Wherefore Art Thou: First Appearances
People always judge a book by it’s cover and whether that’s a good thing or not is irrelevant to myself as a content creator, I’ve come to the realisation that I have to accommodate for it. The first thing I see when a game launches is a splash screen and then the main menu, but even before that is the store page and that’s something people tend to forget when trying to develop a title.
Once the first build was almost complete, I had an extremely basic menu and UI and the game just felt boring and Missile Command: Sarah Morris Edition lost the attention of my younger brother almost instantly, which was a horrible feeling. So I added a splash screen on the game’s launch and made a new menu with a rotating object in the background to grab players attention.
I followed a blog post by Øyvind Strømsvik AKA Twiik about making a more appealing menu. By using free plugins and shaders I was able to add a motion blur to some assets (Specifically the menu) and easily implementable graphics options. The moment I implemented this my brother suddenly found the project more interesting and during playtesting, people found it super interesting.
Appearances extend past just what’s in the game, I’ve found that it can include something as meta as a store page for the project. People are far more likely to visit this page or download Missile Command: Sarah Morris Edition if it is colourful, has text and images, not just a white page with a download link and a title. Even though the store page isn’t the game, it’s the thing people see before playing the actual game and it can decide if anyone will actually download the title.
I’ve come to the realisation that appearances, especially for the User Interface it is extremely important. If you have a bad UI, you can’t suede a play to start your game, visit your credits or even interact with the project in itself.