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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignUI as emotional expression?
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theomg
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« on: July 26, 2016, 07:36:31 AM »

Text is often used in games in creative ways, such as colorful or moving text to convey an emotional state. Jake Elliott(Kentucky Route Zero) has an interesting talk on exploration of text

. RPGs such as Paper Mario or Undertale are other examples of that.

Other aspects of the UI, however, are generally not explored so much, or at least I can't remember many examples of it. Do you guys have interesting examples or ideas of exploring other aspects of UI to represent emotional states or ideas to the player?
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teatreegames
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2016, 06:59:09 AM »

Do you guys have interesting examples or ideas of exploring other aspects of UI to represent emotional states or ideas to the player?

Something like, when a box appears above the character's head during key moments? Typically containing a question mark, exclamation mark, heart, shape of an item, etc, depending on the context.
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Zaeche
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2016, 05:07:28 PM »

Something like, when a box appears above the character's head during key moments? Typically containing a question mark, exclamation mark, heart, shape of an item, etc, depending on the context.

That's a good example--I first came across that in Golden Sun and I found it rather endearing.

As for the video, I like that he brought up using typography to communicate emotion. It's not taken advantage of enough and I think it really lends some depth, especially for text heavy games. Can't think up any specific examples right now, perhaps something'll come to me ...
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2016, 05:00:55 AM »

The typography stuff is done to some extent in a fair amount of Nintendo games (Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing)... Perhaps more with size and colour than fonts, but you can expand on that.
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nathy after dark
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2016, 06:30:52 AM »

For some reason this question really sparked my interest. Let me list all the good examples I can think of before I give my shameless self-plug.

Since all Twine games are based on text and hyperlinks, I could argue that every Twine game uses UI as a form of expression to some extent. Some notable examples:

Even Cowgirls Bleed: Play this one on a computer, not a mobile device. The player triggers hyperlinks simply by hovering over them, and this is used to evoke the feel of being a reckless, trigger-happy woman.

Depression Quest: The game disables certain player options based on the protagonist's emotional state. It's a powerful metaphor for going through literally debilitating demotivation.

Everything You Swallow Will One Day Come Up Like a Stone. The player only gets two buttons, + and -. The significance of the control scheme is more ambiguous in this one, and I'm not totally sure how I'd interpret it. Content warning: the game is about suicide.

Aside from Twine, Inkle did a podcast episode about UI in narrative games: Soundcloud link. I haven't played their games except for part of 80 Days, but it seems like they would be good examples as well.

Lastly, my game (The Whisperer in Darkness) is text-based and does a bit of (hopefully) cool stuff with typography. I haven't mentioned much of it in the dev log, but if any of you would be interested in that, I could get into it with the next post.
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2016, 12:10:58 PM »

lots of older first person games went out of their way to make the UI/HUD design "thematic" to the experience. doom for example, or ultima underworld.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/digitaltrends-uploads-prod/2014/07/ultima-underworld.jpg

http://www.rrgaming.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/doom-1-rrgaming.jpg

i guess devs felt the game wouldn't be "relateable" enough without a visible player character

banjo kazooie games are also a good example of thematic UI

but idk, don't most games do something like that to some extent?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 03:13:18 PM by Silbereisen » Logged
nathy after dark
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2016, 03:21:55 PM »

Ooh! A great example of one that uses typography in the UI to make it more expressive, is Emily is Away. The player has to mash keys to get the protagonist's dialogue to be typed (simulating a chat window), but this is also used to express when the player is emotionally conflicted, because the player will type something, but subsequently delete it as more keys are mashed. It's evocative of that moment where there's something you really want to say, but you just can't. Pretty emotionally powerful.
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teatreegames
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2016, 05:19:05 PM »

As for the video, I like that he brought up using typography to communicate emotion. It's not taken advantage of enough and I think it really lends some depth, especially for text heavy games. Can't think up any specific examples right now, perhaps something'll come to me ...

I liked the shakey text in Shovel Knight:



Also, different font and / or font colour for different characters?

And using a one or two frames to express emotion:

« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 05:30:10 PM by teatreegames » Logged
Peace Soft
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 12:45:44 PM »

Breath of Fire II had like a mood ring attached to the dialogue boxes, if i'm remembering right. You get so used to it being there that it's easy to ignore, but if you pay attention it'll sometimes tell you if someone is lying or add something to the subtext of the scene. It's too linear and emotionally shallow of a story for it to actually matter, most of the time, but it's a cool idea.
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Zaeche
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2016, 09:01:51 PM »

As for the video, I like that he brought up using typography to communicate emotion. It's not taken advantage of enough and I think it really lends some depth, especially for text heavy games. Can't think up any specific examples right now, perhaps something'll come to me ...

I liked the shakey text in Shovel Knight:



Also, different font and / or font colour for different characters?

And using a one or two frames to express emotion:



Great example! As for the couple of frames of animation on the sprites for emotion, I think Fire Emblem does that really well (the dialogue scenes between battles).
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