DevBlog #008 – Where has the time gone? Also, new UI!

Wow, it is indeed hard to keep up regular posting on social media and on this dev blog! „Sweet summer child“, may the more experienced indie developers of you think. In the beginning, occasionally writing down our progress seems so easy and fun. But then you have to decide between fighting the empty page and its terrifying blinking cursor on one side and getting some new fancy assets done on the other. And before you know, you’ll find yourself with almost two months past since the last update.

However, let’s take that as a valuable experience and move on with some actual updates! In contrast to this temporarily orphaned blog, Deep Space Gardning has made some fantastic changes over the last weeks and they just keep coming. New in-game assets, custom-made soundtracks, the next level sound design, all-new sound mechanics, new gameplay ideas, a savegame menu (which is way more exciting than it may seem) and much more!

Since we don’t want to show you any half-finished features or not yet polished graphics, we will split all these updates into different blog posts and release them as soon as they are ready. Today, let’s talk about our all-new user interface!

When pitching to publishers, one of the most common points of criticism about our game concerned our overall user interface. Not a big surprise: Our previous interface style originated from the very first weeks of development and was rather kind of a placeholder, but by no means production-ready.

After quite some time of discussing, sketching, creating and polishing (read more on our game art process in an upcoming post!), we finally came up with a cartoonish skeumorphic style that we found very fitting to the colorful gardening theme of our game. All of our team agreed to combine wooden elements as the main parts of the UI with mechanical and classical electrical detail parts to support our overall style approach of a non-futuristic future setting.

No worries, we did not just make elaborate thoughts on the stylization of the UI, but also put some effort in improving the basic structure of our UI to make the game even more intuitive and easy to understand. For example, we added a clock that displays the time left in the level, equipped the plant orders with cartoonish plant icons* and even changed the font to a cleaner and more readable one.

Below you can see a side-by-side comparison of the old and new UI. How do you like our new interface design? All feedback is more than welcome!

*) The plants on the icons don’t seem familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with an upcoming post on our all new plant design 😉 Stay tuned!

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