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TYPECAST » Why the HELL can you go behind the UI??

A few people have asked why I allow you to go behind the UI. Sometimes people think its a bug. Most of the time people have a negative response to it, which I always find surprising. Personally I feel that this is a non issue, and is actually pretty cool. I could be convinced otherwise, so let’s talk about it.

WHY can you go behind the UI?

There are a few reasons, all of which come down to game feel. In this game your mouse IS your character, and your movement is extremely precise because of that. So precise, in fact, that you can whip the mouse across the screen and your character will “teleport” to the new mouse position, skipping over enemies, and moving faster than the camera.

There are times where you can whip the mouse, and the camera view (which the UI follows) would lag behind. Imagine if you bumped the UI during this movement, and stopped dead. It would feel awful. I know this because I used to have it so you couldn’t go behind the UI. I got MORE complaints about that from play testers.

Assuming the camera is at its top most position, it also feels very bad to bump up against the UI for the sole purpose of keeping the orb on screen. I know this from play testing, but also keep in mind that this interaction feeling “bad” is my opinion. I probably shouldn’t have to say that because technically this whole game is my opinion, but whatever. I thought it sucked so I changed it and now you can go behind the UI.

WHY is going behind the UI actually good?

First off I am vehemently against taking any kind of control away from the player unless its absolutely necessary. I don’t want you to get stuck on the edge of the UI or something. You can just go back there, and take the risk as you see fit. And to the guy who is about to say “well you lock the player when they get to the edge of the screen!”, you’re kind of right. I do that mostly because it just happens. The mouse leaves the window and your orb can’t follow you. However I’m working on a solution for that.

Second I think it presents the player with a high risk option to dodge enemies if you find yourself at the top of the screen, but really there are few situations where going behind the UI would be beneficial to you because your other options are stronger. However those stronger options would require meter (bombs and slowmo to clear a path), extremely precise mouse movements through a possible horde of enemies, or being good with the parry system which is hard for new players.

Finally, it is actually no different than being at any edge of the screen. I often hear a complaint that you can’t see enemies that are off screen, and they surprise you. Same with the UI. That is by design. The edges of the screen are dangerous! You gotta be careful around there. Take the risk if you want, but be prepared to get ganked. You also don’t want to see a bunch of off screen indicators cluttering up the already chaotic game.

TL;DR I think its fine and kind of cool because you get some wiggle room and who doesn’t love to wiggle?

WILL you ever change it? I still don’t like it!

Maybe, idk. I just don’t think its a real issue and its easy to see it as a real issue, but I personally think the alternatives aren’t very compelling and make the game feel worse. I’ve been wrong before though and I will be wrong again.

Maybe a redesign of the UI elements, and the removal of the black bar, would help. That is something I tried in play testing and the UI was harder to see overall. Then again I am definitely bad at designing UI in general.

So tell me what you think. Go behind the UI? No go behind the UI? Got a better solution than what I’ve talked about above? Hit me with a comment and let’s figure this out.