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When to plan the GUI?


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#1 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 23 August 2000 - 07:21 PM

-RPG- I''ve been thinking about when to plan out a gui and realised that there must be a time in developing a game when it''s best to start. I was thinking that the combat system should be done first so we''ve got something to go on when planning the gui. How much of the game should be planned out before building a gui? The thing is if you make to much (of the game) first then the game elements might have to change when you start on the gui and if it''s done the other way around then the gui dictates how the game will run (to a certain degree). Maybe the gui should always be worked on whilst building all of the other game elements, that way when you want to bring in an idea to the game you can plan straight away how it will fit into the gui and the consequences there of? I love Game Design and it loves me back. Our Goal is "Fun"!

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#2 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 23 August 2000 - 09:57 PM

I know there are several schools of thought on this one, but I favor the iterative process. No matter what you do, you''re going to have to change something. The last couple of places I worked at were into mock ups (heck, one even had a "Senior Prototyper" devoted solely to the task). You can find a lot of "idea bugs" along the way, too.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

#3 Dak Lozar   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 03:21 AM

There is an area of study for this, HME/HMI. Of course this is geared at consumer/work related applications but, much of the knowledge that researchers have gathered is useful. Such as which side of the screen a user feels more confortable having buttons on etc...

I would suggest that you start *thinking* about the GUI at inception. When we first started talking about the combat system, we included what we wanted the GUI to look like during this phase of the game. I love *mock ups*, and use them alot. Heck, I have an entire partition devoted to the images that I have collected and created. Buttons, borders, fonts, lines all of different styles.

The way I go about the mock up is: Start out sketching your ideals on paper, after a few iterations of this, I move to the computer and start the transition to pixels... A great deal of the time I just pop into my widget collection to get it goint, and later refine them. Remember, your just a designer, get the GUI elements laid out and then let your artist do the rest.

Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

#4 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 03:39 AM

At the moment it looks like i''ll probably end up being the artist and designer. I believe that a gui should become invisible after playing/using something over as short a period of time as possible. The user shouldn''t even think about it. Although a gui should also be pleasing to the eye but the fact that it can''t really add to the game makes it a very submissive element of the game.

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

#5 Dak Lozar   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 04:50 AM

quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham
...The user shouldn''t even think about it. Although a gui should also be pleasing to the eye but the fact that it can''t really add to the game makes it a very submissive element of the game.


Have you notice the new trend in GUIs? Transparent objects! This can be really nice as it leaves the play/view screen viewable.
I think the best example I have seen yet is Dark Reign 2.


Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

#6 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 06:37 AM

Paul, if you want to know what othe people think about it, I think you are going to have to get a nice book on Human Computer Interaction. We had a course just for this this yar, and I must say that I learnt a lot of things that would have otherwise been "obvious" (and then at the last minute, you realize it''s NOT ) ...

Dak Lozar : yes, the good old HUD design.
Did you see the one for Half Life ??? The difference with the original interface is amazing! I heard of the one for Quake 3 as well, but didn''t see it.

youpla :-P

#7 SanderK   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 06:43 AM

About the transparant look at DeusEx its very good and i like it
Im thinking when to start 2 .
its very difficult to plan the right moment
Alot of things must be done first

Greetz

SanderK
CEO CreativeRevolution

#8 Dak Lozar   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 07:14 AM

Physioinformatics
"The physiologic basis of a reference architecture for designing interactive human-computer interface systems"

I love that word!


Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

#9 Delisk   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 07:49 AM

This is the way I do it!

Make a simple GUI as soon as you start making the game playable. the look of this interface is not important...the important thig is to place all the comeands of the game on it. Do not use graphics only simple buttons

Then as you are advancing...refine (change ting...try something)you gui so that you will fell confortable with it...Once you belive it is perfect (you will have terst it plenty of time) kepp it and give it a good look!

This way you will have a fully tested GUI!<

Maybe this suck...maybe this rule!

Delisk



#10 DungeonMaster   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 08:07 AM

As Dark Lozar I prefer to design the interface from the start. When I choose to add a feature I have to know how the player could use it. It helps to draw some sketches.

I think you should not forget that the users love to customize their interface. Give them the possibility to move parts of your gui and select among various designs and they will love you.

As a player, I prefer games where there is a fullscreen mode. When you play a lot you end up knowing all key shortcuts and fullscreen mode allow to be more involved in the game.


#11 theRaskell   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 09:39 AM

It is important that GUI design and game design go hand in hand. As you work on the various features that are going to go into your game, it''s key to work on HOW those features are used at the same time. The interface is just as important as the feature itself. A good feature can be completely ruined by a poor interface. A mediocre or common feature can really shine with a seamless and intuitive interface.

#12 chronos   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 24 August 2000 - 10:17 AM

I have nothing to add to this topic, but, since we''re on the subject of interfaces, allow me to mention the title of a book. It''s called "The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems" by Jef Raskin. I have no personal experience with the book, but it has received some very good reviews.

I have so many books in my reading queue. I''m too damn lazy for my own good.




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