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+15 votes
2.6k views
Edit: just to add... I like the new badges and extra add-ons (times round, FTF, etc)... but just use the original designs (and just design the new ones using the original kind of format).
closed with the note: Please redirect new comments to https://project-gc.com/qa/?qa=22754
in Miscellaneous by Boomshanka (340 points)
closed by magma1447 (Admin)
I agree! The old designs were great! These new ones are so bland! Please give us og BadgeGen. I'd even consider getting a paid membership.
You are right. The new design looks like a small child play with graphic designer on PC. All the beauty of the old design is out.
Agree. The new design is very unsightly :-(( I liked the old one...
Totally agree. It was a great idea to introduce new badges but their design is just awful! Really, a good way do discourage people from caring about them.
I di not like the new badges, so smple!!
Absolutely agree! Some new extras and categories of badges - OK, the world is changing :-) BUT why must be all of badges new and so ugly :-(((
I will lock this thread. It's not because it's disliked, quite the opposite, it has really had a purpose. But new graphics was released today, and we created a new thread to easier distinguish the feedback.
New thread: https://project-gc.com/qa/?qa=22754
I agree, I like the badge add-ons eg: FTF and feb 29th but like the look of the old badges.

30 Answers

+22 votes
Hi everyone, clappy here, the guy who designed the new badges in close coordination with magma1447, the creator of PGC. I'm not affiliated with PGC, I just did the artwork.

First of all, thanks for your feedback, although it's a bit sad to receive such a lot of negative and unconstructive comments. I/we understand that it's a big change, not everyone likes it (totally fine) and it will take some time to ge used to.

Just a few things to consider:
PGC would have went this path to new badges in any case. The old ones are not well-scalable, the original owner Kyle does not maintain them anymore and they were not "public domain". With the new design, we are able to develop the system, create new things and have badges that scale with display size (vector-graphics).

We wanted something that matches the updated cache type icons from geocaching, something that looks more modern but is well recognisable maybe even without the text on the ribbon. The old design did not have intuitive graphics in all cases.

Don't get me wrong, I also liked the old badges, but with the new ones there is more to customize, add new badges (there are already some, others will come in the future), have addons and more loops.

Not all badges will be loopable (Author, Trackable for instance), since we don't want to encourage mass-TB-logging or even longer Found It Logs.

Something about the history:
About a year ago PGC made some posts about a designer they were looking for. Apparently no-one showed up. When they made a "Sneak Peek"-announcement of new badges, they looked somewhat inconsistent, they lacked uniform icons, were hexagonal and had problems with readability. I drafted some ideas how to improve and magma1447 liked them. We changed a lot since then, talked for many hours and tried to improve things. Some things were a technical issue, some more aesthetic. The result is the BETA you're seeing right now.

Yes, BETA. We will walk this path with new PGC-Badges, but we are still open for improvements. Right now, I myself found some things I will change for the next version. And the country badges are also in the list but were not top priority. The numbers are also not all fixed, although there will be changes.

What I ask of you is this: Instead of simply state: "This is ugly.", please comment, what in detail we can improve. Is there a badge that's totally off, some ideas on how to improve? Please be specific, then we can actually work with it. :) It would also be nice, if there is something you like about them. :) Critisism is good, if it is in a constructive way.

Thanks for reading! ;)
by clappy (13.6k points)
Well said. I must admit I could get used to the new designs quite quickly - and as I'm now nearer to my 400 point belt than I was you won't get any criticism from me on that score!

To those who just criticise with "this is fugly" (whatever that means) - if you don't like it, go off and design your own system.
Many thanks for your detailed reply and background to the badges. Also, many thanks for all of your hard work in developing the new badges. I edited my original question to emphasise the colours... I think the new badges are great and I like the new add-ons etc. It's just the colours... they don't match (at least to my eye) the different levels (gold, silver, etc or the gemstones)... the original colours were far clearer... and they would then still match the country badges. So to answer your last point, to be specific, perhaps it could be possible to keep the new artwork designs but just change the background colours of the badges back to the original colours.
I've had a very useful and honest discussion with clappy offline and I'm happy to stand corrected on the colour issue! Putting the original and new badges side by side, the colours are actually pretty similar (try it and you'll see), in fact I would go as far to say the same for all but the silver, platinum and diamond. Clappy is very open to suggestions and it's encouraging to hear that some further changes to differentiate the last three colours and designs are all in the pipeline.
I think the current The Author is high... and of course it should not encourage repetition. I am working on a competitive BadgeGen for another program and I've been doing it much longer than there is Project-GC exist...
Some time ago, I recalculated the tag values of The Author and I found a more reasonable lower number and of course without repetition :)
The Author: B-5, S-10, G-15, P-20, R-25, Sa-30, E-40, D-50+

Reaching 100 words, and keeping 100 words (the badge goes down) is simply support for nonsensical logs even 50 is quite enough
My badges for inspiration:
http://www.drakmrak.cz/doku.php?id=geo:badgegeninfo

I take the graphics as a matter of each site and it's not bad, but I will stay around the original concept, however, the badges are largely customized according to experience or I something adapt by Project-GC because some badges now are obsolente a game is evolving...

sorry for my english I wish you a lot of success
I would distinguish more between large, regular and small cache icon. They look very similar especially in the BadgeBar.

Perhaps having colors on cache types (blue question mark, green/yellow container lid) would be helpful, too. It is confusing when only a few badges have color (earth cache,...) while most of them don't. But maybe that's just problem with the bright background color of platinum badges.

Apart from this, I'd say the pictures are pretty self-explanatory and it just take time to get used to them.

Last but not least, I also support the proposal of DrakMrak to reduce levels for "The Author" badge.
Yes.  People often complain without offering solutions.
Thak you for the explanation. Anyway the result has to be improved. The trouble is that the change is a shock. One part is that the habit is strong. The second part is, that the change is like change classic painting for modern art.
Originally the gold was gold - in your case it is yellow (little to the orange), it is not gold any more. Try to use more graphic tools - work with brigthness, light and darkness. Make badge, not only a picture. Use more colours for the picture on the badge. The badge must looks rich - like something you MUST have. Like something that it is nof for everybody. Not like a sticker.
The original badge has some very clever thinks:
- the picture's colours makes, that the picture is on the front - the coulour of the badge is on the background.
- the colour of the background (and the star shape of the badge) makes the badge shine
- the effect of the badge was rich
- the different colours for different cache size
- the colours of caches equal to their colours on map

So please - return the badge's look to design of something what looks like something everybody need. Imagine as you are a package designer - how you make the design to sell the goods?
Thanks for that.
Thanks for a lot of good work this far! I have a couple of suggestions, but I've already given them to magma1447.
I feel for you mate. It sucks to receive such negativity without any suggestions for what might be done to improve them.
Change was needed, as outlined above. Few people like change, but rather than bitch about it, accept that it's going to happen and be part of the process.
So here are my thoughts;
Getting a colour scheme to work well is hard work, but I think there is too much emphasis on the background of each badge. The individual graphics are too small which is more noticeable when viewing on a small screen. If I were to suggest a different shape for the badges, such as a Square rather than a Circle, then you could have the colour as a band along one edge (Horizontally or Vertically) and then fill the rest of the badge with the graphic making it easier to see. That might also solve the problem of the graphic changing visually depending on which background it currently has. For example, the Grey graphic on the Platinum colour background is far less easy to make out, as is the Matrix Grid 81 when on the Sapphire background.
Also, if you had a square badge with a horizontal colour band then when you have multiple badges of the same level showed next to each other I think the idea of their colour would flow better. The Circular badges don't flow together quite as cohesively.
I like the Addons - definitely a nice touch there.
Can the Gold be more Gold and less yellow? The Silver just looks dark grey, although I get the difficulty of visually differentiating between Silver and Platinum!
The Adventurous Cacher - PLEASE can we have the graphic as D5 over T5, not over 5T?
The FTF Addict - I think the FTF medal needs to be much bigger for clarity.
Great work on the High and Low altitude graphic - MUCH better than before :)
Firstly colour: in order to convey a shiny appearance like a metal or gemstone, you need a fair amount of colour variation. The old badges achieved this with their use of black both on the borders and the approximately 1/3 of the badge which was black. I would suggest adding at the very least a thin black border. Additionally, I think the shape of the old badges and the variety of colour in the designs helped to convey the luxuriousness.

Shape: Circles are clean shapes, but look very simple. I like the 30-pointed stars of the old badges, but if we're wanting cleaner shapes I'd advise at least going to squares with rounded corners. One possibility would be to start at a circle for bronze and progress to more complex shapes for higher levels.

Colour contrast: Some of the badges could do with a bit of work to ensure there's contrast between the design and the background. I have The Matrix Cacher in Sapphire and the design is hard to see (dark grey on dark blue). The All Around Cacher and The Jasmer Cacher also have parts of the design which are hard to see on Sapphire level. I would suggest reviewing each design on both a dark and a light background.

Wording: I've pointed out before that the wording of one of the categories of points for the belt doesn't match its calculation ("2 points for every year since your first cache find" when it's actually 2 points for each calendar year with a find). At the time PGC was re-implementing Kyle's idea the wording wasn't corrected then, but could we please have it corrected now?
The Author - statistic view to one cacher logs... for inspiration.
http://www.drakmrak.cz/img/qualityoflogs.png
-----------------
The Author ranges is: B-5, S-10, G-15, P-20, R-25, Sa-30, E-40, D-50+

I do not want to persuade yours, myself just showing, what the logs look like in such normal sensible logging.
Note:The logging program, knows to join multiple logs for one cache together log + wn + wn (same date)
Thank you for your long explanation :-). As you know, there is no chance to make everyone happy.

I like that the new badges are easier to identify and I like the explanations next to them and the add-ons.

I see that the colours are representing the colours of the gemstones and metals. I wish they would be a bit brighter or more "shiny", so that they look more sIgnificant. I hope, you understand what I am trying to explain.

I like that "The Trackable Lover" is now combining coins and trackables.

And I would suggest to reduce the words for "The Author" so the logs are not blown up.

I cannot wait to see which degrees I missed out for the "The All Around Cacher".

I love the new Jasmer and Challenge badges as I am a fan of both.

It is fair that "The Caching Veteran" was reduced and "The Brainiac" needs more caches now (could be even more for me).

How about "The App Cacher"? It is not possbible to find more than two (nowadays), as far as I know so it will be impossible to fulfill it.

I would like to have an overview where I can see which combinations of the add-ons I am missing out. For example, that I do not have found a mystery cache on the 29th of Feb or have no FTF of an Wherigo.
Hi clappy.
When I first saw the change I was shocked. Then I realized that it is just not what I was used to see. But the design looks, in fact, very beta right now. Here some ideas:
1.) The design is mainly white on colored background, but some icons are too dark. Matrix: perhaps a white grid with gray border and gridlines and a smalled 81 with dark points would be better. Jasmer: no idea but too dark.
2.) The design is mainly white on colored background, so the colored CITO, Earthcache and GPS Maze look wired. Make them white too.
3.) The persons of T5 and busy cacher must be improved
4.) The Favorite Cacher: too much hearts, perhaps reduce to 3
5.) The Favorite Owner: in small the cache looks like a camera. Too much detail? Perpaps only one heart with the 'owner star' inside
6.) I love teh brain!
7.) the icon should always be centered. Small Mega and Giga badge look strange
8.) Micro cacher: Too much detail. Perhaps reduce to two cache examples
9.) The Busy cacher is hard to identify when smaller, because the important part is dark
10.) The handles of the "Achiever" cup shouldn't be dark
11.) The labeling banners on the big badges have a thin white border, so the badge itself should have one too.
12.) I agree with several other comments that the colors look a bit whashed out and could be a bit more shiny. The gradient could perhaps be a bit stronger.
13.) I like most of the badges which I didn't comment :-).

Finally: The old country badges and the classic belt beside the new badges make the new design look strange. Once the clean new design is on the complete page it will look much better.

What are you using to draw the badges?
Thanks to all, who took their time and explained in more detail what they liked or not.
I think I did not mention this before, just to let you know: I'm not a professional designer, so I'm learning a lot with this project, too.

I have read all your feedback and made notes to everything. I actually have some ideas on design changes that I will try on the weekend or early next week. I will also talk to magma1447 about it, after all, it's his site :), and I'm positive we can evolve the badges further. I also noted the comments regarding levelling and will put them on our list, although it's again magmas decision in the end.

A few things I'd like to address though:

- Background colors: Many have said the colors are more bland or faded. In fact, they aren't, I picked the colors from the original badges and only changed them slightly. But I think due to the lack of the bold border it might look fader. I will keep this in mind for the next draft. Silver and Platinum (and in a way also Diamond) are hard to differentiate by color only. That's why Silver is darker than Platinum and Diamond appears more blueish.
Please do also note, that every screen depicts colors differently. I tried all with different screens, but it is something to keep in mind.

- Icon colors: We had colored icons before, the reason why they work on the original badges is due the high part of black and the bold borders. The new icons are modeled after GC's current cache type icons (which are white, the color comes from the background). We actually had the colored background on the badges (like the green Trad icon put on the badge), but it did not work with all medal/gem colors. That is why we opted for the icons only. I admit they could use more contrast, but in general they are identifiable as such, even without the color.

- Badge shape: I noted your suggestions and will try something out. Won't go back to the 30-pointed star, but maybe some variation for medals/gems.

Thanks again for all your feedback, please keep it coming! :)
clappy
There are some really good interactions here which will hopefully drive positive developments. In my mind, perhaps it would be a good idea for DrakMrak, Kyle and clappy to chat offline to explore potential collaboration? It seems that Kyle is keen for BadgeGen to be developed, clappy has done a great deal of work in moving things on and DrakMrak has done some great things on similar developments but using the original design template... perhaps the solution here is to bring all that together? (apologies if I've missed anyone out in all that!)
@Boomshanka Thank you for mention me :) Personally, I don't use Project-GC - or I just check out occasionally, we have our own development on other software (GeoGet). But because I have been doing BadgeGens since long ago, I am interested in and it would certainly be good to keep it all united or simillar... we have some things in our BG that are just national (Czech) ones of course cannot be transferred, but can be for inspiration..
My personal stat: https://www.geocaching.cz/statistika/u/12397/stator.html
Because I'm not a Project-GC person I can't completely interfere in the events but I watch...
And my english is horrible ;)
I think it looks a bit weird as it is now with a handful of cache type badges in color (CITO, earth cache, GPS Maze) while all the others are monochrome. Shouldn't they all be the same?
@pinkunicorn it's on my list. Especially the Maze will be harder due to the many fine lines.
My personal gripe was that I stated they were bland. After thinking about why I thought they were bland the answer was color. After looking over the badges I realized I didn't mind the look of the Earthcache and CITO badges Because they've got color to them. I feel a bit of color to the other ones would go a long way. Traditionals should have a green lid, multi's an orange lid, puzzles & wherigos blue (yes, like the old GC logos which are still used on the cache pages, stats, and stats here on Project GC). The Geocacher should have the full color groundspeak logo. Lab cache badge should have that chemical green look to them. For the diverse cacher, every one of the individual cache types should have the corresponding color as mentioned above. I've never quite understood the reasoning in modern design that everything should be monochromatic, a stark white on a single color or slight gradient background. Color makes everything better, it makes things pop, it makes them less bland. I don't intend to be mean towards your designs, I think they're okay. But they need a bit of help to get better and I think a little color goes a long way.
FYI: The full color groundspeak logo is not in use any more by groundspeak.
@clappy: Another detail I just realized: The 81 addon uses a serif font while the FTF, leapday and 366 addons use a sansserif font. Wouldn't it be nicer to be consistent?
@Geokid12: Thanks for your comment. The reason we went away from the colored icons is that not all work well on every badge background. On the old ones it (kinda) worked due to the large amount of black and bold lines of the icons itself. But you have to admit, for example old "Diverse" looks very crowded and "complicated".
2nd: we wanted to include the current icon design by HQ, Groundspeak logo is now also 2-tone as pinkunicorn already said.

@pinkunicorn: thanks, will check and correct.
@clappy: I'll do my best to keep it constructive. Please understand, I mean to be helpful, encouraging, and share with you my own design perspective, training, and knowledge. I understand how hard it can be to do a design change, some may not like change due to change. However, designer to designer, here are some thoughts.

Honestly, line width consistency, lack of color consistency, busyness consistency, and small intricate detail work consistency. I'd google image search "badge eps", for some ideas and go back to the drawing board for the badges and some of the icons. I think some of the work can be used, however, things need to be edited and changed a bit.

Here's a more detailed version. These are not ordered, just brainstorming as it's noticed.

1. Badges have inconsistent color use. Some are only, badge color, and black and white icons (earth cacher, gps maze, environmental are the only ones with multicolored icons). If you do some, you should do all—or none (not suggested). Take a look at the old ideas, each icon has color.
2. Diamond does feel "diamond". In fact most colors and shifts don't feel like gems nor metals. They need more shiny, or sparkles, and possibly color changes.
3. In fact, I don't get the badge level with any of the colors, not bronze through diamond.
4. The pointed effect previously look more badge like. These look like bubbles not badges. I would either a. thicken the border and add stitching or some sort of effect to emphasize patchwork OR b. change the shape.
5. There's a missed opportunity, as the gems could have been gem stone shapes and non gems could have been coins.
6. Further emphasizing point 2, more highlights and shadows could be used to enhance #2 and #5. A quick google image search on ruby, shows what I'm thinking, and searching "ruby eps" gives many ideas.
7. The Jasmer icon is too thin.
8. High altitude does not feel like what is needed to go high, it looks like a golf course hill
9. The stroke width is inconsistent between icons (i.e. long distance vs almost any other). I feel this may be due to scale stroking turned on.
10. Cache owner could have had the star in the head and been a bigger person
11. The cache size icons are too busy (the size chart isn't needed if done correctly, micro should only have 1 icon, the film container)
12. Shutterbug has small unreadable type and is not the shape of polaroid—if that's something that was meant to be achieved.
13. I think the colors worked in the old icons due to the black wave and type
14. The caches look bad in the badge info section—they don't scale smaller nicely
15. Some of the type doesn't fit within the ribbon—no spacing at ends on several (at least 3)
16. FTF (medal), it's ok, maybe a person running might have given emphasis to urgency for FTF find and would keep more in theme with the rugged cacher. I think the medal works though.
17. Why does the rugged and busy cacher have severed legs?
18. If your not finished with the icons, they shouldn't have been released. I see this product as a work in progress. Hard to win people over with uncompleted work.
19. The traditional cache works at HQ because of color BG. I would make the container green since BG is controlled by level. Like a green fill, white lined border, badge color.
20. The off centeredness of some icons is done incorrectly. Look at HQ's event cache vs the mega here.
21. Event host should just be the HQ design, no person (ie. consistency, why doesn't the Mega not have a person, probably due to legible type, so lose the person in the event icon)
22. Shutterbug: many images are landscape not portrait, at least most of mine that I take.
23. The trackable lover has too many objects. Reduce to either dog tags, or 1 or 2 of each.
24. The diverse cacher circles are not consistently sized, color them
25. Brainiac lightbulb should have light (white) extending, not dark border lines
26. The attribute cacher has more emphasis on the cache, than the attributes. Enlarge the tag and magnifying glass. Maybe lose the cache container.
27. Favorite owner, rework placement of objects.
28. Why are the addon icons so small, and they inconsistently appear? If badges have addons, I would place all the round icons around the badge, and only color/icon fill when achieved. Right now they are hidden achievements. The explainer text should inform users which achievements they are missing (confirmed with missing visuals, hollow/empty circles), and which they have (confirmed with visuals, filled circles). Think of stars for a level on a video game—you know you achieved 1 star and 3 is possible, etc.
29. Addon location should be consistent.

That's a lot to chew on. Hopefully helpful. No disrespect intended. - Chris
That sure is a lot to chew on but to a large extent opinion disguised as fact.

Some are interesting, though: 1 (none should have color), 5 (interesting, but will probably look messy), 15 (it is very tiny, and so is the loop number), 29.
Agree with most of the above. Personally I would lose the banner on each badge completely. Not needed as mouseover has the name plus other detail.
Agree with most of the ideas.
I've held back as I've tried to give the new designs the chance to grow on me.
As you say, the background colours actually haven't really changed.  But a lot more of it is visible.
The fact the image over the background is mostly line drawings and one colour (black) just seems to emphasise the background.

Methinks a compromise between old and new might work better, but the background really does need de-emphasising.

But these things need to be tried.  Thanks for having a go at it.  And yes it is only BETA.
@Karthuul: Having the name on a banner the Badge was something many people requested during the pre-release via facebook. If the icon itself is good enough to speak for itself, the text could be omitted. But personally, I like having the name there, something I always missed on the old ones.
It took me very long to know every badge "by heart" and I only knew them in the end, because I've seen them long enough. Not all were self-explaining.

Positioning of the ibbon will change in the next update, as well as we're getting rid of "The". This makes it a little more readable.

The next update will also take into account a lot of the feedback we got here on the page and elsewhere.
+18 votes

Hi there, Kyle here (original BadgeGen creator).  I haven't really been a part of the Geocaching community for quite a few years, and it was just brought to my attention that GSAK (the original driving "engine" of BadgeGen) is no longer being developed, and BadgeGen, in its former state, is likely dead.  I'd love for ProjectGC to take over the development of BadgeGen freely.  I have sent an email to my contact at ProjectGC and am willing to work with them to keep BadgeGen alive on ProjectGC. @clappy: I can probably track down the original vector graphics. If it's purely a licensing issue, and you'd prefer to stick to the original graphic design in the end, then we can definitely work together. 

As for those commenting about your dislike for the new badge designs, please be constructive in your criticism.  As a non-graphic-designer myself who had to figure out graphic design for the original badges, letting the designer know exactly what you don't like about the designs is super helpful.  Just saying they're "ugly....bring back the old" is not helpful (not to mention discouraging).  The old design is just that: old.  Maybe it's time for an update, maybe not, but be constructive in your suggestions, please :)

by ky.m.guy (450 points)
Since my up vote doesn't feel like working, here's my upvote.
Hello Kyle,

It's nice to see you are back and I want to thank you for the original designs.  Ever since I discovered them, they have inspired me to work toward gaining higher levels.
+10 votes

I'll do my best to keep it constructive. Please understand, I mean to be helpful, encouraging, and share with you my own design perspective, training, and knowledge. I understand how hard it can be to do a design change, some may not like change due to change. However, designer to designer, here are some thoughts.

Honestly, line width consistency, lack of color consistency, busyness consistency, and small intricate detail work consistency. I'd google image search "badge eps", for some ideas and go back to the drawing board for the badges and some of the icons. I think some of the work can be used, however, things need to be edited and changed a bit.

Here's a more detailed version. These are not ordered, just brainstorming as it's noticed.

1. Badges have inconsistent color use. Some are only, badge color, and black and white icons (earth cacher, gps maze, environmental are the only ones with multicolored icons). If you do some, you should do all—or none (not suggested). Take a look at the old ideas, each icon has color.
2. Diamond doesn't feel "diamond". In fact most colors and shifts don't feel like gems nor metals. They need more shiny, or sparkles, and possibly color changes.
3. In fact, I don't get the badge level with any of the colors, not bronze through diamond.
4. The pointed effect previously look more badge like. These look like bubbles not badges. I would either a. thicken the border and add stitching or some sort of effect to emphasize patchwork OR b. change the shape.
5. There's a missed opportunity, as the gems could have been gem stone shapes and non gems could have been coins.
6. Further emphasizing point 2, more highlights and shadows could be used to enhance #2 and #5. A quick google image search on ruby, shows what I'm thinking, and searching "ruby eps" gives many ideas.
7. The Jasmer icon is too thin.
8. High altitude does not feel like what is needed to go high, it looks like a golf course hill
9. The stroke width is inconsistent between icons (i.e. long distance vs almost any other). I feel this may be due to scale stroking turned on.
10. Cache owner could have had the star in the head and been a bigger person
11. The cache size icons are too busy (the size chart isn't needed if done correctly, micro should only have 1 icon, the film container)
12. Shutterbug has small unreadable type and is not the shape of polaroid—if that's something that was meant to be achieved.
13. I think the colors worked in the old icons due to the black wave and type
14. The caches look bad in the badge info section—they don't scale smaller nicely
15. Some of the type doesn't fit within the ribbon—no spacing at ends on several (at least 3)
16. FTF (medal), it's ok, maybe a person running might have given emphasis to urgency for FTF find and would keep more in theme with the rugged cacher. I think the medal works though.
17. Why does the rugged and busy cacher have severed legs?
18. If your not finished with the icons, they shouldn't have been released. I see this product as a work in progress. Hard to win people over with uncompleted work.
19. The traditional cache works at HQ because of color BG. I would make the container green since BG is controlled by level. Like a green fill, white lined border, badge color.
20. The off centeredness of some icons is done incorrectly. Look at HQ's event cache vs the mega here.
21. Event host should just be the HQ design, no person (ie. consistency, why doesn't the Mega not have a person, probably due to legible type, so lose the person in the event icon)
22. Shutterbug: many images are landscape not portrait, at least most of mine that I take.
23. The trackable lover has too many objects. Reduce to either dog tags, or 1 or 2 of each.
24. The diverse cacher circles are not consistently sized, color them
25. Brainiac lightbulb should have light (white) extending, not dark border lines
26. The attribute cacher has more emphasis on the cache, than the attributes. Enlarge the tag and magnifying glass. Maybe lose the cache container.
27. Favorite owner, rework placement of objects.
28. Why are the addon icons so small, and they inconsistently appear? If badges have addons, I would place all the round icons around the badge, and only color/icon fill when achieved. Right now then are hidden achievements. The explainer text should inform users which achievements they are missing (confirmed with missing visuals, hollow/empty circles), and which they have (confirmed with visuals, filled circles). Think of stars for a level on a video game—you know you achieved 1 star and 3 is possible, etc.
29. Addon location should be consistent.
30. Delete "The" in every ribbon. It's unnecessary to communicate, and you need more space in the long ones.
31. I'd bold the type and make it slightly larger in the ribbon—type is too small, smaller than this type here <----

That's a lot to chew on. Hopefully helpful. No disrespect intended. - Chris

For the sake of eventually attaching images. I've made this a new answer, not just a reply.

Really quick sketches:

Diamond Quick Study — quick sketch (shown in regression)
Couldn't help adding color, and then to ribbon. I didn't care for the blue hue. 

 or  or  or  or or 

Ruby Quick Study

 or   or  

All Quick Study

Quick badge color sketch, no color edit for icons (to be clear, most are too dark, since I over-layed images on top of the work). Just trying to relay an idea here is all. Most of the coins icons are too dark.

All these should be cleaned up quite a bit and are just really rough edits of your work appropriated with free imagery. I just didn't want to spend hours redesigning a sketch. Even my line width is inconsistent with yours.

by Wæki3_KL6 (560 points)
edited by Wæki3_KL6
These suggestions are very nice. I would like it to be used.
(I apologize for my English.)
Upvote, very nice work!
I really like that long-distance cacher diamond mock-up. I think the "gemstone" & "coin" looks really sell it.
These are beautiful and definitely a step up from the old ones! :)
The gem cut background is stunning and I hope it is adopted.  The shading and border in the medals is an excellent idea.  I would give a thumbs up on rolling out a new BETA with those changes.  You might want to reduce the bronze background to a bit lighter.  Thanks.
+5 votes

Hi all!

As you may, or may not know, I am the owner of Project-GC. It's my "fault" that everything changed, and I apologize for that, though I still feel that it was the right thing to do.

I won't go into any details here. Clappy and pinkunicorn has been involved in the whole project, and what they have written comes from the team.

You should know that you are now seeing the third iteration, and probably not the final result. Clappy has been excellent to work with and I have full confidence in the fact that he will make it even better.

When I say "even better", I say that because in my opinion, these badges do actually look good, in my eyes. Yes, the background is a bit washed out, we were aware of that, and we (clappy) will see what he can do with it. As he has mentioned though, it's pretty much the same background as the old Badges.

My favorite quote here is this:

I've been looking at them for a few weeks now (the link on the FB-page from a few weeks ago worked the whole time), so maybe it's just a matter of getting used to them? They are much more 'calm' to the eyes I think (the StatBar looks great too!). If the situation was reversed, and the new ones had existed for years, and were changed by the old ones, many people would say there was no need for a change.

I truly believe the second part here is the case. I personally love the BadgeGen design as well, and what I am writing now is in no way meant as criticism for that design, or the work of Kyle. But I do believe the new badges are more thought through, easier to read/understand the icons, and has a more common design with each other. With a few exceptions of course, for example Earth and CITO, which is just waiting for their turn.

For two years I have been trying to update/evolve the Badge-system in different ways. The Addon-system was the primary goal, and I never managed to get it working/looking good with the original Badge-design. Therefore, I felt that a new design, from scratch, was necessary. I still believe that. And that's not because I dislike the original BadgeGen, because I really don't.

During these two years we have actually more than once announced that we have been looking for a designer for new Badges. The response has been super low. Clappy saw the result of that, with our first redesign. Since he didn't like it, he made a few suggestions and sent those over. That's how this cooperation started. What I am mostly impressed by, is that he has managed to design 40 very visually readable icons. That and his patience, independence and his ability to shake of unconstructive criticism. :) Constructive criticism is great though, which we have seen more of the last 24 hours.

The old BadgeGen is still technically available. Currently, anyone who has a paid membership can add the url parameter bgv3 when viewing Profile stats to see their old Badges. Example: http://project-gc.com/ProfileStats/magma1447?bgv3

If it becomes a popular request, we could very well make it available as a standard for those users who wants it. However!

  • They won't be able to access any of the new features/changes made.
  • At some point we will lose interest to maintain old code, the fewer that uses them, the sooner we would stop maintaining it.
I personally don't think too many would like to stick with the old when there is a new system which is more feature rich and have more rewards available.
Regarding adjusted requirements. The changes you see is the first iteration of those. It's the biggest, without a doubt, and it shows the direction we want. We will most likely update the requirements at least once more, but then much less. We do have a very conservatory mindset in regards of requirements. For those who don't know it, BadgeGen has also been updated during the years. Some of the requirements there could be considered as having been unbalanced from the start, others because Geocaching has changed. Some good ideas has turned out being silly in the end, because of misbehavior from Geocachers (like The Author). In 1-2 months, we want our new Badge-system to be considered fixed for years to come, at least in regards of requirements for those Badge levels that exists now.

Anyway. I wasn't supposed to go into details already discussed, so I'll stop here. What I really wanted to say is that I will be Live on the podcast GeoGearHeads. Friday 3 am - 4 am CET (the night between Thursday and Friday). You are welcome to join that podcast show and ask me any questions. I can answer things like:

  • Any technical design decision.
  • What has been tested and what hasn't.
  • What we have thought on and haven't.
  • Changed requirements.
  • What has been discussed/tried with Clappy.
  • Parts of what Clappy is planning.
  • New badges coming.
  • Removed/merged badges and why.
https://www.facebook.com/GeoGearHeads/videos/634080457355842

PS! If you have great ideas for changes, feel free to make them and attach a screenshot.
by magma1447 (Admin) (224k points)
I won't be staying up in the middle of the night to listen but I'll try to remember to listen afterwards. ;)
"When I say "even better", I say that because in my opinion, these badges do actually look good, in my eyes. Yes, the background is a bit washed out, we were aware of that, and we (clappy) will see what he can do with it. As he has mentioned though, it's pretty much the same background as the old Badges."

Sorry, I must disagree here. We will probably get used to the new design and symbols but the background colour is definitely NOT the same as the old badges. If you could keep the old colours, perhaps the new badges wouldn't be so controversial.
Here are the new and the old colors: http://familjen-persson.se/temp/badges.html

As you can see, indeed pretty much the same.
The difference between the colors isn't that huge, is it?
https://1447.se/shutter/screenshot_20200205_20%3A00%3A15_d63e.png

Besides, it's already mentioned multiple times here that it isn't final, and that the background colors will be looked at. But I really doubt it's the small difference in background that actually makes it feel that extremely ugly for some.
Actually, the main difference is that the bronze badge is now darker than it used to be. That's not the meaning of "bland" that I'm used to.
I would like to suggest a removal of “The Author” badge and maybe in the future replace it with a badge based on the “log upvotes” HQ´s currently testing out in Canada and Norway if it gets a worldwide release?
https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2018/05/faq-log-upvotes/
Re the colour of the badge backgrounds.
As I mentioned in another post, the colours are pretty much the same, but in the old badges they were shaded, so that colour changed from left to right, not to mention the black "hillside:" that meant there wasn't so much colour in every badge.
Maybe something similar here - particularly shading - would be preferable.

EDIT:  I do realise that Ruby to Emerald are shaded in v4, but maybe not quite enough.  And interestingly the shading in the old ones is sometimes left to right, and other times right to left, it apprears based on the darkness of the basic colour.
+5 votes
I waited for a few days after the new badges appeared to put my two cents in, I'm a grumpy old guy that doesn't like change so my first impression was hit and miss. The new designs were a little "bland" at first glance but I did like the extra functionality including the lack of limits on loops for some badges like the "Matrix" cacher along with the added touches like leap day and FTF on some badges. The new badges are great as well, more challenges to move up a level!

After spending a bit of time looking and getting used to the look of new badges I'm liking them a little more, especially the details of the graphics in some of the badges. Honestly though it's the few with little pops of color that catch my eye first. The GPS maze with some green, blue, and a bit of yellow, the earth cacher, and the environmental cacher. I'm not saying it should look like a unicorn ate a rainbow and passed gas, but a touch of some color might be nice in the other badges if it was a possibility.

That said it seems like a great step forward and whatever the outcome on the look I'm thankful for clappy, pinkunicorn (no relation to the gassy unicorn referenced above, at least as far as I'm aware), magma1447, and of course Kyle and everyone else that had a hand in giving us these badges.

Now to try and plan how to go from 11 to 12 cache types in a day for August....  :p
by Mike Fitz (5.0k points)
+4 votes
Not seen these before - so just had a look - sort of agree with the design though that aspect of it for me isn't an issue

I do like the add-on feature -

Not limiting the levels as before (stopped at 9) is likely to make things like logging 36000 TBs / coins that more desireable for those that want to cheat like that.

However I do not see the change a problem - If I am going to say one thing about the new format, possibly make the colours/background a little darker
by Deepdiggingmole (11.7k points)
This is what I meant to say... it's the artwork (colours in particular) that simply don't work. I like the new badges and add-on features... just revert back to the bold(er) colours
Thanks for the constructive feedback. I will try to play with bolder colors.

Looping will not be possible on every badge (e.g. TB, Author)
+4 votes
As with all updates on the internet, the new badge icons will take time to get used to and for minor kinks to get worked out. I do miss the raw goofiness of some of the old badges -- that giant silly brain! -- but the new icons are stylish and some are an undisputed improvement. At the very least I am glad that the badges are not stagnant just for the sake of avoiding change.

There's more of an design emphasis on the color background than the icon artwork, which is a choice. The old ones wrote out "emerald" or "silver" on every single rasterized badge, which was fine but not particularly elegant and certainly not ideal for scalable graphics. Using color alone for the gemstone tiers is okay for the badges, but I would like if there was a gem icon somewhere that made it a bit less of an abstract concept. Maybe add something like that to the column headings on the "Badge Information" breakdown? A blue gem for sapphire, a bronze medal for bronze, etc.

I do wish there was a bit more color in the icon artwork still. More color makes them more easily distinguishable at a glance especially given the newly dominant background colors. I think it would help to have a mystery question mark that is dark blue, a trophy that's silvery or brassy, a brain that's bright pink. The still colorful CITO badge and the Earthcache badge are more successful for that reason, to me. The white ghost for the Virtual badge will stand out more too, if there's color in the others.

As for the achievements themselves, more types of badges have been added! That's good news -- growth is a positive. Looking forward to some kind of a checker that goes with the new All Around badge so I know what degrees I need. (Also I'm glad I don't live right on a coastline -- living in, say, Venice Beach CA, getting degrees 210-300 would be a huge chore!)
by celing99 (700 points)
OK on changing badges - I do think the colors are bland however.  Had a question re: the 360 (for GSAK users there is a macro - 360DegreeChallenge.gsk).

But....  As long as some badge requirements were changing I would have liked to see a change to the low elevation / bury your head badge.   As it still stands the best you can get in the US (Death Valley) only gets you to Silver.  Gold or higher not only requires a trip outside the US - but outside North America (S. America for Gold - I think Africa for Platinum - and Asia for anything higher).
Highly agree on adding more color to the icons, especially the cache icons.
+3 votes
Of course, the design is a question of taste, I personally do not mind the new art work. But what is exciting is that the badge system is being developped again. And even more exciting news that Kyle is with us again.

I like the add ons and that the limitation on loops to 9 has been abolished, and I am surprised about some changes in the steps. E.g. from a middle aged cacher I suddenly am a veteran, having reached the diamond badge of "The Caching Veteran" within seconds now instead of another ten years :-).

As others have mentioned before there are some scales where one could reflect about an adaptation, e.g. "The Low Altitude Cacher" (BTW, excellent idea to rename it!), where you basically have to visit Israel/Palestine if you ever want to get into the gemstone area. But once you are there, it will be diamond in one go.

However, the badge I personally see as most problematic is "The Busy Cacher": if we are realistic even on the most simple power trail it is not really feasible to find more than one cache every 5 minutes (taking into account the time to sign the logbook, hide the cache as you should etc.), which means 12 an hour. So if you are caching for 20 hours in a row (without any break) you will have done 240. If you survive mentally and physically that is. Which means that the diamond badge (400) is absolutely unrealistic and the emerald one (270) already highly dubious. Unless you do as many powertrailers seem to do, i.e. not signing the logbooks, logging fake finds or coming with a large group in which everybody e.g. looks for every tenth cache and signs for all the others. But - apart from the obvious ethical questions – what is the fun of this? So, if we are at rethinking the scales I would certainly include "The Busy Cacher" in this. I’d say 150 for emerald would certainly be enough. And for people who really want to go beyond there would always be the loops. (Compare e.g. how easy it is to get a high loop on "The Calendar Cacher" in comparison with getting an upper gemstone badge on "The Busy Cacher" without any dirty tricks.)

While at it, I find it a bit disappointing that the loops have been abolished on "The Author". I see the point about long useless logs. But first, you anyway couldn’t get beyond the second (or perhaps third) loop because geocaching.com does not allow longer logs. Secondly, I do not think I resorted to any artificial inflating techniques to get to the second loop of the badge, so I don’t think looping on the badge necessarily leads to meaningless logs. But that’s a side issue.

In conclusion, as said, a big thumbs up and thanks for all the work!
by k+gw+a (11.8k points)
- I agree with "The Busy cacher" it is problematic badge
- Not agree with "The Author" - It forces cachers to write stupid long logs... moreover, it is the only badge that rises and falls, so they must maintain long logs if they want to maintain a high ranking...
I disagree on your math. Concentrated trailing (without moving the containers) can do a cache every 2-3 minutes even without being in a desert with the caches marked by piles of stones.
Okay, maybe you are able to double the speed and still sign all the logbooks yourself, close and hide the containers correctly. But even then you just make it - and don’t tell me you are not completely exhausted physically and mentally after a day like that :-). I do not think many of us would be able or wanting to do that. What I wanted to say is that there seems to a) be a disbalance between the levels of the different badges, i.e. for most of the other badges it is quite feasible to reach diamond level or even a number of loops with a bit of dedication whereas for "The Busy Cacher" you have to be an absolute die hard to reach even the first loop diamond badge (if you want to play clean); b) it encourages all those kinds of unwanted caching behaviour I have cited above (not even mentioning the stimulation of littering this planet with hundreds of crap and often badly maintained caches purely for the sake of statistics) – and as with other badges dissuading people from unwanted behaviour has obivously been an issue ("The author", TB and Coin badges; but also discontinuing e.g. the top archived logger statistics) I just wanted to stimulate extending this consideration also the "The Busy Cacher".
+3 votes
First of all: I love the new Badges. I've been looking at them for a few weeks now (the link on the FB-page from a few weeks ago worked the whole time), so maybe it's just a matter of getting used to them? They are much more 'calm' to the eyes I think (the StatBar looks great too!). If the situation was reversed, and the new ones had existed for years, and were changed by the old ones, many people would say there was no need for a change. Since almost all Badges are now without a coloured image, I wouldn't mind if the remaining ones that still have colour (Cito, Earth) would change as well, but maybe that's too difficult.

Regarding some of the 'Levels':
- Busy Cacher isn't too problematic I think, we've done 354 in a day, and only used about 15 hours. I hope to get 400+ this year. And yes, all logs were signed by us, we were with 2 persons in 1 car.
- Great solution to stop Author and TB's at 1 Diamond (although I lose my Double Diamond on coins by this :-)).
- The Low Altitude Cacher indeed seems very hard to earn. In Belgium, -11 is the best that is possible...
- I love the new Badges, and am looking forward to other new ones being added (Souvenir Cacher?).
- The add-ons are another great feature, and add some extra challenges!
(is there an add-on for the Cactus-attribute? I saw today that there still exists 1 cache with that attribute, which would be very nice to have one day!)
- For Badges where the same level is required for some Badges (ie 1 GPS Maze gives you Bronze, Silver and Gold), I would change this and just let them go from 1 - 8. This would be problematic for the APE, but a Badge that lives on 3 (2 active) caches is a bit strange too (I have earned that one, so it would hurt to let it go :-))? Maybe this could be replaced by an APE-addon? If Community Celebration Events don't get their own Badge because they can only be earned every few years, the APE shouldn't have a Badge either I believe...

All in all, very nice work, and I am looking forward to the new developments! And remember, it's just a (highly addictive ;-)) game after all :-)!
by CaracalShan (1.5k points)
Thanks for your answer!

The 3 colored ones are actually under negotiation, I think I prefer all two-tone icons. But, we have to play around with them a bit, especially the maze is difficult.

Regarding Levels:
We are "heavily" discussing the requirements. We won't make everyone happy, regardless what we will do. If we keep the original, some will complain and if we change anything, others will. :)
The whole APE/MAZE/CommunityCelebration thing is under discussion. :)

Souvenir cacher... an idea I will note, however, due to the 31days of August Souvenirs it might be hard to draw limits. Some people (those playing for longer) might easily reach Diamond, while players starting later might never. But we will think about it.
Thanks for your reply! Regarding the souvenirs: people playing for a longer time have an advantage on many Badges I think? If you started caching in 2000, reaching Diamond (or even 2, 3, 4 Diamonds) on Jasmer is/was much easier than if you start caching in 2019. The same for finding (old) Virtuals, Webcams, Block Party, ...
 
And indeed, not everyone will be happy, no matter what you do. Every change in levels will affect the Badges of someone. But that means people are attached to it, and care about it, which is a good thing :-) I just enjoy going out and find geocaches, all the other things (statistics, badges, belts, ...) are nice extras. I'm confident you will find good solutions for all Badges and Levels in time!
The GPS Maze Cacher is undervalued by me... i think

32 events have already taken place with this icon and it's not tied to giga events
https://www.geocaching.com/plan/lists/BMXX5Y?sort=name&sortOrder=asc&skip=30&take=10

I think the badge should be the same as for Mega Action 1 - 8 not Diamond for 5 (or same as Giga 1-6 at least, 1-5 has no logic)
it is of course my opinion but I can see it retroactively
Have a nice day :)
+2 votes
Totally agree, bring back the old ones, the new ones are just awful!
by Kaarthuul (230 points)
+2 votes
There two good things about new beta version of badges:

1) There are no longer any limits. Like 9 times matrix etc.
2) There are some new badges.

But on the other side some badges is not possible to level anymore. For example there were two different badges for geocoins and TBs. Now it was merged and without levels. It is the opposite to The Mega Social Cacher - this one was split to two badges, Mega and Giga.

The number of certain criteria has also changed to Diamond level - The Mega Social Cacher - it changed from 8 to 10, The Brainiac - from 60 to 100 etc.
by hynous (3.1k points)
edited by hynous
The number of loops was included on the upper right corner with the original badges as well. In addition, the loop info included in some badges, for example "The Jasmer Cacher", is rather stupid:

"The Jasmer Cacher - Diamond
Awarded for geocaches hidden on different months
NH82 has 237 and needs 474 to go up a level"

Needless to say, one cannot complete the Jasmer Challenge loop more than once, at least without the ability to time travel into future.
Jasmer loops means logging multiple caches from each month, so the maximum number possible is currently four.
Ignoring design completely in this post.
I think most of the changes to the actual badges are for the better, but agree with you re combining Geocoins & Trackables.  Better to separate them back out again.

Re Jasmer and it's loops.  Yes, the loop is multiple finds for each month.  But the 237 Diamond.  Will that go up?  As a caching friend said, you never really finish your Jasmer grid.  There's always next month!
Eventually 237 will be a much easier number to attain.
For Jasmer, the first four levels are fixed numbers and the last four are percentages.
+2 votes

I personaly agree with new badges or rather new badges system but absolutely disagree with new design frown

by drobec (4.5k points)
+2 votes
I`m a big fan of the new designs and the new badges, I`d say i probably prefer these to the old ones.

Though i would like the colors to be... brighter? Stand out a bit more compared to the background.
by Andkyllie (190 points)
+2 votes
I was, as many others, sceptical at first. However after giving it some time I think change is a good thing and after getting used to them I kind of like the new design. Especially the add-ons.

What I haven't gotten around to yet is the larger sizes makes it harder to get an overview when you get more caches. I think 7 for each row was pretty good and with the addition of newer badges this becomes more of an issue. Just my 2 cents.
by Glenn173 (190 points)
We would prefer the old size as well. But the Addons are hard to read as it is. The added Addon option to the badges kinda forced us into increasing the image size.
+1 vote

Even the StatBar is ruined: 

Those new badges are fugly, bring back the original ones please!

by NH82 (260 points)
+1 vote

It must be something at http://kylemills.ca/badgegen.com/badges.html where the images are not loading

by vogelbird (Expert) (52.6k points)
Didn't notice that until now, but the PGC badges are hosted on this site, not copied from that other site. As you can see above, the country badges with the old design are still perfectly functional and visible. The monochrome design of the new badges apparently tries to imitate the "flat" theme of Windows 10, but fails at that and the new badges do not scale well (if at all) to be visible at the statbar size. In addition, the new washed-out colours are just as ugly as the icon design. Even if the badge images cannot be replaced with easily readable ones, then please replace at least the background colours with the original ones, as the original, bright colours look much better.
@NH82: The old badges are no vector-graphics. So they don't scale. Additionally, we could not do more loops, do addons, or create new badges with the old ones.
The new design matches the new cache type icons from geocaching, the rest of the icons should come in a consistent way. There will be more changes, this is still BETA.

Regarding background colors: The medal colors are actually almost the same as before.
+1 vote
In my view the badges are ugly. There was no reason to change the design in such a radical way. Why change something known and popular? Is it just about generation of attention? If the design doesn't change back, I've to look for an alternative to project-gc or we've to setup an alternative project. GSAK's development is apparently not yet secured in the long term - unfortunately.

Is project-gc loosing contact with Users?

Configurability would be fine for me.

Give the control of the design to the Users! The time will change things non-radical by them - with joy, satisfaction and recognition (by extension of the paid membership).

The new Design lacks in aesthetics, motivation and recognition value.

It looks somewhat more modern, but the audibility , comprehensibility and self-identification has been totally destroyed!

Psychologically, cachers are robbed of their beloved medals and merits. Imagine you've won a beautiful Ski-Medal and now it suddenly looks like a Soccer-Medal.
You cannot simply change something that is such extremely established and loved by cachers as their own property. Total game changer...
by Onkel Benny (3.2k points)
edited by Onkel Benny
I agree with ability to choosing the badge design. The older version is better also for me.
Please see my later post on a little background.

I understand you don't like the design (which is fine). If you have constructive ideas on how to improve - feel free! :)

Please think about the opportunity the new medals provide: There are new ones you can achieve, the "old ones" are still there, you are not being robbed of anything.
The problem is: the old one were also "arbitrarily" drawn by Kyle. We just got so used to them. It is a big change (even for me), but given time we can evolve with the new PGC-Badges.
+1 vote
Agree...

idea is great, very good new things but the design is just weird.
by DaneteYaourth (3.1k points)
+1 vote
Since this seems to be the thread to give feedback, another small addition from me:

When hovering over the Badges, some say 'Cacherxxx has yyy and needs zzz more to go up a level'. For other Badges however, the text says 'Cacher xxx has yyy and needs zzz to go up a level'. The zzz for this Badge (ie for Labs) is the number needed to reach the the next Badge (ie you need 600 to reach Emerald on LabCaches), whereas in the first example (ie for Virtuals), the zzz is the number you still need to find to reach the next level (ie I need 26 more Virtuals to reach Diamond status).

I would try to make the text the same for all Badges (where possible, ie for highest and lowest elevation it makes sense to put the lowest number needed to reach the nex Badge).
by CaracalShan (1.5k points)
+1 vote

The new design evokes emotions. When operation system WinXP ended, the situation was similar. We have operation system Win10 now and We go on. Only time will tell, I am for a change.

by Lomnice (910 points)
...