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SirWeeble

Signage in environment

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SirWeeble    1060

I'm working on environments at the moment and trying to decide with what to do with signs in my game. My problem is that signs that are readable are also likely to become rather annoying if you see them over and over. As well, if they say something like "Shoe Shop" or whatever, and the sign isn't actually attached to something that looks like a store, it makes no sense.

 

I've considered several options, but I'm not sure which is better.

 

A) Avoid signs all together or make them vague and wordless.

B) Use another language that most of the audience won't know (I do speak/read/write 2 languages)

C) Make up a nonsense font that looks futuristic (my setting is sci-fi, so this wouldn't be out of place)

 

I really considered option B, but I would have to change the setting and do a lot of research. Plus, I'm much more familiar with western architecture, culture, etc.

 

 

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kseh    3840

I went nuts with the signage in the project that I'm working on. I decided that buildings would have up to two signs on them in a couple of possible positions such that one is a small icon that indicates the type of shop it is (if applicable) and the other would be a letter written on the building to represent the company or family name. Also, streets are marked with signs where they begin and end and at the middle, unless the street is particularly short in which case just one sign at the middle. The intent is to show the sign details when you mouse over the sign.

In a town, signs are absolutely everywhere to the point where it looks like there's too much and feels rather crowded when you're in a populated area. When you're in the country side things look a lot more calm. The rare sign that you see makes it feel like the place has some kind of purpose. I'm sure there would be numerous opinions to the contrary but I think the contrast between the two areas works for my world.

I don't really see the point in really obscuring the names of places. Communicating at a glance what a building, tent, kiosk, bench, vending machine, or individual is selling lets the player quickly decide without having to walk up to the location and engage in a conversation that they might not really want to start. Maybe you don't want to call an individual standing on a corner a "shop" but you could simply call him a "salesman" and he could either keep a sandwich board near him to advertise the fact he's open for business or maybe he just wears some sort of easily identifiable company uniform.

 

Probably the best advice though would be to see if you can't do some sort of mock up of the various styles that you want to try out and get a sense of whether it's heading in the right direction for you.

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SirWeeble    1060

The signs I'm making aren't really there to convey a meaning, but just be decoration. To make the place feel more real. Urban areas are canvased with ads, billboards, shop signs and logos. Players can scavenge for some loot in some buildings, but as of yet, the different buildings don't offer different loot, so it doesn't matter what the building "was". That may change in the future though.

 

Braindigitalis: I considered doing that. It would be easy enough to make a list of possible names, but then they're default font, which is kind of boring. Alternatively, I could use fonts, but unless I want to design 4-5 original font faces, I have to deal with copyright issues or pay enormous prices for the rights to a font (or more accurately, the right to use a TTF "program" since you can't copyright fonts). Font houses, I've found, operate on the assumption that big companies don't mind paying 1,500 dollars for a font. My whole budget is about the price of 2 fonts.

 

I'm weary about using "free" fonts (or any "free" asset), as I could go download a font with a price tag of 1,500 dollars for commercial use, and put it on a website and label it "free for commercial use", or even claim "free for personal use - donate $10 dollars for commercial". Freebee sites don't offer any gaurantees.

 

If anyone actually knows how to follow up on supposed copyrights, I'd be very interested in knowing. So far, I haven't really trusted any free assets, and the fonts I'm using now are placeholders until I figure out what to do about it. Might be a good topic for me to post in the business section..

Edited by SirWeeble

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Brain    18906


The signs I'm making aren't really there to convey a meaning, but just be decoration

 

This is exactly why i suggested QR codes. If youre talking about a near future, perhaps it has gone the way of wearable and implatable tech, and augmented reality, and that people with the tech dont see the QR codes, they see an entire business profile or something like a facebook page. The problem being of course, that you dont have this tech for some reason.

 

I'm giving some other ideas here now that may or may not fit into your game :)

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Old Soul    189

You could have an icon that represents the shop (like a shoe) that is overlayed in blue as though it was your augmented reality display "detecting a shoe shop" and marking it out for you. Alternatively I have to ask why isn't it looking like a shop? Come up with fake posters of the products to put inside the windows and have products on displays. Anyone who owns a shop would go out of their way of letting people know that it's a shop. Nothing says shoe shop like shoes in the window.

Edited by Old Soul

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