World Space Sci-Fi Menu
I am working on a 3D Sci-Fi walking simulator with an emphasis on Game Feel and UX. The game follows a character that goes in and out of low gravity as they are trying to escape a space station that's blowing up. For this project I wanted to make a clean menu with minimal distractions while keeping in the Sci-Fi aspect. My first thought was to reuse the hologram texture that I already have to make things seem futuristic. This way I didn't need to make new assets, and I could develop a system faster. My next step was to figure out where to put the menu and then how to transition it. I have made a lot of menus that are separate from the world, so I wanted to have a more diegetic menu that they player could look at when walking around the level. This led me to choosing a holographic tablet with the options on the screen.
The game is controller based, so I didn't want to have standard buttons with their backgrounds. I first only had text that would change color and size when highlighted. This felt too simple and similar to other project's that I've worked on, so I wanted to add some sort of indicator on what the chosen option was. More recently I've seen a lot of games use a box that simply hovers over the text to form an outline around where the button would be. This felt like it would take up unnecessary space, so I went with an arrow pointing at the chosen option. To make the screen less static I added a slow pulsing on the arrow. It gives the scene a bit more movement while not being too fast and disorienting. My menu is left aligned leaving a large gap on the right side. To add a bit more movement I added a planet slowly rotating about in the corner. This exact planet can be seen multiple times in the level so it also acts as an extra reference for the player. My last step, not counting audio, was to create a pan to where the player starts. The camera has a small animation that moves it to where the player's view starts before activating the fade panel that plays to "wake" the player up. I want to add a fade in to the fade panel before it starts fading out. Right now it is a bit jarring when it turns on so suddenly. I also need to add audio for selecting and hovering over the different button options to finish it up.