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OOC discussion: Obscenely Large Images

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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OOC discussion: Obscenely Large Images

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:28 pm

Ok folks. This is coming from a long-standing RPer who can and does use images in posts where appropriate. I'm seeing a plethora of ungodly-sized images folks are using in their RP threads. I'm talking images that take up more space and effort to insert than the posts themselves.

I get why sigpics are used - I've used them off and on for years. I also come from a school of thought that the image ought to be less important, and remain topical, to whatever it was that was posted. Not to mention, large enough to see, but small enough not to be a distraction.

I also get why pictures sometimes help clarify, illustrate, or add to an RP. I'm not against them per se. But what I don't understand is the seemingly increasing standard being used of hy-uge seals, logos, sigpics, character pics, outright spampics relating to whatever meme is being referred to, and other such garish bits.

So I figured, as a player, I'd ask you folks who are participating in threads why it is you do it, what you want out of it, what you think others can benefit from it, and why it is you can't perhaps downsize them and still make use? As a mod, I'd like to understand the reasoning behind it all, and get a better grasp on how many actually utilize them, and what seems to be the driving force behind what I'm observing is a growing popularity. Yes, I have been spoilering the more blatantly huge ones as I've come across things. No warnings have been given, but some of it does seem to skirt the lines of forum rules.

So what is it, folks? What's the appeal? Why can't it be minimized and still used? Do most players actually like the giant images? Are more annoyed with it than impressed? Should we ask for a rule of thumb that states a post must contain more text/content than any images used in it, or perhaps a limit on image height/width? Or is this just mountains out of molehills overall?
Last edited by Dread Lady Nathicana on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tsaraine
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Postby Tsaraine » Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:39 pm

I have to concur with my colleague; when there's a massive seal followed by a few lines of text, it's obnoxious. Particularly when said seal could still get the point across and be a whole lot smaller! Nathi's rule of thumb - that a post should contain more text than image - is a good one. When we discussed this among ourselves, I suggested an upper size limit of 200x800 pixels. Back when I RP'd on Tsaraine, my little sigpic of Rene Seingult was 100x100. I'll admit that this trend of increasingly large seals and images seems to have begun after my time, but they are becoming increasingly large, and show no signs of stopping.

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Maxen von Bismarck
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Postby Maxen von Bismarck » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:35 pm

If only I had an obscenely large GIF/JPEG for this instance...
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Soviet Canuckistan
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Postby Soviet Canuckistan » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:36 pm

maybe make the 800 pixel limit smaller if it's not in a spoiler tag maybe
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The Merchant Republics
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Postby The Merchant Republics » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:39 pm

In my case, my image hosting site suddenly decided that it wouldn't scale my pictures, so for instance in my Arts & Fic Gallery, my pictures go from appropriate to lolhuge for the span of about a week, before I figured out how to size them down again.
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The Republic of Lanos
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Postby The Republic of Lanos » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:40 pm

Is this obscenely big?

Image

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:14 pm

Truth Lanos? Yes, yes it is. Not to appear to be picking on anyone, but I've noticed a propensity for it amongst the pony nations, for whatever reason. I think Crystal Spires has had some of the largest images for letterhead I've ever seen in nearly 10yrs of NationStates participation, for example. And watching them use them, I've seen others starting to follow suit - which concerns me more than a little.

People follow examples. And if poor examples are set, well ... you see where this is going, neh? Personally, I think it's best to scale your images first, then host them somewhere - but that's me. Programming limits into the game would be unwieldly and ought to be unnecessary. Limit them to say, 250 pixels high or the like, go from there. It's a thought, anyway.

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Sneaky Bastards
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Postby Sneaky Bastards » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:01 am

I'm all for BOTH a rule of thumb for more text/content than images AND an image size limit of some sort. As stated by Nathi, use of these large letterheads and other assorted images are growing in popularity among the players and more and more people seem to be following suit since there really is no rule for regulating them. Right now, the way I see it, its a case of "$Nation is using that and it looks cool, so I can do it too!"

I've been around NS for almost 9 years now and I've done my share of writing back in the day, using images every now and then when I felt they were needed to help the reader visualize what I was trying to describe, so I'm not against their use at all, but something should be done to make them less obnoxious. I mean, I come here to read some of the things people have written involving their nations and try to imagine in my head what they're describing with their writing, not look at the pretty pictures of something they pulled from Google Images. I'm actually less inclined to read or participate in a thread if the first thing I lay my eyes on is a huge image/letterhead/whatever of some sort before all the text because A) I have to do more work in scrolling to read anything of substance and B) it makes me feel like the poster was lazy and wanted to fill space with an image as opposed to some creative writing.
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Milograd
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Postby Milograd » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:14 am

I more or less agree with all the sentiments expressed in the OP of this thread, however I do not believe that pictures actually have a place in a text based-RP. If for some reason one feels a picture is necessary in RP I believe that it would be optimal for them to link to the image as opposed to using [img] brackets.

Someone in I.I. recently posted this as their letterhead so I'll use it as an example here:

Image
Image

The above is frankly an absurdly large letterhead that actually consists of two images as opposed to one. It's obnoxiously large to the point where it needs to be spoilered. However, would anyone really have an issue if he did something akin to this?


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Sneaky Bastards
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Postby Sneaky Bastards » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:35 am

Milograd wrote:I more or less agree with all the sentiments expressed in the OP of this thread, however I do not believe that pictures actually have a place in a text based-RP. If for some reason one feels a picture is necessary in RP I believe that it would be optimal for them to link to the image as opposed to using [img] brackets.


A good idea, however, the problem I see with that would be getting people into the habit of adding links to their images which they could have at any size they choose, instead of directly embedding them into their post.

Milograd wrote:
The above is frankly an absurdly large letterhead that actually consists of two images as opposed to one. It's obnoxiously large to the point where it needs to be spoilered. However, would anyone really have an issue if he did something akin to this?



Good lord that is absolutely awful. The issue I can see with turning the letterheads into links like that is that most of the time when I see those in use, the writer wants the reader to feel they're looking over an actual official letter from a government official. It can be argued that the writer could describe what the letter looks like through text, but that can be difficult at times depending on what kind of imagery the letterhead contains, and in a lot of the cases that I've seen those used, its just the "letter" that the reader is looking at; there's no story or dialogue between characters to go with it, in the case of some threads I've looked over recently.
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Postby The Floridian Coast » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:43 am

Usually half the time I'm bored as hell and responding to something like "What is your nation's main tank?" or "What is the fanciest hotel in your nation?" so I hit google images to try and find something that looks fairly original and might be believable in the RP context, and half the time I get some "this image exceeds the limit" error anyway, so I don't see what the problem is, when really obscenely large images won't even display (though they display in a spoiler tag, iirc)
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Postby Sneaky Bastards » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:04 am

The Floridian Coast wrote:Usually half the time I'm bored as hell and responding to something like "What is your nation's main tank?" or "What is the fanciest hotel in your nation?" so I hit google images to try and find something that looks fairly original and might be believable in the RP context, and half the time I get some "this image exceeds the limit" error anyway, so I don't see what the problem is, when really obscenely large images won't even display (though they display in a spoiler tag, iirc)


The problem is when the image makes up the majority of the content of the post or when there's more image than text. A writer should be able to describe their nation's main tank or fanciest hotel in words as effectively as posting an image that closely resembles what it looks like in their mind's eye. You don't have to be a good writer either to be descriptive about what it is that you're trying to show the reader. But right now there's a growing trend of players getting carried away with the images in their threads. And we're not trying to say people shouldn't use them, they just need to use them in moderation (and I don't mean the mod forum).
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Crystal Spires
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Postby Crystal Spires » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:21 am

It depends on the Pics in Question!

I of course (since I was cited for this SPECIFICALLY) think that it's always fun to design a communique that acts like an "envelope" to the outward letter, which follows the communique seal.

I've had to shrink it now (because I figured that is what this complaint by poor mods is about.) But let me perhaps clarify what the point of the pictures I use for example in RP, and why the "Spoilering" of these pictures are inconvenient and generally unnecessary. When you're doing an RP, it's one part writing and another part immersion otherwise the suspending of disbelief is broken. A huge wall of text describing a location, can be completely demoralizing when a picture alone is worth a thousand words. I could create an example of such, but there's nothing more irritating than spoiler-ed images when you're trying to avoid demoralizing giant wall-o-text. It's part of why we space things apart and break them up when we write. There is of course, more effective imagery one can use, but spoilering imagery isn't necessarily the way to go as it suspends disbelief!
Last edited by Crystal Spires on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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OMGeverynameistaken
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Postby OMGeverynameistaken » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:41 am

I have an obscenely large crest I occasionally trot out, but only for especially formal letters, such as those that require the use of the Tsar's full title. I don't feel guilty about it since the Tsar's full title takes up more room than the image. I think that such large images, when used correctly, that is, to emphasize the importance of a particular letter, are well and good. It's when people tack them onto EVERY. SINGLE. INSIGNIFICANT. TELEGRAM. their nation sends that it gets annoying.

Also, obscenely large images, you say?
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Postby Tsaraine » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:38 am

OMGeverynameistaken wrote:I have an obscenely large crest I occasionally trot out, but only for especially formal letters, such as those that require the use of the Tsar's full title. I don't feel guilty about it since the Tsar's full title takes up more room than the image. I think that such large images, when used correctly, that is, to emphasize the importance of a particular letter, are well and good. It's when people tack them onto EVERY. SINGLE. INSIGNIFICANT. TELEGRAM. their nation sends that it gets annoying.

Also, obscenely large images, you say?
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The question is, does the Tsar's full title take up more room than the message? For short communiques, His Majesty may wish to use the short form of his title.

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Postby OMGeverynameistaken » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:41 am

Tsaraine wrote:
OMGeverynameistaken wrote:I have an obscenely large crest I occasionally trot out, but only for especially formal letters, such as those that require the use of the Tsar's full title. I don't feel guilty about it since the Tsar's full title takes up more room than the image. I think that such large images, when used correctly, that is, to emphasize the importance of a particular letter, are well and good. It's when people tack them onto EVERY. SINGLE. INSIGNIFICANT. TELEGRAM. their nation sends that it gets annoying.

Also, obscenely large images, you say?
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The question is, does the Tsar's full title take up more room than the message? For short communiques, His Majesty may wish to use the short form of his title.

Generally, unless it's for comedic effect, no. However, it IS an absurdly long title. I have gone to some lengths to make it so :P

EDIT:
Also, it's His Imperial Majesty, thank you very much ;)
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Saphirasia
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Postby Saphirasia » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:54 am

Seeing as how I never got around to actually making a seal, I think I'm exempt from Nathi's blanket statement.
As for normal images, I try to keep them under 500px, otherwise I link.

But yes, absurdly large images are annoying.
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Postby Aezakmi » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:55 am

Image
I came to the conclusion that that one was way too big, so I shrank it down to this:
Image
I don't think it's lost any effectiveness by it. Even this:
Image
is plenty, in most contexts.
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Tsaraine
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Postby Tsaraine » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:14 am

Actually, even the large one there looks fine to me, Aezakmi! That's definitely more the sort of size we'd prefer.

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:00 am

Crystal Spires wrote:It depends on the Pics in Question!

I of course (since I was cited for this SPECIFICALLY) think that it's always fun to design a communique that acts like an "envelope" to the outward letter, which follows the communique seal.

I've had to shrink it now (because I figured that is what this complaint by poor mods is about.) But let me perhaps clarify what the point of the pictures I use for example in RP, and why the "Spoilering" of these pictures are inconvenient and generally unnecessary. When you're doing an RP, it's one part writing and another part immersion otherwise the suspending of disbelief is broken. A huge wall of text describing a location, can be completely demoralizing when a picture alone is worth a thousand words. I could create an example of such, but there's nothing more irritating than spoiler-ed images when you're trying to avoid demoralizing giant wall-o-text. It's part of why we space things apart and break them up when we write. There is of course, more effective imagery one can use, but spoilering imagery isn't necessarily the way to go as it suspends disbelief!

Poor mods, is it? Shall I direct your attention to the OSRS where it states images ought to be spoilered? It's inconvenient to readers to have to scroll through more image than content - as we're seeing from various responses here. You seem to have missed where I've said repeatedly that I realize there is a time and place for images. I've never denied it. What is being questioned here is the size of them.

As for writing ... ye gods, man. That's what this is all about. Not, as others have said, pulling pretty pictures off the internet and slapping them in because you think it's somehow 'better' than taking the time to put it into your own words. Sure, it works. But to some it's sloppy, it's lazy, and it's annoying as hell to have that leaping off the page when one is expecting to, you know, read something to see what the response of any given nation/player is?

What ruins the belief for me in many cases is seeing that huge blob of imagery ... then some two to four-liner response saying little to nothing other than 'neener neener, whatcha gonna do 'bout it' more or less. Anyways, yes, I did mention you because of things like this:

Image

Which is, as mentioned, ungodly huge for no discernable reason.

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Postby Maxen von Bismarck » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:55 am

Frankly, it looks like the inspiration for that image was a pile of vomit.
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Postby Hippostania » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:57 am

I've never been bothered by large images and I see no reason to restrict their use. Personally, the biggest picture I use is this, and I use it when my diplomats arrive in a foreign country.

And this is my current communique. This size is quite optimal, right mods?
Image


But I honestly belive that the situation is currently just fine. Don't fix something that isn't broken.
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Postby Sneaky Bastards » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:11 am

Hippostania wrote:But I honestly belive that the situation is currently just fine. Don't fix something that isn't broken.


This isn't broken at all? A post full of giant images that could have had the SAME effect in a smaller format isn't a problem?
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Postby Nullarni » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:15 am

Just to throw in my two cents:

I agree that huge pictures ruin posts, but I actually kind of like it when official letters or messages have a header. I mean, I like the header that Aezakmi deemed as "Bloody Huge" and I really like Lanos' header. I think good looking headers really add to the interaction, and it would be a shame to have to "spoiler" a header. It sorta defeats the purpose of it really.
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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:12 pm

That's rather my point - a decent header of acceptable size is not something I view as a problem, personally. It's only the very large ones I've ever spoilered when going through a thread - and no, I do not just pick threads to go through to harass players. There's always a reason they come up, whether reported, or mentioned, or some other thing.

If an image of yours hasn't been put into a spoiler in one place, but has in another, that would be why. None of us are watching all threads for all possible instances, and as it isn't exactly rules-breaking at this point, no warnings have been issued.

However, in many forums, spoilers are required for images, due to the overuse that has been prevalent. I would not like to see that happen here, for reasons already mentioned - it can be nice to have a pleasant header. It can add to things to have an image here or there. That isn't being argued.

It is the size that matters and seems to be a growing problem. Sneaky-B, your link about gave me a heart attack. Jesu dolce, people. That there was utterly unacceptable, and everyone should know that.

Hippostania - no, I don't really have a problem with the size of your header, though style isn't really my thing. That's a simple matter of preference, and has nothing to do with whether it's useable or 'good' or not. The airplane thing I don't get. Is there a reason for it being posted other than 'here's the plane we arrive in'? Is it something that could be url'd rather than img'd? Is it somethint that could be written instead? Just ideas to be asked.

It's good to get the feedback on why players want, and use images, and why they feel it's important. Again, the use isn't being contested or argued. It's just the size. So are there any rational arguments FOR zomg huge images, or is it more or less understood that there can be such a thing as too much when it comes to the size of them?

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