Creativity In Mobile Game Design

I was honored to have one of my articles on Brainzooming today!  Please check it out! It’s during their World Creativity and Innovation Week. Please check the article out and leave a comment there if you feel inspired or have something to say. I’ll be responding to comments there.

Wakfu – Game UI Inspiration & Review

I am constantly playing mobile games. Its been a while since I branched out and played other games on different consoles. I’m a huge Halo fan, which is the main reason I ever owned an Xbox  360.

I started playing massively multi-player online role-playing games (also known as MMORPG’s) just to get my mind off  mobile games. Sometimes I feel that the mobile games are limiting and not as broad as they could be. So it feels good to play something that has a ton of features and is constantly expanding. I also love the feel of the social aspect and the collections/inventory features of MMOs. I mainly play MMO’s to get items into my collections —  I’m one of those players that is always fighting to get that rare item. Nerdy I know but I was started out as a casual gamer, moved into MLG (Major League Gaming) and now work at a gaming company. It’s only gotten nerdier as I’ve gotten older. I never saw myself so tightly knit to the gaming world. Now I realize that gaming is something that goes to my very core!

I wanted to share some screenshots of Wakfu and some of its very pretty UI detail. I think the aesthetics is quite nice in the game. Although the UX somewhat feels like it’s a bit clunky at times.  There are some things I wish were a little more clear, especially during the PvP stages.

The top of the login box is really quite intricate. All through the game there is this gear like aesthetic. I really like this theme and think it was quite creative. I also think they did a great job on the logo and branding of the game. It’s quite different, but memorable. The rest of the form I am not too crazy about, but do like the small details.

Choosing the land is really quite pretty too. The artwork in this game is just beautiful. Again, I really am admiring the detail surrounding the UI and the earth graphic is so pretty. That little voodoo doll is really cute too.

There are things I like and dislike about this part of the UI, which is located at the top right of the screen. The “Bug” button is quite cool — it lets players easily report bugs. It could have been placed better, however. I kept on clicking on it by accident. If I had designed this feature, I would have put the Bug button in the settings menu. I do like the colorful day and night icon. I think it displays time well, but find I the gear on the side of it to be an unneeded decoration.  The map box does what it’s made to do, but I wish I had the ability to hide it. Overall though, I think that the UI was designed very well.

Another pretty detail that I liked was the health UI details in the bottom HUD bar. Again, there is the gear incorporation with the leaves. I really think this is quite pretty and would be great inspiration for anyone creating any sort of whimsical or game interface. The HUD bar changes depending on what screen, or action the player is using.

Wakfu is truly beautiful and the character customization is quite awesome as well. The game play is quite fun, and the PvP is challenging, but it doesn’t take forever to level up. This is more of a pretty and less serious MMO. The game does offer the ability to be more serious through several premium features.

It’s always good to look at other UI for inspiration even if it isn’t in your particular field. You’ll always learn something new or see something that may catch your eye for a product in the future. So keep your eyes open, you never know what you may see that could improve yourself and your career.

What are your thoughts on looking for inspiration outside of your comfort zone?
Do you believe it’s needed to do research outside of your field?

GDC 2012

Game Developers Conference is this week in SF! I am super stoked to attend with TinyCo this Thursday! If you’re in town or at the conference, please tweet me @hillaryhopper to get in touch and meetup. Also, TinyCo has a booth there so stop by for swag, meet awesome people and play some games! We’ll also have recruiters there at the booth to talk to you about career opportunities.