Robert Tamayo


UI Design in Games

I'm very comfortable with HTML and CSS. My site may not look the way a web developer's blog is expected to look, but part of the fun was to build it entirely on my own and use different themes for different pages. The About Me page is a Star Wars title crawler, the Home Page is in the style of a retro video game, and the blog uses the style you're looking at, with alternating colors depending on the post and the order of appearance. 

But despite my mastery of HTML and CSS, I find it tedious to work on the UI for my games.

I don't know why, as I actually enjoy web design and frontend development, but for whatever reason, I really don't like making the menus in my games.

I suppose one thing I could do is make the UI code very similar to regular HTML and CSS. In fact, it already is somewhat like that. The first code I wrote for Robot Ops was written about half a year before I learned anything about web development. At a time when I knew nothing of HTML/CSS's Flexbox or Grid system, I built a "TableTop" system that handled displaying and sizing UI elements in a very similar way, with options for rows and columns, padding, margin, and direction-based centering. One would think I would be enthused to build UI elements from scratch like that for my game, but, sadly, no.

For Balloon Ghost, I'm in a development slump right now. It's not that I'm not enjoying the work I'm doing on it. It's that I'm working on the UI for the menus. And that's just not as awesome as working on animating falling spiked flails, pigs flying in clouds, or spinning morning stars. I'm more than excited to be working on cool effects for the actual gameplay; the clicking through the menu part, not so much.

But at least I'm happy to say that the game is still coming along smoothly. I'm hoping to launch it around the middle of February.

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