Report article RSS Feed News Post #08: UI overhaul

All about the new in-game UI, including some interesting gameplay information!

Posted 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
Shrektacular
Shrektacular Aug 18 2014, 4:41pm says:

Those environments are lovely

+3 votes     reply to comment
com8com1 Author
com8com1 Aug 19 2014, 1:38am replied:

Thank you, that's good to hear!

+2 votes   reply to comment
Reconnoiter
Reconnoiter Aug 25 2014, 6:27pm says:

New UI looks great. I can understand you removed the healthbar, but is it possible to see the ship damaged when on low health? If not, could you add it? If yes good work :p

+2 votes     reply to comment
com8com1 Author
com8com1 Sep 1 2014, 2:21am replied:

A good question! As of now, it is not completely clear if we are going to keep the health feature at all. Yep, this might sound like a harsh decision, but it's a common practice in this genre to let the player die with a single hit.

On the other hand, *if* we are going to keep it, the idea is to attach the health bar directly to the player ship in a clear but unobstrusive way, so you can check your HP at any time without moving your eyes away from the play area.

Let's see what we're going to be implement!

+1 vote   reply to comment
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