yeah, i'd say that looks _much_ better overall - glad you lost that background.
maybe the icons on the avatar frame might be not recognized as icons tho', i'd imagine some players might think those are merely decorative elements.
so what you may ask yourself is: how far can i strip all this stuff down so that the game is still playable? and how can i introduce all those features gradually?
introducing all these mechanics (and thusly the corresponding parts in the interface) at a time would give you a lot of advantages:
x you can provide a smooth learning curve
x you gain rewards for your player, in unlocking all those functionality in a gradual fashion - "oh sweet, i can trade resources now?"
x you won't alienate players by providing (on the first glance) a too complex interface
and is it really necessary providing all the different resources right from the start? john shafer (civ5) for example said: "We didn’t bother teaching the player what iron or other strategic resources were good for until it actually mattered." (http://jonshaferondesign.com/2012/04/16/loweringthegates/)
it also seems to me that the option to configure your keys might be a little out of place in the first screenshot - i don't think that players will want to change the controls too often, so i suggest to put it somewhere less prominent.
i think a few icons might also make things more appealing - for example for the equipment slots etc.
i think the disband button should be nearer to the champion himself, i wouldn't name the exit-button "exit" - as some players might think it may leave the game itself, aaand.. there doesn't seem to be such an exit button from inside the upgrade-menu (which is actually on the same layer as the champion-button?)
so i hope i made some sense/didn't just repeat what has already been said,
best of luck for you beta! keep it up
hm, well it's a little hard to say anything without a screenshot or a capture, but since you said you had collectibles i would use them as a guide rather than any sort of on-hud-arrows (and since you seem to be in a position to do playtesting i'd definitely give this method shot), so that the level design itself guides the player. but it depends on the mechanics already taught of course. (not sure what you mean by "dual touch controls")
but what i generally think is that touch devices are intrinsically intuitive, so a bloated hud/interface is more likely to "overcomplicate" things.
all the best!
well you know the saying: something is perfect as soon as you can't take anything away from it, not when you can not add an additional thing. just try to be.. really "honest" and ask yourself "would it be still the same idea/game/mechanic if i took x away?" repeat over and over ^^
interesting thoughts - from what i know i had always been a very important task in the evolution of mankind to recognize faces asap. (identifying prey, predators, mating partners, etc.) so this is pretty much why we tend to see faces everywhere. (a phenomenon called pareidolia) there's even a dedicated area in the brain for (at least many believe) this particular task. http://en.wikipedia....iform_face_area i don't know if this information is of any use to you, but this would be a pretty decent read on this subject (amongst others), should you be interested: http://www.amazon.de...46516013&sr=8-1