Given the length of your post you probably should have just started a separate thread, but never mind.So here's a thought that was brewing in my mind for a long time since there was a need for uploading thumbnails mostly for retro games, but not exclusively, since also XBOX, Steam and now even PS5 do also require updated thumbnails for the website for the sole reason of not following the 320x176 format, which came from Sony's side, as being a standard for trophy packs inluding PS3, PSVita and PS4, and even they have deviated from it already, which made me think of a possible solution in order to accomodate all of the different formats.
So, the problem that also made me think about it was when same games but in different trophy thumnbails formats needed to have their thumnbnails updated, which was followed by the pattern of "One same thumbnail for each version of the game" which would suit it well, but in cases when developers made two different arts for each format, that what made me thinking that it would kinda be a loss of the original art if it's replaced by something that is, on one hand, acomodates website's design, but on the other, loses the original art it was supposed to have on the thumbnail.
The problem continues when you start working with retro titles as well, but in a bit different form, which also crosses alongside with X360 games, since retroachievements have inherited all of the design patterns from it. So, it started to involve plenty of work which would require to find, and in most of the cases even create and artwork that would reflect the game in one way or another without losing it genuine feel, which is why we do have this thread of artwork submissions, but then it is starting, and i think already is looking like an overwhelming work for countless games that already have their thumnbails from it's authors, the reason they're needed here is, obviously, for the website's formnat which inherited, on the contrary, PS3's design of trophy pack thumbnails.
It is not the amount of work that is my main concern, though, but preserving the genuine thumbnail artworks selected not only by authors of Retroachievements, but the devs themselves of such formats as Steam, X360 and now PS5 which for most wouldn't matter, but i do think that retaining the "official" look as possible for every trophy pack on the website is the way to go. Of course, with every decision the admins will take, i completely respect, but i still think it's worth it to pitch this idea of mine which make everything not only more genuine and official, true to what devs intended to be on the artwork, but would also free the admins from a lot of work and hassle of trying to find a suitable artwork, since the artworks would be already there, obviously...
Of course, from there, the core problem is the format, so, what would be a way to solve it?
I personally haven't come up with anything better than, if would be possible of course, i can't say i'm familiar with the ins and outs of the website, but incorporate somehow all of the (That would be 3? No, i think 4 if we count Xbox One also.) all available formats mixed in between all the platforms. A screenshot would an example of what i'm trying to say. I believe since some changes for replacing the artworks mostly for retro games have been made, it would require some work, but i can't imagine any better idea than this, for now.
Just an idea, though. By no means i'm against any decisions made by the website, but i would honesly like your opinion about it, if i managed to explain myself well, of course. The main goal, is just to retain all of the original artworks without replacing them with something that wasn't intended by the devs, which would, also remove any posibilities if someone would, say, want to argue that one or another artwork "doesn't match rather well for the game" for example.
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Edit: There's also a different example that came to mind and it was "Nier: Automata" which had different artworks for Xbox and PS4, for example. Both are different artworks provided by the developers, but one of them being lost to accomodate the format of the website, with which, of course, not against any decisions made by the website, but in my own opinion something that was sourced by the devs should be kept original. That is in my own opinion, though. All of the decisions are up to you! Just a thought i wanted to share, nothing more.
Edit 2: The way PSNProfiles also took this approach is descriptive of the idea too!
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Thanks in advance!
P.S: Oh, i also apologize for posting this in the corrections thread, haven't realized too soon that i should've done it in the Game Icon Submissions i guess.
Sony had square thumbnails for PS3 and Vita at least for the games that were available digitally in the store, you can't access them on the PlayStation store site anymore. They tried to completely shut down the PS3 and Vita stores a little while ago but had a lot of backlash so they're still up for now, I don't know if those old hidden store images can be pulled from an API or something.I'm fine with adding an option that uses squares instead, but I agree with @CaptainScarLeg we should stick to a consistent format.
So I guess when enabled for now, the option would work how Agravaile has requested, but over time we would want to replace the PS3 icons with squares as well. At the moment, I'm not exactly sure what would be the best path forward for doing that -- did Sony ever show square icons for PS3 anywhere?
At least for PS4, there are square icons from the store we can use:
Also Vita (though most lack the logo of the game):
Another issue is the native square icons for Xbox 360 are quite small -- 64x64. There's a possibility we could use these instead, that they show for the backwards compatible titles:
The options for Steam got a little more interesting since they added cover art to the store. I noticed in addition to the background image, they have the game logo in a separate file -- see the library_hero and library_logo assets here:
So maybe, a square crop of the background image could be used with the logo overlayed. This might be better than trying to crop the tall capsule images?
Maybe we could also offer an option that lets you select squares or rectangles per service for those that don't mind mixing styles, but I would have to think more about how to add this on the settings page, don't want to overcomplicate things.
I think I'd want rectangles to stay as the default until we figure out how to deal with the PS3 icons at minimum though.