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Development Info Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #5: FEEDback - UX Design in Bloodlines 2

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Hardsuit Labs; Paradox Interactive; Rachel Leiker; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2

    Surprisingly there were no special Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 reveals at PAX West last week, despite the obvious move of taking advantage of a Seattle-based event for a game set in Seattle. Cara Ellison gave two vampire-related talks there, but they weren't broadcast and we found few details about them on social media. On the bright side, since last week Hardsuit have been doing weekly faction reveals on Wednesdays, similar to the clan reveals they did back in May. The factions they've revealed so far are the Pioneers led by Lou Grand (who may or may not be the same person as historical Seattle madame Lou Graham) and the Camarilla led by Alec Cross, both characters who we saw in the game's announcement trailer. Unlike the clan reveals these are just pure lore updates with no livestream announcements, fancy trailers or gameplay details, so they're not that newsworthy on their own, so consider this a roundup. The reason for this newspost is Bloodlines 2's latest dev diary, once again written by lead UI/UX designer Rachel Leiker, and this time it's actually about the UI.

    Show the World of Darkness
    The setting of the game dictates a certain aesthetic – modern day Noir, old versus new, tradition versus progress. We reflect this direction by presenting the player with a not-so pristine interface throughout the game.

    Visual inspiration for the UI has been heavily influenced by Neo-noir and modern styles of media. The basic DNA of the style are high contrast, dramatic use of color, and high texture density to reflect the multi-layered quality of the world. With this in mind, we also needed to be careful not to obscure necessary information in style. The function of the thing is always more important than the form of the thing.

    We established some basic scales for iconography and texture treatments - Modern, not Sci-fi; Scruffy, not grungy.

    Be a Vampire

    A HUD and menus are not typically something one would expect to deal with as a vampire, so we cultivated and curated every interaction to support that fantasy. Color scheme, interactions with the world, and character management have all been designed with this in mind.

    To a Vampire, blood is everything. It sustains, it empowers, it demands. In the UI we use the color red very sparingly and only when it pertains to blood - Blood gain, blood loss, using blood, and specific feedback regarding health status. This is to help emphasize to the player that their very precious resource is changing, and they need to act accordingly.

    Hierarchy

    A game with complex systems needs sophisticated feedback. Hierarchies allow us to give the player the right information at the right time without overwhelming or underserving their needs. Every piece of feedback is given a priority against all other forms of feedback, which allows us to easily arrange their placement on screen and their visuals to help the player understand what is most important at any given time.

    In the HUD, related items are grouped together – Navigation, Blood-related systems like Health, Hunger, and Disciplines, Combat, and others all have a specific place based on the attention they demand of the player. The more efficiently we can get the necessary information to the player, the more time they can spend immersed in the world and less time engaged with the interface. Notifications also follow this rule – things that demand less of the player’s time are small and appear in a certain location, while Very Important™ notifications such as Quest Completed dominate screen space and player attention.

    Consistency

    Players can expect the UI to function the same way no matter how they are using it. From Character Creation to Quests to navigation, the player performs an action and the expected result occurs. The goal here is to make managing your character less of a chore and something you enjoy doing. By making it easier for the player to engage with and understand the menus during gameplay, we ensure that they spend less time thinking about the UI and more time enjoying the game. We achieve this by having a consistent menu layout through all pages, consistent input and button locations, and having precise, easily discernible visual feedback if player interaction is required or not.

    Accessibility

    This appears at the bottom of this list because it is really the foundation for all our work. Hardsuit Labs as a studio is invested in making games that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Wherever, whenever possible, the game UI and UX supports accessible features. For example, color is never the primary source of feedback. We use contrast, texture, iconography, FX, text, and layout to provide the primary feedback and use color as secondary enhancement. This helps players with color vision deficiencies without having to have a separate color-blind mode. We are able to test this by including testers with color vision deficiencies in our QA process to give us feedback. Inclusion is part of the accessibility process as well, we have been very conscious about creating iconography that is non-gender specific and considerate of cultural sensitivities. The icons are designed to not rely on gendered tropes (such as pouty lips for seduction or a man’s dress shirt to represent wardrobe), and we use straightforward ideas for icons that can be interpreted no matter the native language or culture.

    I’ll be able to talk more about the accessibility options when we get closer to the game’s release, we have many options that we are implementing in the game to make it an enjoyable experience for all of our players. Designing for accessibility is not only great for the players who need them, but it enhances the experience for all players across the board.

    UX is so much more than just meters in the HUD and upgrading your skill tree. It really tries to maximize the enjoyment of the player by removing obstacles and solving problems with good design. When you play Bloodlines 2, our goal is to make sure you get the most out of your time with the game and are able to fully immerse yourself in your story. The various UI elements and UX design are all there to give you what you need without getting in the way, putting the proper amount of Feed into your Feedback*.
    Next time there should be two or three more factions and hopefully a more substantive dev diary.
     
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  2. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    lol this game is going to be so bad
    It's like watching a slow moving trainwreck
     
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  3. KeighnMcDeath Learned

    KeighnMcDeath
    Joined:
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    Come on. Show some optimism.
    Show Spoiler
    GOTH SLUT VAMP TITTY SQUEEZIN' TIME!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Sadly wishful thinking isn't all that helpful.
     
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  4. garren Arcane

    garren
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    What a bunch of pussies.
     
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  5. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    What's peculiar is that it's not as if Bloodlines from 2004 had gendered icons or culturally insensitive icons or whatever. They're just social signaling for the sake of it, "look at how good we are."
     
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  6. Awakened_Yeti Arcane Developer

    Awakened_Yeti
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    I got spoiled by the 1st person melee in Dying Light... its easily the best Ive ever seen... especially the dismemberment - but also just the back and forth with the human enemies who actually block and dodge and all that

    i was really wanting them to use that engine for an open world RPG..

    but anyways, combat in this new bloodlines game reminds me of elder scrolls stuff circa 90s-early00s
     
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  7. Wunderbar Arcane

    Wunderbar
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    Meanwhile Bethesda are using toxically masculine Vaultboy as an icon for every attribute, skill and perk.

    Based Bethesda.
     
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  8. HeatEXTEND Cipher

    HeatEXTEND
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    wtf lmfao
     
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  9. Max Edge Learned

    Max Edge
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    Whole entertainment industry looks like that. Games are not for play anymore, but for virtue signaling. Main customer goal is participating in being part of better world.

    At least some game developers believe in that.
     
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  10. Archibald Arcane

    Archibald
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    Reading all these diaries I optimistically hope that they are written like that for marketing/social signaling purposes and that they aren't actually spending time on this irrelevant bullshit.
     
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  11. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    Maybe I'm just an unwashed amateur, but if I was going to write a dev diary about the user interface design of my game I would have elected to include some pictures of said user interface. These professionals appear to have gone out of their way to do the opposite.
     
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  12. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Pictures are ableism against blind people you fucking bigoted fascist
     
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  13. KeighnMcDeath Learned

    KeighnMcDeath
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    I saw GOG was showcasing another coming soon game called Devil's Hunt. While i only skimmed the pages some of that combat made me wonder if they're going to do similar in Blooodlines (except Devil is an action game and not a Rpg that BLOOD is to be). Just something made me look twice (shrug)
     
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  14. theLorry Literate

    theLorry
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    Dress shirts are evul and oppressive now?!! Sigh...at least I know what to give people for Christmas and birthdays now. Maybe in black...yes, black is stylish. And brown is pretty underrated.
     
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  15. unfairlight ヽ(✿゚▽゚)ノ Patron

    unfairlight
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    So instead of using easily understood and international symbols that anyone who can afford a gaming computer or console can comprehend worldwide, they'll be using some obscure fucking pictograms that no one will understand unless the game explains to them what they mean. Gotcha.

    I hope these fucking idiots will never start designing bathroom signs, there's far too many shitty bathroom signs in the world already.
     
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  16. Tao Learned

    Tao
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    I just want a good vampire rpg... please...
    :negative:

    I have the 80€ for preordering but my whole soul tell me to not do it.

    I swear to god, if the next info they release is the same woke retarded pandering, i'm out and pirating the game.
     
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  17. SionIV Erudite Patron

    SionIV
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    It doesn't matter how many times they wrap a piece of shit in wrapping paper, it's still a piece of shit.
     
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  18. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
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    Worry not, for this shall be the best game of the decade.
     
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  19. lukaszek the determinator

    lukaszek
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    as in you want to be a lawful good vampire?
     
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  20. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    In the mind of an SJW women must wear dresses. It is literally how you can determine a person's pronouns. Muscle tone and facial stubble cannot be trusted. All ladies who are wearing a suit, and especially any with a neck tie, are obviously trans, you shitlord.
     
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  21. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    A man wears a dress to express his female gender identity but a woman can wear what she likes because a dress is not only for women and has nothing to do with being a woman.
    It's all so tiresome.
     
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  22. Wyatt_Derp Learned

    Wyatt_Derp
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    Jesus. Little did we know that vampires need wheelchair ramps to get around. As gamers we apparently also don't need bodies or limbs. Just give me that brain fluid jar and a handy collection plate for the DNC. My legless corpse is ready for the night rave!
     
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  23. GentlemanCthulhu Educated

    GentlemanCthulhu
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    Somebody should assassinate fire that one chick whose in charge of cultural sensitivity issues. That's the only way to save this game.
     
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  24. GentlemanCthulhu Educated

    GentlemanCthulhu
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    You should always pirate western games. The only kind of games that deserve money nowadays are Eastern European/Slavic ones as Comrade Stalenin intended.
     
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