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God, these unit cards and icons. Are you kidding? I know im complaining already, but come on..

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  • Commissar_GCommissar_G Senior Member Posts: 9,950Registered Users
    Fredrin said:

    I feel bad saying this, as CA's art direction is top notch 99% of the time, but I'm also not a fan of these unit icons.

    I totally respect the general design ethos of striving to make everything as relevant to the period as possible, but I think this is one of those instances where I would feel a greater sense of immersion from being able to relate to my faction's characters as real, living humans - albeit ones that were drawing breath over a millennium ago.

    The problem with the unit cards as they are at the moment is that they are far too abstracted. Medieval art is well known for being almost laughably bad, with no perspective and minimal skills in portraiture. In terms of player experience, it simply makes it harder to empathize with (and thus care) for your characters and units.

    Maybe an unfair comparison, as it was a major title, but the character portraits and artwork in the original Medieval were superb. Highly illustrated and the character portraits in particular were packed with charisma. Kinda disappointed a fair bit of googling doesn't throw any examples. Anyways, hand-drawn assets don't come cheap, but they sure as hell look good.

    The character portraits actually make me miss armies without generals so I don't have to look at them. They all look like they have one too many chromosomes or elephantiasis of the head.
    "As a sandbox game everyone, without exception, should be able to play the game exactly as they see fit and that means providing the maximum scope possible." - ~UNiOnJaCk~
  • tak22tak22 Senior Member Posts: 2,384Registered Users
    Fredrin said:

    The problem with the unit cards as they are at the moment is that they are far too abstracted. Medieval art is well known for being almost laughably bad, with no perspective and minimal skills in portraiture. In terms of player experience, it simply makes it harder to empathize with (and thus care) for your characters and units.

    Medieval art wasn't 'bad' as you call it. They simply had different values. Realistic portrayal (and with it perspective etc.) is something that came in with the Renaissance. If anything, I'd think a lot of the art in this period would have more to do with story-telling (thus, e.g., having characters larger because they're more important to the story, not because they're closer).

    If you try to appreciate it on its own terms, you will gradually come to realize much of it is actually very sophisticated.

  • RavenTheWargamerRavenTheWargamer Junior Member Posts: 154Registered Users
    edited April 2018
    I think the portraits/artwork look cool. And I say this as someone who hated the 'pottery-style' featured in Rome 2. It's stylized and period-authentic, and in my opinion it 'works'. As though your characters and their soldiers are subjects of a Norse Saga, or some illuminated Saxon manuscript depicting the battles of the time period.

    You may not like the art choice, but you should at least be able to appreciate it. Too many people are just saying 'it's ugly, the generals look "special", I just don't get it.'
  • FredrinFredrin Senior Member LondonPosts: 3,012Registered Users
    edited April 2018
    tak22 said:



    Medieval art wasn't 'bad' as you call it. They simply had different values. Realistic portrayal (and with it perspective etc.) is something that came in with the Renaissance. If anything, I'd think a lot of the art in this period would have more to do with story-telling (thus, e.g., having characters larger because they're more important to the story, not because they're closer).

    If you try to appreciate it on its own terms, you will gradually come to realize much of it is actually very sophisticated.

    OK, I concede there's a fair bit of value judgment in what I said... what can I say, we live approx 500 years after the renaissance and I must be spoilt.

    Something like the Bayeux tapestry I can appreciate in its entirety - 68 metres of epic historical narrative in woven form. The effect is kind of lost in a 2x2cm unit icon.
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