It’s time for some more good news: We want to redesign our current game interface!
As you all know, the interface has been around for quite a while and it had to grow to our needs due to recent additions. Unfortunately, we are not 100% happy with its style, the arrangement of interface elements, and its overall functionalities. The time has come to say goodbye to our old interface and rebuild it:
Rest assured that we are not performing this change just because we can, but because of several arguments:
- Arranging all elements in an intuitive and logical fashion.
- We also wanted to make sure that our minimum screen-resolution of 1024×768 pixels works perfectly fine (and as a side effect, even smaller resolutions profit from the change as well).
- A more modern look! If you remember our latest additions, i.e. the island quests, you will see a really nice and vivid design. We wanted the new interface to keep up with our state of art.
So, within several meetings with our interface designer and user experience expert Stephan, we discussed each single element of our interface and thought about the most logical position for it. We also determined the importance and relevance of each feature to decide whether it should be prominent or not.
In the end, we came up with this ugly mockup (keep in mind: this was just created for internal communication):
As you can see, the interface had to undergo the following changes:
- The minimap has changed its shape and future global features like heroes (“H”) and trade relations (“TR”) would evolve around the minimap.
- The towns are now the most central aspect of the interface.
- Gold has been added as a resource, so you always know about your current amount of gold.
- Settings, sound, and logout buttons have been moved to the top right to be more in line with other pieces of software/games.
- All kinds of quests have been wrapped (tutorial and island quests) on the left. Note that quests can be hidden, just like the menu bar.
- The gold button has been made smaller and also moved away. This allows the menu bar to have any number of elements without becoming asymmetrical.
- Notifications have one bigger button that will show more notifications as soon as you move your mouse over it.
As we all agreed on this course of changes, we (the graphic artists, Malte Mizera and myself), started our visual take on the idea:
As we also had some ideas and proposals while creating an interface design, even more things have changed:
- The menu bar is now back on the left-hand side.
- The heroes get their own space right above the units. You can have up to 5 heroes within a game world, and thus, you can see up to 5 faces in there.
- The button for using spells is now really looking like a button.
- You can access your town by clicking the large town image at the top left. While in town, you can go back to the map by clicking the minimap.
- The strategic map can still be accessed by the globe-button below the minimap.
Please mind that this is not the final design. One of the goals of this blogpost is to get your opinions on the topic before we start implementing the change: Are you missing anything? Do you have any concerns? We are looking forward to your comments!