Weekly Content Blog #31: U and I can make a good “UI”

Weekly Content Blog #31: U and I can make a good “UI”

Hi everyone!

This is Tyler from Something Classic HQ, located in a bunker somewhere in the mountains of South America. This month has been exciting as we are finalizing our design choices on our new Battle UI. As the game’s composer, I have also seen myself evolve into a sort of “all purpose” guy for the team. I do minor map making, scene design, and lots of micro edits. This has led me to do some battle system testing and UI adjustment.

The game’s battle system has gone through a lot of changes as the game’s scope evolved. Originally when it was a two person team, Josh whipped up a quick and easy turn based battle system. This system ran smoothly, worked well, but lacked a lot of options.

First Battle Design

Somewhere along the way we decided to update graphics and add more options to the battle system, such as counters and flashier attack animations.

Battle 2

Eventually after months of fierce debate, chairs thrown through windows, and decisive arm wrestling matches we decided to completely redo the battle system from the bottom up to allow more flexibility, smoother UI, and easier customization.

Battle Current

We also moved towards a % based AP system. This system sets each character with a finite pool of AP which does not change. Skills and Magic have fixed % costs, but the skills scale throughout the game. No Fire 1, Fire 2, Fire 3 – but rather a dynamic set of unique skills with morph and grow with your character. This opens up many possibilities for the player to customize how your characters grow. Possibilities we will share in a later post.

In general though, a good UI design must balance:
1. Functionality
2. Ease of use
3. Visual aesthetics

We can all think of our favorite menus that do all of the above. Older retro rpg games are known for their clunky UIs. Final Fantasy 1, Pokemon and Earthbound are the most notable examples. The games that stand out to me as having exceptional UI design are Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 7, and Super Mario RPG. What do you guys think?

I’ll leave with a great article written by Pat Holleman, who runs The Game Design Forum, an incredible resource for any potential game makers. This is his article discussing UI and Menu Designs.

Thanks for reading this and stay tuned for next week where we will reveal our final character, Talon!

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