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Phobya Design a Case Competition - Stage 2

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Roboduck 14th February 2011, 05:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixmatal
Ashtefere -

If you look through the forums, I think you would find that a lot ( maybe 70% ) of the builds are just about bling and muscle. A much smaller number ( maybe 25% ) take style or taste into consideration. And an even smaller number ( that last 5% ) are actually successful in applying style and taste.

Subtec kind of pulled the rug out from under everyone ( with the exception of Guile ) with how well the understated style came through on his design.

Confusis has about the smallest case in the running, and the styling is right in line with some of the most highly praised designs in these forums.

In reality the 5 designs at the top right now are all about the same overall dimensions/volume, with the exception of Guile being slightly taller. My own design is by comparison an absolute behemoth, but then I come from XS, and that is perfectly acceptable over there - if not an expectation.

In my eyes, the top 5 all have their own style and are tastefully done. But they are all competing on the basis of how to lay out the components, in what amounts to the same big square box.

I would have to agree with you, but I do believe until the hardware starts to change (which it is starting to) case design will largely remain the same. With ITX mobos and small compact liquid cooling systems like the H50, case designs can get a bit smaller and more creative with the layouts but for the most part people are still buying the same basic cases. Mobo at the back, PSU under or above, HDD/Optical drive bays at the front. I personally love Guillie's idea with the upright motherboard and cooling components mounted behind, subtec also has a very creative layout. Its hard to really get creative without having custom hardware, or do it while keeping the end product affordable. Good example of this would be the new TJ11. Brilliant looking case, very nice layout and lots of cool features but at $600 it is a bit of a bank buster. I'm not saying its impossible to be genuinely creative, but it is very difficult.

Edit: Taste and Style is another thing that can be very hit or miss. Its hard to compare a sleek, shiny sports car with a rusty, muscled out rat-rod, but both are "cool" in their own ways. Some people love the super clean, tidy cases (Murder Mod TJ07) and some love the dirty, worn look (Bill's District 9 case). Its hard to quantify just what constitutes "tasteful" or "stylish" because it can mean very different things to different people. The best you can do is make something that make YOU happy and hope others like it too.

(Warning: The following is a personal opinion, some may not agree :p)
My biggest gripe with most case designs is the front mounted optical bays. It seems like such a waste of space having 5, 6, even 7 drive bays. Ive only ever used 1 optical bay and I only ever use the drive in that bay once every 2-3 months. Even if you want fan controllers they don't need to be external, once you set them you can pretty much leave them alone. Ok sorry, my optical-drive-rant is over.
ashtefere 14th February 2011, 06:17 Quote
Re: Drive bays:

I fully agree roboduck.

Gimme a slot load lappy drive slot, and I'm happy. Its all I need, for the extremely rare cases where steam doesnt have the game I want. (I even reinstall my OS with a thumbdrive).

A nice clean, simple slot to slide a drive into that doesnt detract from the lines of the case would be perfect for any occasion.

-Ash
subtec 14th February 2011, 06:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboduck

Taste and Style is another thing that can be very hit or miss. Its hard to compare a sleek, shiny sports car with a rusty, muscled out rat-rod, but both are "cool" in their own ways. Some people love the super clean, tidy cases (Murder Mod TJ07) and some love the dirty, worn look (Bill's District 9 case). Its hard to quantify just what constitutes "tasteful" or "stylish" because it can mean very different things to different people. The best you can do is make something that make YOU happy and hope others like it too.

One thing that I think some of the participants in this competition, as well as some of the voters, are missing is that this is to be a production case (though perhaps limited); the examples you gave are mods, which to me don't make sense to put into production. The District 9 case might look great to some people, but it's really not something that's likely to sell to a broad audience.

My approach has always been to create something understated, flexible, and functional while leaving the modding and aesthetic "enhancement" to the end user's discretion [edit: and to add - a design that also stands on its own as good industrial design without any "enhancement"]. I think this approach appeals to a much broader market, vs. a case that has tank treads or looks like rusty scrap metal or steampunked out or something (not that there's anything wrong with that if that's your thing).
jrs77 14th February 2011, 12:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by subtec
One thing that I think some of the participants in this competition, as well as some of the voters, are missing is that this is to be a production case (though perhaps limited); the examples you gave are mods, which to me don't make sense to put into production. The District 9 case might look great to some people, but it's really not something that's likely to sell to a broad audience.

My approach has always been to create something understated, flexible, and functional while leaving the modding and aesthetic "enhancement" to the end user's discretion [edit: and to add - a design that also stands on its own as good industrial design without any "enhancement"]. I think this approach appeals to a much broader market, vs. a case that has tank treads or looks like rusty scrap metal or steampunked out or something (not that there's anything wrong with that if that's your thing).

This exactly.
This competition is not about a cool looking case that we'd like to see in the Project Logs section of these forums, but about a manufacturable case that attracts lot's of people who'd actually spend money for it later on once it's crafted.
That includes the the drive-bay-discussion aswell, as most people still use an optical drive or buy fancontrollers, LCD-displays, reservoirs that are mounted in the front there.
A case that you like to sell to a broad audience needs to be flexible, offer alot of options to please the customers and should have a fairly basic design that allows people to work with later on, instead of being designed in a way that doesn't allow for custom builds.

All this wasn't very well communicated in my oppinion, and therefore this is more like a freestyle-competition now, rather then an industrial design competition.

Most of the designs are still very good, not to get me wrong there, but they don't exactly match the initial idea of the competition in my oppinion and the manufacturer didn't do anything to help there at all.

I voted for subtec (and only for subtec, wasting my other 4 votes), allthough I don't like the PSU in the front there, but it is the only design that caught the general idea of this contest in the end.
Roboduck 14th February 2011, 14:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by subtec
One thing that I think some of the participants in this competition, as well as some of the voters, are missing is that this is to be a production case (though perhaps limited); the examples you gave are mods, which to me don't make sense to put into production. The District 9 case might look great to some people, but it's really not something that's likely to sell to a broad audience.

My approach has always been to create something understated, flexible, and functional while leaving the modding and aesthetic "enhancement" to the end user's discretion [edit: and to add - a design that also stands on its own as good industrial design without any "enhancement"]. I think this approach appeals to a much broader market, vs. a case that has tank treads or looks like rusty scrap metal or steampunked out or something (not that there's anything wrong with that if that's your thing).

Your right I probably shouldn't have used mods as an example, but the same applies to production cases. A better example would be Lian-Li cases and the CoolerMaster HAF series. Both appeal to different tastes but both are still good examples of "high volume" production cases. I'm not trying to garner more votes here (pointless at this point), but I tried to design a very simple case that would be very easy to manufacturer. Look at mountain mods for example of this. The cases are probably only 5-12 actual parts to each case (not including fasteners). They are a great example of a very simple design made of quality materials, that sells in relatively low production numbers. Personally they are a bit bland for my tastes (if you have't figured it out by now I am more the rat-rod guy than the sports car guy :D) I like the look of exposed screws and simple but sturdy metalwork, and not a big fan of the "Apple" design school.

Yes, It would have been nice to have a more defined "goal" in the contest but what's done is done. I do feel that because they made it a community contest the people who they would be marketing to would be the people in this community. They also said this would be a part of a new line of cases so I figure let them worry about marketing to a "broad" audience with their other cases. I'm just having fun designing, if you like it great and if not thats fine too.

Oh and my design does have front mounted optical bays if you really want them ;)

Again, these are my personal opinions, I am not right or wrong (neither is anyone else) its just my thoughts.
GuilleAcoustic 14th February 2011, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboduck
Your right I probably shouldn't have used mods as an example, but the same applies to production cases. A better example would be Lian-Li cases and the CoolerMaster HAF series. Both appeal to different tastes but both are still good examples of "high volume" production cases. I'm not trying to garner more votes here (pointless at this point), but I tried to design a very simple case that would be very easy to manufacturer. Look at mountain mods for example of this. The cases are probably only 5-12 actual parts to each case (not including fasteners). They are a great example of a very simple design made of quality materials, that sells in relatively low production numbers. Personally they are a bit bland for my tastes (if you have't figured it out by now I am more the rat-rod guy than the sports car guy :D) I like the look of exposed screws and simple but sturdy metalwork, and not a big fan of the "Apple" design school.

Yes, It would have been nice to have a more defined "goal" in the contest but what's done is done. I do feel that because they made it a community contest the people who they would be marketing to would be the people in this community. They also said this would be a part of a new line of cases so I figure let them worry about marketing to a "broad" audience with their other cases. I'm just having fun designing, if you like it great and if not thats fine too.

Oh and my design does have front mounted optical bays if you really want them ;)

Again, these are my personal opinions, I am not right or wrong (neither is anyone else) its just my thoughts.

Design is always a question of taste. Some will like it, others won't. The goal was to design a case for watercooling conf. With this is mind, I think that we all reached this goal.

Now, this was more a question of taste (or friends vote) ... but even if friends vote where used, the 5 finalists deserve to go through.

It was very fun, and for sure you'll see monolith (micro-ATX revised) in project log ... stay tuned and may the best design win ;)
dogknees 14th February 2011, 16:37 Quote
The thing about style is that it never dates or goes out of fashion. If the look will go out of fashion next year, it's not stylish. At least for me.

Nothing particularly wrong with current designs, it's just that some are very much "of their time". Music is a good analogy. There are those tunes and artists that get "re-discovered" by every generation and still sound new and timely despite being decades (or more) old. Then there are the ones that win a Grammy this year and will disappear within a year or two. They're not bad songs, they just don't have that timeless, almost universal appeal.

The really great designers produce work that looks great decades or even centuries after it was created. Most of us will never reach this standard. That doesn't mean we failed, just that there is a whole other level of success to strive for. Look at Gaudi. His work appeals to each new generation and I suspect will go on appealing for centuries into the future.

For mine, there are more than a few mods and scratch-builds here that have truly stylish looks that will be rightfully famous for a long time. And I'm not talking about a single "style". The variety of approaches makes modding great and a true art form of our times.

And that's from a 50 year old. The stuff that some of the younger people here produce is just brilliant with great skills as well as design. So much for the "feckless youth who live inside their PC/games/Fbook/... and can't do anything in the real world" BS spread by a lot of the "older generation". Now that's a group I never want to belong to.

We won't all shine this brightly, but those that do illuminate the path for the rest of us.
SnowyOwl 14th February 2011, 16:43 Quote
Quote:
One thing that I think some of the participants in this competition, as well as some of the voters, are missing is that this is to be a production case (though perhaps limited); the examples you gave are mods, which to me don't make sense to put into production. The District 9 case might look great to some people, but it's really not something that's likely to sell to a broad audience.

My approach has always been to create something understated, flexible, and functional while leaving the modding and aesthetic "enhancement" to the end user's discretion [edit: and to add - a design that also stands on its own as good industrial design without any "enhancement"]. I think this approach appeals to a much broader market, vs. a case that has tank treads or looks like rusty scrap metal or steampunked out or something (not that there's anything wrong with that if that's your thing).

I think everyone's approach to this contest was a little bit different and that's what make this great. In the original thread they clearly stated
''-You have the choice of designing a case based on a mid tower or full tower or a unique design of your own. The following specifications must be considered but they are NOT mandatory. ,
so i guest it covers pretty much all kind... from the cool looking million dollars ones to the pinnacle of industrial design worship (don't get me wrong at start JRS & Subtec were my favorite).

I went in an other direction because of the low production orientation. I was thinking they wanna get attention, have the people come on the web site just to see ''that Case'' and sell them something else. In order to do that you need the WoW factor that you can aford in limited production runs. Car maker do it all the time...make a special edition just to get the guy in the show room and sell him something else or the low cost version. So with that in mind i went for something that looks at start like a mod...something that as a cool look but that can be produced for a reasonable cost.

I agree it may not be for everyone ( not aimed at a wide range of user) but i think the water cooling commubity is often looking for the bigest Muscle, the Coolest & the Wow factor it can bring to your desktop.

This was the refexion that as lead to the creation of Black Owl.....lets hope phobya is thinking the same way.

@Subtec you should really try to sell that design (if you don't win...) to a custom Workstation maker like BOXX or any company like that cause your case really screams ''I' mdoing serious work on this machine''

So Good luck to all Stage 3 contestant


Mod of the year 1,200 votes
Phobya Contest 151 votes :?

What's missing ?
confusis 14th February 2011, 18:56 Quote
Final results:

Black Owl by SnowyOwl 79
Proteus by mick64 74
II by Roboduck 66
Dominus by Subtec 65
Phobya Gladio by Razer2007 54

Congrats guys!
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