• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Yet Another UI Iteration

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


Today I did yet another iteration on the basic workings of the UI. This one I like. Enough, at any rate, that things are more functional and "official". Here is a video:

Building a game is a very organic process to me. I've never been very strong at all on up-front design, even way back in college when waterfall design was king and my GPA hinged on being able to turn in pages and pages of up-front design for any given project. I just can't see how the parts are going to fit together until I dip my hands in and start throwing around prototype code. I iterate, sometimes quite heavily. (For example, my basic entity framework has gone through probably five major iterations and countless tweaks.) There are always places where I sit back, scratching my head and thinking "Oh, that's not going to work." Similarly, there are always places where I say, "Wow, that worked better than I anticipated." But I just can't see those places during design.

For me, design IS code, which is why I like working in Lua so much. Iterating is so much quicker when you are not bound by static typing and compile times. My free time is pretty limited what with work and the kid, so watching a compile progress window is annoying. Outside of minor tweaks, I haven't had to re-compile my engine in a couple weeks, not since I crow-barred Urho3D into it. Since then, it's all been Lua code, and that makes it go pretty fast.

The drawback to the light-on-design, heavy-on-iteration methodology, of course, is the tendency to spaghettification. However, that can be mitigated by enforcing some guidelines and a little self-discipline. It gets tedious having to dip back into code to "officialize" it once a prototype proves itself, but it's what you have to do to keep your project under control. Dip back in, strip out magic numbers, codify and clarify and conciseify everything so that it fits your overall design scheme, or ten weeks (or months or years, in my case) down the road you will regret it.

Anyway, this iteration of the UI feels good to me. It feels right. The action buttons work (I need to do some more of that officializing, though) and the animations feel fluid and "bouncy". It needs the spellbook/crafting book in order to assign skills to the 4 quickbar slots, though, so that will be my project for tomorrow.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


I changed the portrait background from the soft black alpha-blended square, so that Stormynature wouldn't be confuzzled anymore. I might giantify one of the enemy goblins at some point, though, just for him.

Share this comment

Link to comment

Good work sofar, I really like the gui animation.


One tip, don't try to make a painted gui. Once your gui grow, you will change your view about your gui, or you change the appearence of the rest of the game and suddently you are in a racing condition, always unsatisfied with the gui and trying to fix it all the time. I would sugguest to use a very limited gui representation (e.g. half transparent, black backgrounds, rounded edges etc. and only some icons ontop of it), a representation you can quickly change, because you will change the gui all the time :)


A good example is TF2.


Share this comment

Link to comment
@Ashaman73: That is generally good advice. In this case, I'm not really spending any time on look, just reusing textures and materials that I've done for other things. I haven't rendered any GUI stuff now in months. All of my efforts have just been on the back-end.

@MARS_999: Not very fast at all. I usually only get an hour, perhaps two, a day to work on this, and that is usually pretty interrupted. If I'm at work, I have to weasel it in between projects, customers and phone calls. If I'm at home, the kid is always clamoring for at least part of my attention. I figure that, at this rate, the game will be done sometime in 2033, assuming I don't drop it before then. The dream of doing indie games on the side seems further and further away as time goes by, and I've just about accepted the fact that it'll probably never happen. But it does give me something fun to do as a brief diversion, to exercise my brain.

Share this comment

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now