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Friday, October 4, 2019

Blog Topic Icons, version 3

Work continues on the blog topic icons. Most of the icons are done. Well, all of the icons that are done are done, if that makes sense. A full explanation below, for those interested, although this post mainly exists for my own benefit, so that I can upload the icons to the blog and grab the links.

What the blog topic icons are for:
You may remember that I made a bunch of badges in the style of the merit badges Stuart at the Strange Magic once proposed. At one point, I said I was planning to use them as topic icons, and added a few that only made sense as blog topics.

The main reason for these topic icons was so that almost every post had a related picture that could show up when shared to places like Facebook. Also, they provided a quick visual queue on what the post would be about. Tags or Labels do the same thing, arguably, but they are small and at the bottom of the post, as opposed to near the top.

I didn't use them as much as I should have, for various reasons, the most relevant one here being they didn't look as good as I would like. I like these new icons better.

Also, I plan on adding quick visual category links to the bottom of some posts, mostly those involving downloads, so that people can find related material.

PDF Downloads
Map Downloads
Any post with a PDF download will have that icon at the bottom of the post with a link, probably just to the PDF label, so that people can quickly find other PDFs to download. If the PDF is specifically a map, there will also be a Map Download icon with a link to the Maps page, so that people can find just maps. The PDF Download icon is a pic of the kinds of things available for download: a pamphlet and a stack of books. The icon for Map Downloads is, of course, a map. It might be a little ridiculous to create a 3d model of a piece of paper with frayed edges to use as a map, but hey, I like the end result.

Subcategories of Maps:

Adventure Maps
Modular Dungeons

The Adventure Maps icon is a treasure chest with a map behind it, slightly tweaked compared to the previous version... I tilted the chest to make it more obvious what it is. Geomorphs shows building blocks, Modular Dungeons uses puzzle pieces, but honestly I could have swapped the pics. The concepts are very similar.

Pamphlet Maps:

Tower Dungeon
Town Map

I might have to make another icon for town and city maps that aren't in pamphlet form.

Liber Zero
LZ Reference
Liber Zero has its own page. It's more of a true topic icon, because I do write LZ posts that don't include downloads. Thus, I did not add the "download arrow" to the icon. Any LZ post will have a link to the Liber Zero About page. The LZ page will have links to any PDFs available, including the LZ Reference Sheets (pamphlets,) which get their own icon. When used at the bottom of a post, the Reference Sheets icon will link to the lzref tag/label, so that people can find other reference sheets.

Not every topic icon will be for downloads. For example, each of the four main character classes will get its own icon, for posts where I talk about variant rules or support tables. These three are for Fighter (and Combat,) Magic-User (and Magic,) and Thief. I haven't made a Cleric icon yet, because I'm still figuring out how to illustrate the idea. Can't think of a cleric-specific hat. May do a pope hat (mitre,) or maybe a halo.

Just Thieves.

Other topics still need icons. Monsters, Spells, Psionics, maybe generic Wilderness. The Last-Minute Gamemaster and 9 and 30 Kingdoms Setting topics need icons. So do big projects like Our Undying Neighbors. A lot of these, I just haven't come up with good visual ideas yet.

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