I was so impressed with Shane’s work (and incidentally got on very well with him) that I requisitioned some branding design from him. I was bubbling with ideas, though tried to temper myself for fear of scaring him away from the project. He delivered more than I could have hoped for.
There’s a lot going on here, and thank goodness for Shane’s excellent knowledge of Norse mythology, because it made things a whole lot easier.
- Warrior-like Odin is, of course, the focus of the design. I chose Odin as the thematic centre of this blog as he is associated with, among other things, knowledge, which I thought was apt for a blog focusing on strategy gaming.
- I requested a cyber-punk veneer to the whole piece, and I think Shane has managed that with some subtle additions to Odin himself, notably some battle armour and a cybernetic eye. On Odin’s chest is the Triple Horn of Odin.
- Odin is brandishing his spear, Gungnir, and is accompanied by his ravens, Huginn and Muninn. In the very back of the image and glowing brilliantly is the Norse world-tree, Yggdrasil, holding together the cosmos.
- Odin overlooks a sprawling city with some notable landmarks, including the Pyramids. This draws influence from some of the city building and 4X games in my repertoire, notably the Civilization series.
- Sweeping overhead is the ringworld on which Odin is present. Ringworlds of course figure prominently in Stellaris, but this particular ringworld is inspired by the Ringworld by Larry Niven, a million miles across and with a 93 million mile radius.
Since the beginning, Odin Gaming has used the Old English rune ós. I toyed with the idea of switching this up, or adding more detail, but I think I would do myself a disfavour by complicating things.
The link to this rune is not as obvious as to, for example, the Triple Horn of Odin, which I could have easily chosen as well.
It’s link to Odin derives from the Old English rune poem, a poem with a stanza for each of the 29 Anglo-Saxon runes, a bit like an alphabet song. The stanza for ós goes like this:
ōs byþ ordfruma ǣlcre sprǣce
wīsdōmes wraþu and wītena frōfur
and eorla gehwām ēadnys and tō hiht
This has the following translation:
god is the origin of all language
wisdom’s foundation and wise man’s comfort
and to every hero blessing and hope
The first word, ōs, is a homophone for the Old English os, a heathen word for ‘god’, which leads scholars to believe that this poem is censored, having originally referred to Odin.
I enjoy the simplicity of the site as it is now, but there is functionality not present in the WordPress blogging service that I would quite like to use. I’m not even sure if the WordPress.org site-building software would fit the bill. I’ll try not to fiddle with the site’s appearance too much, but there is potentially a big shake-up at some point in the future (if I can ever muster the effort to do it!).
For now, I hope you enjoy the new banner as much as I do!