The interface itself went through quite a lot of change. Some of it was done quickly while drawing concepts, others are just straight improvements over a previous version. This post contains the iterations that were made right up to the final concept.
The mark 1 prototype is very similar to the games I’m taking inspiration from. The bottom part of the interface shows the selected character’s stats, a small portrait and the turn order. The available actions are on top as I was thinking of switching inbetween them by sliding across the screen.
Mark 2 cleans the interface a bit more by moving around the character’s stats. While it does look better, it makes the GUI look a bit dated, like something you’d find in a game from 2009. I didn’t like it very much. It also has a very fantasy vibe, most likely because of the font chosen, which of course clashes with the concept of the game.
Mark 3 switches things around a lot. The character’s stats are moved to the top, this was done because the bottom of the screen is the main input area and the character’s stats don’t need to be interacted with. The main inputs in this screen need to be the turn order (which allows to see which units move next, this is done by sliding through it) and a selection for the current action (move, attack, item, etc.). The actions are not shown on this concept, but if I had followed through with it they would have been above the turn order.
The interface is also much more sci-fi, which fits the theme of the game better.
A big problem I had with the previous interface was that, despite fitting the game’s theme, it just looked too adult. The game’s concept is very child friendly so the two were clashing a lot.
This is where I decided to take a step back and change the idea behind the interface itself. The inspiration came from Pokemon games. Most people don’t realise this, but most menus in every single pokemon game since Gold and Silver are displayed and designed to work inside of an-ingame item. This essentially means that those GUIs and HUDs exist in-universe as an actual object. Small touches like these do wonders not only for the immersion but also make the game and interface much more interesting.
I’ll expand on the current concept more in the next post.