Here are layout concepts I’ve come up with:
I think this is a good start, but we can do better. Let’s follow a couple of basic rules:
- If at first you don’t succeed, steal.
- Try to steal from as many different sources as possible.
Here’s a bunch of games that inspire me.
I am trying to make an RPG Lite; the RPG equivalent of a short story. Something where a playthrough will take 5 hours instead of 80, and a speedrun will take 1 hour instead of 5. I want the mechanics to be intuitive and quick to pick up, engaging on a surface level, but to have enough depth that those who want to go deeper have something worth finding.
Easy enough to say. And I have what I think is a set of mechanics that will do well for that. But now for my additional constraint: I need a combat UI that I can initially build using Unity’s inbuilt UI system. I would also like it to be clean and as much as possible, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
My main mechanical inspirations are Chrono Trigger and the Mario RPGs, especially Superstar Saga and Thousand Year Door. Darkest Dungeon is included because a side-scrolling rather than top-down perspective gives my specific artistic talents the most bang for the buck. Indivisible is working under similar constraints. But Darkest Dungeon, while its layout is well optimized for its perspective, has a cluttered interface, which suits its gritty, mechanic-heavy feel. Darkest Dungeon is trying to scare you away; I am not going for that feel with my games. At least not yet.
Thinking about it, I think my best option is to just streamline the Darkest Dungeon style interface even harder.