Posted by: Spadefox | June 9, 2009

Discovery Channel – Organization

Ah yes. I guess it was about time someone made this. We’ve seen many movesets in the past, and along with the quality of the movesets themselves, so did their design and organization. We’ve even had a moveset that was completely put into Flash, downloadable and interactive. Though this isn’t, of course, required, it still was very appealing to the eye. And although style and organization is not something you have to do, it helps your moveset since it eases up the reading, pleases the eye, helps people find something quickly, and so on.

This little guideline, written by one of the more admired organisators, Spadefox, is supposed to aid you, should you be thinking your organization needs a little more work, or you just started out making ‘sets. This is the reason why I’ll start from the very beginning.

1. BASICS FOR LAYOUT AND ORGANIZATION

This is a very important lesson, one everyone should follow. Write out the full button input. Name the moves. And use proper amounts of breaks to make the set look more organized.

Bad Example:

Nair: blahblahyaddayaddailikepie

Good Example:

Neutral Aerial

Spinning Slap

blahblahyaddayaddailikepie

As you can see, splitting up the whole thing makes it far easier to read. Write out the whole button input (not just NAir or USmash, but Neutral Aerial or Up Smash). Give the move a name that suits the character and move and basically is a showcase of what the move will do. It’s not necessary, but something that started to be done, and gives the moveset more charme, since you put in more personality and your own note as creator.

After this, you should think of how to organize the move groupings. You always should keep moves of the same type in one group (for example all 3 Smashes in one part). You always should keep the several button inputs together, so all normal moves, all special moves, all throws, etc. Also, go logically through your organization. Keep the ground moves together, don’t squeeze in the Aerials somewhere.

I personally prefer to have the Specials after the normal Attacks, except the Specials are mandatory for understanding the set. Some wacky people think it would be better to put the Specials first in general, though I do not support that. Usually, Specials are among the more interesting moves of a moveset, so if you don’t have Specials that are mandatory, keep the fire of interest burning and put the Specials later.

Now, Smash Attacks and Aerial Attacks are clear, but how do Tilts, Jabs and Dash Attacks classify? Well, it’s easy. I personally group them all together into the category “Standard Attacks”, and I think that only makes sense. Some people put the Tilts as their own category, but that’s really only personal taste.

My personally preferred layout would be:

a.) GENERAL STUFF

Overview (=Who is the character, where do they come from, etc.)

(Special Mechanic/How to Use)

Stats (=How big and heavy is the character, how fast do they run or how high do they jump)

b.) NORMAL INPUTS

Standard Attacks (=Jab, Dash Attack, Tilts)

Smash Attacks

Aerial Attacks

c.) SPECIAL INPUTS

Grabs & Throws

Special Attacks

(Situational Attacks) (=Ledge Attacks, Rising Attacks, something like that)

Final Smash

d.) EXTRAS

Everything Additional

That can be a Playstyle section, a Snake Codec, other Extras like a Stage, that’s all up to you.

As said, if the Special Attack section is mandatory for your moveset to have people understand the whole rest of it, put it very first right after the general stuff, but before the Standard Attacks.

Now you have learned everything that is needed for the basics. Let’s go further, shall we?

2. THE MAGIC OF BBCODE

The options to design your texts in SWF is incredible. Bolding, Italics, Colors, Images, Fonts, Sizechanging. Use all of this to your advantage!

Bad Example:

jab: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

dashattack: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

ftilt: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Good Example:

STANDARD ATTACKS

Jab

Throwing a punch

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Dash Attack

Sliding Kick

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.


See, I have no idea how formatting text in this place properly works, but I still managed to make the layout easier by just using BBCode.

Now, add colors that fit to your character, maybe make little graphics for the headers, try everything to make the moveset more appealing to the eye. However, keep in mind a few things.

First of all, SWF has a dark background color, so using dark colors is a very bad idea. Secondly, using only one color throughout the whole set doesn’t help at all. It’s actually the best solution to keep the actual move descriptions in white, while you color the headers. Some colors are very awkward to read on that almost black background. Coloring every section or header in an own color may look cool, but it distracts a lot from what you want to present, so don’t overdo it. 2 or 3 colors fitting to the character should work.

You can design the headers however you want, just keep in mind one thing: Adding something to your headers to make them more “unique” is really annoying. Do that only if it REALLY fits the character. Otherwise, it gets old very quickly. This scourge of moveset design has spawned in MYM4, and it has become a very annoying pest.

So instead of

MAGICAL SMASHES

MAGICAL AERIALS

just write

SMASH ATTACKS

AERIAL ATTACKS

It’s the best for all of us.

3. ADDITIONAL NOTES

Last but not least a few points you should keep in mind:

  • Never use page stretching images in your moveset. Making the width around 600 Pixels is more than enough.
  • If you have little sprites or pictures to showcase what a move looks like, use it. If a move works complicated or has an odd pattern of movement, try to create a little image in paint, just to show the general idea. Put them after the move description, it’s sometimes hard on the eyes if you put them in between move name and description.
  • Make these pictures small. Only the character picture should be really big, the pictures showing the move should not be bigger than 300×300 Pixels.
  • Upload your images on picturehosting sites like Photobucket.
  • Resize your pictures using programs like GIMP, Photoshop or IrfanView. Try to avoid paint for this because it tends to screw up picture quality.
  • An uninspired organization and ugly visual design makes less people read your moveset.
  • Using a bigger fontsize to make your moveset look bigger is a bad idea, keep the original textsize and only resize headers or move names.
  • If you want to use a special font, keep in mind that SWF will only display fonts other people have on the computers, too. So if you use Times New Roman, we will be able to see it, but if you use some exotic font you found on a page, hardly anyone will see it.
  • Visuals are not making your moveset fare better. It will maybe attract more people to read it, though. But if the moveset is bad overall, good looks won’t do anything.

Also, here is an example for a very well organized and designed moveset:

Acid Seaforce

To give you two other examples of how it should NOT be…

Waluigi is horribly undervisualized, practically doing everything wrong I’ve mentioned here, while Megaman.EXE tried to appeal with a unique design system, yet it’s hard to read because of the font and its size. You could say it’s overdesigned.

Well, I hope I was able to teach you a few things. Basically, it’s all up to you. You don’t have to do anything I suggested here, but I doubt you’ll find anything objectable.

Well, quite.

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Responses

  1. “Some wacky people think it would be better to put the Specials first in general, though I do not support that. Usually, Specials are among the more interesting moves of a moveset, so if you don’t have Specials that are mandatory, keep the fire of interest burning and put the Specials later.”

    *gets on knees and worships Spadefox*

    And, er, good read on the rest of it. :bee:

  2. I didn’t try to appeal with Megaman’s design. The design was just an add-on, and the font wasn’t even that hard to read.

    I should convert it back to the all caps mode that I originally had it in just to spite you guys. Seriously, get the hell over it. The font is not that hard to read.

    Get over it, MYM.

  3. I noticed the “Magical” headers. Looks like you remember the first draft of Wiz. >:-/

    Anyway, good job Spadefox.

  4. Fire of interest, indeed.

    Just to argue the other point of view, to keep things nice and even: Specials tend to tie the moveset together, and provide such basics as how the character recovers and other vital attack. This is usually something you want the reader to be aware of while reading the moveset, so as to get a better feel of how they play.

    And just about all MYM movesets have plenty of interesting attacks outside of the specials. AND there’s the playstyle section to look forward to.

    Other than that, though, great job, Spade. πŸ˜‰

  5. This isn’t of particular importance, but am I the only one bothered by the header “Grabs & Throws” that most people use? Unless you’ve got a unique character with multiple grab methods, wouldn’t “Grab & Throws” be more fitting.

    Also, something I’d have hoped to see in here (it was a good read, this is just a point I’ve been meaning to bring up), is where accompanying pictures should go in move descriptions. The majority of MYM seems to prefer them between the attack title / name and the description, but I’ve found that somewhat hard on the eyes sometimes. Perhaps there’s a better place for pictures?

  6. @Kibble:

    I think most people include them there because the picture applies to the overall move. However, I’ve placed the pictures in other spots in the move description in if they only apply to a specific spot, such as Lemmy’s Down Smash. So I guess it’s just a move-by-move thing.

  7. I usually put pictures after the move description (see Eggman for excessive use of them, lol).

  8. Probably not the best place to mention it, but… whatever happened to the Search Bar over on the left side of the screen? I’ve been meaning to ask that for a while. :/

    Also, while this is great for a base, I don’t think anyone should feel the need to break their sets up like this. Unique organizations are what keep people reading different authors!
    (In other words, I forgive you for not putting Specials first, Spade. :bee:)

  9. @ Grabs/Throws

    I normally put them in as “Grabs”, so I’m WAY at the other end of the spectrum. Either way, as long as the reader can tell what you’re talking about, does it really matter what they’re labeled as?

    Also, I’m not so sure about certain parts of this overview. My main irks are splitting up the attack input and its name… That just doesn’t seem to flow as well to me, with all the breaks. Then again, that’s just personal preference.

    (Two other things… what ever happened to the Search Bar on the right side of the screen? Also, it seems someone deleted the other comment I made on this page >_>)

  10. What you talking about, agi? It’s still right there, and always has been, know what I’m saying?

    😐

  11. I put specials first most of the time… πŸ˜›
    As for that MYM4 trend, I don’t see the big problem with that. You can still tell what the attacks are >_>

    I have to say, I didn’t enjoy MegaMan.EXE as much as I would have liked due to the horrendous organization. Who puts the attack names in BBCode, while everything else is white? This was just a reader’s nightmare, if you ask me. And way to highlight your set πŸ˜›

    The “Grabs/throws” debate reminds me: in the Kirby and the Amazing Mirror bosses set I might be doing, one of the character could have multiple grabs due to having four hands. xP

    IN OTHER NEWS
    How do I get a picture for my name? I’m assuming I’d have to set up an account here :<

  12. You’re assuming correctly.

  13. People should take my Ripper Roo set as an example of good layout :p.


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