I’ve noticed a pattern with myself. Whenever I have a really good week, I have a really bad one follow. This one was one of those weeks. I’m off the PAX high and have to get back into the trenches of actually making this game and thus my motivation (and concentration) have been at an all time low.

So for this week we are going to look at the one thing I did and do a deep dive on how I ended up where I am. That thing is…. A new logo for Kana Quest. (Please note that this is not the final design, this is just where I got up to this week. Like I said, its been a slow one)AnimatedLogo1Gif.gif

So, why am I making a new logo for Kana Quest? A few reasons.

  • I made the original a long time ago, while I was still in Japan and my pixel art skills have gotten a lot better.
  • The original was very hard to read at any kind of distance.
  • The original had to have a Japanese and an English version. I wanted a logo with both on to clear up some confusion.
  • The original didn’t have much of a visual connection to the rest of the game.
  • I learned about positioning and marketing at GCAP and realized that the old logo would work against me.
  • And most importantly, the old design was not scale-able. What I mean by this is for the various store fronts that I wish to sell Kana Quest on, those stores have their own specifications for displaying game logo’s. The previous logo simply could not fit onto many of those specifications. The apple app store requires a logo of 180px x 180px, no matter what I did to the old logo, it would look terrible at that size.

So. How did I start making this new logo? Well I started with what I liked about the old one: The color scheme, and the stars.

I liked the colors because it gives a really strong bright and energetic early Nintendo video game vibe. Secondly on Steam, there aren’t a lot of games using a similar color scheme which helps me stand out more. And I felt the stars were worth keeping because they just looked really great on the deep blue background.

So, once I knew what I liked, I had to chose the most restrictive dimensions I had to deal with in respect to online store fronts. I had two options. Steam’s 231* 87 button, or the App Store’s 180^2. I went with Steam as the button offers less pixels overall.newlogowip1

Then I started out by making a few intricate repeatable pixel patterns that I could use as a border. I wanted to have a border for the logo because it would allow me to convey more visual information without cluttering the main logo too much (which was already going to be cluttered from having both English and Japanese on it).newlogowip2

Then I settled on this border design, which transitioned from something a bit spacey into a border like you see framing the puzzles in the main game. So we had some connective tissue to the rest of the game (that’s a plus). I also put in one of the kana faces on the bottom to further drive the point home. You will also notice that the Japanese is in the border here, not the main logo. I thought I could get away with putting it there, but it just didn’t read well so I eventually moved it to the center. newlogowip3

Then I added in color around the edges. This worked great at getting the logo to pop more. Here is where I started worrying about the Katakana in the border though. It was just too hard to see.newlogowip4

So I squashed the English text down to make room for the Japanese text. I ended up on this serif font that read really well. The only problem was that the English text was sans serif and the two didn’t match up.newlogowip5

So I made a serif font for the English to match the Japanese font. I ended up with black text with a yellow stroke (the inverse of the lower Japanese text) to help the text stand out more on the darker background.newlogowip6

Then I added the tails on the K and Q. Just to help those letters stand out more. I think I could probably afford to make those letters bigger still to ensure good readability.newlogowip7.png

Then I decided to make all the yellow parts of the text have the same colors as the border. I feel as though this makes it look cooler, but it has sacrificed a bit of readability as a result. This is something I need to work on.AnimatedLogo1Gif

Then, we finally get up to where we are now. I changed the bottom part to have more of the Kana faces and no text, and I filled out the border so you don’t see any background poking through in the corners.

It still needs a lot of work before I’m 100% happy with it. And I need to test how it looks in different environments and resolutions.

Anyway, I hope you had fun looking at this work in progress. And I will see you next week with hopefully a bit more to show you.