It’s a pity that the latest version of Camp Bears in the app store is only at 1.4, because we had so many new features designed already. One good example of this is our heads up display (“HUD”), which gives you a glimpse into new features we had in mind: health, XP, friending, and quests. We had some baking and cooking interactions all designed, illustrated and engineered for bears to take turns role-playing and earning points from, but alas, Camp Bears is put on indefinite hold. Anyway, I figured since no one would ever see the new HUD, I might as well blog about it to illustrate how UI design is really iterative, especially for an application that can have endless updates with new features added constantly.
HUD 1.3: In this version, we have a very bare-bone display, with inventory integrated into the profile and a universal notification tab that drops down from the top right. Initially, we actually had two other features planned for the bottom right but we took those out, so I wanted to reorganize the HUD in a more balanced manner. However, from a usability standpoint, it made a lot of sense to keep the chat functions in the bottom left so that the columns of text popped out naturally from left to right (think “start” tab on a Windows computer).
HUD 1.4: One of our engineers decided that we no longer needed the map because our world wasn’t that expansive, so here’s an even more imbalanced HUD, which is unfortunately, the version we currently have in the app store.
HUD 1.5: We wanted to launch our baking/cooking interactions in this release, so the health bar was the most important new feature to add. I reorganized the tabs for a more balanced aesthetic, placing buttons right where the thumbs rest (when holding an iPad).
HUD 1.6: We placed all the metrics on top and moved all the buttons to the bottom, so that at least the bears could still walk left and right without any visual hinderances. I had imagined the bottom menu to dock when not in use. I also redesigned all the icons so that they matched a bit better.
If you’d like to see any of these features in the future, please leave us numerous messages in the suggestions box (accessible from the townhall) so that our boss might change his mind! Just kidding, he probably won’t.