Interplanetary is a turn-based strategy game for PC, Mac and Linux, featuring both single- and multiplayer modes.

Post news Report RSS Creative process and GUI design #2

Tarita continues her series of writings about the visual style of Interplanetary UI.

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Hello again!
Tarita here, the artist who has been tasked with the challenge of creating a passable looking UI for Interplanetary.

So, last time we were left with a combination of UI styles, right? I promised I would show you where the UI is currently heading, so here's a mockup:


Please keep in mind that the look of individual elements is far from being set in stone, and that the image above is just a mockup and does not accurately represent what the in-game UI currently looks like. We have just begun alpha testing, and in the light of the new feedback we may have to adjust some things.The mockup should, however, give you an idea of what kind of style I'm aiming for.

Overall, the style is pretty simplified, and I like having some empty space between stuff. Even when adding detail, I'm trying to keep things simple and stay consistent with the limited amount of colours and light effects. I prefer not to add any extra fluff that doesn't have a distinct function or a reason to be there.

The elements in the mockup are somewhat large. This is partially because they have to work with a variety of different screen sizes, and still stay readable. I think that the increased size complements the simplified style nicely, but some people have told me that it makes the UI look "cute", which may or may not be problematic.

Earlier I told myself that the boxes would be neither blue nor gray, but in the end I had to go with gray. Why? Because I found that only gray was neutral enough for the rest of the game.I wish to leave the main stage for the planets and the space background, so the UI can't be too colourful or pop out too much. I don't want the player to miss the subtle details of the starfields on the background just because I insisted on having screaming, bright- yellow boxes on top of everything. This is, incidentally, also one of the reasons why I favour transparency and lack of boxes whenever I can.


Sometimes things pop out too much.

The other reason for the gray main colour is that I'd like to introduce some colour-coded information to the UI, such as icons and text, which are more visible on a muted background. Having a few splashes of colour is a breath of fresh air that also makes the dark graphics of Interplanetary feel slightly less grim and murky.

That's all for today, thank you for reading! In the future I may write more about the individual elements and the design choices and concerns behind them.
You can follow the progress on Interplanetary on Facebook, twitter, development blog or the game website.

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Interplanetary
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Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer
Team Jolly Roger
Engine
Unity
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Interplanetary
Interplanetary Turn Based Strategy
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