View Full Version : Experimental Illustration WIP

11-28-2007, 01:01 AM
Having just purchased Digital Horror Art (book), I got inspired by my own Superstition Valley... I wanted to play with the idea of gothic horror old west setting, so I decided to create an illustration (cover design?) for an RPG idea.

I used a couple of my map objects as Illustration objects (since these have a more 2D look compared to the mountain modules.)

If you look at the names of the features on the Superstition Valley map - Dos Diablos (Two Devils), Sangra Madre (Blood Mother), Superstition Valley - all rather darkly suggestive. This was my intent.

Anyway, rough draft, in this illustration WIP.

(Arcana has a 3D art, not map thread... this is mine) :P

11-28-2007, 05:15 AM
There's already Deadlands (http://www.peginc.com/Games/Deadlands%20Classic/Deadlands.htm) in this cross-genre, using the Savage Worlds rules. I don't think it goes for the Gothic style though ... more wierdness and possibly Cthulhu-esque.

The cover illustration looks great, very evocative ... is that Cochise in the background?

11-28-2007, 05:52 AM
Very nice - I love that spooky washed out colour scheme!

I think you can work on the composition a little more (although I'm no expert at this). There is no focus of interest - all the major elements compete with each other. The Indian, human skull, cactus and cow skull each occupy a corner which doesn't help.

I've done a little thumbnail which addresses some (but not all) of the compositional points.

I've decided that the focus of interest is going to be the two mountains marking the start of the valley in the middle distance. I've placed the valley in the 'golden triangle' , ie the top third of the page and made it smaller. To lead the eye to it, there is a road, with a repeated cactus element. I would also give it a subtle colour (red?) so it stands out. As objects in the distance are more washed out anyway, I'd make the background sky and skull a lot fainter and subtler. I'd work on making the perspective of the sky/clouds match that of the land - easily done by using Bryce.

It's a good idea just to play with little sketch thumbnails like this to bottom out your composition. Do a google on the web on composition you'll find tonnes of stuff.

Great Graphic Design tip I read:


As you can see, easy to remember from the first letters!

Great Stuff, though!


11-28-2007, 09:53 AM
Yeah, I was thinking of pulling the cowskull out, then use both the human skull and the Apache warrior on opposite corners. This also gets me to thinking how I should make a "cover design" for the mountain modules product. Perhaps this will become a module cover, rather than an Old West RPG cover design.

No that is not Cochise - this is from a collection of old west photos taken in 1915. I thought the very plain "Apache" look was very impressive - rather than the usual Souix Feather headress seem to be worn by every photographed native american.

Again, I was just playing around. 8)

11-28-2007, 11:24 AM
Inspired by my own last illustration, I've been thinking, I need to create a "package" to sell the mountain modules for the Christmas season from my website.

So here's my first attempt at packaging design for the mountain modules - you'll notice that faded sky is an actual photograph and its more clear in this image.

What should the map objects cost? I've been thinking $7 for the set, including my add-on themes: old west, meso-american, desert fantasy, and science fiction.


WIP so far... 8)

11-28-2007, 11:51 AM
That looks so much better!

In terms of cost, I have no idea, but $7 sounds very reasonable to me.


11-28-2007, 12:31 PM
$7 is reasonable, but in some marketing courses I took a while back, we learnt that when marketing things, people like to think in round numbers, and easily computed numbers. 7 is not really a round number, nor is it easily computed. 5 on the other hand is oddly enough, a nice round number, easily computed (i.e. every can count by 5's but most of us cannot count by 7's), and as a result 5 is mor appealing than 7.

Now, i don't have enough data from your site to determine costs of similar products and what one gets for them, and that brings in a lot of other variables. Are similar packages available and what does one pay for them? An example wuld be the Profantasy Annual which is around $30 for a year's subscription, and in the course of the year one gets 12 different symbol sets/map sets, etc. so the cost of that is approximiately $3 per symbol set etc.

Again, just some thoughts.

11-28-2007, 12:43 PM
Actually the number $7, fits well in other online marketing pricing structures. Its simple psychology - though your arguement on round numbers seems valid, $7 is less than $10 and more than $5, but since its closer to $5 - it feels like $5 to the buyer. I've learned from research that using the number 7 in a pricing structure is actually the best number to use.

Regarding actual price - I'm just guessing here. For CC3 monthly sets - how many objects on average per set? I currently have 85 objects in 3 formats for a total of 255 objects. I plan on adding the different themes which will add probably at least 80 more objects - in 3 formats, that's a total of 495 objects.

With a difference of $4 increased, does my huge amount objects add enough value to justify a $7 price, or should I go even lower?

11-28-2007, 01:09 PM
Nope sounds fine now with additional input.

I find marketing of products and services to actually be quite fascinating. Industry is full of products that are actually far over priced from what they realistically cost to manufacturer to what they sell to the consumer.

A good example is Clairol hair products. When it was first marketed to the public in the 60's/70's it was way cheaper (after accounting for overhead costs: manufacturing, advertising, packing etc.) than what it is now, because they assumed that the public would appreciate that. The public hated it! They viewed it as: If it is that much cheaper than going to a salon it must be total crap! As a result they had to pull the product and re-evaluate the retail price. After about a year, they put it back on the market at a much increased cost and the public accepted it.

SO, what I am saying here is, make it too cheap, and while it may sell, people won't accept it, viewing it as crap. Too expensive and people won't buy.

SO, If you are supplying around 500 objects or so, $7 seems resonable.

As to CC#3, the example is some sets have symbols, some do not, some have new templates, fill styles, etc. Some are of no use to me (Space-ship templates for example), but the cost return is useful to me. The Sarah Wroot templates/Symbols to me was more than worth the $30 I spent.

11-28-2007, 01:32 PM
In the first post, if you put the human skull inside the indian face, you'll have a nice effect with the result being less busy and cluttered as well as a connection at many levels.

I agree the cow skull needs to go though.

11-28-2007, 03:41 PM
In the first post, if you put the human skull inside the indian face, you'll have a nice effect with the result being less busy and cluttered as well as a connection at many levels.

I agree the cow skull needs to go though.

You're right, so how's this?

WIP so far... 8)

I'm thinking about cropping closer to the Apache's head, to make the skull face larger in the sky... just a thought.

11-28-2007, 03:49 PM
Yes, make the head larger, also make the skull more subtle so that the viewer just gets the hint of the skull being there and has to look closer. Now that is Gothic Horror. >:)

11-28-2007, 10:11 PM
I preferred the background of the "Mountain Modules" graphic, moreso than that on the cover art design. So I combined the two for an improved cover design. Oh and bigger head too!

And as always, this composition was completely created using Xara Xtreme.

WIP so far... 8)

11-28-2007, 10:55 PM
The face in the scull doesn't work for me, possibly because the two are facing in different directions...

Ideally you could just photograph a skull facing the right way ;)

-Rob A>

11-28-2007, 10:59 PM
Thanks RobA, I'll give it a shot - I'll post tomorrow.

I could also flip my existing skull on the x-axis to see if this improves as well...

11-29-2007, 01:28 PM
The sky/warrior/skull and the landscape don't work in my mind--mainly because the former are manipulated illustrations whereas the latter are illustrations. There is a lack of continuity--was that what you intended? I may be just missing it.

11-29-2007, 02:28 PM
Pyrandon, at this point, I'm not sure, but I think I'm going to hand draw the sky, the warrior and the skull as pencil hand drawings.

The idea that's brewing in my head, is creating a small campaign setting called Superstition Valley, that comes with the November challenge map as its map content, and perhaps somehow bundled with the mountain modules...

So the photo montage of sky/warrior/skull focuses on the "gothic horror" aspects of this composition - yet somehow, I want to tie in my Superstition Valley objects... that's why I combined the two...

Like I said at the beginning, this is completely experimental - I don't even know where I'm going with this, just pursuing an idea. :?

11-30-2007, 01:30 PM
Pyrandon, at this point, I'm not sure, but I think I'm going to hand draw the sky, the warrior and the skull as pencil hand drawings.

I'd say do this! :)