Game Design Theory Level 4 – Advanced Game Mechanics and HUD / GUI Elements

Tips for Designing Your Graphic User Interface


The more complex your game is the more screens you will generally need in order to display all of the relevant information the player will need. You want the GUI to be lightning fast and responsive. Again the theme of the game and the color schemes, image quality, fonts and overall aesthetic should be consistent between menus and screens. These menus obviously should also contain all of the information that players need but also provide some kind of entertainment themselves.In the picture above you can choose a character and see each character’s stats and story. That is a consistent and vibrant menu that players can engage with because it gives them information to process. 

This prepares players and gets their anticipation in high gear for the actual game. Notice the consistent imagery, color scheme and icons used. See how simple and bold fonts are used, things are highlighted with dynamic elements (glowing outline above / glowing star below), the giant X over the level selector on the right shows you can only access the Tiki Desert level at this time. You can also choose a difficulty.There is also an animated object of the player’s chosen character flying with a jet pack in anticipation of the level they are about to be dropped into. The jet pack is held up by bubbles, which is consistent with the theme of the game.