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Shogun 2s User Interface, A Study

The purpose of this project is to further my understanding of good UI design by studying various elements of Shogun 2s User Interface (UI) used in its Sengoku Jidai Campaign Map.

This post will serve to discuss the Campaign Maps UI layout, and be an index post in a multi-post project of non comprehensive personal observations of Shogun 2s User Interface.

Disclaimer: The User Interface (UI) is not quite in its Vanilla form due to having the Steam mod by Radious installed at the time of the study.

Shogun 2s User Interface Screenshot
Shogun 2 Campaign UI

The focus of this piece will be mostly on the 2-D elements of the interface such as menus, tabs, pop-up, and icons NOT the ‘3-D’ campaign map itself. So lets start with the general layout of the the Campaign User Interface.

General Layout

We can abstract Shogun 2s User Interface into an approximate layout with the following areas:

Shogun 2s User Interface General Layout
Interface Layout – Not to Scale
  • Dark Blue – Help and Options.
  • Green – Screen Center.
  • Light Blue – Map Lists.
  • Orange – ‘Selection’ Dial.
  • Pink – Description Popup area.
  • Purple – ‘Selection’ Banner.
  • Red – Map and Global effects.
  • Yellow – Management Dial.

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Know – An Educational Card Game

The following are play instructions for Know, and educational card game.

know_logo

Equipment

To play Know requires the following equipment:

  • Blank Cards (or pieces of paper).
  • Pens (not pencils).
  • Teams (at least one player per Team).
  • Source of Answers e.g Academic Textbooks.

Definitions

These are the definitions for terms used in Know:

  • Answer Cards A card that has written on it a Teams ID, their Answer and the Question number that the Answer Card is addressing.
  • Point Pool – The number of points available to be won on a Question.
  • Question Cards A card that has written on it a Teams ID, their Question, and a unique Question Number.
  • Question Prep A round for preparing Questions.
  • Question Round A round for asking Questions and submitting Answers.
  • Resolution A round for marking the Answers to Questions.
  • Round Deck A collection of Answer and Questions Cards for a Question Round.
  • Team ID A secret identifier that is unique to each Team.

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Hungarfen, The Fungal Horror – League of Legends Champion Design

Role: Mage/Support

Hugarfen is a manaless champion from the Plague Jungles who uses its health as its casting resource. I’’ve written a short introduction that I highly recommend you read before moving on to the champion description.

Appearance

hungarfen

This image is not owned by me and was sourced from here.

Lore

When writing Hungarfens lore I choose to be unconventional. My intention was to craft something with little less hand holding. I want to challenge the reader to make inferences while giving them the ingredients to do so. I want the reader to not just read, but think and discover. Hopefully I made that possible.

Lets get started, shall we!

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Red Stallion Gaming – Android

Shortly after joining Red Stallion Gaming, a video game publisher in Bahrain. I started developing their Android mobile application.

rsi_logo
Red Stallion Gaming’s Parent

When I got my hands the app it was setup to communicate with a Web API, could only perform simple login and game download. There was plenty of work to do, and my efforts in this project were most notably:

  • Redesigning a new look and feel for the app.
  • Improving the login feature, as well as adding social media integration’s, for sign in and sign up.
  • Adding purchasing functionality with payment methods such as PayPal and Red Stallion Gaming virtual currency.
  • Adding a SQLite database for persistent storage to significantly reduce the data requests to the server, and improve the users experience.
  • Adding Wishlist, Library, Forgot Password and Search features.
  • Adding basic DRM measures.
  • Implementing a procedure, with built in token refreshing, of communicating with the existing API and a newly developed API to collect data for a smooth user experience.

The result of all this work was me completely redesigning, refactoring and implementing the mobile application. It’s been a lot of hours of work, but its finally released!

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There’s lots more work to do on it, and in the mobile side of the company, but I’m happy to say that we’ve taken our first step.

 

A House For Two

“Sir?”

John roused himself; he had drifted off after the clerk had emphatically given her unwelcome opinion. “Just give me what I want” he’d said bluntly. Disheartened the clerk slowly retreated.

A brawl ago, John declared to his wife that he despised these delusions; but she scarcely listened anymore. Had she ever? Could it change? Was it him?

She insisted that every weekend he drag himself to a store. Sentenced to collect the next latest and greatest distraction. He blamed her, she blamed him. A house for two strangers.

Today would be different.

Trudging home there were bridges to cross.

house_for_two

Unpacked

Writing this I wanted to experiment using ‘vagueness’ with implications in the confines of a drabble. Since both are a challenge to an amateur such as myself, from the vacuum that is my consciousness, my greatest concern is whether the balance is right to allow for those implications. Perhaps it’s about time I unpack it a little.

The subject matter is hollow marriages, with three main ‘topics’.

The first is the store. It is intentionally vague/generic to convey the view that the stores are an analogous collection of material distractions that they use to ‘fill’ their hollow marriage. The protagonist is at the point where he is disconnected and can’t make distinctions anymore.

The second is around the state of the marriage. I very lightly touch on concepts like self-blame, blaming the other, breakdown of communication, delusions between the couple, and the delusions they sustain for society.

Finally the last, is the final sentence designed to allow room for interpretation, where the two main factors are the concept of ‘house’ vs ‘home’ (up until that point I’ve only made references to a house) which requires some cultural understanding, and the second is the bridge.

The bridge serves for interpretation in either/both a literal and metaphorical sense, it’s up to the reader. In an attempt to put it concisely, I see the final sentence as touching on the struggles of dealing with a hollow marriage. Will he or will he not cross the bridge(s) to home? Is the essence of the question though there are a variation of other states that a reader might consider. Such as, despite his will, can he? Does the bridge have to lead to her?

Euler, Golem of The Great Library – League of Legends Champion Design

Major Faction: The Desert Empire
Minor Faction: The Enlightened

Role: Tank/Support

When reading the following champion description please keep in mind that this champion has three forms. To get an idea of what the forms are when reading his abilities, read his W ability description first.

Additionally this champion has no mana or energy rather his abilities cost health. This works from a lore point of view since it’s Euler’s spirit that is the source of amulet’s power, and mechanically as it helps offset his passive ability.

Appearance

A hulking humanoid figure, The Golem is a mountain of perfectly muscled sand standing several heads taller than any man. On its neck a pulsing amulet, an ancient artifact, a vessel containing the essence of a spirit. Euler’s spirit. The source of the amulets power.

GolemSandI do not own this image, it was taken from this website.

The amulet design is based off of the concept of Ancient Egyptian scarab amulets. Imagine the following as a base:

scarab_amulet

I do not own this image, it has been adapted from its original posting here.

The primary colors of the amulet are obsidian black, with gold lining that traces the outlines of the amulet’s key features. Namely the ankh and its patterns, as well the scarabs body, wings and its patterns.

The amulet’s major chain would follow the design of the scarabs wings. The major chain would be made up of two minor chains, one for each wing of the scarab. Each link of the chain would be a single part of a scarabs wing. Once the two minor links are connected they would form a chain of two complete connecting wings, the links mechanically functioning in the same manner as the links of watches metal strap.

The amulets head is the scarab, its body a golden lined ruby the size of a mans head. From within the ruby onlookers would behold brilliant rays of gold and white through the carvings on the ruby’s face.

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Multi – A Platformer Game

My GameMaker game project Multi is finished! This game been in the works for a while, and I’m now happily releasing it for you to enjoy!

multi-start-screen

Follow the link below to download a .zip file containing the game. When the download is complete, unzip the file then have a look the read-me and, then run the .exe file to play the game.

 Download Multi!

Here’s a few in-game screenshots to wet your appetite.

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