Flight of the Maxima: UI Designers Needed

Flight of the Maxima is, you may recall, the new game being developed by J.P. Morris — DOUG the Eagle Dragon to those who remember his various game-breaking antics — using IRE, the IT-HE Roleplaying Engine.

Anyhow, his team are looking for UI designers. They’re not satisfied with their save dialog, in particular, and would really appreciate a competent mock-up to serve as a guide to visual aesthetic.

4 Responses

  1. Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

    If you go to

    http://www.eightvirtues.com/sanctimonia/sience/

    and look in the HUD directory you’ll find the images I use for menu borders as well as mock ups and unused variations.

    I’d treat menu borders and menu interiors like tiles so that they may be arranged around the choices in any given menu. Make them interconnective with horizontal, vertical and corner tiles (three images).

    For the interior you could forgo tiles and just use one image, maybe a parchment or stone type background with a subtle yet clearly visible dark to transparent gradient at a 45 degree angle. Just clip it to fit within the menu border tiles and render it first so the border tiles overwrite its edges.

    As far as menu choice arrangements, make it an “obvious to an idiot” type hierarchy starting with maybe three or four choices (never more than four). Things like Play, Audio, Video and maybe Network. Make each sub-menu have -only- things that directly pertain to it; no hybrids ever (no meta-settings or settings with dependencies in other menu choices). All that just confuses people and causes bugs.

    Here’s my idea of a good menu, off the top of my head:

    Play
    –Resume Last Save
    –Load Saved Game
    –Manage Saves
    Audio
    –Output Type
    –Volume Levels
    Video
    –Mode
    –Detail
    Network
    –Server
    –Updates

    From the mockup in TFA it looks like two wood images are used for the main border, just rotated 90 degrees. One thing that would make the main border look immediately better would be to render each side in an orbital order, such as clockwise or counter-clockwise. Would make a recognizable pattern like wicker-work. You could just do it twice for the two rectangular hemispheres, or stage it individually to save rendering time.

    The menu shown looks like a directory listing with a bug showing a date rather than a file name. Maybe they’re just variable names?

    In any case, draw the menu the same way you would the main border. Drop shadows optional.

  2. Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

    Holy crap… I just looked at the screenshots and it looks like it’s running in Ubuntu. That is awesome. I’m running Kubuntu 11.10 so our files are compatible by default. Got to look in to that engine.

  3. Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

    Yeah, I think the last update for the engine was around 2006/7. It’s not in the Debian-based repositories. I also saw a Mandrake or Mandriva version available via the web site. Having up-to-date .deb or .rpm packages available with met dependencies requires a bit of upkeep if you want to keep the downloads flowing. Looks like a cool project though.