Request for Feedback - Cover design of Last Stand of the Dream Gaurd

A work in progress, I’d love some feedback on this cover, in particular your first impressions before you read the game’s blurb.

Blurb

Last Stand of the Dream Guard is a tragedy. The nightmare war is lost and this holdout is all that remains. This game tells the story of the last night, its fighting and its anxious calms, before the inevitable defeat.

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Overall - I like it, the contrast between the black/white picture and the large red font of the title is good

maybe put ‘of the’ below the d of Stand, so on the right side, but that’s a minor thing.

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I agree with the above, but when I see the term “Dream Guard” I expect some dreamlike imagery, which I don’t see here.

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What kind of things would you consider to be dream like imagery?

since mist and clouds are often associated with dreams, here’s some quick ideas.

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Overall I like it but I would adjust some of the alignments. I like the effect of having ‘The’ and ‘of the’ smaller and slightly to the left but I would shift the entire main title across so that the ‘The’ and ‘of the’ is aligned against the ‘An’ at the bottom. I would also be tempted to align all of that with the lefthand wall edge of the ruin itself given that wall edge already provides a clear vertical visual.

Also personally I like the original image with the white, black and red contrast. Very clear and I don’t think it needs dreamlike imagery so long as the castle ruin aspect fits in with the blurb for the game.

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Something as simple as mist would add a dreamlike ambiance, I think.

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It looks unfinished. I don’t know if adding mist is the right choice but it needs something. It looks like a stock photo on a white background. Also looks pretty pixelated on my screen.

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The black, white and Red makes me think of serious college history texts of the 1990s (this is a good thing) the static, obviously public domain art I’m on the fence about - it seems to clash with the idea of “Dream” - Like Dream Guard makes me think phantasmagorical castles and spires - while this looks like the ruins of 9th century keep - which gives me a iron helmets with nasal bars and raiders from the whale road sensibility.

Colors are great (I like the red ‘d’) layout in general (mass of tower offsetting letters) is also good. Font could be heavier, fatter, but I’d also love to see some work on that castle. Even if your drawing skills aren’t up to it and you don’t want to hire an artist - consider the collage. Like maybe print out several old castle etchings, Pirensi is always a go to, and using digital compositing or mod-podge, an xacto and a piece of card make a damn DREAM CASTLE!

Also nothing I say here matters because - good on you for finishing your project and getting it to publish - having it out with a cover on it is itself a wonderful thing - perfection is poison.

Also don’t add anything beyond red white and red - it looks sort of 90’s web if you do and that’s a hard style to use alluringly.

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I like the idea of using the ruins as a centerpiece of your cover. I’ve dealt with lots of manipulated stock lately, and I generally have a preference for leaning into the photos versus filtering them. But that’s a me thing. Nevertheless, I could envision something a bit more dramatic as a warrior faces down the sunset, the long night ahead, and their inevitable defeat.

Ala this very quick hack…

Edit: Oh, and your blurb sounds great.

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