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Icon rules suggestions / debate

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Original Icon rules taken from: http://www.wc3sear.ch/viewtopic.php?t=14711 .

If the link above doesn't work at any given time, PM and I'll post the content of that post here.




1) Posting Rules
• In order to preserve server space and to reduce unnecesary data redundancy, please first use the Search feature available on The Hive Workshop before posting a new thread. Perhaps someone else already had encountered the same problem and might have also found a solution to it.
Overall, it's fair toward everybody else not to fill the site with recurrent questions. Also, I think it's fair toward yourself to first search for information, then to ask.


2) Submitting Rules

• "Plain recolors are prohibited."
Though this rule is harsh, it has its point. Redundant info takes space. I agree.
Then, check these out:
[Blizzard recolors, from RoC & TFT]
http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/5993/szwq2.jpg

We have 2 options:
1. Follow the rule set by Blizzard designers - thus accepting "recolors" based on this significance:
- green for instant health restoration
- blue for instant mana restoration
- purple for rejuvenation
- pink for omniscience
- lime/neon green for mana regeneration rate enhancement
- yellow/light orange for revive

These rules should be combined with the rules of the common sense - I don't think that a potion a Hero drinks should revive 6 fallen friendly units.
Other colors are not to be rejected - if they represent a distinct effect. A complete code of chromatic significances should be developed by moderators in order to make clear which does what.
Another thing about this rule: if someone is going to upload a set of icons bearing this rules, only the author is allowed to do so. Therefore, users should first do a potion - let's say - then upload them ALL, having all colors included. If they don't only the author of the first set of icons can complete the set later.
For easier Icon view and easier determination of which user is the original author - implement a Date view in the forms you use (the moderators) in order to determine which users uploaded first those icons.
If some user needs one more color not uploaded by the author, let him/her contact the original author of that icon and request an extra icon.


2. Keep the harsh rule.
It shall lead to restricted design possibilities and low-meaning item significance.
This option we have, this chance - to be able to MOD the W3 resources should be about imagination, not restrictions.


After all, it's your decision - moderators and / or admins. Rules should equally apply all users snd should represent the will of the majority of those under its application. But then, we're just users...



• "Shallowing editing of already existing icons (including your own icon) is not accepted."
• "Simple copy-paste, also known as icon merging must be very good (so the result is different than the original icons)."

Shallow editing includes:
- rotating the icon
- recoloring it
- playing with the contrast/brightness
- adding a custom border to an already existant icon without any further changes

If you still bother to spend some time on making a "great" icon, create at least 50%-75% of it. Yes, take a part or to ar keep a given line of items, yet make them unique, distinct. Otherwise, why bother?



• "Stealing is prohibited. If you take someone else’s icon and change it, you MUST give credits to the author, even if it is Blizzard. To give credits attach a readme and/or post a comment just after you submitted the icon, for the credits."



• Don’t post icons from the Warcraft 3 mpqs even if they are hidden in WE or not.

This is quite a stupid thing to do. Just think a little about this: if one has W3, then he/she also has the original MPQs, therefore the original icons. Then why upload them???



• "Taking someone else’s icon and making it from a form of it to another is not allowed. [...] If you are the author of the icon, and you want to post for example all active, passive and autocast version, you are allowed to make a submittion with active and passive version, and another one with the autocast version in place of active, for that submittion."

Blizzard naming convention:
BTN: Active
DISBTN: Disabled
PASBTN: Passive
DISPASBTN: Disabled passive
BTN: Autocast
BTN: AttackType
BTN: Upgrade

Unfortunately, Blizzard did not set a naming convention for Autocast, AttackType and Upgrade icons. They are named in the original archives just like the Active icons.
As these are just Strings and the internal W3 engine will surely accept any string (see "BTNYouDirtyRat!.blp"), I suggest we implement this naming convention: AUTO for Autocast icons, ATTACK for AttackType and UPGRADE for Upgrade icons. These String markers or any other that would "speak for itself". Example: BTN - one could clearly interpret it as BUTTON.
If this suggestion is accepted by the moderators/admin/most users, I'll try to make a poll or more to determine what string should be used. Afterwards, I'll implement it in W3IR's naming algorithms.



• "As a further suggestion, I would like to mention that instead of the DISPASBTN you could put the autocastable version of the icon. In that case, you could avoid posting twice the icon and so, keep it in a single submittion."

I do not agree with it. Check the "DISBTNVampiricAura.blp" and "DISPASBTNVampiricAura.blp". Convert them to TGA then analyze them with IrfanView. You will se that the DISPAS images has a wider black border, wider/more intense than the DIS image. This convention is set by Blizzard - I suggest we stick to it. In order to prevent repeated submission, see the suggestions placed at the end of this post.



• "Posting icons of a building/unit is prohibited, unless it is available on the site or in blizzard's mpqs for warcraft 3 (either ROC or TFT) as well, either in the form of a skin or a model. Moreover, that icon should either be a screenshot (with the face in the case of the units) or freehand."
• "Screenshot icons are prohibited, if they are not made for a non-blizzard building/unit. This includes screenshots for items, as an example diablo 2. Exception make screenshots of custom items, in the form of a model (again non-blizzard), and just like in the case of building/units, the item should be available on the site, either in the form of a skin, or a model."

The most important thing about an icon is to be usable. Therefore, what's the point in making an icon of a building/unit that does not exist? The same for spells. Concerning the items, on the other hand, it's simplier to implement the functions suggested by the visual representation of that item (green clouds/flames around a blade could represent either Chaos effect or a poison bonus).



• "Icons without or with poor shading are unaccepted."

Keep the aspect W3 like. Nothing to add here.


• "Icons which don’t represent anything, the image itself is not detailed or are very blurry, so that they cannot really be used for something, are against rules. Since this might be a relative area, we won’t be extremely strict here, but don’t post too many times icons in the same style, when we told you once that the icon doesn’t represent anything, because you will be in trouble."

Again, related to the icon's usability. Nothing more to add, other than the above mentioned principle: if you still spare some time to create an icon, why not make it great?



• "Icons only with disabled version are prohibited. Your icon must have the disabled version, but also either passive or active. You can of course put instead of passive an autocast version, or instead of active an autocast version, since there is not a third field for autocast versions."

This is kinda obsolete, as TheHive has implemented the Autocast and AttackType slots for icon upload. Yet, there are still the DISPASBTN and Upgrade slots to be implemented. Check the ending for a suggestion.



• "You are not allowed to take icons from other games and put them in warcraft, by adding the metal border. However, if you really want to do this because the icon looks incredible, give credits to the author, and make sure they look good. For example, don’t bring 42x42 icons resized to 64x64 so that they fit the warcraft 3 size. They will look blurry. If we discover that you brought icons from other games and didn’t give credits, you will be banned and the icons will be deleted."

I do not accept at all the idea of "taking icons from other games". W3 has its own universe - make use of it! Why place robot icons or car icons or any other icon not related to Orcs, Humans, Elves or Undead? Instead of creating a complete and consistent game universe, we diminish its beauty with petty icons of God knows what subject (on WC3Sear.ch I once saw an icon with 2Pac... I could not understand not even until now where could a user place that icon with a W3 use???).



• "Make sure that the icons have the warcraft 3 metal border. You may try to be creative and add your own border to the icon, but if it doesn’t look good you will be asked to add the classical border. Icons without a border are prohibited. Oh, and just adding a custom border to an already existant icon without any further changes is considered shallow editing. Further changes should be more than other shallow editing techniques though. You can post only the border as an icon, so that others can use it in place of the warcraft border."

I agree about the metal border. Keep the aspect consistent with the other resources. Otherwise, you'll find in your map 20 types of borders, looking stupid. I do not enforce uniformity, yet clean resources look better than complicated ones. Besides, you only have a space of 64x64 pixels, from which you already have lost 2x4x64 + 2x4x56 = 512 + 448 = 960 pixels. That from a 4096 pixels space. Try to be creative in this space...
On the other hand, the "post the border for other to use"... It's your choice.



• "Copy and Paste from cartoons, movies or real life pictures are also unaccepted."

I agree on this.



"Note: I don't take any responsability for the loss of your icons. If you post a rule-breaking icon on the site I will delete it with no backup. It's your responsability to keep a backup of your own icons."

I completely support Daelin on this issue. Every user has the responsibility to keep a backup version of his/her own designs. Also, in order to demonstrate that you are the author of that design, a larger version of it - let's say 128x128 or 256x256 or 512x512 - should exist on your computer. If you wouldn't be the author of that design, how on Earth would you have the design in a higher resolution/dimension?



3) Requested Icons Rules
"Since people may request some icons which do not follow the rules above (and somebody may indeed want just a recolor or a screenshot) here are some notes."

• "Under no circumstances are you to post an icon that breaks atleast one of the rules above and give as a reason that it was requested. If you do so, you will be penalized and the icon will be deleted."
• "You can email the icon set to the person requesting it or make an account on Photobucket and submit the icons there."

Who does not agree? If I remember correctly, there should be a Requests thread under Icon Discussions forum. Post it there, both the request and the icon. Otherwise, upload your icon to a free webhosting service and provide a link to it. With a JPEG image, so the other users can see the icon before actually accessing the provided URL.



Now, about the suggestions I would like to make:

• Please define the <official> naming convention. Blizzard has none - as you can see, even "!" is accepted ("BTNYouDirtyRat!.blp").
• Implement all slots for Icon upload: BTN, DISBTN, PASBTN, DISPASBTN, Autocast, AttackType and Upgrade.

I do not want to advert my own tools, yet I can't help it, since I tried to make it as useful as possible. Search for "Warcraft 3 Image Renamer" in the tools section. At the moment I wrote this text, it was not even approved. The rules from WC3Sear.ch are implemented, with less restriction concerning name characters and coloring techniques.
This tool can rename BTN, DISBTN, PASBTN and DISPASBTN based on a suffix convention and naming mask. It can also add borders, having implemented the BTN, DISBTN, PASBTN, DISPASBTN and Autocast (for 64x64 pixels images) and also AttackType and Upgrade (for 48x48 pixels images). I recommend IrfanView for resizing from 64x64 pixels downto 48x48 pixels images (for improved output quality). The bordering is realized without any third party application interaction, thus Photoshop free. Please carefully read the documentation of W3IR in order to acknowledge detailed information concerning its performances.
You are free to ignore this tool, from my point of view. Yet, if you'd just check it's screenshot or "ReadMe.txt" file, you might become interested by W3IR.


These being said, have fun MODding W3!

EoF.BlackDoom;
 
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Icon submission rules and naming conventions are both extremely important issues. My own opinions on them will differ from others who are interested. I trust that this discussion will be lively and hope that the debate will prove productive.


As everyone knows, those rules belonged to another site. The imported version of them that is relevant to this discussion may be found here. I believe that these rules, although somewhat outdated, are subject to revision or amendment at the discretion of their author and The Hive's administration.

• Don’t post icons from the Warcraft 3 mpqs even if they are hidden in WE or not.
This is quite a stupid thing to do. Just think a little about this: if one has W3, then he/she also has the original MPQs, therefore the original icons. Then why upload them???

A partial list of these resources may be found here.

As a service to the entire community, especially for those modders not using WEU, might not Blizzard Entertainment or the site itself post these items? Of course, such resources would ideally be segregated, as should other Blizzard icons such as those from WCII or WOW, if it is decided that those resources are to be made available. Storage space for icons should not be much of a problem at it is map resources that require a vast storage capacity.

Why place robot icons or car icons or any other icon not related to Orcs, Humans, Elves or Undead? Instead of creating a complete and consistent game universe, we diminish its beauty with petty icons
I disagree on this. Providing that such icons do not violate any rules and are of high quality, I think they should be made available. A mapmaker might envision a mini game where players participate in a go-kart race, or a campaign sub map where a hero must travel through time or to another dimension. Icons found to be irrelevant by consumers can just be ignored. While no artist's hard work should be penalized for silliness or otherworldliness, such outré icons might also be placed in a separate category.

• Please define the <official> naming convention. Blizzard has none - as you can see, even "!" is accepted ("BTNYouDirtyRat!.blp").

This is another very weighty matter indeed. As Blizzard has left these conventions undefined, I suppose it's up to the WCIII community as a whole to do so, with much considered thought and after an extensive deliberation. I also believe that whatever consensus is reached should adhere as closely as possible to Blizzard norms, reflect the views of the most experienced WCIII modders, and be simple for all users to implement.

For my own part, as long as an icon name begins with BTN, DISBTN, etc, the remainder of the value is unimportant. Exclamation points, underscores or other characters may be permissible providing that they can be typed using a standard keyboard. It's the beginning of the icon name that is most critical to me. I find that icons named *BTN.blp or whatever, can easily become misplaced in the import manager; whereas icons named BTN*.blp etc, are usually displayed adjacent to one another, making them easily recognizable in an extensive list. As to the apparently conflicting fields for Autocast, Attack Type, and Upgrade; to the best of my limited knowledge it is set up that way so that when any menu is displayed the DISBTN replaces them all. It appears to me to be an (OR) situation: any particular icon may one or the other, not both.

Those more informed should please elaborate.

Were further naming conventions to be established, I would submit:
BTNATC for autocast
BTNATT for attack type
BTNUPG for upgrade

Additionally, another icon type must be considered: the ScoreScreen icon. These differ greatly from other icon types, residing in UI\Glues\ScoreScreen rather than with a corresponding unit. ScoreScreen icons also differ in appearance: while still 64x64 in size, the actual image is far smaller, has a different border, and is oriented toward the left of the blp/tga. If established, such icons might be defined as: BTNSSC
• Implement all slots for Icon upload: BTN, DISBTN, PASBTN, DISPASBTN, Autocast, AttackType and Upgrade.
Since the resource section is still undergoing a considerable makeover, we users must trust that these slots may be added in the future, according to the consensus reached by the powers that be.

For easier Icon view and easier determination of which user is the original author - implement a Date view in the forms you use (the moderators) in order to determine which users uploaded first those icons.
Once again, as the resource section is further developed, one hopes that a more detailed, transparent, and useful interface, for both users moderators, will emerge.


Many of the issues raised and questions posed in this thread have yet to be addressed. We must remember those issues pertaining specifically to THW, such as the icon submission rules, can be solved by it's members and staff. The issue of icon naming conventions, however, spans the entire WCIII community. Other sites need not apply any changes in standards, if any, that are adopted here.

For the most part, I believe that the vast majority of our community supports the existent rules and understands that they are always being carefully reconsidered by those most responsible. As this process continues, civility, patience, and a wide range of informed opinions are sure to propel it towards a just and complete resolution.
 
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Ralle

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I think ur right.. But we dont have to think about the other wc3 modding sites.. we can make our own standards..
But there is one thing.. The DIS icon is equal for any normal icon (autocast, passive and active)
that's why I think that we shouldn't make preffixes, but paths, like this:
Code:
Standard	ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtons\
Disabled	ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsDisabled\
Passive		ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsPassive\
Autocast	ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsAutoCast\
Upgrade		ReplaceableTextures\CommandButtonsUpgrade\
ScoreScreen	UI\Glues\ScoreScreen\
 
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I support the idea of string suffixes bearing in mind the following aspects:

1) Designer's system
Using folders, we force the designer to keep X folders. Therefore a single Icon project would span into many folders, raising the following question: is it worth the exhausting task of file managing over the satisfaction delivered by the final design?
Plus, resources sharing names would raise the risk of data loss by files getting overwritten.

2) Easier software implementation
Potential future tools would have less data to maneuver while working with Strings. Personally, I would have less trouble developing W3IR if I would be concerned only by Strings. Yet, that's just a personal opinion.

It would be perfect if each suffix would have the same length. This would simplify my routines (though I can implement a dynamic-suffix-length handling routine), yet this would increase data amount on servers/packages.

A fixed-length naming suffix convention:

CMDBTN - Command/Normal Button
DISBTN - Disabled Button
PASBTN - Passive Button
DSPBTN - Disabled Passive Button
ATCBTN - Autocast Button
UPGBTN - Upgrade Button
SCSBTN - Score Screen Button
ATTBTN - Attack Type Button

As Blizzard implemented things:

BTN
DISBTN
PASBTN
DISPASBTN
BTN
BTN
??? - I don't remember the suffix for Score Screen button - if they have...
??? - They don't have a specific suffix (not sure though)

Minimal suffix:

CB
DB
PD
DP
AC
UP
SC - I would have put "SS" yet I thought of Hitler's forces... So I dropped the idea.
AT

I don't know. You could also implement a suffix scheme having a special character at the end of the suffix (such as "Autocast_ManaBurn.blp" - that character would be "_").

I am more than anxious to learn what is the new naming convention. I suggest the fixed-length one... It would mean not so much data overhead (6 bytes per file discarding the file name would mean... 6*10,000 icons*8 formats = 468.75 KB).

I vote for maximum of meaning in minimum of size.
Discard the task of manually renaming files, as W3IR can take of that. I am more than happy to keep W3IR up to date with the naming convention.

Thinking of this issue, I will implement a feature that will allow users to choose the naming convention scheme.

Overall... My vote is this:
CMDBTN - Command/Normal Button
DISBTN - Disabled Button
PASBTN - Passive Button
DSPBTN - Disabled Passive Button
ATCBTN - Autocast Button
UPGBTN - Upgrade Button
SCSBTN - Score Screen Button
ATTBTN - Attack Type Button


Cheers!
 
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Having an array of perspectives concerning a given subject eventually leads to an optimum result.
Lateral thinking is a principle with essential use in this field.
So, no, taking a decision based only on a single man's judgment is not the best choice.
I trust Ralle too, yet it would be great if you people would present your opinion about this issue.

Thanks in advance!
 
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I think rather then "Debating" about establishing rules we acutly ESTABLISH them.It's not like where trying to set up a new goverment here.

Edit: as for my opinion on these rules. Simplfy people not going to bother going into detail like that. I agree with the make it your own or aleast a 70% diffrence and that you need a disable icon. but other then that the rest is just to picky. I mean its ICONS the most simplest thing to make for warcraft 3.
 
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God...
You are not supposed to read loads of rules to upload an Icon.
Those aspects are to be kept in mind to ensure quality and original designs. That's all... Other than that, rules are like a law - the moderator will determine whether they are suitable for approval or not AND you can support your work if a moderator exceeds the boundaries of these rules and does not approve your work based on subjective aspects.

I create icons myself. And I think it's fair to have a common set of rules so each of us could pay respect to each other.

It's not about choosing something like a government. If you do not want to get involved in the technical aspects, please don't.

It's not I the one to set the rules... Please, take note of that.
I don't mean to generate a flame out of this subject. I just want to be helpful. It's not my fault if I analyze mainly the technical aspects of this subject - this is my field of expertise.

Cheers...
 
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users on sites like this just don't wan't to have to take alot of time just to check there icon then read the rules then check again and so on just to make sure it passes. Now I could understand being this picky to some extent for something like a 3d model or a map. But for one the simplest things on WC3 its just to much.
 
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users on sites like this just don't wan't to have to take alot of time just to check there icon then read the rules then check again and so on just to make sure it passes. Now I could understand being this picky to some extent for something like a 3d model or a map. But for one the simplest things on WC3 its just to much.

When it comes to GUI, my friend, nothing is too simple. Without an Icon, your "divine" ability would show a green square. So no user would enjoy it in a real map.
An Icon does not pass so hard. The main criterion is to be looking REALLY good.
And when you are an icon designer (as I am), these rules are really important.

I know you are best at some other design-related activities about W3, but do not offend me by calling my work "the most simplest thing to make for warcraft 3". When you skin, you got roughly 256x256 pixels to customize. When you make an icon, you only got 56x56 (discarding the 4 pixels borders on each side, required by the metal frame). Try to be creative in this space.

Thanks for your attention, though!
 
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Rules are being written and adjusted and blah blah (actually, mostly scratched though they will be somehow the same stuff as above but in a different form). We are making a couple of adjustments for Hiveworkshop (and the approval system we have is perfect). NOTHING will be fixed (like if the icon does not respect rule X, it is not allowed). This was a wc3sear.ch generic rule as there was already a general chaos, and we wanted to stop that by implementing a harsh rule. Mods will have a word to say, so rules are no longer super strict. I hope there will be no more "but that icon was approved even though it didn't respect rule X" complaints, as they will be so damn ignored. :p Well, that's about all I had to say by now. We'll keep you informed when the rules are available. :)

~Daelin
 
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