Main interface and usability considerations
The way interfaces are designed should always take into account the kind of usage they'll have. Razor Trail Survivors is a mostly-idle game, which means that the average player will likely open the game several times during the day, but spend relatively little time in it each time. Many of these interactions will be simple checks on the actions being executed.
This led to the decision of designing the game in portrait mode instead of landscape. It is easier, more natural and much faster to check on things or make quick adjustments in-game.
Another important requirement we set was to be able to quickly access the most common game menus at all times.
We decided to have a menu bar with the most common sections on top, allowing the user to immediately switch between them without stopping character actions (crafting, fishing, combat, ...) (green section on the figure).
We also chose to create a status bar on the bottom, which allows us to have a "back" button when applicable, information on the player's currency and focus points (these will be discussed later on) and access to the game settings (red section on the figure).
Both the top and bottom bars are standard throughout the game, visible at all times. The top menu serves as an "anchor" to the 6 sections/tabs you'll use frequently:
1) Action: This is where actions take place. Whether you set you character to scavenge from an abandoned truck, craft some steel or hunt animals, all related information will be shown here: timer, experience gains, item drop logs, etc.
2) Travel: World and region maps are shown here. Selecting a location allows you to travel there.
3) Equipment: Allows you to check and change your currently equipped weapons, armor and tools.
4) Inventory: Shows all consumables, resources and unequipped gear you're currently carrying. You can also see more information about each item, sell them or purchase similar items.
5) Chat: Allows you to chat with other players, ask for help or plan your faction's strategy. System notifications will also show up here.
6) Manual/Market: This section contains detailed information about items, recipes, locations, enemies and much more. Here you can also check the player highscores and access the market for buying and selling resources and equipment.
I hope you've enjoyed this small presentation on the main interface elements for the game and their rationale. Later on we'll get to more details on the interface and appearance in general, namely the graphics and design elements we've used.
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or suggestions I'd love to hear them!
You can do it by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/razortrailsurvivors)