reverse and obverse images to be interesting, though I think there's value in coins displaying the same image at any point in their rotation that shouldn't be overlooked.

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

13

Re: New coin textures?

Thanks for your feedback!

In any case, it would be great if we could get the improvements for the Asian coins in there in a minor release sometime.

I have fiddled around today and have come up with 2 basic designs, one with the big symbol or a number, and one with a smaller symbol + number together.

I know which one I prefer, but I would like to hear comments first smile

Post's attachments

neverball-big.png 432.24 kb, 56 downloads since 2014-05-21 

neverball-small.png 438.96 kb, 52 downloads since 2014-05-21 

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Re: New coin textures?

Why in the blue coin the dollar sign is bigger than the number inconsistently to the other coins?

~DEV

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Re: New coin textures?

You mean in the 10 coin? Because I think the coin looks better that way. I had a look at my RL coins and they are all pretty inconsistent, so I thought why not. If we go for the basic design, I can always do more fiddling to see if I can make it look good with the 10 on the left.

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Re: New coin textures?

my 2cents on the matter for now: (no pun intended, hehe)
I find even having numbers on some coins a little 'distracting' because it seems to engage a 'reading part' of my brain, in essence, scanning the coins for written information that is implied by this new difference.

In other words, I think we intuitively scan all the coins flipping within view and figure out that they all say the same thing, then our focus shifts away from that information. I'm guessing hacing something different on the two sides of coins might be even more 'eye-pulling'.

Anyway, it's also very possible that just the newness of it is what makes it distracting for me, since I have known the game for so long, I can't really be objective. I definitely don't care for the mixture of symbol and number, as in the neverball-small.png image. Nice work nevertheless, looks good!

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Re: New coin textures?

I must admit I liked the small version better, but now that I look at it again, I think it is too busy for the game. Pretty, but too much stuff going on. I tend to fall in love with stuff I have fiddled on big_smile

So, I think we should go with the big design. Now the next question is, numbers or not. I think the currency symbols have more character than the numbers (pun also not intended tongue), but it would also be nice to have the extra number information. We could do one of the following:

  1. Use the currency symbol on all coins.

  2. Use the number symbol on all coins.

  3. Remap the coins to have a number on one side and the currency symbol on the other.

  4. Add a user option, so the user can decide if (s)he prefers numbers or currency symbols.

I would like version 3 best, because it combines the pretty with the useful. Somebody would have to code this though.

I wouldn't like version 4, because Options Are Bad.

I will create all the textures, then the community can decide at leisure what we want to do with them.

18 (edited by dtb 2014-05-22 08:54:56)

Re: New coin textures?

GunChleoc wrote:

...Having the numbers would certainly help new players, because they won't have to remember what the colours mean.

I think that new players pretty soon figure out a coin's value just by means of its colour (and subsequently take that information in most likely for the rest of their lives) as there is not so much input to capture here :doh:

I agree with tones "2 cents" on the topic (so we've already got 4 cents here?), though I feel it's rather plain dispensable than distracting to have the number written on each coin.

19 (edited by jammnrose 2014-05-22 11:33:03)

Re: New coin textures?

tonesfrommars wrote:

I find even having numbers on some coins a little 'distracting' because it seems to engage a 'reading part' of my brain, in essence, scanning the coins for written information that is implied by this new difference.

tonesfrommars wrote:

I'm guessing hacing something different on the two sides of coins might be even more 'eye-pulling'.

dtb wrote:

I agree with tones "2 cents" on the topic (so we've already got 4 cents here?), though I feel it's rather plain dispensable than distracting to have the number written on each coin.

As has been said, I think we should not use numbers, it engages with the player in a way that pure shapes do not. My 2 cents are that we should only use the currency icon on both sides, keep it simple. I think it fits best with the simple but playful style of Neverball too, generally we've only used shapes for textures, never characters or numbers. The coin color is enough to distinguish the value.

Mac OS X Xcode project & package maintainer.

If you have some Neverball related files you need hosted somewhere, please send a me forum PM/email.

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Re: New coin textures?

I think Easy 3 does a good job of introducing coin values. Players have already had two levels to come to terms with moving the ball around, and Easy 3 is the same layout as Easy 1, so coin value is the only thing being learned across that level. That said, we have no indication of coin values (or other pickup types) in the Help screens.

There are potentially other non-numeric ways of communicating the distinction between the different coin values (varying shape, size or thickness, having different particle density or sounds when picking up differently valued coins, or some other more abstract texture variations). Tones' point about "reading" feels pretty valid (when I've mentioned readability, I've been referring to identifiability).

An exercise which might be helpful in assessing numeric indicators could be to imagine that we had rings or some other arbitrary collectible in Neverball rather than coins and think about how we would go about differentiating between values - would numbers feel right there and what other options would be available? It's possible that we're looking at numbers because that's what coins have, not because that's what the game needs.

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net

21

Re: New coin textures?

I think we have a consensus - use a big currency symbols on both sides.

Textures are in this thread, just delete the ones with the numbers on them.

Since we have agreed to have the same texture on alll 3 values, IMO there is no need to keep separate textures for 5 and 10 now.

Is 256 x 256 big enough, or would we benefit from higher resolution than that?

Also, I think the blue coin is a bit dark compared to the others.

22 (edited by jammnrose 2014-05-22 12:41:09)

Re: New coin textures?

GunChleoc wrote:

I think we have a consensus - use a big currency symbols on both sides.

I am not opposed to finding/exploring improvements to the coins, but I think as far as "symbology" goes, we're somewhat in agreement, at this point, to just use currency symbols, and keep the flat color style (e.g. not faux metal).

Mac OS X Xcode project & package maintainer.

If you have some Neverball related files you need hosted somewhere, please send a me forum PM/email.

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Re: New coin textures?

For the sake of thoroughness: I actually do like the shaded more "3D" take on the coin faces which, as jammnrose points out, make them appear metllic in a 'realistic' way. But also, in line with what Cheeseness said, I feel the contrast is a bit much and the coins appear 'darker' and more busy, making me wonder if there's a way to split the difference and have the 3D shading effect be more understated.
I'm not asking you to do more work on it GunChleoc, just making sure I state my opinions fully.

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Re: New coin textures?

I'm not a fan of the shaded look, to be honest. If we really want to go for a more defined relief, it should be done in geometry so it actually gets shaded by the lighting. At that point, it would be best to not localize the coins at all.

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Re: New coin textures?

There's work involved, but bump maps are another option to get that definition.

Cheese
==========
cheesetalks.net