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Interface Screens: Adventures in Space (CITES / UIUC)

Inventory Screen Development Details

Project Origins: Adventures in Space: Incident at Long Rock Junction is a training game I developed for UIUC’s central IT organization (CITES). The story centered around a rookie agent visiting far-flung and forgotten locals in an attempt to close ‘cold-case’ distress calls.

Developing the Inventory Screen: This inventory interface is for a device that the protagonist carries with him on his journey. His forlorn task does not earn him the best equipment, and this screen is meant to reflect that.The ID’s photograph (sans hair and mustache) was found on the web. Everything else was put together with Adobe Photoshop.

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Welcome Screen Development Details

This is the welcome splash-screen for the series of games mentioned above. From here players proceeded to their virtual mail-inbox, which contained messages detailing new missions. Hosted on the web, the site used animated gifs to better illustrate that the ‘check space-mail’ and accompanying logo were buggy-holograms. As such, the interlacing effect you see on the image above is intentional.

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Gameplay Interface Development Details

This is the primary gameplay screen. The elevator button on the left brought you to image below, which acted as the navigation map for the game. The walki-talki in the lower-left could be clicked at any time to receive a useful quip from your ‘boss’ at the Space Exploration Agency. Settings, inventory, email (in-game) and ‘Contact HQ’ (real-world email to the game developers) can be found on the right. The white icon in the upper-left took you to the game’s splash screen (above).

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Elevator Interface Development Details

Most of the narrative took place in an abandoned outpost far beneath the surface of a grimy snow-covered planet. The 9 different levels were only accessible via an elevator, and players used the image above to bounce between floors. As a UI element, the elevator is a diagetic extension of the authority held by the game’s pompous administrative official, and so I chose an overbearingly serifed title font (Castellar) that contrasts with the glum reality the elevator conveys players to. Similarly, I picked brightly saturated colors to better highlight the drab environment of the game.

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This biohazard symbol appeared as part of the game’s final challenge. Equipped with limited resources, I took full advantage of Adobe Photoshop’s timeline utility whenever an animation or transition was required. To see the symbol in action click here.

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Cheap Interface Screen Development Details

I wanted a cheap looking, somewhat idiot-proof communication device that the protagonist’s employers issued to the lowest wage-earners in the organization. It’s basically an old toy, and therefore I chose an over-saturated burnt umbra tone to invoke plastic junk from the 1970’s, and a weathered, buggy screen with a retro logo.

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