The gaming industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with an ever-increasing number of players and a diverse range of games.According to the latest researches, the market for the gaming industry by 2027 will be more than 482 billion dollars.
A key aspect of a great gaming experience is ui design for games, which can greatly impact the overall enjoyment and engagement of players. In this article, we will explore the current UI design trends in the gaming industry and what we can expect to see in 2023.
Current UI Design Trends in Gaming
Game design is constantly evolving under the influence of technological innovations, player preferences and creative ideas from designers. Here are some of the key game design trends that have emerged in recent years:
- Cross-platform. There have been a lot of great games in recent years, and publishers are trying to get as many audiences as possible for them. Thus expanding the availability of games to a wide audience can become even more meaningful. For example, the recently released Hogwarts: Legacy is already breaking sales records, and the console version hasn’t even been released yet. Another example is the Last of Us, a great post-apocalyptic game that is currently being ported to PC.
- New approaches to social interaction in games are also possible, which will help strengthen the bond between players and the game. This could include more opportunities for co-op play and co-op quests, as well as the creation of different areas and chat rooms where players can chat with each other.
- Other bold game innovations could include more art-house elements and experimental formats. In addition, we can expect an increase in the number of games based on artificial intelligence, where players will compete and interact with “smart games” instead of other players.
- In conclusion, we would like to say a few words about VR. Players are looking for more and more immersion in the game, so games like Half-Life: Alyx will only gain popularity.
How to increase the effect of involvement in the game?
If we talk about techniques for increasing the involvement of players, then we can distinguish the following mechanics:
- Surprise at an early stage. Having “hooked” the player with something at the beginning of the game experience, the chance increases that he will linger in the game for a little longer.
- Formation of short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. It is important for everyone to achieve their goals, and games allow you to enjoy the constant achievement of your goals.
- The anticipation of the award. These are various mechanics of non-guaranteed rewards (loot boxes), timers for receiving them, and much more.
- Actions in progress. If the player has already started some process, then he is more likely to want to complete it.
- A sense of progress and effort. If a player sees how much effort he has already put into the game and his progress in it, he is less likely to give up the results of his efforts.
What to expect from 2023?
- Increased Focus on Player Experience. The player experience will be a major focus in game design in 2023. Game developers will place greater emphasis on the creating games that are engaging, enjoyable, and accessible to players of all ages and skill levels. This will result in the creation of games that are not only fun to play, but also designed to meet the needs of different players.
- Emergence of New UI Design Elements. In 2023, new UI design elements will emerge in the gaming industry. Game developers will focus on creating user interfaces that are intuitive, easy to use, and customizable. This will allow players to tailor their gaming experience to their preferences, making games more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Additionally, new UI design elements will be used to create more engaging and interactive experiences, such as adding touch and gesture controls to VR and AR games.
- Integration of AI technology in gaming UI. Currently, AI is actively used to solve various problems in games. With it, developers can significantly improve the quality of graphics and improve the dynamics of various objects, both living and non-living. Artificial intelligence analyzes the player’s behavior and optimizes the world around in real time. In addition, artificial intelligence makes it possible to implement such a long-awaited feature as non-linearity. It was a certain linearity of the game that became one of the reasons for criticizing the game Cyberpunk 2077.
Challenges and opportunities for game designers in 2023
Here, in my opinion, are common mistakes that I often encounter:
- Visual hierarchy. Developers often do not divide elements on the screen into primary and secondary. Because of this, secondary elements may be the most visible on the screen, and vice versa, those elements for which the screen was made may be lost.
- Lots of meanings in one place. Many developers try to put too many meanings and functional actions on one screen. Thus, the screen or window becomes very complex, and it becomes more difficult to teach the player how to use such an interface.
- Complex structure. The downside of the problem above is that there is too much nesting in the interface structure, and in order to perform a frequent action, the player has to go through a long difficult path each time.
- Rule conflicts. The player has to be taught the rules of the interface directly or indirectly, but the task of teaching the player becomes much more difficult if the interface violates its own rules.
To summarise we would like to say a few words about the balance in the game. Balance is a constantly changing value, and in games, it affects the main game metrics. Therefore, as soon as the opportunity arises, it is vital to provide A/B tests. One change can lead to a deterioration in project performance, and another to an improvement. And, of course, you need to carefully listen to the players. This allows you to identify the most problematic places in the project.
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