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Witch Island HUD

Research

Because I had already decided the feel of the game when I made the menu, I was able to skip the game specs and dive straight into research

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Breath of the Wild - What works?

The time and weather HUD helps players predict their future gamplay

Pop-up confirmation to pick things up allows player to know what items are interactable

Constraints

Time: I only had two weeks to get from the prototype to the final project

Art & Sound: I could only use self-made or Unity assets

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Strange Horticulture - What works?

Pop-up alerts tell players when they're discovered a new plants

HUD elements match the worlds aesthetic perfectly and help keep players immersed

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Wireframes

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General Concepts

- Faded, parchment art style throughout

- Portray fantasy and magical game feel

- Provide players with UI that will provide quick and clear information

- Utilize less space to allow players to stay immersed in the world

Collection

- Dynamic pickup banner that appears when players are close enough to interact

- Items themselves have pulsing animations and particle effects when collected

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Time of Day & Weather Gauge

- Some collectibles, potions, and plants are locked by day/night cycles, so players need to easily find the time of day

- Weather similarly affects gameplay, and I wanted to ease the player's experience by making this information readily available

 

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Collection Banner

- It was important to really draw player's attention when they discovered a new item, as this has a large impact on gameplay

- Even though we want their attention, the alert shouldn't take they player out of the game or distract them for more than a few seconds

Implementation

Collection Mechanic

The collection prompts should only appear when the player is near the relevant item and should not distract the player from other tasks. This is why I used a quick pop-up that matches the item in question, so the player can quickly understand what the prompt is asking.

The items also stand out against the background with their glowing and pulsing animations. This should help the players easily find each item.

As the item is collected and flies towards the bag, the bright particles and twinkling sound effect reinforce the magical environment and provide clear feedback that the player has successfully retrieved the item.

New Item Banner

Because players will routinely find new herbs and items to use in other gameplay loops like crafting, it's important that they know when they find these items.

The collection banner draws the players' entire attention when they discover something new. It is then easily dismissed so it does not interrupt the game flow.

 

Bag Icon

The player will often go around collecting various items in the world and it's important for them to quickly gauge how much space is leFt in their inventory.

Though the players can open the inventory at any time to see a more precise measurement, this icon gives them information at a quick, passing glance.

 

Time of Day Cycle

The time of day cycle is incredibly important as it pertains to what actions the player can take and what items they might find in the wild. Though the icon does not provide exact hours and minutes, it allows the players to easily gain a sense of how long they have left in each cycle.

Each cycle brightens and animates when it is active to provide players with a wealth of information at a mere glance. This feature combined with the arrow that indicates the current point in the cycle strives to make the time of day cycle simple and intuitive.

 

Weather Guage

Similar to the time of day, the weather can have a large impact on what actions the player may want to take. This gauge allows the player to plan ahead and check weather patterns with a quick scan.

This piece of UI utilizes both color and various icons to help players recognize different weather patterns. The active weather pattern's icon grows larger than the other icons to help the players recognize the relevant information they need. The arrow on the side of the UI can also help ground the player when glancing at the gauge.

 

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Post Mortem

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Playtests revealed some players had a schema that items are "fuller" when they are light and "empty" when darker. The current bag icon works in the opposite direction (light when empty, dark when full). If I continued this project, I would playtest different iterations of this icon with different art assets to asses which one fit best with players' schemas.

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Making the "collect" mechanic function on a keyboard button click rather than a mouse click would expedite and ease the player's collection experience. Because this iteration only includes a few collection items, the clicking is an okay substitute; however, linking it to a keyboard button would future-proof the mechanic should the game grow.

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