One of the things that players of games notice intuitively is their user interfaces. Small things make a game’s interface fluid or clunky, and ugly or beautiful. A designer who isn’t careful can introduce unnecessary elements or hide crucial information and functionality, crippling their game while working on a part of it that is often underrated. Furthermore, interfaces set the mood of the game before any of the other art and mechanics come to the forefront.
Shadowrun Returns is one of the games that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and I’ve got some mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it’s given me a dreadful amount of thrills, and on the other I’ve wanted to slam my head into the desk several times out of frustration. Part of this may come from my personal attachment to the franchise, which makes me a little more critical than I would otherwise be, but some of it is just the fact that at times the developers just seemed to forget what they were doing-they proved themselves capable of doing some pretty cool things, and then every once in a while a typo, glitch, or gameplay balance issue slipped in. Continue reading