Story Icons. Part 2 - of Punk and Pirates

Story Icons. Part 2 - of Punk and Pirates

In the first article on Story Icons I introduced the concept and the first implementations at Chartopia.

The next part of this Side Project was moving it onto my own platform and starting to add depth to the icons.


After fantasy and sci-fi the next theme in May 2019  was Pirates . A more targeted genre and always popular.

Using Chartopia for the generator was great but it's not a system built with images in mind. So having setup my own site for random generators it made sense to make the next one there.

I kept the same format as before there was no grouping the icons by sub-theme. They were a few pirate-themed icons with a larger chance of selection. Then many icons which could fit in the story but would be seen less often.

I also provided a filter to decide how many icons appear.

Pause for Cyberpunk.

Then the project sat for a while, waiting until it caught my attention again.

This is fine for side projects. Some might be time critical but we often return to similar ideas with the same mindset. Or pickup an old one with new ideas on where to take it.

Or we don't have the time or energy to devote to it.

In April 2020 I organised a random generators challenge around Cyberpunk. A grim genre of what the future might be like in 20-70 years.

And I took it as an opportunity to take the Story Icons up to the next level.

Glorious Colours and Large Leads

As well as sorting out cyberpunk style icons I experimented with adding colour. One for the background and one for the icon.

It took a while before I found some simple code for changing up these icons.

For me this was the biggest step forward for the icons so far. The same icon can have different meanings and to different people with each combination of two colours.

The other new feature was taking one to three icons and emphasizing by making them much larger.

This gives focus for ideas or a story as it gives focus to what might be the most important elements.

Try out some cyberpunk stories and pirate icons which inherited the colour "upgrade"

Finishing Up

This is an important side project to me. I love working on it and there's no pressure to make money from it. It's related to gaming but has many other applications.

Next article I'll talk about planning a future for this side projects and ones in general.

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Duncan is an aspiring creative nomad, who publishes random lists and tools for roleplaying games. Hobbies include salsa, games, books, podcasts, languages and history.
It varies. Probably in Europe