On Menus and Names

This last week has seen a bit of a shift in what we've been working on for The Regret of Vitrerran. What were once daily conversations about balance, spells, and pacing have turned into something far more utilitarian, and perhaps a little boring too.

I, of course, speak of menus.

It's strange really; the menu is something I often take for granted. If they work fine, I don't think about them. If they are slick and easily navigated with all of the information perfectly in order, I don't think about them. If they are easy on the eyes with pleasant music, I don't think about them.

But I'll be damned, I've been thinking about them a lot lately.

Working on menus feels more like work than any other part of the game. Utility is necessary, but it isn't always fun.

The main inventory menu is coming along quite nicely though, and in terms of layout, is near finished. We're still moving bits and pieces around so the information logically flows in the manor the player will need it to, but that's really it. Soon, we'll be adding art to it, making it look nice and glassy. We plan on toning things down just a bit though. Our cards and characters already have plenty of fractals on them, and a background of fractals would just look dizzying.

Menu work has transitioned into coming up with jargon words. The main menu will need to display characters stats, and while we know what those are supposed to be, it's only now that we are actually naming them. Once again, not the most glamorous part of game making out there, but necessary.

We're not reinventing the wheel though, so expect to see familiar words like stamina, agility, dexterity, resilience, resistance, and haste.

What we are doing is changing the way some of those words work. The Regret of Vitrerran is working with some very different attributes. In other RPGs, agility might raise your dodge factor, but in Vitrerran, it's the speed in which you run towards the battlefield center after being knocked back. We also plan on having a different speed-type stat that effects how fast or slow you are knocked back when struck. How strong a spell is will be a different stat than how large it is.

Min maxing, afterall, is fun.

There are a lot of attributes we can work with, and I'll be damned if we don't take advantage of them. Should things get a bit too out of hand, we of course will streamline everything. I love min/maxing, but I hate being confused. We're looking for the right balance between those things, and erring on more for now. It's easier to remove than to add.

That's where this last week and some change has seen us. We will hopefully have some screenshots worth showing soon. We're both curious about feedback on the layouts.