Short post today sharing a quick mockup of the ingame UI. It's a work in progress and won't be finalized until it's built in Unity, but I felt the need to block out a quick version of it in Photoshop before attempting to make a functioning wireframe owing to a few design elements that are unique to StarCaster.


Much of this layout is pretty standard, but the commands and actions needed just a little bit of thought. The idea behind this system is that characters each have at least two pieces of gear that each have a sort of "mix tape" of abilities attached to them, enabling you to mix and match families of commands to create a play style. Each one has a "default" command associated with it that constitutes the most common action you'd be expected to take using that piece of gear. In this instance Nick has swords and pistols, making him an all-purpose aggressor, but each of those could be traded out for something else. Chris, meanwhile, might have a rifle for one piece of gear but a drone rig or a hacking tool for the other, giving her a range inclusive of support, debuffs, or other kinds of "spells." Other subsets of commands exist for more general things like Items (different sets of consumables or useables), Tactics (Standby and Flee), or general skills not otherwise associated with equipment (the philosophy being that "bare hands" counts as a piece of "gear").

One way or another it's never ambiguous as to which piece of equipment and therefore what set of stats or attributes the character will be using. I'll be playing around with putting more information on the gear widgets once I pull this into Unity, but this conveys the general flow of the UI and gives me some confidence that I know how to lay out the broad strokes.

If this looks a bit plain at the moment it's because I'm going to block out most of the UI in greyscale rather than in color, in the interest of ensuring that it's colorblind-friendly. Colors are to be added after I'm sure that the UI is readable in this fashion. I've sort of jumped the gun by coloring HP and MP and experimenting with the selector on the ability icons, but interactive elements will be easier to experiment with and finalize in the interactive prototype anyway. Other changes I'll be looking to make include the font choice and some toying around with the shapes, as this is all a bit hard-edged and boxy right now. But, for the time being this gets me the bones of the information I need.