Galaxy in Turmoil is a free-to-play multiplayer sci-fi shooting game. It leans heavily into easy and fast transitions from ground to flight combat and features four special game modes.
1. Create crosshairs/reticles that convey a unique sense of the traits and effects of the items to which they belong.
2. Design Siege game-mode UI that intuitively conveys potentially unfamiliar game-mode mechanics to new users.
3. Maintain a clean and simple, yet futuristic UI aesthetic.
Tools: Unreal, Blueprints, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects.
Process: Wireframe, Mockup, Prototype, Shipped Deliverable.
- Weapon crosshairs should expand/compress in a way that implies an appropriate weight and reload speed.
- Players should instinctively be able to determine the difference between aesthetic details and functional details such as measurement guides.
- The crosshair spread and acceleration could easily be distracting if they spread too widely or too slowly.
- The crosshair must convey all necessary aesthetic and practical traits within a well constrained size of the total screen.
The process began with brainstorming and mocking up dozens of crosshair concepts before categorizing them into appropriate weapon groups and adding functional details or removing unnecessary aesthetic details.
Next, I made a few motion designs in After Effects to establish a few of the core driving movements associated with different weapon behaviors. Finally, I used Unreal to implement and fine-tune them to account for the unique characteristics of each weapon.
- Allow players to always maintain a clear understanding of their progress on small individual goals.
- Allow players to always be aware of the progress towards the overarching win condition in the match.
- Certain mechanics of the Siege game mode are somewhat unique to Galaxy in Turmoil. New players would need to be able to learn by playing, with the UI serving as the primary vehicle to their learning process.
The Siege game mode essentially merged together several elements of standard "Capture the Flag" and "King of the Hill" game modes. This meant that players had to time-unlock or "capture" certain points in contested territory before they were expected to transport an item across the map.
We chose to rely heavily on progress bars to communicate the "unlocking" mechanic. Since multiple points needed to be unlocked we used filled/unfilled dots to keep track of how many points on the map have been captured. We did something similar for the "flag" that needed to be transported, but we separated it from the capture point UI and used more distinct effects to communicate the urgency of this last "task".
- Keep stroke weights and colors compatible and visible across a wide range of potential environment colors.
- Design UI that helps the user believe that this futuristic, interplanetary world exists.
- The full art direction was not established and there wasn't clear awareness as to all the environmental colors and objects expected in the game.
We chose to focus on a light grey/white in-game UI, with the expectation that most environments would emphasize a darker color pallette allowing for good contrast.