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User Interface Design

RuinValor C#
4: Adsense

The coders are begging me to do a brushup of the basic concept for the UI layout... and wanting to make them happy I have started to do so. Oddly, unlike a designer should be, I hate to make decisions. Definitive choices seem so restrictive and once you get that way it feels like less than art for me. ( this is a bad concept to adopt and I beg nobody put yourself through such torture as adopting this mindset )

So, in an attempt to throw down some ideas i quickly started to detail the parts of the UI that would be the most important.
  • Healthbar/Source meter
  • Hotbar ( 10 buttons ) for build mode
  • Mode button ( switches between the different hotbar modes )
  • Minimap
  • Directional indicator
  • Time of Day indicator
  • Time in real world
  • Coordinates
Just to name a few! So... i sat down and tried to conceptualize where all of these elements might go. I debated the different types of UI systems: Diegetic, Non-Diegetic, Spatial, and Meta.... if you are unfamiliar with these you can read the following article.

Each of these types of designs have different goals in mind, and the choice to use one or the other really decides what audience you are hoping to reach. As our game is not a FPS the Diegetic choice seems unlikely but there may be parts we can do that would fit this. I could put the health on the player in some way or use some form of Meta design to indicate the health. Our game is focus very much on the PVP aspect of games and thus it might help ( or hinder ) the player if they are limited to meta view of the HP and Source values only. This could be considered restrictive as well as I know many WoW players will desire the Non-Diegetic version of a UI. Our current setup only supports the use of Meta and Non-Diegetic, but we have plans to utilize the Spatial version of a UI to indicate spells being cast and other other player actions. We already use spatial for the manipulation of the blocks. So, here in lies the rub....

Our current system could work with any of the 4, although the more likely will be the non-diegetic + spatial. So now that the design theory is down I am stuck with the look and feel of it. I specialize in medieval Gothic themed art....but the current style of the game is more upbeat. I don't want to make something corny and cheesy like mario paint or something... but that seems like it would be the best for the game style. So, im trying to find a happy medium at this point. I will post up some screenshots when i get the chance.

Dec 24 2012 09:32 PM



Updated with the first version. I have a newer one but I am busy testing some of our network code. will post again later after i get more time.

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