VIDEO GAME DESIGN

2022

Cursed Mountain

UX Research

UI Design

Brand Identity

2D Artist — Gabby Aidam
Developer — John Doe

ROLE

TEAM

Developed the UI/UX for an original platformer game with a focus on accessibility for Global Game Jam 2022.

DESC

Developed the UI/UX for an original PC game with a focus on accessibility for Global Game Jam 2022.

DESC

UX/UI Designer

ROLE

TEAM

Game Designer — Max Zlochiver

2D Artist — Gabby Aidam
Writer — Martha Gamy

Developer — Noah Young

VIDEO GAME DESIGN

2022

Cursed Mountain

01 / PROBLEM BACKGROUND

How might we reinforce the game’s conceptual theme of collaboration while seamlessly guiding the player in and out of gameplay?

ABOUT

Cursed Mountain is a fantasy platformer game about two souls stuck in one body that journey to meet a witch who can undo their curse. The players switch between their characters to overcome obstacles.

GOAL

My objective was to create an UI/UX experience reflecting how different forces can be complementary and even interdependent to their success while intuitively guiding them through the game experience.

FINAL SCREENS

02 / NEEDS & OPPORTUNITIES

Pain Points: Inaccessible & Detached

I identified pain points hindering game accessibility in the original screens we submitted for the weekend-long Global Game Jam. Below is the original and updated final screen.

I converted the user pain points into campaign goals that would guide my process.

GOALS

Accessible

Child gamers have different visual and cognitive strengths, and needs. Design with accessibility and customization in mind allows players to interact with the game in a comfortable way seamlessly. Customization includes optional hints, controls, and cursor and subtitle size.

Cohesive

For gamers to immerse and empathize with the characters, fantasy world, and story of Cursed Mountain, I worked alongside 2D artists to create a united visual language within the pixelated fantasy aesthetic.

03 / ACCESSIBILITY

Design for Visual & Cognitive Impairments

Colorblind-Safe Palette

Up to eight percent of boys have some degree of color blindness, and less than one percent of girls do. To open the door for our 8-12 aged audience, I focused on creating a color-blind safe palette.

Accessibility Callouts: Gameplay HUD Screen

It is important to consider visual and cognitive impairments. Children with cognitive differences can have attention, memory, and learning challenges.

 

When designing the game interface, I kept this in mind to remove potential barriers from their experience.

04 / USER TESTING

Collaborative Player Selection

For the player selection page, I initially designed it in a way where players choose their characters one at a time. 

 

After testing this design with others, including an Interaction Designer from Rockstar Games, I realized one player would have to wait idly while the other chooses, interrupting that player's flow state.

STEP 1

I explored ways to present character abilities in a way that communicated they are fixed and built-in.

STEP 2

I explored ways to inform the user of their character status to help them understand how far they are from completing the character selection process and to create overall trust in the user interface.

STEP 3

Through iterations, I redesigned the character selection process so that both players are being productive and engaged while collaborating even before gameplay begins.

The finalized character selection process makes the players work together by choosing their characters simultaneously to ensure player engagement and collaboration pre-gameplay.

PROTOTYPE

05 / USER FLOW

User Experience Research

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

Below is a flow chart displaying the onboarding process to gameplay.

USER FLOW

06 / FINAL DESIGNS

Cursed Mountain Screens

07 / Design System

Component-Based Design System