One of my hobbies is - you might have noticed it already - creating complete computer games for fun, including programming the whole thing, composing the music and even creating the graphics (Not to be confused with the fact that I am working on real computer games as freelancer from time to time). Recently, I found it interesting to develop flash games using Adobe Flex
, and maybe you've even played my last game Darkness Springs
One problem I always have when creating such games is the main menu and the user interface in general. The problem is that in games, you usually don't have standard UI components, and you are completely free to design the game dialogs. But all this freedom is actually making it more difficult: In a lot of games, this is resulting in ridiculous complicated UIs, UIs where you have no idea where you have to click at to get the result you want.
The image above shows the map selection screen in a new game I am currently working on when I have time for it. It's not a screenshot of the actual game, but a image composed using Paint.NET
, which helps me to think about how the menu will look like when it is implemented. Painting game menus before implementing them really helps and avoids a lot of work.
This is now the 3rd iteration of the screen, and I think I can implement it now as it looks like. Maybe I'll finish this game up very soon afterwards, it has been idling around on my hard disk for too long already.