Next up is doing up some menus. I’m pretty bad with interface/HUD design, it’s not something that comes easily to me, so like with the HUDs, I just kind of mock a bunch of different ideas up and then pick the one or two that aren’t super horrible and flesh those out and decide from there. Fortunately because I did the HUD design first, I have a general theme with the blood streak and using reds/yellows, so I’m pretty keen on having the heading be a word (Menu, Options, etc.) on a blood streak to match the “READY?” streak in the last mockups, thus I’m mainly designing how the options themselves will be displayed:
I’m digging the scroll background, and it was kind of the idea I had in mind from the very start because 1) it looks okay, 2) it’s very quick/easy to make, 3) it’s versatile, VS a menu that’s an image of a room and if you tap the throwing-star it does one thing and if you tap the sword hanging on the wall it does something else, etc. which is graphically intensive and each menu would need it’s own detailed image, and 4) I can have some fun with the animations, having the scroll unroll with options and roll them back up only to unroll with different options when you switch menus, etc. and it’s all pretty much just sliding the ends around and scaling the middle chunk of flat scroll.
The final look is probably going to be a lot like the middle-left one, because I want to avoid having arrows and a scrolling list just because that’s more work on Derek’s end programming. It’s way easier if all the options just fit on the screen from the start.
Revamping the HUD is going to be a pain in the butt. I don’t really have any ideas yet, so I’m just throwing down a ton of random stuff and messing around. The final HUD may not look anything like the mockups below, but I always think back to my college Graphic Design classes where for each assignment the first step was fill up like 4 giant pages of paper with thumbnail sketch ideas trying anything and everything…then you take some of those and develop them further until you end up with something you dig. So this is the first slap-down of ideas:
Ignore the actual HUD along the top, I ended up deciding the “READY?” overlays should be cohesive design-wise with the HUD and menus. So I wanted to focus on that first. The black swipe with red outlines was kind of inspired by Street Fighter IV’s ink blot stuff. But then I decided I wanted things to glow, so I turned it all blue and translucent. I think that looks cool, but a little too techno…like, I like the blue glowy stuff, but I think it might be more appropriate for a futuristic/modern themed game. I’m keeping things pretty “ancient” with this one, no neon signs on the houses or glowing cyber armor on the ninja and such, and I think I’ll end up going with wooden planks or scrolls or something for the menus so in keeping with an old ancient theme: no blue.
I’m digging the red blood streak. But the HUD would have to match it, and I’ve been just using the Ninja’s head to represent his lives…so I’d have to make the heads red which doesn’t match the ninja, or make entirely different life icons that make sense being red which I don’t really want to do because they’re already done as they are haha I’m going to play more with the red blood look and try something with fire for the HUD.
Today I’ve got a video of the new art actually in-game on the iPhone! I wish I had a better way of recording it besides using another iPhone but hey, you can see what’s going on haha The throwing-stars are just automatically deflecting right now to test the animation out. I’m digging how the parallax scrolling came out but we’ll probably have to tweak some speeds down the road. The animation tool has been fixed so the rain is falling vertically like it’s supposed to versus the last video where it was raining sideways haha:
Next up is redoing the HUD. No idea what I’m going to do with it exactly, I’m kind of winging it haha I want to have something that’ll be consistent throughout the HUD, menus, loading screens, etc. And, of course, it’s gotta’ have a bunch of stuff that glows!
Added a link to CGToday, a news site for news on animation, VFX, games, stereoscope and motion graphics. Basically it’s got a bunch of news, interviews, articles, etc. from the industry. They’re also hosting a mirror of my blog. I’m a big fan of cross-promotion in general, it’s mutually benefitial and the site has some cool interviews and behind-the-scenes articles so in exchange for mirroring the blog I’ve added a link to the sidebar that goes to CGToday.
Still working on the iPhone-scaled animations. It’s kind of a pain because some of them convert nicely, but some of them I have to go in and tweak a bunch of Scales and Positions by hand. One day I’d like to have an animation tool where I can just go “convert animation from iPad to iPhone” and have it automatically do everything haha Maybe after this project I’ll look into that. For this game, however, slow and steady wins the race!