Covers are an artistic interpretation of something of the story make to highlight it and make people notice. It is never an accurate description and most time has no really similarity to the writing work they are used for.
A totally different thing is images inside game put by the company or worse the writer that directly present with a canon that destrys any possibility of your imagination present them differently. If the game has romances you are alienating a big percentage of the readers that wont see the big smirk and soft face character the way you do and probably will lost all the mental image of the atractive character they had previously.
I had in highschool a great literature teacher that put us a paragraph of a spanish author describing a lover he had we had to or paint ourselves or search a image that for us represent what the writer try to portrait. The differences were wild, only the basics were the same but hair color cut and skin tone were the only set,
I don’t really pay a ton of attention to ingame illustrations and I don’t know if they bring much that’s positive to the game for me other than a brief “oh interesting!” or “ooh that’s pretty” - for instance with the art in the VTM games I personally like the style a lot and I’m interested to look at it, but it doesn’t really affect what I’m thinking of when I’m playing. I think it’s clear from comments here and on other related threads that it can be an irritation for some players if the image doesn’t measure up for them and at worst it can be off-putting.
In general I would rather focus on description in the writing rather than relying on Ingame images - for this sort of game, at least, where character sprites and such aren’t the norm. But then I’m also not an artistic person at all and would need to hire artists in order to make anything that would be suitable!
Got to say, I really hated that first picture. Just instantly offputting. As soon as I saw it I just wrote the character off completely. Completely ruined that part of the game for me.
And that’s why I lean on the side of disliking them. Most of the other pictures in that game were fine and I didn’t have a problem with them at all, but that one theme-park caricature just immediately made me dislike the character and there was nothing the author could do to change my mind about that.
As a note, though, I did really like the pictures in the VtM games. I suspect that this is because VtM has a very specific aesthetic and the pictures were chosen with that in mind and approved by them. I liked these pictures and I would probably prefer to have pictures in games if they could all be of this quality.
Totally agree with how… unpleasant to the eye those images are. In choice of the viking, the way I pictured the characters in my head was vastly different from the character images (disappointing). I’m okay with scenery images, just not character ones (with the track record some cog games have been having, it’s best if character imagery is left out of the game.
I don’t mind maps or room layouts. Things like that may actually be helpful, because I don’t easily picture descriptions of those things from text.
I don’t even mind images for the sake of showing the decor in a room/area. In fact, please spare me the ten-paragraph description of the damned furniture, paint colors, or art on the walls unless it’s pertinent to the plot. I really don’t care, otherwise, and it adds nothing to my enjoyment. Instead, it actually detracts, much like Robert Jordan’s never-ending descriptions of the ugly ass dresses in WoT. Whoever designed them had to be blind. But, I digress…
I do not want character pictures. I can go by the description and get an image of them in my head just fine. The only exception is characters that are, obviously, inhuman looking–think Thane or Garrus from ME. A picture is helpful in those instances, mostly because I’d end up describing Garrus as a cross between a bird and a dinosaur with a sexy voice, and Thane as “hot frogman”. Any descriptions other than those would probably leave me wondering wtf I was supposed to be seeing.
Yep. Good luck picturing a Turian (three fingers hand, carapace, two feet bird-dinosaurs with lion face…) with text only description.
Also, side note: this also proves that what makes certain RO appealing is not their look, it’s their personality
I don’t like it while playing IF. I turn it off and then I get bothered anyway because the author forgot to describe the character and relied on the provided image. I don’t have anything against the art just… existing out there somewhere or being optional so I can ignore it, but don’t use it as a crutch in lieu of being descriptive in the text.
Yeah, top two are examples of art that destroy my investment in the narrative or the characters. I do like the boxart stuff from the third example, lots of games will have coverart and I don’t mind that. I also like games like the Infinity series that try to make the status menu more interesting with art for medals and commendations and whatnot to break up the information there and pull in some interesting aesthetics.
I don’t want to add redundancy to a topic that’s been altready discussed quite a lot - characters portraits,
but I recently finished Social Services of the Doomed and while I enjoyed it a lot I was a bit surprised that I couldn’t turn off the images like more recent titles let you do it.
(Unfortunately I can’t remove that images from my head once I’ve seen them).
After checking other titles that I know have images, I found out that only SSotD and the one about Nikola Tesla don’t let you turn off images.
I greatly appreciate the toogle to turn on/off images on the most recent games, but do you think it would be possible to add it even to this two (relatively) older games that, as far as I understood, were a sort experiment to include images in this type of games?
On a merrier note, I can finally enjoy A Crown of Sorcery and Steel and Professor of Magical Studies without any image!
I think I wanna abandon the whole image thing and just leave it to your imagination. I give you a written description of the characters and you can draw them in your mind based off that.
But in case I add images I’ll make sure to have an on/off toggle. I’m not an elite at drawing, but it’s kinda hard finding free no copyright artwork for the characters. So I’m trying to draw them on my own.
Having imagery is good, but not a must. It is the icing on the cake. I would like to rely on my own imagination- the CoG slogan is ‘powered by your own imagination’. I agree that a story is limited in scope, just like real life. The (character) imagery can make the story richer. Then again, such discussion can be found elsewhere.
For me it’s a lot more dependent on if I think the images work/capture a character in an appealing light or if they end up feeling… off-putting.
Like, someone else had made mention of the VtM portraits fitting the setting and drawing you in, I agree! But sometimes the images depicted end up not fitting at all my own mental imagination and it can really pull me out of the story.
I’m glad there are options for turning it off with recent releases. Part of me wishes that they would give an example of what the portraits/art looks like before I make a decision though [without context so you don’t connect it to anyone] just because for me I can’t really know if I want them on or not until I see one first.
I am glad people have made mentions of ways for integrating visuals into the games without it being obtrusive. I myself might end up making a city/country map for my own now due to this thread, though that would be a way out.
Personally though I prefer actual scenic imagery to be described, since typically that allows me more creative license to imagine whatever it is I like in between the lines.
I don’t think an image should replace description entirely; the one aspect writing has over visual art is that the former can do introspection, interiority, ect. pretty consistently. Unless the art is obscenely good, the reader won’t feel like they’re really there.
That being said, non-obtrusive images are cool. My brain likes looking at pretty stuff.