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Thank you for your helpful suggestions in the design brainstorming post.

I am very excited to present to the community the design I've been working on. The overall look and feel I'm going after is a warm and welcoming theme that reflects tabletop RPG gaming. It should capture the visual elements players are familiar with, striking a good balance between game manuals' renderings and the paper and pencil look.

please click on images for full resolution view.

RPG Home Page

RPG Question Page

As suggested by mxyzplk in the brainstorming post, the site design shouldn't be D&D heavy; we want our site to be more inviting to other RPG genres players. For the header artwork, a central piece of the overall design, I commissioned a very talented artist Dean Spencer. I asked him to create a header image that's a mix of traditional D&D and sci-fi genre. I'm very pleased with what he came up with.

I'm also subtly using dice as recurring visual elements throughout the site, as seen as the logo, accepted answer background and voting arrows.

Meta

When we switched to the new Beta theme recently, several users said that they missed the Sketchy look, which fit the RPG theme - I agree. The design for the main site has a paper/grid look, but it is not as hand-drawn style as the old Beta theme. So I decided it'd be appropriate that meta.rpg would have its own sketchy style. After all, meta is where we discuss and shape the main site.

RPG Meta

Meta vs Main


I'm happy with the overall look and feel of the design. I think the main site's design captures the imageries found in most games' boxarts and manuals, and also retains the pencil and paper feel. The Meta theme captures this hand-drawn style even further.

If there are no major design changes, I'd like to start on the CSS conversion soon. I'd love to hear your feedback.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That looks pretty darn nice, and I love the callback to sketchy! \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Ludwig Apr 9 '12 at 7:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Squee!!!!!!!!! This looks great. One question does come to mind, what does our actual logo look like? (ie what gets printed on swag?) \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Apr 9 '12 at 12:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ The subtle die shape on the badges is really nice. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Apr 9 '12 at 12:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Anyone else curious why we have a dnd-e4 tag? \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Apr 9 '12 at 12:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ So coooooooool. \$\endgroup\$ – Ian Pugsley Apr 9 '12 at 12:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Jin, this looks really cool! Awesome work! \$\endgroup\$ – hairboat Apr 9 '12 at 13:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 How damn that's impressive. \$\endgroup\$ – Wipqozn Apr 9 '12 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle the logo is the log type in the header, along with the D20 outline in a circle. I didn't want the d20 shape to stand out too much, since the header art is quite involved already. \$\endgroup\$ – Jin Apr 9 '12 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ awesomeness. Definitely looking forward to seeing future shirts etc designs :) \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Apr 9 '12 at 15:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Awesome! I loved it! \$\endgroup\$ – Metalcoder Apr 10 '12 at 10:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Has anyone noticed how similar the character on the left is to the Crysis cover art? \$\endgroup\$ – dexgecko Jun 7 '18 at 23:40
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I think you should change "WECLOME" to "WELCOME". It's up to you, though. ;)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I was waiting for someone to spot that... it was... uh.. a test. GJ, you passed. \$\endgroup\$ – Jin Apr 9 '12 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ The rest of us apparently failed our saves vs Awesome. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Apr 9 '12 at 18:50
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I like it! Especially the art, it treads the line between only representing fantasy RPGs with not trying to cram in too much for a design (and some ninjas, and a pirate, and a zombie, and and and...).

Only some small suggestions which may be from this being a comp anyway - the grey background on the chat widget doesn't fit, it should probably be the same dark brown as the header/footer. And the footer is dark brown like the header but doesn't have that same texture on it.

Beyond that, thanks, and let's git 'er done!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll definitely play with it as I convert the CSS. I chose the dark marble background because I see the texture often during my research. I agree it looks a bit dark and jumping out a bit in the mockup. Keep in mind though, the mockup doesn't have all the sidebar elements, or realistic amount of content. In reality the sidebar will be a lot more full, so the dark marble bg may not be as overwhelming. \$\endgroup\$ – Jin Apr 9 '12 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, it's just the rest of the design is mostly brown/sepia and grey/black in any large amount is jarring. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Apr 10 '12 at 0:48
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One minor quibble:

The dark footer makes the CC notice almost impossible to see.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That wasn't intentional. It will be a much readable color once I convert it to a real site. \$\endgroup\$ – Jin Apr 9 '12 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jin I figured, but just making sure. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Apr 9 '12 at 14:53
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I really like the overall design. I would like to point out that it's really hard to see "favorite tags" if your monitor has less-than-ideal coloration. Everything else is looking really fantastic!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Asked this SO meta question on contrast a while ago (there's sites with even worse contrast, including EX.SE), feel free to that question there and add the numbers for RPG.SE! \$\endgroup\$ – Jeroen May 28 '12 at 20:15

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