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Does our icon suck? - brutal honesty required

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The art style is a little off-putting. If I could put a pin on why it's because there's different levels of detail on different elements. It's clashing a bit. My guess is you're doing a CG render with a photoshop paint over - you're allowing a ton of details to come through from the render (shading, sculpting imperfections, even a reflection of the armor on the cheek) but the paint over (hair, ear) is a very illustrative style (flat, no noise, only hand-painted gradients). I would either push to have more detail in the paint over, or take steps to reduce detail from the CG render. This could be done with a toon shader, or by painting over more of the render. The irises of the eyes in particular are off-putting from the clash.

 

For positives, I think you've sculpted a very emotive face. I like the expression, it sets a fun inviting tone.

 

Also, please factor into this feedback that I'm not an artist myself and disliking the art style is at least part personal preference.

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Sorry, couldn't figure out how to change the attachment in the original post.

As Hodgman rightly points out, a much smaller size is what people will see:

post-66088-0-62401700-1483106691.png

I agree that the hair is a bit ugly, and that's very easy to fix; however, I'm more interested to know what you think about the icon as a whole.  What is your instant reaction when you see it? Is it one of "that's lame" or neural, or "that's reasonably cool"?

Also, how do you think it would be perceived by teenagers, who are the main audience?

 

 

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My first thoughts were, the icon doesn't seem to tell me anything about the game.

 

How about having him with that same creepy smile, while decapitating an enemy, with blood spurting out? Or maybe a pizza if that's too graphic. But something with a sword in it. :)

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He's not quite looking directly at us, but he's not really looking away either. It's a little weird.

 

Good point! Hadn't really noticed that until you mentioned it.

I've tweaked the eyes now and changed the hair a bit - what do you think now?

 


 

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You might find this article interesting. Honestly, I don't think the icon matches the game. It looks a bit like CG from the late 90s rather than cartoony (not sure if that's what you were going for)? Your gameplay video and in-game art actually look quite nice, maybe you could mash up some in-game art for the icon?

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Thanks, that's the type of brutal feedback that is useful!

 

I'm sticking with it for now. We've launched and are getting decent results: we're nearly at 1000 downloads. 

 

I agree that it doesn't really fit the game; however, I believe quite strongly that a characters face is more catchy that something symbolic, and our artistic skills aren't really up to drawing a decent looking face. Hence the render.  

I might run an experiment later on and see if we get better click-through rates with a different icon, but will leave it running like this for a few weeks to see if it stabilises.

 

Thanks a lot for the feedback!

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While I like the cheeky smile and that kniving glance, the facial muscles around the eyes/nose/cheeks failing to conform around his grin makes it look like the picture is oddly warped rather than him grinning.

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