10/07/2013– UX and UI

UI design is like hot water or electricity– you don’t really pay attention to it until you don’t have it. Even though it’s the sort of functionality that you want to get out of the way as soon as possible, it’s pretty crucial to have an interface that lets you actually, you know– play the game. Typically, I spent more time troubleshooting the menu than creating any of the placeholder games I currently have running.

Since this project runs multiple types of games, I needed to make an interface that allows the user to view all the possible games, see info and maybe some screencaps, then select and start it. Easy in theory, but JAVA really blows at creating UI. I had to go with the controlP5 libraries for Processing– I could have rolled my own, but I really don’t have time to re-invent the wheel.

Since I was messing with the UI anyway, I figured I’d just go ahead and try to design to be a little future-proof. In theory this is fairly easy to skin, and all the positioning is internally consistent so if I change the size of menus, etc it should re-flow without too much trouble.

Sure wish I could do this in HTML (premade buttons! style sheets!), but I suspect trying to run the Leap using javascript would be fairly limiting– no 3D, no fun particle effects, etc.



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