How do you design a good UI with fitting motifs?

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dartbored
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How do you design a good UI with fitting motifs?

#1 Post by dartbored » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:56 am

Hello! I’m working on my first VN, and I have little to no formal graphic design knowledge.

I’m having some trouble trying to create good UI elements and motifs for my game. I managed to create a nice color palette, but I need some ideas on how to use it.

So far, I’ve been using Roman pillars on the game menu because my game is inspired by Roman mythology. However, I don’t know what my logo, bars, frames, etc should look like. I study a lot of different UI artists’ creations, but I’m finding it hard to incorporate their suggestions.

Also, I use Gimp to create my UI elements. If anyone knows any svg designing applications for Mac, that would be helpful too.
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Re: How do you design a good UI with fitting motifs?

#2 Post by puppetbomb » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:09 pm

What do you characters/backgrounds look like? If the palette is too light/too dark compared to your chosen palette, the UI may look jarring against the rest of the game.

I don't know how much I can help you since you have such limited graphic design experience, so I'll share some tips that might help you narrow your scope:
  • Roman temples = granite and marble. Find some good textures that won't fight with text to set as a background
  • If your color sense isn't very strong, find/make one darker and one lighter texture. One as a base, one for accents.
  • Coins/currency. Can be used as UI elements or a logo
  • Plaques on sculptures/temples. You can incorporate these patterns as bars and frames
  • Gold. Ancient civilizations do love them some gold
  • Use the brightest, most saturated material (gold, maybe) for things that need to be noticed easily, like buttons, titles and logos
  • If there's an element that looks too flat, give it a drop shadow
That said, I can't express strongly enough how important it is to do research. More research may or may not help you. No research will always hurt you.

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Re: How do you design a good UI with fitting motifs?

#3 Post by dartbored » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:59 am

Thanks so much! I’m definitely going to run with the marble and gold idea!
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Westeford
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Re: How do you design a good UI with fitting motifs?

#4 Post by Westeford » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:23 am

One tip I've always kept to heart is:
"A good UI is invisible to the user."
When there are problems with the UI, players will notice. However when the UI is great, then no one will pay heed to it much. The goal is to make the UI intuitive and let the player do what they need to do without struggling. If players struggle with navigation then they'll notice the problems. Basically it shouldn't take 10 minutes to find the sound settings or inventory. Simplicity is key.
I hope this helps.

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