Sunday, June 29, 2014

Team BattleNet Stuff

So a few weeks ago, those of you who follow TeamBN on Twitter and Twitch may have noticed some new graphics. TeamBN is a group that speed runs the Battle Network and Star Force games for the sakes of charity. As it's been mentioned, I created the new TeamBN logo and banner for the amazing price of free. After the break, I'll explain some of the work.


First, it's not too fair, but here is what TeamBN started with.
It's important that they make their cause known, and of course it's the best that could have been done at the time. I understand what they do, what they will do, and the games referenced. This banner just can't be used for Twitter and everything. The distortion and auto-cropping of Twitter really hurts it. However, the message is still something that must be on the new banner.
Another problem I had personally with that art was the stigma attached to it. It's nice and pretty and properly represents TeamBN's cause, but after seeing this image at one point, it made me want to see it less. And besides, one way to let people know something has really changed is to make it really different.

Before I could even start on the banner, TeamBN needed a logo - a proper identity and look they could call their own. And more importantly, the logo had to fit inside a square pretty well. After all, it would most likely appear as avatars.
Any good logo starts off in black-and-white. It is said you're not always supposed to follow your first idea, but I insisted the "T" in Team extend downward. The BN part was a little more difficult.
The one on the right was just too boring and I fell in the same trap of using the generic "BN font". It helps it feel more like BN since I knew the special effects would be very different.

When the better logo was picked, the next step was to stylize it. It might be a little obvious which one has more effort in it. The left one's defining characteristic is the sharp reflection in "TEAM". That may be similar to a popular related mobile game people are playing.
However, the sharp line will stand out when reduced, which is also how people on Twitter will often see it. Then of course, I almost forgot the emblem on it which definitely makes it belong with Battle Network fandom. The extra dot pattern behind it simply gives the logo a fine glow presence without being overwhelming.
Close-up of logo.
As for the concept on the right, maybe it wasn't executed as well as I thought it could have. The symmetrical, bold font lent its use to a stylistic element I wanted to try. The pattern from the MegaMan emblem is embedded into the word TEAM. With a slight bevel treatment, the pattern is almost engraved. Aside from being a tad too busy, it gave it a nice mechanical look that feels closer to the MegaMan Legends series. Maybe the red is too much, but at least it was different.

Onto the banner, its communication was most important above all.

To avoid the issue with Twitter cropping off info, the info was fit into the center and reduced. It may also reduce excessive editing of the image. In the background, many screenshots of the games the Team has play can be seen. It includes: BN1, BN2, BN3, BN4, BN5, BN6, EXEWS, SF1, SF3.
I felt that the Teams achievements had to have a part in the banner. Their moments is what people keep watching it for. Some speed lines had to show up for a sense of speed as they are speedrunners. I imagined more lines, but those didn't end up prominent when I was done. I was also going to just use one of the many stock backgrounds I created but ended up removing it at the end since it wasn't needed.
Here is the banner cropped to reveal all the layers, showing how it's made.

So to wrap things up, the TeamBN people are great people. Help them out when you can and it's great that they're keeping Battle Network going - nearly 10 years after any of those games came out.

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