You might wonder why we’re so excited by this, but the UI in a fighting game with so much customization is something quite hard to achieve!
After all, considering that up to 4 players might “customize” their character makes the game a button-fest with LOTS of buttons on screen.
To give you an idea of the evolution of the UI of the project over the course of a month:
Early, there wasn’t much focus on aesthetics or style, but more on “what should appears and how big”.
With this in mind, we made a UI that could fit in a screen resolution as small as 800×600 pixels.
Then, it came clear to use that it damn too small for any actual information to be read in those tiny squared zones.
Of course, on a 2K or 4K screen (as the UI was adaptive), it had plenty of space, but it wasn’t really interesting to look at nor intuitive.
So we went with a course where we simply remove all kind of descriptive information. No icons for the equipment nor description.
You’ll notice that the main menu haven’t evolved much, right? Visual, it’s similar, but the core under what’s visual was a full 180 degree off the first attempt.
The first one was using a standard Network system which isn’t really reliable when multiple clients with the possibility of multiple players per clients join the game. The second one focus more on a lobby approach where the host can more easily command each remote client and vise-versa. Still, it wasn’t really intuitive either and the player would have to remember each pieces of equipment (their stats and visual) to truly benefits from it.
For hardcore player, such thing feel like a great challenge, but for casual player, being force to remember stats and effects is a chore and they mostly hate it.
So, we though and though further how we could make it so that everyone can be happy with the results and we came to the conclusion of using a 3D based UI instead of a flat one as shown above.
Note that the UI isn’t complete yet as we’re still working on the 3D models and texture that are required for them. But this still gives you a good preview of what kind of “menus” the game will use from now on. A panning and rotating camera around a room depending on what menu you’re currently on.
We already did something similar twice. Once in the previous version (in 2015), which was done in a more hard-coded way, which wasn’t as efficient as how we’re currently doing it. And another time with our project Brave & Cherry which have been in Hiatus since October 2016. (This latest is closer to the kind of menu we’re building in Brawl Legacy.)