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Champions Begins, The writening


Christopher R Taylor
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7 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

OK another question for the folks here.  The Player's Book is riddled with images and captions, trying to break up the text into smaller bits and make it hold attention better.  I have two different options for formatting, as shown below.

1679552598_Example1.thumb.png.45f4d2d44adc828644f2af56a825f217.pngexample.thumb.png.d1d4407b35143705b5ec2fa7e3d2833f.png

Now, the first option saves space and packs in more into fewer pages, but has longer sections of text (eek!  its longer than a Text Message!).  The second option makes the text look less intimidating and long, but takes up a lot more space.  Any thoughts on which would be better and come across best for new players (particularly younger ones)?

 

 

I would say #2, but I really like #1 (less space wasted). I would ditch the actual comic book panels unless you actually want to be used by Disney or Warner Brothers/Time Life Incorporated. 

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16 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

OK Did some coloring, here's a couple of examples of what I came up with so far.

 

Dr Nope (male)

Apex (female)

 

I am not in any particular hurry to finish the art off, still waiting on one playtester and hoping against all reason and hope someone else might want to playtest this.

 

The poses might be an issue.  Dr. Nope is doing a generic "tough guy" heroic pose and Apex is doing a "cheesecake/pinup" pose.  If her character is all about being a model or similar (like Sapphire is a pop singer) then it might fly, but if you are actually going to try to get a teenage girl to play the game based on this art... it might be offputting.

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You can scroll up to see all the poses.  I did quite a mix of different ones.  My goal was less to fix them in specific poses, than to have two versions of each: one action pose and one very clear pose showing their costume.


Also, its not exactly unknown for women to want to look pretty and enticing.

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2 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

You can scroll up to see all the poses.  I did quite a mix of different ones.  My goal was less to fix them in specific poses, than to have two versions of each: one action pose and one very clear pose showing their costume.


Also, its not exactly unknown for women to want to look pretty and enticing.

 

You did indeed have a mix of poses, I'm saying *this* one is maybe more of a pinup than we might want for a PC heroine.

If the character is supposed to be acting enticing, cool.  If the character is supposed to be awesome and kickass.. then this doesn't work.  The art sets the tone for who you want the audience to be, especially in a product aimed at new players.  My group of Hero players is mostly women and good god don't get them started on how shitty the representation is in 75% of all RPG books.  I believe that if you have women leading with their chests as sample player characters you are communicating that you are more interested in teenage boys than women of any age as new players.

It's your product, you should art direct the way you want to art direct, but it matters.

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

You can scroll up to see all the poses.  I did quite a mix of different ones.  My goal was less to fix them in specific poses, than to have two versions of each: one action pose and one very clear pose showing their costume.


Also, its not exactly unknown for women to want to look pretty and enticing.

You're also doing a male & female version of each, I take it.  

 

The male Apex upthread and female one you linked both look 'sweet' to me, like they're each on the gentler side of heroing.  The male is all muscled and may even be flexing, but not in a way that looks aggressive, and his facial expression is just... sweet, maybe a trifle sad.  The female version's pose is less serious, though.

 

The male vs female Dr Nope, OTOH, you have an aggressive pose for the male and suggestive for the female - if that were consistent throughout your artwork you might stop and think about it.    

 

Please, note, I'm not saying every female illo has to be aggressive or heroic, just a reasonable proportion of them. That and some males need to be depicted in other ways, too - maybe  even including suggestive ones. ;) And I know that last bit it tricky.

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OK the problem here is the full array of all the characters, so you can judge what you think of what I did.  Mind you I'd love to have some other artist work on these but... here we are.

 

Here's what I am trying to do.  I needed a male and female version of each character, for players to pick from.

I wanted to have one action pose of each, and one clear shot of what the costume looks like, since the Character Cards will have front and back images with info on the characters to choose from.

 

Because of that, I swapped pose/action from male to female every time, so you'd get alternating female on front, male on front, etc.  (I would post examples of all this as images but the storage space here is extremely limited, and for some reason its not accepting any image storage site).

 

There are 20 total images of which I've posted a small handful just to give a sense of what I am doing.  I'll try to figure out a way to post all the images so you can decide whether or not you find them acceptable or that girls will not be shocked and offended by them.  Honestly, given the images girls send out of themselves I'm skeptical they would be aghast at that picture of Apex, but I have no daughters to test this stuff on.

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On 5/20/2021 at 9:58 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

OK the problem here is the full array of all the characters, so you can judge what you think of what I did.  Mind you I'd love to have some other artist work on these but... here we are.

 

Here's what I am trying to do.  I needed a male and female version of each character, for players to pick from.

I wanted to have one action pose of each, and one clear shot of what the costume looks like, since the Character Cards will have front and back images with info on the characters to choose from.

 

Because of that, I swapped pose/action from male to female every time, so you'd get alternating female on front, male on front, etc.  (I would post examples of all this as images but the storage space here is extremely limited, and for some reason its not accepting any image storage site).

 

There are 20 total images of which I've posted a small handful just to give a sense of what I am doing.  I'll try to figure out a way to post all the images so you can decide whether or not you find them acceptable or that girls will not be shocked and offended by them.  Honestly, given the images girls send out of themselves I'm skeptical they would be aghast at that picture of Apex, but I have no daughters to test this stuff on.

Talk to me about art. Standard rates apply, but I am available. 

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Quote

Talk to me about art. Standard rates apply, but I am available. 

 

Standard rates in this case are $0 since nobody is being paid, and the product will be offered for free.  If you care to volunteer some work, I'd be glad for it.  I'm not making a cent on this, its hopefully an investment in future customers.

 

All the heroes male and female in the lineup, part 1

Part 2

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/7/2021 at 8:48 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

OK another question for the folks here.  The Player's Book is riddled with images and captions, trying to break up the text into smaller bits and make it hold attention better.  I have two different options for formatting, as shown below.

 

Now, the first option saves space and packs in more into fewer pages, but has longer sections of text (eek!  its longer than a Text Message!).  The second option makes the text look less intimidating and long, but takes up a lot more space.  Any thoughts on which would be better and come across best for new players (particularly younger ones)?

I like the first one. It is denser but more pleasing to the eye.

 

The second one is weird because the images are so small compared to the width of the text. Additionally, narrow columns are easier to read, while wider columns are harder.

 

The second is less intimidating, that is true. I just think it scans poorly and the full width text is not so easy to read. Maybe if you enlarged the font, and enlarged the images to fill the page width? Or broke it up somehow? Maybe if the text was on the left and the image on the right...

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I'll experiment with some layout ideas.  I can't make the images too big or they'll take up way too much space on a page, but the side by side thing has some promise.

 

And Archer, thanks for your input and editing.  Its frustrating as a writer, but I just cannot find all my screw ups myself and I'm a one-dude operation, so a lot can slip by.

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Yeah I hate Comic Sans as much as pretty much everyone, but I am using a better comic font for headers (same I used in the Dr Destroyer adventure) called Anime Ace.  The main body is Calibri I think?  I used an older, little bit less legible font for Western Hero but it really looked great for the tone of the book.

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OK I found a way to show off all the character designs at once, you can see all the colored version and the male/female images of each character at THIS HERE LINK.  All 10 characters are in there in both sexes.  I haven't finished coloring all of them as of this posting but am getting them done slowly.

 

Please let me know what you think, I really appreciate the input.

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OK I have uploaded the Champions Begins project to the Downloads section of this website.  There's still a lot of work to do, primarily art, maps, and coloring, but I wanted to give people a look at the thing as it now stands.  The current format and layout is probably how it will go.  Because of the art, its a fairly large download for an adventure.

 

Please, if you want to help out, do so soon.  If you want to playtest, please do.  Remember, this is going to be FREE FOR EVERYONE because it is meant to be a promotional product and aid for people to learn to play Champions.  I'd love to see people running this at game stores, conventions, and so on.  There's no pay for anyone involved, but if you want to donate art and your time to help promote our hobby, please do.

 

WHAT WE STILL NEED:

  • A couple of maps redrawn and updated, or just drawn at all
  • Interior illustrations, especially for the Player Book
  • A definitive VIPER costume for agents and elite agents
  • Coloring on multiple characters
  • More editing passes in case we've missed something important

This is getting very close to being done, I hope we can get it wrapped up by fall.  I really wanted to have it ready for Summer, but with the way conventions and the shutdowns have been going, it probably is not that significant a problem for timing.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The latest version of the Champions Begins ad.  this is the kind of thing I used to print up and put up in a game store to attract people to a game I was going to run; with a paper under it giving details and times.

 

 

https://postimg.cc/mh9GNWKj

 

 

The final version will have the female variant of Trooper on the end and Vulcan in the middle, so it balances out the listing.

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2 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The latest version of the Champions Begins ad.  this is the kind of thing I used to print up and put up in a game store to attract people to a game I was going to run; with a paper under it giving details and times.

 

img?static=0

 

The final version will have the female variant of Trooper on the end and Vulcan in the middle, so it balances out the listing.

I can't see this image

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