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Cryptic Title Page Mock-up (or "How I Spent My Spring Break")

User interface design is hard. I went back to work on it for Cryptic to get it nailed down before I get too much farther--I had to work out the skill system, and that involved figuring out what displays to the user, so then I had to work on the UI to figure that out, and...yeah.

This is hard. I mean, it's a whole bunch of skillsets and I can totally see how there are people who are really really good at designing this sort of thing, and if anybody ever tells you that "art" is superior to mere "design," call me and I will come and kick them in the shins, because I am an artist and this makes my brain hurt.

So I spent the weekend playing horrible brain games like "How do I make a UI that looks soft and fuzzy and sewn together?" and "how do I fit this stuff here?" and "How exactly does one make a floppy disk icon look soft and fuzzy, anyway?" and anyway this is where I am so far. (I will show no one the UI for some time, because I anticipate much fiddling and perhaps sobbing.)

I still don't promise a time frame, but stuff is coming along at a good clip, probably because I am so miserably busy on so many other projects that working on this feels very much like getting away with something.

(Also, if anybody has links to, like, game design interface tutorials, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see them.)

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CTRL+PAINT has this $10 lesson on making interface icons. They may look too glossy in the preview, but the author is really good (in his many free tutorials) about exploring mindset and general principles and the lessons are aimed at people working on their own projects. Haven't done it myself, but his other tutorials are arts- and principles- based (rather than just 1, 2, 3, space marine tutorials) and I trust him. :3

(Oops, LJ says my last entry was marked as spam. So, er, in case you don't see it, Google "Ctrl Paint", check out the store, full catalog, look for "Game Icons"). Apologies!

The good news: I really like your design! Looks great and the stitches are -not- too much. (Kirby's Epic Yarn? Yoshi's Wooly World? You're FINE.)

The bad news: Alas, I have no links for you. :/ But I have my theories as to why.

Back when I was studying Flash game design and bought a bunch of books, a lot of UI design methods were covered, at least in general terms, along with everything else. Never found a good interface book or tutorial, and it may be for that reason. One of those "we already covered that in the general tutorials."

Exceeeeeept they didn't.

It's difficult to fish those things out. Thinking about it, though, it's not super-different from general level design. You're trying to convey something, tell the player/gamer/user where to go and what you want them to do. Context, context, context. Etc.

Of course, it is also worth mentioning that good examples of UI design might be hard to find. Some reviewers say only a scant few do it right, and it seems only some of the time. I can't completely agree, but then again, I've studied design/game design...

Someone who already understands and builds effective design might take all that for granted. Alas, the trials and curse of tutorials.

If you ever want a heuristic evaluation for usability by a user experience professional for you know, fun as opposed to dollars, i'm your gal :) this is what i do for work, and for fun for conventions.

also... here's a funny for you. As a user experience designer, i am constantly told that my jb is to "make it pretty" and i am like... no. that is what a graphic designer is for, the look and feel. I design HOW IT WORKS not how it looks. or at least not how it looks. the art vs. design question is eternal and entertaining from both sides. much shin kicking.

Fellow UX person - I feel your pain!

("It's only a screen, can't you knock it off in five minutes?" -muttermuttermutter-)

my fav was when the VP, after telling us in this same meeting he was colorblind - proceeded ot tell us that our colors were ugly, picking a palette of things that were basically ALL a muddy green and told us we HAD to use it... for all the states of he button, so they would look the same. which he thought was better.

Ooh...and I thought my devs going "you weren't around so we did -this-" to me all the time was bad enough. You have my sympathies :(

lynda.com has UI and UX tutorials

That looks amazing, I'd really want to try my hand at it when it's done. But no rush!

I know some people with relevant skills, but they're all in the Boston area. Would it be any help to have a consultant/coach/advisor who is not physically present?

its cause the 2 best schools for UX design are in boston :) is why we are all here

That looks like something that would suck me in and roll me up like a blanket. Never let me go.

Haha what a funny post. I actually like brain games believe it or not, ever if there's a few shitty once I somehow enjoy them just for the irony of it, haha!

My favorite game design text, "The Art of Game Design", has a chapter on UI design. The second edition just came out, so I've got a spare first edition sitting around...

Love it! I think the stitching and textures are perfect. They really set the tone for the game. The dark background color is great. It looks like leather.

I love the opening image you've got--really sets the tone for the game.

This is getting developed in Ren'Py, I take it?

Nowadays if I want to learn anything I go on to You Tube. It has tons of video tutorials, it's a matter of finding the right sort to suit you. This isn't an advert for You Tube, I'm just amazed that so much "how to" has made its way over there.

Had a quick look and yes there are icon tutorials over there too. All free but you will have to work out which ones are of use to you.

I love the texture and the stitches and the pictures in your example so far.

Edited at 2016-04-06 11:59 pm (UTC)

That title page looks great!

And of course now I want to take some felt and thread, and put that wombat on my winter coat.

May I? Personal use only, and I tell everyone who asks (and they will) who designed it?

I *love* the look of that, and am dying to play the game.

Jesse Schell, Art of Game Design

I second the recommendation of Jesse Schell's book. It's broad, so you won't find a lot on any one topic, but what's there is super good.

I think that looks soft and fuzzy, and do love that look that you have here

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