Hi everyone. I thought I’d do a short review of the title images used by games in this year’s IFComp as for me, the images are often the first thing that’ll draw me in to looking at a game. They’re based solely on the image and reading the description on the main page and do not reflect anything about the quality of the game play. (I’m trying to write these down before I play them so I’m not biased by anything within. My impressions may even be wrong in some cases, but this may also hopefully be helpful to the entrants I hope if the images aren’t conveying what they’re meant to.) Nothing is mean to be nasty even if critical (I’m trying to be constructive and explain if I don’t think something works for me personally), please don’t take offense as it’s honestly not intended that way. These are just the thoughts of someone who is not a professional artist or graphic designer so take my opinions with a grain of salt
Lost coastlines: I love the image chosen for this. The colours are beautiful and eye catching and muted enough to give that sense of mystery the title seems to suggest. The single person in a paddle boat also seems to give that feeling of being alone.
I do like the swirly compass which again adds to a feeling of being somewhere unmapped, however to me it seems too large an dominates the image too much. It also pushes the text down so if feels like its sitting too low on the page and squishing/obscuring the boat image. Personally I’d make the compass smaller and lift the text further up the page. I do like the colours chosen for the text. It’s visible without being overwhelming. I’m not a fan of the text at the bottom. It’s in a different text type, and a bolded font and in plain white, making it seem like it’s not part of the image in the same way as the other elements.
Death by lightning: Unfortunately I’m not really a fan of the image used here. It’s small and doesn’t take up the full space provided, and when combined with a heavy image filter + monochrome colours makes it hard to make out what it is. (I thought it was probably a cabin in the snow, which was confirmed by looking at the original image.) It doesn’t feel eye catching enough to draw attention, and the image doesn’t seem to match with the description so I’m not sure what to think of the game going in.
To Persist/Exist/Endure, Press 1: Simple, but gets the point across. The angled, sketched phone gives a sense of movement which fits with the likely urgency of the call, and the only colour: liquid red highlighting on the call and 1 buttons, suggests the horror elements suggested in the summary.
Crash: I’m not sure about this one. Although the title is clear and it’s obvious at a glance it’ll be sci-fi, the cutesy cartoon spaceship and curvy font suggests something light hearted, possibly even suitable for children, which is at odds with the title (crash) and description that is about a harrowing mission and disaster. There’s no colours added, which might help with confirming the tone. It makes me unsure what tone to expect from the game. On the plus side the uncluttered image and text is clear and suitable for a small image space.
Blood Island: This image seems to have been made by someone who has an eye for details that work together well. There’s a bright sunlit almost empty beach, but by contrast the water beyond looks deep, dark and foreboding. A paradise with a dark side. The text looks like it could have been written in the sand, but is highlighted in red. The innocent scene on the beach of two umbrellas is off set by the knowledge outlined by the text that there can be only one survivor and gives it a sinister undertone.
The Pool: The colour scheme shows this game is likely horror genre clearly. Unfortunately the chosen font for the title looks fairly friendly to me, and I’m not sure what the red and white objects in the image are depicting. Against the black, without the text to tell me it’s a pool, it doesn’t look water themed. A bit more detail here in the images, or some water ripples could in my opinion give a bit more interest by suggesting what might be out there, without giving away so much that you know exactly what is in the water.
Star tripper: I like this one. It’s colourful, eye catching and makes me want to look further. The simplified images spaceship and moon against a starry background makes it clear what the game is about without getting cluttered, and the asymmetric placement of the image gives a bit of a sense of movement. Going by this image, I’d expect a fun, space themed adventure game that doesn’t get too dark and serious.