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Make Your Menu Magnificent--A Guide to Better Introductions

Hi all!

Lately, I haven't been active at all (school, what can I do), so I'll repay my debt to the community with some easy tips and reminders for a better menu! :D

Glance over the categories, if you see something you might not have, go ahead and read it :P

1. CREATIVITY

I need to see a lot more of this. Honestly, having a screen with just some buttons and a title looks fine, but it's nothing that stands out in particular. Menu's have potential.

Using one, large scene, you can easily have an actor control the camera and move around to the certain locations where a specific scene is. An example to clarify:

1. Make a special actor (unlock the lock) that controls the camera as its fired out of a cannon.
2. When a button is pressed, a scene attribute is changed (I usually use a text attribute, but others work fine, too).
3. Based on which button is pressed (store, level, credits), the cannon points up, right, or left. The ball is launched in one direction and moves the camera to a corner of the scene, where a layout is waiting (say, all the level buttons are there).

Just make sure that the rule for the first few buttons only works when touch is inside AND the scene attribute (text) is ________ (nothing). This is important because, while the actor is still moving, the player can hit ANOTHER button to mess everything up.

2. GRAPHICS

Not much to be said. Graphics are good, so get yourself some good software or designer.

3. SOUND EFFECTS/ANIMATIONS

This is something small, yet big. When the lock pops off a level button, it looks like the player accomplished something. When the game plays a small noise and a celebration sound (or something like that), it sounds like the player has done something meaningful. When making a game or an app, your customer is the number 1 priority.

4. FLUIDITY

Something constantly broken, or something with so many loads it's not funny, is never good.

When building a new car model, designers don't make it look like a box. Human psychology makes us think anything with vertices or spiky parts is dangerous, and anything with curves is safe and heroic. Slick design with curves improves everyone's day.

This is why something that doesn't stutter is better than most, and something that MOVES WITHOUT stuttering is even better.

A simple implementation is a swipe menu, but there are plenty others as well.

~That's it! Thanks for reading, and I hope it benefits you! (Feedback always appreciated :D)

Comments

  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    Some nice ideas.

    I would add one thing: KISS*

    I have seen some horrific menu design. A lot of it tends to overcomplicate things to the point where you don't know where the hell you are!

    Make the menus clear and easy to read. Use a font that is legible!

    Speed - people playing mobile games want to get into the game as fast as possible. Keep the long, fancy animations to a minimum. Small details like a button that makes a sound/changes size when you hit it gives valuable feedback to the player and looks polished. Pressing a button and having to wait for it to dance round the screen till The Blue Danube ends will just get frustrating!

    Intro animations are fine. But prepare for people not to care with a 'skip' button that gets them to the game faster!

    Have consistency in your menu design. If, for example, you have multiple locations (e.g. main menu, options, credits, GameCenter) then put the 'back' button in the same spot on all screens.

    Hope that helps!

    QS :D


    *Keep It Simple, Stupid

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • SnapFireStudiosSnapFireStudios Posts: 1,603Member
    @quantumsheep - Agreed.
    Cool post ;)
    - Thomas

    Ignore females. Acquire currency.

This discussion has been closed.