Responsibilities: Lead UX and UI designer, artist
Client: THQ, Relic Entertainment, Games Workshop
Tools: Darksiders Engine, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Flash, Actionscript, Axure, Perforce, Agile, Post-its, pen & paper
Locales: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian
Space Marine is a AAA 3rd person action shooter developed by Relic Entertainment for consoles and PC. This was my first project with Relic, and was a real trial-by-fire, as everything was new; the team, the engine and authoring environment, as well as the type of game. My role was to design and build both the user-experience and interface features across the entire game, for 3 different platforms, while collaborating with a team of over 200 developers.
Crafting A Narrative and Progression-driven Experience
The front-end menu system focuses on either the protagonist or the player’s progression-driven multiplayer avatars, depending on where they are in the navigation. The intention behind this design is to immediately capture the tone and atmosphere of the chaotic and violent Warhammer 40K world, while introducing the major characters in the story. It also aims to provide narrative and environmental context, and showcase player progression. A cyclical animation loop of combat with cinematic cameras ensures the front-end stays engaging and pertinent to the player.
An Intuitive and Engaging In-game Heads-Up-Display
The in-game HUD required a contemporary, easy-to-use and easy-to-understand design, maintaining both usability and player satisfaction while being able to adopt the larger art-direction principles of the game. This meant leveraging interactive mechanics and design patterns from the competitive landscape. Each component of the in-game interface had to fade away gracefully when not needed, retaining focus on the environments and player objectives.
Facilitating Diverse Character Customization
Easily the most complex feature of the game, the character customizer allows players to create both gameplay and cosmetic loadouts to take into battle. Gameplay loadouts define the role, weapons and accessories available to players during combat, while the cosmetic features let players create thousands upon thousands of different appearances for their characters. Player progression directly ties into this system, allowing players to unlock a wide array of additional content, from grenades to chapter-badges. The spirit of the collectible table-top game was the driving theme underpinning this feature.
Wireframing, Rapid Prototyping and Creative Process
Due to the size and complexity of this game, continuous prototyping and iteration was required in order to substantiate user-experience design decisions and develop a wide array of interface solutions. Everything from napkin sketches and sticky-note walls through to intricate, interactive mockups were used, cemented by a clear creative process. Here, you can see some early storyboarding, user-flow and system map designs, wireframes, and aesthetic explorations.