I've started working on a hotel manager game and am looking for good game UIs. So far, so good. However, every time I do some research for game UI, most designs I find are overloaded, childish and just generally "too much". So, could you please help me out and show some good examples you enjoy?
It really depends on the style of gameplay.
I've designed for a mobile games company, and it is very much a trend and need to have a packed UI. Especially for Match 3 and management games where the UI is crowded with often multiple economies, scores, milestones and other metrics to try keep players invested.
That said, look at Alto's Adventure for a hallmark of aesthetic UI, or UsTwo's work in Monument Valley for incorporating the UI diegetically into the game. Then look at what successful mobile games studios and other management games are doing; it may not be "pretty" UI, but remember that function over form is sometimes more key. They player won't mind a crowded or ugly UI if it does its job of conveying their progression well (sadly :D).
Also look at AAA studios, see the designs they've made. Roman Davydko mentioned Destiny which introduced some radical UI designs such as a free cursor for consoles (David Candland just this week gave a talk on the development of Destinys UI, though it won't be available to public for a while most likely), you can also go back and look at Bungie Studio's earlier work, for a hotel management game though perhaps look at RTS games and see how they present information to the users. One to note could be Halo War's (a console RTS) interface
Halo Wars has a UI worth studying. There must've been a staggering amount of thought alone put into making a game as complex as a real-time strategy work on a console. I'd definitely recommend you look up some YouTube videos of people playing it if you can, Dennis.
Destiny has the best UI in video game history. It's almost as pleasant to use it's UI as to play the actual game.
What platform(s)? Since you mentioned hotel management, check out Fallout Shelter (iPhone), Football Manager 2016 (iPad, Desktop), Heroes of the Storm (Desktop), Clash Royale (iPhone), Sim City Buildit (iPhone).
Not sure yet. It's a university project which might never see daylight anyways, but I want it to look good on my portfolio. Ultimate goal will be mobile, but for easy testing (and probably lack of knowledge) it will be Desktop first
I often visit http://playpeep.tumblr.com to check some good game interface references.
Wow, awesome, thanks! I still don't like most of it but that's probably I'm more of a non-game-design background. It's an amazing collection to dig through, though.
You can also check Apple's design awards: https://developer.apple.com/design/awards/
Well, I love Hearthstone's UI. But if you're looking for a more "design-y" style I recommend checking out iOS games (look for the ones who won some kind of Apple award). They usually have much better UIs than desktop games, for some reason.
You should check out this: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1022036/Hearthstone-How-to-Create-an
Story behind the HS UI. Definitely one of my favorites.
The latest Tomb Raider and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider both have well-designed menu-heavy UIs.
Monument Valley is a great reference for UI too but from the other end of the spectrum – reducing a UI to its most needed elements.
The best UX ive ever had with a UI is the Dead Space Trilogy. The lead UI designer did an AMA on reddit a while ago. I'll see if I can use it. Here is a good video about the UI of dead space
It's beyond immersive and everything you need about your character is a part of your character, and not "on" the screen. It's really amazing.
More recently, it's gotten some hate, but I think it's simply brilliant is The Division. Also with great effects, it really pushes the modern future deal and it looks great. There are a few tweaks that i would suggest, but i think it works for what it is. Also immersive and the animation in the game is killer.
I'm just a sucker for "future ui" overdone and filled to the brim with little details.
Ridiculous Fishing on iPhone has a pretty busy-looking UI so it might not be what you're looking for, but it's absolutely gorgeous nonetheless
Destiny (available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, & Xbox One). Very clean and straight forward.
Colin McRae: DiRT had amazing menu design (for 2009). Probably doesn't fit with your project, but I remember it standing out to me at the time.