Crowfall Heads Up: Improving Crowfall’s UI

In Crowfall®, there’s always been a difference between the user interface (the fancy term for the menus you see in-game) and the stylized fantasy world of the game itself. While the interface is clean, clear and light on flourishes, after seeing how the world of Crowfall has evolved, we wanted to revisit the UI to improve the way in which it complements the environment you battle in and the game’s overall design aesthetic.

When we delved into the story of the game, something jumped out at us: the Stoneborn, one of our playable races. There was a history buried there among the ruins of the Dying Worlds and that history was the key. Pulling some of the spirit of that architecture, the life and lore it represents, from the world of Crowfall and into the game menus was the goal we set out to achieve to make the experience more immersive.

THE LOBBY

The game is divided into two parts. The starting gameplay gets you into the game as you are beginning your journey, rising as a Crow and then jumping into action in the Dying Worlds.

To highlight the starting experience, the Lobby will be backed in white, framed in gold and the content will be black and gray. In-game elements (heads-up display [HUD], character sheet and other interface elements.) will be backed in black, framed in silver and the game content on them will be white and gray.

Stoneborn designs are used to frame various elements and draw the eye to areas of importance.

NEW BUTTON-Y BUTTONS

The buttons posed a more interesting challenge for our design. We wanted to move away from long, dark fill bar-like elements, but we also didn’t want to bring a bulky, solid framed set of buttons to the bottom of every pop-up. The way we chose to create balance was by using a slight nod to the Stoneborn styling in the endcaps of the buttons and a simple gray framing that would work on both the white backgrounds and dark backgrounds respectively.

Mode SelectVessel SelectWorld Select and Faction Select are menus all players will interact with throughout the course of their Crowfall experience. Below are detailed breakdowns of the new look and flow of each of them.

Mode Select

1. New buttons, framed and shaped to help distinguish them from other elements. The “Spirit Crow” teal is used here to draw the eye and drive progress through the menus.

2. New mode cards, capped with gold framing elements, use new mode icons that symbolize their distinct functions in a way that drives immersion. Shapes are pulled from the overall footprint of the icon and reinforced in later menus. Example: Notice the Campaign icon is triangular and there is a complex triangle design ghosted in the background of that mode card. You’ll see that same ghosted element in the background of the various campaign entries, info cards and in future content.

3. The entire menu screen is given a bit of Stoneborn polish with subtle elements that hug the top of the screen. This element will persist across the front-end menu flow.

Mode Select

1. New buttons, framed and shaped to help distinguish them from other elements. The “Spirit Crow” teal is used here to draw the eye and drive progress through the menus.

2. New mode cards, capped with gold framing elements, use new mode icons that symbolize their distinct functions in a way that drives immersion. Shapes are pulled from the overall footprint of the icon and reinforced in later menus. Example: Notice the Campaign icon is triangular and there is a complex triangle design ghosted in the background of that mode card. You’ll see that same ghosted element in the background of the various campaign entries, info cards and in future content.

3. The entire menu screen is given a bit of Stoneborn polish with subtle elements that hug the top of the screen. This element will persist across the front-end menu flow.

World Select
1. Tabs for high-level filtering of world entries. A Coming Soon tab was added to help entice players with upcoming content and new outrageous rewards.

2. The header element reinforces the mode you have currently selected. It also gives the player various ways to customize the list entries, making it easier to find the right campaign.

3. Like the new vessel select entries, the campaign entries have added information to make world selection more informed. Image, name, owner, restrictions, type and recommended level are visualized on the selected world entry, with the number of users and status/time remaining on the non-selected entries.

Faction Select

1. Campaign info card added to this screen to remind the player what world/mode they are choosing to enter.

2. Updated faction flag. New look and unique banner shapes for each faction.

3. Faction entries with more contrasted selected/unselected states.

4. Faction details and faction lock warning. Added faction reinforcement ghosted in the background.

More Updates to Come

Our user interface journey in the Lobby will spill into the HUD and in-game menus soon.Your feedback will be instrumental in helping us to identify what’s working well for you from a usability standpoint and how we can make further improvements. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the forum!

Until next time!

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