Defending Next Week… So I Made New Graphics

Next week I’m defending my applied project for my MA in English. It’s a really casual applied project, talking about how I made my masters education work for me, and how I conducted a large research project over the course of my five graduate semesters at ASU. Basically, my applied project is just about how I, as a masters student, developed PGDI through redesigning my classes to fit the project’s needs. I’ll put up my slides once I’m finished with it. If you aren’t sure what PGDI is, it’s a method of describing games and their players that attempts to do a better job than genre does in this respect. You can find out more here.

Since my applied project is about PGDI, I decided it was high time I updated my graphics for the whole PGDI system. The previous set of graphics always bothered me because they looked grainy any unprofessional. Additionally, there has been some recent talk in games about making your games accessible to people with one or more of the various types of color blindness. The old graphics used a lot of color to differentiate the parts, but did not vary much in the way of shape, so people with color blindness might not be able to tell some of the components apart. One of the eventual goals of PGDI is to become something that might appear next to a game so that people could easily identify what kind of game it is. If this representation was unfriendly to color blindness, it would be less effective and marginalize people for having a condition they have no control over.

Alongside the problem of color-only identification, the old graphics had another problem with being used to represent a game’s set of components. The graphic could not be easily used to show percentages of how much a component factored into the game. That is, the components were arranged so that some were nestled inside a group of other components, so there was no easy way to represent a game having a value for that component that was not 0% or 100%.

The ideal would be a graphic where each component had a unique shape, each of which originated from a central point. I still enjoy the look of a hexagon for PGDI, which works because there are six categories, so I kept the basic shape of the original graphic, but changed how the components were arranged inside the graphic. Additionally, to combat the unprofessional look of the original graphic, I made the new graphic in a vector-based graphic program, rather than in a raster-based program. I specifically used Inkscape, an open-source alternative to Illustrator. Below is the initial result. Feel free to comment and provide feedback on the look or design of the graphic. The graphics are now in place on the PGDI pages as should be expected, and they will be used in my defense presentation next week.

The Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI)
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