Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Work Dump: UI Design for Midway Arcade Orgins

The company I work for recently put out a compilation of old Midway arcade titles for Xbox and PS3. It was pretty fun to play the old games... even though I'm miserable at them. I enjoyed arcades a lot when I was a kid, but the Midway titles were before my time. I was more of a Streetfighter II/Ninja Turtles/Simpsons kid.

Since I have to wear a lot of hats at work, I ended up designing the UI theme for the game. We went through a lot of ideas but ended up going for a starry nebula thing. Here are a couple of the many iterations we went through, as well as some of the logo design:

^First version, and the one I liked the best. Sadly we couldn't put the text on slanted planes so this didn't work out. The shinies (golum! golum!) might have been a little busy to the eye, had they been implemented.

^This was getting closer to the version we went with. We wanted to be able to scroll through the cabinets, the guys were very passionate about featuring the cabinet art. It was a lot of work finding all the cabinets we needed!

^Placeholder cabinets, but this is very close to the final version. The star is for favorited games. One of the guys on the team had the idea to change the arrows, and I think they looked a lot cooler than the previous place-holdery ones.

^Here is the screenshot from in-game of the final main menu select. Pretty much the same as the above concept. We played with the nebula and its color a bit. Sorry for the sloppy screencap, I should crop that.

^Help menu concept look.

^Early look for the game options screen.

^Screenshot from the in-game options screen. Another sloppy screencap.

^First pass at logos before the title was finalized.

^Later pass on logos after we knew the name of the game.

^Actual intro screenshot, splash image. Ended up not using the logos at all!

The nebula came out really cool in game. Kudos to the great people I work with, the nebula drifts around really nicely on the game screen and the stars twinkle subtly. I'm proud of of how it came out, everyone made it look fantastic.

I had a lot of fun working with the guys designing the look. Since it was a compilation we got to spend a decent chuck of time on the game menu experience, making sure things were clear and easy to navigate and looked cool.

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