Thoughts on in-game illustrations?


I was just wondering how people feel about having pictures or other visual media inside a game, since it seems fairly common for some kind of illustrations to be present in games. I was also considering drawing some illustrations for the game I’m working on and it’d be interesting to see how people feel about them. So I thought I’d put it up for discussion!

A couple basic starting questions are, do you like just having the text descriptions to go off when you imagine the appearance of things, or do you prefer having some insight into what the writer’s vision that can be provided by an illustration? Are in-game maps helpful or hampering? Do illustrations work as well on mobile devices as they do on larger-screened tablets, laptops or desktops?


I like a mix of illustrations and writers description. From what I noticed I have had no problems with pics on my phone from within CoG or HoG.


I personally don’t like having illustrations. They detract from the story to me. But when games do have illustrations they do work on my phone.


If a game isn’t overloaded with illustrations, they can be very nice. I think Sabres of Infinity and Zombie Exodus use illustrations quite vell.

Maps can be useful if they introduce a new world or location, but unless they represent a map that the MC views in-game they should be in the stats.

I play on an android phone and never had problems with any illustrations.


I have several illustrations of different characters in Trial of the Demon Hunter. I think their quality is far better on tablets and PCs as opposed to smart phones. I think that maps and character art can add flavor to the story.


I also enjoy some visuals in stories and I never had problems viewing them on my phone. With most people buying devices with bigger screens nowadays, I wouldn’t worry about folks not being to see the images unless they were hyper detailed.


I believe that illustrations are only good for things that can not fully be understood in a few seconds, like maps or directions, however they should only be accessible through the stat menu. Some illustrations like those in Sam’s ToDH are OK, but they are not my personal preference.


I don’t think there is one answer. It depends on the type of game, and the quality and type of illustrations weather they make the experience better. Some stories might be enhanced with diagrams. I can’t think how badly done illustrations would improve the experience in any situation.

I would have really liked a map when i play-tested “Choice of Rebels”. I liked the headings in “Mecha Ace”. I can’t think of any others that had or needed illustrations.


“needed” xD (and now I have to type random stuff to fill the character requirement.)


Maybe it’s just me, but I approach CoG/HG like other books, and I always breathe a sigh of relief when I run across an illustration in most books. It gives my brain a brief respite from text and can imprint am image in my head that stays with me throughout the story. Look at Harry Potter. Those little “beginning of chapter” images were soooooo welcome (at least to me and my daughter). People, even avid readers, are mostly visual learners.

I think the biggest obstacle for HG/CoG writers is the time and cost involved in obtaining quality artwork. I have a deal with @Wire for artwork but it has to be somewhat limited in-story because good work takes a lot of time. Also, when a writer is earning 35 to 52 cents per sale, the writer can’t afford much in-story art. I do wonder if some customers would pay an extra dollar for a game with a good amount of art.


Haha, what you’ve said is pretty much how I feel about illustrations in books! I enjoyed the Septimus Heap series a lot more because they had character illustrations placed into the text throughout the book…

I see what you mean about prices of art though, have to balance the cost of the artwork and paying the artist fairly with the revenue from the app.
Unfortunately I think only some people would be encouraged to buy a book with many illustrations, unless there was significantly more artwork inside, because even now the more expensive games (2.99-3.99) are a little off-putting for people looking to purchase a game?


I like illustrations for only certin things like for instance an idem you aquired, the setting, or maybe an animal. I don’t partially approve of character illastrations, my kind usually makes up an image for me with a brief description. But put the photo their and my mind stuggles between my own image and the photo given.
But I like the occasional illustration but yes I feel it distracts me from the writting.


If an illustration is done of a character then it would probably best to have the picture appear when the character is first described. That way there is minimal conflicting visions between the reader’s imagination and the actual character art.

Personally, I enjoy pictures. In fact, if a story lacks picturesthen I often find myself taking images off google to help me better envision the setting or characters. I don’t need a picture book or anything, but a few visual aids are often helpful. As long as the quality is good of course.


I’m actually having my art as an IAP for my future works. :slight_smile: That way the people who prefer not to have illustrations won’t have to have them, and the people who enjoy them can choose to buy them.


@Samuel_H_Young Oh wow, that’s a really good idea! I’m curious, how would you go about implementing something like that? It seems like it’d be complicated (or maybe not; a simple case of putting a command like *if (they bought the IAP) the image to show it?)

@From_Beginnings Yeah that would be the best place to have a character illustration or else the reader imagines something and then finds out the character looks totally different XD (kind of like reading a book and then watching the movie version and going ‘THAT’S not what I thought ____ would look like…’)

@Roslyn_samalt06 So you mean like if something new was described (like a fantasy weapon, environment, or pet) then it would be somewhat useful to have an illustration of it?


Exactly! The code for putting the music into an IAP will have to be done by CoG, but I can take care of the illustrations with *if media.


You can have in-game music as well? That’s so cool!
Actually, what I think would be interesting is to have a gallery or something you can see at the end and maybe if you get certain achievements it ‘unlocks’ some artwork, would that be potentially doable with *if statements as well? (It would kind of be annoying for most people, since achievements are only saved on iOS devices…)


Yeah, in Trial of the Demon Hunter. :stuck_out_tongue: And actually, every platform has achievements, now.


Yeah , my mind can’t build images of stuuf it’s never seen the like of before without a very thro description and even then moar times it gets over bearing and confusing for thw reader.


@Samuel_H_Young I haven’t checked that game out yet, but I will be sure to do so now! And yeah I heard about the achievements (although not entirely confident on how to code them yet) but would it be possible to use the *achieve ____ to “unlock” a picture on the achievements screen?

@Roslyn_samalt06 Yeah, if something invented is described for like over a paragraph I’m sure people would get bored/frustrated with trying to figure out what it looks like, which is where an illustration would come in handy.