Here are a few simple techniques for making your titlescreen buttons stand out from the rest.

The answer revolves around semitransparency effects.

There is one simple truth that affects how semitransparency appears onscreen. When the underlay colour is identical to the overlay colour, the semitransparency ratio will appear to have no effect. So a white object over a white background will look no different if the white object is 0% transparent or 100%.

That is so obvious it may not need to be mentioned, but it's a massive part of how this works, so I thought I'd get it in here anyway.

So now, in a paint application like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, we design our titlescreen, including buttons in their 'neutral state'. This means before the mouse is over them.

Then, we copy the entire image and set it as the background for the level.

Next, we update one of the buttons in our paint program, so it looks like it's selected (making it brighter, or giving it a glow effect). Copy the image again.

Paste it into an active object. Leave the hotspot and action point where they are (in the top left corner), and select the glowing button with the rectangle selection tool. Make sure the whole button (including glow) is selected. Then, press the 'Crop to selection' button in MMF.

This will leave your image with just the selection... but it will also leave the hotspot relative to where it was (so if it was at 0,0 to start with, now it will be at something like -143,-12). This is important, don't change that.

Save your object, and in the events tell it to position at 0,0 on the screen.

Back in your paint program, undo making the 'selection' effect, then do the effect again for the next button. Repeat the process until all buttons are done.

Now when you run the app, thanks to the hotspots, the buttons will be in *exactly* the right places.

With events, we can make it so the semitransparency of each object goes up or down depending on whether the mouse is over the object (or that option is 'selected' depending on how your interface works).

Because of the way semitransparency effects work (as I explained before), the buttons will appear to glow smoothly when the mouse is over them. It's a beautiful effect.

I would recommend this to anyone, and it can be used to create any number of cool effects; you can make your options have neon lights either side of the option which light up and flicker or pulsate when the mouse is over them, or buttons which glow and pulsate gradually, or flicker.

Your game's graphical quality will rocket skyhigh.

(I wrote an annotated .doc file about this, which covers it in more detail, so I may upload that when i get back from college. It shows the buttons you need, and explains precisely what you must do, step-by-step)