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Sephirenn

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8th July, 2007 at 21:02:52 -

I can't decide if I like my 'menu' screen for the first world of my new game. I have posted a link to the screenshot below:

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n238/Sephirenn/Shyle.jpg

The four "boxes" vibrate when you mouse-over them, and the stars in the background paralax. The 'theme' of this place is that you're in an old spacestation.

Please give me some feedback if you're feeling so kind. Thanks!!

 
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8th July, 2007 at 21:13:40 -

Less of the gradients I say. Maybe something to make it look more abandon-y

 
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8th July, 2007 at 21:20:34 -

The background hurts a bit too look at, and you really shouldnt use gradient fills for the buttons.
But it doesnt look all that bad though, keep up the good work x)

 
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9th July, 2007 at 07:00:33 -

The background contrasts too much with the rest, take some colours that are very close to eachother to make up the background. Avoid gradients, they are "professional" (as in some people THINK they are professional, but they really just suck, especially when using the wrong colour combinations like red+green).

 
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Sephirenn

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9th July, 2007 at 20:23:53 -

sweet, thank you kind sirs. I will make some changes and take your professional opinions into account!

 
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Sephirenn

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14th July, 2007 at 13:12:53 -

This is the updates screenshot:

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n238/Sephirenn/Shyle2.jpg

I think its better. Should I get rid of the gradient on the planet though?

 
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14th July, 2007 at 13:59:53 -

Looks alright. Try putting something something behind the fence

 
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14th July, 2007 at 14:08:18 -

Not sure if I like the font on that. Also, it needs some stuff... a more interesting background... maybe some particle effects or something?

 
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14th July, 2007 at 14:14:36 -

Make the grating scroll across another grating scrolling in the opposite direction.

 
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14th July, 2007 at 15:09:49 -

Less is more. Get rid of the boxes, and the background and just have words on a blank field. It will look much more professional (as in actually professional, not "professional".)

If you're mad keen on the boxes, make them one colour with maybe just an outline. Also, I'd use a more standard font, as ones such as that tend to look dated as soon as they are made because they are designed to look "futuristic".

 
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14th July, 2007 at 17:16:33 -

you could draw some pipes to border the whole screen or the boxes, or both.

 
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14th July, 2007 at 21:23:31 -

No offense, but I don't like either. Depends how good the rest of the game looks/plays though.

I'd generally avoid really bright primary colours, gradients, and huge simple shapes. Kind of hurts the eyes. Same with the background for that matter - obviously tiled backgrounds are ugly. It's certainly not making me feel like I'm in an old spacestation either.

I don't think you should be using the same font everywhere. The way I see it, the four options all represent companies, and each should have its own unique logo. Think of the "Travelers Market" as the equivalent of Tescos, "Divine Robotics" as Ford, and "Shyle Spaceport" as American Airlines - those companies don't just use the same logo but in different colors do they? Think about how professionals design company logos - they don't just want something that looks cool - it has to "feel" right - I'm sure there's plenty of information online. I'd also do something about the planet(?). Have a few different ones if any at all, and make them look like planets (atmosphere, craters, land/sea etc) - download some planet photos if need be.

Personally, I'd be practicing my pixel art skills, and have an isometric scene of the spacestation. You'd be able to see your ship parked in the spaceport and you'd maybe have to walk your character to the different places (or you'd at least see him walk to the option you select). Maybe add a few NPCs you could talk to - they might give you tips, might further the storyline, or might just give background information about the universe in which the game is set, making the player feel more immersed.

This is obviously a *lot* more work, but provided the rest of the game is well presented, it will be worth it. Otherwise, I honestly think just a column of decent buttons (not the crappy system buttons) on a relativly plain, dark background will look *much* better. Go to flashbuttons.com or similar if you want some decent looking buttons without putting much effort in.

Just my opinion. Take it or leave it.

 
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15th July, 2007 at 04:05:54 -

I think you should think some kinda color & graphic style that you use in every menu in the game. It makes the game look better. Like in that screenshot the buttons are different sizes & shapes, and all of them have different colour gradients.

 
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Sephirenn

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15th July, 2007 at 17:52:26 -

Thanks guys, I will deffinitely take everything you've posted into consideration. Having said that, I am going to try and upload a few frames of my game so that you guys can see it actually animated, so that you'll have better perspective. Although it won't change a lot of the comments, I feel that it will cancel out some of them.

And I'd just like to restate that I am a horrible pixel artist, which is why I went with the box signs. Also, most of the gameplay (non-menu's) is made with stuff that is easy to draw (vector-ish). Hopefully I can pull people in with the gameplay/originality/story of it, instead of the graphics.

Image Edited by the Author.

 
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Sephirenn

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17th July, 2007 at 11:35:04 -

ok, a new screenshot will be coming tonight. It blows the socks off the old one. Also, the spacestation idea was scraped,and instead, it takes place on the actual planet of Shyle. I think you will like.

 
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Sephirenn

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17th July, 2007 at 20:11:34 -

Although the final menu screen will end up looking very similar to this, this is more of a concept shot, as things like the profile picture with change, and details like that:

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n238/Sephirenn/aerthy.jpg

Let me know what you think. Better than the last screenshots?

 
*Sephirenn*

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17th July, 2007 at 23:16:59 -

Well, it looks much much better, i must say that!
But the question is if it suits the in-game graphics. xB

 
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17th July, 2007 at 23:32:02 -

Damn son, that went from maybe a 3/10 to an 8 or 9/10, in presentation.

 
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17th July, 2007 at 23:35:14 -

Yeah, it did. But if it doesnt match the in-game graphics, which im afraid it wont, then it will feel very odd and out-of-place.

 
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18th July, 2007 at 07:16:11 -

Brilliant. No improvements to be made!

 
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18th July, 2007 at 07:58:53 -

You intentionally put up a shit screenshot so we'd all be like 'whoa' when you posted the real one.

 

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18th July, 2007 at 08:06:23 -

Actually, that sounds about right, Phizzy.

Still, this will certainly do.

 
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22nd July, 2007 at 00:10:36 -

that looks amazingly good

 
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22nd July, 2007 at 14:51:32 -

Looks a bit like a Back Packer game...
Am I right that you are somewhat skilled with PS or alike, even though you are not a pixel artist? Well, then you don't have to care about the pixels, just use some photo source material and PS it to something good.
I don't get the lamps though, they seem a bit out of place to me...

 
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22nd July, 2007 at 15:56:33 -

Yeah I've read that Photoshop tutorial on making planets too, comes in pretty handy

That 'Shyle' text could do with a bit of touching up - considering its the name of the game..

 
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22nd July, 2007 at 19:50:16 -

Hmmm i think i agree with phizzy here, but still the new one looks slick! i likeses

 
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22nd July, 2007 at 23:32:37 -

It's bland

 
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Sephirenn

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4th August, 2007 at 08:14:15 -

I actually may have to convert to the old screenshot. The reason being that my friend doing the graphics (the PS stuff) is very busy and it seems unlikely he's going to be able to create the graphics for all of the different planets.

In addition, as someone has said, the actual gameplay graphics are not PS, and as such it is almost jarring to switch from a menu screen to gameplay. Being that the whole game is mini-games, that is a damn large amount of graphics to be replacing.

I am unsure how to to proceed from here. Was the original screenshot, once I took out the gradients, that horrible? Can I get away with vector/minimalist graphics when I have the new title screens?

 
*Sephirenn*

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4th August, 2007 at 16:52:19 -

Go simple. Even default button objects can look good if you know what you're doing.

 
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4th August, 2007 at 19:00:18 -

Compare your menu layout to other (commercial) games, then decide which one fits best for your game. I myself would think that having a few options below eachother would be good, especially if you add a simple effect like a horizontal bar following what option you're picking.

 
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1st September, 2007 at 02:33:47 -

Collaborate, perhaps? Post a description of your project in the "Solitaire" area of the boards and ask for help with the game menu?

Just a thought...


 
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