Posts Tagged ‘Cover Art’

Cover Art – 2011 (Part One)

Posted in Visual Candy in IF on August 16th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – 11 Comments

So, we’re kind of halfway into the year, IntroComp is over and IF Comp is right around the corner. A great moment to browse IFDB and choose my 2011 (Part One) favorite covers for IF games. Also, since trying to save Hooks from being a complete mess upon release is becoming tiresome, this counts as a contextualized break (yes, I know I would be better off playing Apocolocyntosis, but I’m feeling remarkably chaste at the moment)

Top of the Pops



Indigo by Emily Short

Not everything simple makes good design, but Indigo pulls off a charming and simple square. That watery reflexion pushes the whole a notch to the cheesy side, but everything else works quite well.





New Cat by Poster

(And this time I even know the author’s name is just Poster! See? I do learn!)

I like (almost) everything about this one: from the simple sketch, to the tone, to the texture, to the lettering. The (almost) part: I wish it was a notch lighter, but that’s just plain nitpicking.


Almost There



Bonehead by Sean M. Shore

As with Alabaz, seeing this one in full size ruins it all. My problem is the title: the color is on the mark, the font is great, but I wish Sean had done something to smooth it with the photo, so that everything looks part of the same piece of paper. As it stands, it screams “I just threw a computer generated rectangle at an old photo!” in a way it’s impossible to ignore.



Love, Hate and the Mysterious Ocean Tower by C.E.J. Pacian

The same as with Bonehead.






Chunky Blues by Scott Hammack and Jessamin Yu

I think good things could be achieved with this image (which is really nice) and the vertical column concept, but at the end of the look it just feels clumsy. The title positioning works well to balance the column, but the font and that kind of “not that centered” formating ruins everything else.

(Oddly or not, this is the only IntroComp entry I’ve found in IFDB)

The Lost Islands of Alabaz by Michael Gentry

The idea of creating an old scrool-like cover only works at a distance. Enbigenning the square to its full size reveals a lot of crude work, namely in the frame, and all the elegance it promises falls a bit short.





Safe by Benjamin Wochinski

The original image has potential, but the lettering and its placement feels all wrong. The blurred side guides us to the sharp side, but once there only nothing awaits. Pity.





Something For The Road



Mentula Macanus: Apocolocyntosis by One of the Bruces and Drunken Bastard

Is this Pompeii erotic piece well chosen? Yes it is, but when I do this thing of yelling “Yay! Cute covers!”, I do it not only to inform the Universe of my tastes, but to promote the interest in creating more of these things. Apocolocyntosis cover doesn’t create anything: it just chooses.



Finally, the ‘Please Don’t’ Awards




2010 Cover Art

Posted in Visual Candy in IF on May 22nd, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – Be the first to comment

I’m a sucker for cover art.

I think it does great things for the works it represents. A book cover, a CD cover, a film cover: these are things that are always attached to that particular piece. They go along in libraries, physical stores, online stores, et cetera.

And so, I decided to browse the IF world of entries in 2010 and pick a bunch of them to call good, bad and ugly.

Disclaimer: these are obviously personal choices, and there isn’t a correlation between my opinion on the covers and my opinion on the games themselves, some of which I haven’t even played.

Top of the Pops

My favorites, with no particular order.

Leadlight, by Wade Clarke

Leadlight‘s overall artwork is beautiful. The illustrations are strong and well crafted. On the other hand, I think the cover, as a whole, could (should?) work better. The lettering drags the illustrations behind a bit.

Leadlight’s website, with more illustrations.
Leadlight @ IFDB.

Divis Mortis, by Lynnea Dally

A simple thing, a clean thing, yet pleasing and functional.

The lettering is a weak spot, I believe, but overall Lynnea threw a cover that gives me that eerie feeling without throwing my eyes into one of  those zombie-apocalypse-gore-fest-cliché posters.

Divis Mortis @ IFDB

The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game, by Taylor Vaughan

So what if The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game won’t be in Good Examples in Design magazine? I truly love it. I think it is my second favorite cover for 2010, along with one of my favorite titles for 2010. Marx get’s a prize. Ain’t that ironic…

Glorious Revolutionary @ IFDB

Allein mit Kai, by Ingo Scharmann and Joana Markus

The kid’s expression takes it all in. I believe those eyes alone won this cover a nomination for Best Supplemental Materials, in 2010 Xyzzy awards. The lettering of the title, on the other hand, almost ruins it all. I tried to find out who made it (the photo and the cover design), but to no avail.

Allein mit Kai @ IFDB

Blind House, by Amanda Allen

I love this one, I truly do. I don’t particularly like the pose of the lady in the back, who I think off-balances the overall thing, but those textures, those scratches, hell!, even the lettering, it all leaves me with that feeling I’m looking at something I’m not supposed to.

The Blind House @ IFDB

Das Spiel, zuvor bekannt als Verborgener Nazi-Modus, by Victor Gijsbers

A cute clay bunny and “Nazi” in the title? Of course I’m gonna check it out! I found out this game was an experiment by the author on close VS open source ethics in games. You can read about it in an English essay Gijsbers has on his site. But my focus here is the cover art -  which is, to my brain’s little eye, the best 2010 cover.

Verborgener Nazi-Modus Official Website

Verborgener Nazi-Modus @ IFDB

Almost There

The ones I almost liked, but that were ruined by this or that.

Drama Queen 7 – Mother knows best, by HermDog

The photo is awsome, the framing is top notch, the connection with the title is funny, et cetera. But that lettering, for some reason, threw the ball out. It’s not the pink; the pink works; it’s the… the… hell, I can’t put my finger in it, but it just ruins it for me.

Drama Queen @ IFDB

Closed Circles, M. M. Kathrel

At first glace, I threw this one at the Top of the Pops list. The picture is smooth, the placement of the title was elegant, it seems like a indie-band CD cover. But upon enlargement… well, it killed it.

Closed Circles @ IFDB

Absturzmomente, by Jörg Rosenbauer

Now, there are many things here that I like, like the simple, yet strong illustration, and the texture. But the heavy use on that golden glow tracing the lines was much too… glowing for me. This is the cover that I’m most sad about throwing here.

Absturzmomente @ IFBD

Help! My Retina is Bleeding!

Heavy use on colors and special effects. Headaches of violence follow.

Cryptozookeeper, by Rob Sherwin

So this one won’t win me any friends, I’m afraid, but it’s not just the cover: I couldn’t even play the darn game! It’s like a peacock on steroids. Photoshopped to hell with all kinds of effects and saturation I dislike.

Cryptozookeeper @ IFDB

The Cube, by Eleanor Gang and Simon Smart

A cube with three colors? The primary ones? A blurred infinite on top? The light of the Universe shining in a good-ol’-ugly-photoshopped-white-flare way? Yes, the title for this section came from this cover alone. But you can’t blame me, can you?

The Cube @ IFDB

The Argument, by Harvey Smith

Ok, so it’s a depression inducing game (or a game induced by depression), and so we have a dark, depressing cover.

That’s fine.

I can live with that.

The Argument @ IFDB

A Quiet Evening at Home, by Anonymous

So, who is going to win this personal “Take My Eyes Out and Jump on Them” competition of mine? This little baby. This is it: the worst cover for 2010. So bad I can only guess it was on purpose. Click on the picture to enjoy it in full 1000 pixel loveliness – I dare  you.

Quiet Evening @ IFDB

The Amazing “What the hell?!” Section

These are covers I had to check twice; although I don’t really know why.

And that’s a wrap. Feel free to insult my choices or to share yours. It’s fine either way.