Saphire as the poster boy for Steam launch?

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
neogoliath
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Hmm, I may stir up different opinions here, but I think the poster ship of Transcendence shouldn't be the Saphire. I don't know, on the first glance it shape doesn't tell me it's a starship, but makes me think it's a starfish or an octopus. This may have been the design intention, but I think for marketing purposes the poster ship should be something more sleek and spacy, such as the Spartan or Osaka perhaps?

For comparisons the"other" sprite space game chose the iconic sleek Starbridge
Last edited by neogoliath on Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Sapphire is synonymous with Transcendence from the start, I don't think there's much reason to change it. A problem a lot of starship designs have in other media is that they're too sleek or just don't look original at all. The Sapphire fits very well in-universe.

The Spartan is a really nice ship, but it just screams 80s sci-fi. It's pretty much a cross between the Millenium Falcon and an X-Wing fighter in terms of aesthetics. The Osaka doesn't carry as much weight either, because its really a Frontier ship. They don't have the same level of character that the Sapphire has.
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While fully aware that the Saphire is the signature ship for transcendence, I have always felt that it looks out of place. It is the only design of its type; no other star ships in the game share the design characteristics.

As such, I often think that the Saphire could do with an design-upgrade.

Just my two cents,
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pixelfck wrote:While fully aware that the Saphire is the signature ship for transcendence, I have always felt that it looks out of place. It is the only design of its type; no other star ships in the game share the design characteristics.

As such, I often think that the Saphire could do with an design-upgrade.

Just my two cents,
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 See, I’ve always had a completely different take on that. The Sapphire is the only ship in the game manufactured by Zubrin. In fact, as near as I can tell, the Sapphire is the only anything in the game manufactured by Zubrin if you don’t count my headcanon of Zubrin making display systems for the cockpit because of the name of some of the resources used in the game’s XML code. It stands to reason that it would have a style somewhat distinct from the rest of the ships in the game. (I kind of ran into a similar-ish issue with ship design in The Backroads a ways back that I had to fix.)
 If anything, I wouldn’t say that the Sapphire needs a redesign so much as the game itself needs another ship or two by Zubrin added in that share some of the Sapphire’s design characteristics. Having been the playership since the game’s first release, it might be too iconic to change at this point; it would be like Ford changing their logo from an oval to a rectangle with rounded corners, or turning the Mustang from a muscle car into a minivan.
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I guess one thing to do would be to go through successful steam titles and see what kind of visual elements best-selling games use in their thumbnails. I know Youtube videos are guaranteed to get at least 10 times as many views if their thumbnails include womens' cleavage, so that's one thing to keep in mind ;)

Why should it be a starship at all that represents the game? One reviewer talked about the early parts of Transcendence representing a trip through "cultivated space" or something like that and I thought that was brilliant. One thing that distinguishes Transcendence is the presence of extensive settlements in space rather than on planets, and anything that uses cool Luminous star and particle graphics and so on interfacing with stations and ships to emphasize the size of the universe relative to the player is a good image for Transcendence. A lot of the recent modeling work that George has done has been on stations and they are generally the most detailed models.
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I think the Sapphire is iconic, but its meaning may not be apparent at first glance. Only those who has played the game somewhat would know it and really appreciate it. Maybe it's not the best advertisement mascot.
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It's a tricky balance. If a game looks too weird, people will avoid it. But you can't have a game that looks like every other starship game either. I don't know if the Sapphire has hit the right balance--it probably hasn't. But we need something that uniquely identifies Transcendence.
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george moromisato wrote:But we need something that uniquely identifies Transcendence.
how about the screenful of static you get after using a defective ROM
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george moromisato wrote:It's a tricky balance. If a game looks too weird, people will avoid it. But you can't have a game that looks like every other starship game either. I don't know if the Sapphire has hit the right balance--it probably hasn't. But we need something that uniquely identifies Transcendence.
I think the Sapphire does look unique, but one ship on a space background still runs a certain risk of being overlooked. Examining some of the gameplay aspects might give it a better feel, and let it stand out as well.

I, personally, like the battles between groups of ships. The Centurions around Point Juno would do nicely.

In a bit, I'll try to create a mockup of a banner.
Last edited by JohnBWatson on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I don't like the Centurions coming out of the nebula- the decloak effect doesn't look good in a static screenshot, and neither does having multiple copies of the same sprite at the same rotation angle in the shot. All in all it is pretty "busy" and the different elements in the picture - the title, the gameplay shot, the Luminous nebula background and the transparent ship overlay- are not immediately distinguishable at a glance.
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Watch TV, Do Nothing wrote:I don't like the Centurions coming out of the nebula- the decloak effect doesn't look good in a static screenshot, and neither does having multiple copies of the same sprite at the same rotation angle in the shot. All in all it is pretty "busy" and the different elements in the picture - the title, the gameplay shot, the Luminous nebula background and the transparent ship overlay- are not immediately distinguishable at a glance.
Recommendations? New scene, different transparency level or emphasis?
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pixelfck
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To catch the eye of the average gamer, you need something which looks more like this:

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(yes, this is fan art, based on a screen shot of the game's signature ship).

~Pixelfck
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Want to sell the game?
Include Kate Morgenthal on her command bridge, with cleavage and tight uniform. Absolutely nothing sells like sex.
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Bruno wrote:Want to sell the game?
Include Kate Morgenthal on her command bridge, with cleavage and tight uniform. Absolutely nothing sells like sex.
Not. This.
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