UX Design Lead Billy Garretsen grants game-watchers a tour of the evolution of the PvP MMO’s alpha login screens, kingdom selection screens, heads-up display, and tooltips. The first thing you’re going to notice? It’s very white, reminiscent of the sort of look capitalized on in 2011 by Dragon Age 2 and 2012 by Guild Wars 2. Inside the game, though, the HUD and tooltips are relatively dark and flat — an extremely popular look for everything from World of Warcraft mods to smartphone operating systems.
“Long ago we established a brand guideline that carried us through the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and development of our website and social media,” Garretsen says. “Over time, the UX presentation in the game has deviated and lost some of its brand identity” — and that’s what the latest revisions are meant to fix.
Still under construction by the UX team is the character sheet, tooltip layout, settings, the skill tree, and — drum roll — HUD customization.
In last Friday’s recap post, the team ran down a checklist of some of the last-minute projects that it is working on to prepare for release. One of these is getting new server tech into place: “Our new server hardware is currently on order and is getting set up by our supplier. Once the hardware is ready to go we will be configuring them with what is needed for launch. We plan to open up the servers for a short stress test before launch and will provide more details on this at a later date.”
The team said that it’s planning on rolling out a public test server post-launch and is striving to get player vendor stalls in place for release or shortly thereafter. Other countdown projects include scattering wilderness portals throughout the game world, getting the new task system into the game, revamping the economy and loot tables, and preparing a marketing campaign.