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Rigid Force Alpha is a classical side-scrolling shooter for Windows currently under development. Battle your way through countless waves of enemies and face gigantic bosses on your mission to save the galaxy! Customize your ship to every extent and master the story mode as well as unique challenge levels and survive the endless continuous mode to compete for the world wide leaderboards.

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The Toxic Jungle (in progress) Enemy battle ships Mockup for our new interface (and a nice bg!)
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: News Post #08: UI overhaul

4 comments by com8com1 on Aug 18th, 2014

Hello shooting aficionados! Glad you’re here for a read. Today we’re going to talk UI for a bit.

If you could not tell by now, our in-game interface was an ugly mess. Admittedly it was nothing but a placeholder up until today. In game development you often have to cram things in just for the sake of having them there. “We’ll make it shine later one” is one often heard phrase.

And especially when working in a tiny, little team like ours you often have so many different tasks demanding your full attention that at times, you simply don’t manage to revise the most obvious, ugly placeholders that somehow stayed for ages. Like that old dummy interface.

The old interface. Meh.
Yeah, that’s the RFA interface you’ve come to like, ain’t it?

But guys, I’ve really had it now. We can push out as many nice shots as we like; they’ll always suffer from these grayish boxes. So I grabbed a screenshot and my trusty Bamboo and designed away.

My goal was to make the new interface simple, modern and elegant. The player has to catch all necessary information literally within the blink of an eye. At the same time I removed all redundant and unnecessary elements as well as those that became obsolete after recent design changes.

And here’s the current UI mockup version that came out!

New interface. Yay!
Health bar and smart bombs, be gone!

Let’s have a look at all the elements.

  • Stage boss info area: The top of the screen holds everything you need to know about the end-of-level-baddie, including hitpoints, remaining time and even its name. The latter’s not really a necessary element you might say, but it makes the battle a bit more personal when you know your opponent’s name. All this will only be visible during battle and remains hidden otherwise.
  • Player ship info: Down left you find your remaining lives as well as your current main and side weapons, both with their current power levels. Yes, that means you can wield two weapons at a time and increase their strength during play!
  • Power bar: Located in the center of the bottom screen is your power bar. This gameplay element has recently been reworked and it became more important to the game, therefore its UI element is fairly large. I’ll go more into detail on this in one of our next posts, promise!
  • Score info area: And finally, there’s your score and the current chain bonus value in the bottom right. The latter is something new as well. Now the game checks if you destroy complete waves of enemies and eventually gives you an increasing bonus. Miss only one enemy and it all goes down the drain. Really cool feature for top score players!

Now that I can carry over to actual implementation, I’m going to make sure everything is as responsive and juicy as possible. I think the details of this undertaking would make an appropriate topic for one of the next updates, so stay tuned!

That’s all for now, everyone. Keep on shooting!

Marcel

Post comment Comments
Reconnoiter
Reconnoiter Jul 5 2014, 3:10pm says:

Graphics wise it looks superb ;).

+3 votes     reply to comment
Vemdel
Vemdel Sep 2 2013, 3:07am says:

It sure looks cool and creative!! Tracking it, of course. ^_^

+5 votes     reply to comment
com8com1 Creator
com8com1 Sep 2 2013, 4:26am replied:

Cool, glad you like it! :)

+2 votes   reply to comment
Filizitas
Filizitas Aug 18 2014, 10:55am replied:

Is it u... Kartoffel? :D its not me... FEL

+1 vote     reply to comment
cpt.Potato Creator
cpt.Potato Aug 18 2014, 11:51am replied:

Nope, I am Kartoffel. (which means potato in german btw. that's why I have this nickname here ;P)

+1 vote   reply to comment
12doze12
12doze12 Aug 29 2013, 2:19pm says:

All those graphical features sound really bad for my 2009 laptop -_-

+1 vote     reply to comment
cpt.Potato Creator
cpt.Potato Aug 29 2013, 3:46pm replied:

Almost all graphical features either have quality settings or can be turned off so I think this won't be a problem ;P

+2 votes   reply to comment
DiamondBorne
DiamondBorne May 29 2013, 10:25pm says:

From what i read, I understand that you try to incorperate all the goodness and awesome that is shooting game into one but what kind of "core" does this game essentially is? A mindless "less than pixel" bullet-hell, a casual "play as you like" shooter or a "harder-than-hard" classic?

+2 votes     reply to comment
com8com1 Creator
com8com1 May 31 2013, 12:38pm replied:

Hey DiamondBorne,

for the story mode we're aiming for a fair and attractive core gameplay, which does not necessarily exclude really difficult stages or bullet hell patterns. You might want to compare it to something like Gradius V or R-Type Final, just to throw in some of the big titles.

Apart from that, there'll also be special challenge stages and play modes that focus on certain gameplay aspects for more variety.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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Rigid Force Alpha
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com8com1
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Cool! We're image of the day on T.co Check it out: T.co #gamedev #indiedev #RigidForceAlpha #shmups

Nov 13 2014, 3:22am

The toxic jungle is slowly coming alive #screenshotsaturday #gamedev #indiedev #RigidForceAlpha #shmup T.co

Nov 9 2014, 6:47am

Huge battleships approaching fast! #screenshotsaturday #gamedev #indiedev #RigidForceAlpha #shmup T.co

Oct 26 2014, 7:09am

@Gypopothomas Thank you, that's always good to hear!

Oct 5 2014, 10:01am

@robogeorge Thx! I can only hope that, considering what already went into this monstrum so far. ^^

Oct 5 2014, 10:01am

Lots of coding these days, now some art stuff for a change #screenshotsaturday #gamedev #indiedev #RigidForceAlpha T.co

Oct 5 2014, 9:44am

The new Chaser enemy rushing through our test level #screenshotsaturday #gamedev #indiedev #RigidForceAlpha T.co

Sep 28 2014, 2:44am

@BuBbLe_Evtron Thanks, I'll forward that!

Sep 14 2014, 6:38am

2 fresh models for #RigidForceAlpha by our new artist. Spot-on lowpoly design! #screenshotsaturday #gamedev #indiedev T.co

Sep 14 2014, 6:28am

Just in case someone is looking for a neat & free #normalmap tool - I can recommend nJob: T.co #gamedev #gamedevtools

Sep 3 2014, 1:20pm

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