Main Logos and Typography
For the overall aesthetic of the typography of the game, we were looking into serif fonts which specifically looked like older letterpress scripts. This is because, though most of the gameplay takes place in Kowloon City, the CSA and the Channeler's aesthetic is based on a Victorian ideal. We kept this in mind as we created the logo, though we also kept in mind the "Berylium" font we found, which might be used for in-game text.
|"Berylium" font from dafont.com / Royalty-free.|
Here is the original proxy Channeler Logo. We want to go with this basic color for the logo, but wanted to explore other designs for the main logo.
Though we will go through further iterations with color and polish on these logo designs, we believe we are going forward with A as our final design, though we will keep an open mind for changes and perhaps combining aspects of different logos together.
We also iterated designs for the Channeler's, and the rogue Channeler's, symbols.
Special Symbols and IconsThe Walled City, though serving as a multi-cultural haven for "undocumented spirits", takes place mainly in Kowloon, an area in Hong Kong. Because of this, though some signs may be in English, many signs will be in all sorts of languages. Part of the gameplay involves using the Channeler's "intuitive sight" to decipher foreign script and symbols, so for this reason, we had to come up with some sort of special written language to populate the signs and papers in the city.
Because it is located in Hong Kong, the automatic assumption would be to use some sort of Chinese script. However, we decided that using a "living" written language would be unwise, as we would be pressed for accuracy in the use and understanding of the script. In addition, some of our players may have knowledge of written Chinese, defeating the purpose of having these symbols everywhere as a mysterious foreign language to interpret.
So, instead, we decided to turn to "dead" Chinese scripts instead. We did a lot of research regarding ancient scripts from China's "Bronze Age" during the Shang dynasty over a millennium ago. There was a type of script modernly referred to as Oracle Bone Script, written on bones like turtle shells, and Bronze script, written on ritual bells and cauldrons. Both were very pictographic in nature, with the symbols often appearing more as pictures of the meaning than modern Chinese script. Because of this, they give a very mystical and ancient feel, adding a touch of magic to our game.
We took various academic resources (such as this Unicode list and this Chinese Etymology page) and ran them through translators to acquire a small database of relevant symbols to populate the world.
We kept these design aspects in mind when we iterated designs for the jiangshi gang's, the 44K's, symbol, which would be seen in game as well.
The Channeler has a relatively minimalist HUD, mostly focusing on a reticle which will indicate both the player's health but also the cooldowns of the companion characters. The circle in the middle of the reticle would not only show what the player is focusing on, but would also "close" like an eye to indicate health. It's meant to be semi-transparent so it doesn't detract too much from the action in the game—because eye-tracking is the main mechanic, this reticle is extremely important.
It was also brought up that we would need indicators to know where companions were where they were if they were off-screen. So icons were made for use in the player's peripheral vision.
We also began concepting designs for the Channeler's tome. It is important both functionally and design-wise—it has been decided that we will look into a 3D UI for the tome for the pause screen, so the player can observe options but also extra information within the tome itself. Because this will be important both in 2D and 3D, we went ahead with concepts and proxies for both.