When I presented the Warrant Officer medals, I left out a really important part of modding our game: graphics!
The Warrant series is all about modding, and so my original plan was to award an Oak Leaf to pin onto the Warrent Officer medal for graphics modding. But after I thought about it a little bit, I realized that people who are graphics modders aren't necessarily scenario modders, too. So, I decided that I would wait for a better idea, and just have the original Warrant series be about scenario mods.
Well, guess what? I think I've come up with a solution!
I've created a Warrant series for graphics that parallels the Warrant series for scenario mods! (...Please hold your applause until the end, OK?) I'll talk about what to do if you're eligible for a medal from both series, later. (You can only wear one.) But first, I'd like to present the medals, and announce their eligibility requirements.
For Graphics I, you must have posted modified game graphics of any sort.
That includes annotated screen shots!
So, if you've ever added little circles and arrows and labels and stuff like that to a screen shot in one of your AARs, you qualify! YAAAAAAY!
Maybe you remember that the AAR Commentator medal requires annotated screen shots. Well, if you qualify for the AAR Commentator medal, you also qualify for the Graphics I medal! Congratulations! YAAAAAAY!
Now for the symbolism stuff.
I've used the Warrant medals as a base, for what I hope are obvious reasons. The significant difference is that each flank has a gold stripe! The gold certainly stands out on the medal, doesn't it? That's because although both Warrant series are modding oriented, the graphics mods that are done to a scenario kinda stand out a bit more than the "under the hood" mods. I mean, think about it, for a second: which is more obvious... that Grant is now inexplicably clean shaven, or that region "Gawdforsaken" has less mud, in the Spring? It's a rhetorical question, of course. So, the Graphic Warrant medals stand out a bit more, with its gold stripes.
Even so, most of the graphics mod warrants are just a notch lower in dignity than the same level "scenario mod" warrant. That's because I think that modding scenarios must be a lot more boring and tedious than having fun, creating something pretty, and so I want to reward your dedicated tedium with a tiny little smooch of respect, OK? But since I can't smooch anybody anymore because I'm Queen and dignified and solomn and all that stuff, the sweet little smooch will have to be replaced with enhanced dignity, instead. (Actually, that kinda makes sense!) So: Serious Geeking wins respect, around here. At least, among Queens.
Now, you understand. I hope. But even if you don't, we need to move on, OK?
Next on the agenda is Graphics II!
For Graphics II, you must have posted an "in game" graphics mod for people to download.
So, the people who get this medal have made a mod that changes something about what we see on the screen, when we play the game. It doesn't have to be elaborate. For example, changing the details of an Infantry unit portrait is sufficient.
The next graphics level is the entry level for "did it from scratch". This next medal also rewards using photographs to create completely new models.
For Graphics III, you must present a completely new graphics model.
In other words, a new unit portrait which is notably different from existing ones. For example, creating a new "Sharpshooter" model that shows a soldier crouching, or maybe even using binoculars. Another example might be a new, historically accurate Zouave unit portrait. The important thing is that your new, historically accurate model must be able to be used in the game, or existing modded variants.
Now, it just breaks my lil' pea-pickin' heart to have to say this, but that last sentence kinda rules out creating models of Assault Balloons. At least, for now. That's because I haven't completed my scenario examining the ramifications of Airmobile Cavalry in the American Civil War. Yet. But when I do complete my "Horsies and Howitzers: Death from Above!" scenario, then I'm going to be needing lots
of different Assault Balloon models, OK?
OK! This next level is the "Master" level of the series. It's the "Iron Tiger" of graphics!
But unlike the other "Master" medals, it doesn't require confirmation from the community. And why...?
For Graphics IV, your graphics must be being used in the commercially offered game, or in SVF*.
My Queenly prescience is telling me that most of you already know who the first two nominees are.
I hereby award the Graphics IV medal to Jabberwock and Nikel, for their exceptional contributions to AACW.
Your beautiful, masterful work is a part of the very foundation of our beloved game! So: congratulations... and thank you!
To all: If I've inadvertently left someone out, please let me know, OK?
I might be prescient with obvious stuff, but I'm not omniscient. With this and all other medals, please let me know when I goof.
In fact, I'm going to make a proclamation.
Anyone who tactfully points out to me any error or omission on my part, in regard to medals and awards, shall be authorized to add a Bronze oak leaf to their Good Conduct medal, contingent upon my agreement that I goofed.
So that there won't be any misunderstanding, let's agree to this: when I make a post correcting the error, you'll be authorized to pin on your leaf, OK?
OK. Now, since I've presented the Graphics equivalent of the Iron Tiger, you're probably thinking we're done, right? Well, no. There's one more.
There is one more level of achievement, but as far as I know, there is only one person who qualifies... and she is no longer with us.
For Graphics V, your original artwork must be used in the commercially offered game, or in SFV.
The Graphics V award is the Distinguished Service Medal.
I hereby award the Distinguished Service medal to Sandra, as Graphics Level V.
Sandra's inspired artwork of the map of AACW has been internationally acknowledged as one of the most beautiful computer wargame maps, ever.
Her original mapwork is the visual foundation of our game experience, from which all else follows. It is for this reason that I'm adding an Oak Leaf to her award.
I hereby award the bronze Oak Leaf to Sandra, to commemorate the nature of her contribution.
As I understand it, Sandra's work was first hand painted, before being digitized. What an artist!
The entire idea of her lovingly painting a beautiful map of the United States is just wonderful, and so I'm thinking that she deserves to have her sweet little oak leaf frosted, don't you? Now, we're having some difficulties getting the "frosted oak leaves" to be just the way I want them, so I unfortunately can't post any of the "frosted" leaves, quite yet. But even so...
I hereby announce that Sandra's Distinguished Service medal leaf shall be frosted in perpetuity, in celebration of the coolness of her methods.
Congratulations, Sandra! We are fortunate to be able to enjoy your exceptional work!
*SFV is Clovis' renowned Grand Campaign mod, [color="Blue"]Struggle for a Vast Future[/color]