Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Making Menus Meaningful

During my career as a software developer, I was always wanting to be a UI (User Interface) designer, and while a good portion of my web applications experience has been with developing better UI, the limitations of the tools and the frameworks I was using left me wanting. So it has come as no surprise to myself that the aspect of this project that I have sunk the most time into has been experimenting with different UI design options... mind you, I have argued that all a video game amounts to is just a complex GUI (Graphical User Interface), but that argument would be better served in a blog post of its own.

Today I want to share a little bit about menus... and at the same time, reveal a little bit about how the Cards work in the game.

The games "Action Menus" are context driven. For instance, a planet with all 3 types of resources will allow the user to [Mine] > [Ore], [Gel] or [Crystal], sending a mining ship from the station to the planet to collect that resource. Selecting an Ice Field will limit you to [Crystal], and Space Bubbles will limit you to [Gel].

This is true with the expanding of your abilities as well. While initially you are not able to construct anything in space, once that ability is made available, you will be able to choose between [Mine], [Build], and what ever other actions the selection will alow.

The options begin to open up quickly, but each action will continue to change as you progress...

That's all for now, but feel free to ask me questions, and send me ideas.

- fidgetwidget

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