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BGG Style Guide: How to Propose Representative Images for Game Pages and Versions

W. Eric Martin
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I receive a lot of questions from designers and publishers, not to mention other BGG users, about how to place representative images on game pages, as well as on publisher and designer pages. For far too long, I've answered these questions individually, while telling people that I need to write up these processes to share them with the world.

Finally, I have done this, and assembling this post took far less time than I spent telling people that I will do this someday, a lesson I must keep in mind for the future: Create written guidelines once, then share them forever, revising as needed.

After all, BGG has hundreds of thousands of users. What a person asks once is asked by thousands of other people as well. We're reworking the front page layout right now — well, others are and I'm hearing about it in passing — and part of that front page will include guidelines for how to use this site. By writing up this material ahead of time, I'll have it ready to go (bar any reformatting for wiki's sake) once the front page is ready for launch.

With that preamble out of the way, let's get started, laying out the basics of image uploading for those who need a refresher...

•••


How to Upload an Image

To upload an image on a game page, visit that page, then click on the "Images" tab, then click the blue +UPLOAD button at right:


From gallery of W Eric Martin


To upload an image on a designer or publisher page, scroll down to the "Images" module on that page, then click Upload >> on the left.


From gallery of W Eric Martin


A pop-up box will then appear on the game page. (For a designer/publisher page, you'll be brought to a new page.) Click on "Choose Files", then find the image file that you want to upload on your computer. Add a caption that describes the image. As for which gallery to choose:

Quote:
• If the image features one or more people and the people are the focal point of the image, choose PEOPLE for the gallery.

• If the image shows the game, the box, or unaltered components as they will appear in print, choose GAME for the gallery. (Digital representations of covers, cards, boards, boxes, and other flat elements should go in the GAME gallery.)

• Otherwise, choose CREATIVE as the gallery.
Uploaded images will be moderated by users via our GeekMod system. You can't moderate your own images, but you can mod those of other users! Go to GeekMod, then click "Images" to start looking at images and modding them.


From gallery of W Eric Martin


Once an image has been approved — and you'll receive a message via Geekmail stating this — then you can view that image under the "Images" tab on a game page or in the "Images" module on a publisher or designer page.

•••


How to Make an Image Representative on a Game, Designer, or Publisher Page

Each game, designer, and publisher page has a representative image to help users identify what the thing in question is:

Quote:
• For a game, the representative image should be the 2D front cover of the oldest English-language version of the game still in print or available on the market. (If this 2D front cover isn't available, then we'd prefer a 2D front cover the oldest non-English version of the game still in print. Failing that, a 3D representation of the oldest English-language version of the game still in print is acceptable, but this image should be replaced ASAP.)

• For a publisher, the representative image should be the current logo.

• For a designer, the representative image should be an image of the person in which they are recognizable and ideally on their own.
For a game page, go to the "Images" tab, find the 2D front cover image, then click on the three vertical dots underneath the image, then click "Propose Representative".


From gallery of W Eric Martin


For a designer or publisher page, click "Browse >>" in the "Images" module, find the image of the individual or logo that seems most appropriate, then click [More...] underneath the image, then click "Propose Representative Image".


From gallery of W Eric Martin


Whether for a game, designer, or publisher page, a pop-up box will allow you to include a note for those in GeekMod who will review your suggestion. (A note is not required.) As with the image submission process, any user (other than the submitter) can moderate this suggestion. To do so, go to GeekMod, then click "Data" to start looking at images that have been proposed as representative images (as well as images that are supposedly in the wrong gallery and are having a new gallery proposed for them).

•••


How to Make an Image Representative on a Specific Game Version

Each game page has one or more versions. Images of games in the GAME gallery should ideally be linked to one or more of these versions.

To link an image to a version, go to the "Images" tab on a game page, click on a particular image, then click on "Add a Link" underneath the image, then click "Add version link", then click on the specific version in the list that appears in the pop-up menu. (Once an image is linked to a version, that version won't appear in the pop-up list.)


From gallery of W Eric Martin


Your suggestion will go into GeekMod, and any user (other than the submitter) can moderate this suggestion. To do so, go to GeekMod, then click "Image links" to start looking at images for which links have been suggested.

Once an image has been linked to a version, you can choose a representative image for a specific version by going to the version page, then clicking on "Browse X images" underneath the depicted image on the version page.


From gallery of W Eric Martin


Find the image that seems most appropriate — namely the 2D front cover image — then click [More...] underneath the image, then click "Propose Representative Image".


From gallery of W Eric Martin


Again, this suggestion will go into GeekMod in the "Data" category.

Note that the first image linked to a version page will default as the representative image, so if you link the 2D front cover to a version first, then you won't later have to go back and propose that the 2D front cover be made representative for that version.

•••


Is anything unclear in the directions above? Have suggestions for how to present this material in a better format? Please leave a comment!
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:26 pm
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BGG Style Guide: One Trick to Posting Better Images – Eliminate White Space

W. Eric Martin
United States
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
I see a lot of images in my role as BGG News guy, whether sent directly from publishers, in press releases, or on websites, and many of them feature the same problem: too much white space.

Why is white space bad? Because white space equals lack of game-related imagery, and when an image is viewed at thumbnail size – which is often the case on BGG – then the game itself looks tiny and adrift in a cloud. Here's one example from a press release I received via email:

From gallery of W Eric Martin

Thankfully Cryptozoic Entertainment goes through the trouble of including both a full cover shot and a 3D box shot, thus allowing people like me to choose the image that will work best on BGG – that being the image most visible at thumbnail size while also being a decent size for those who want to view it at medium. (Why not upload both boxes? Because they effectively provide the same content, but with one (after cropping) being slightly tilted and surrounded by meaningless white space. Better to have less noise on the game page. As an added bonus, I don't have to go through the effort of cropping the image with the 3D box to remove most of the white space.)

(Additional side note: While flat images work best for BGG and its omnipresent thumbnail images, 3D images work best for advertisements both online and in print.)

Here's another example of a 3D image versus a flat cover image:

Board Game: SUTAKKU
From gallery of W Eric Martin

Subtle difference? Yes, but why cede ground to white space when you can instead dominate that space with your game box. Take full advantage of the ground given to you. This next example makes the difference clearer:

Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Hunt for Gollum
Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Hunt for Gollum

Let's ignore the terrible misaligned punchhole on the tab at the top of the weirdly digitally-generated box and instead notice that one box looks larger than the other, making that image more recognizable at a quick glance.

Flat vs. 3D cover images isn't the only area in which one can be vigilant about eliminating the void. Here's the original image (600x600 pixels) of the logo for a publisher that's debuting in 2012:

Board Game Publisher: Frost Forge Games

Looks pretty good, right? Nice and clean – everything clear. Now let's see that same image at thumbnail size:

Board Game Publisher: Frost Forge Games

Still visible and clear, but what if you had cropped much of the white border from the original image? Now let's compare the thumbnails:

Board Game Publisher: Frost Forge Games
From gallery of W Eric Martin

Maybe the difference isn't much, but I can see it and I'm sure you can, too. The less white space used in an image, the larger and crisper the important stuff will be.

•••


On a mostly unrelated topic, I thought I'd share these two images from a certain publisher's PR department, the first being for The Game of Life: Adventures Card Game:

From gallery of W Eric Martin

And the second being for Cluedo: The Card Game:

From gallery of W Eric Martin

Now let's view them side-by-side:

From gallery of W Eric Martin

*Sigh* – lazy, lazy, lazy...
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Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:42 pm
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