I, for one, am scared to death of the day that game designers realize that they could make more money and be treated better if they switched to web and app design.
Making a user interface on a site can be kind of tough. Making a user interface in a game that has to function while you're under fire and only navigating with a controller is incredibly daunting.
Totally true. From what I've seen those designers seem attracted to VR/AR design where they face a similar set of complex problems.
I've recently made the opposite switch (Web/App UI to Video Game UI) as it's a lifelong passion of mine, and I've been desperate to work on more interactive design. It's early days at the moment, but I'm so much happier right now and don't regret a thing.
I've thought about doing the same thing for similar reasons. Was it a significant pay cut?
Same question as Jay and what kind of game company are you working for? AAA titles or indie games? Console or PC?
Super curious to learn more about your transition.
I'm fortunate that I was moving from a Junior/Associate position working on iOS / Android design, to a mid-level position here. This meant I actually managed to increase my salary quite significantly compared to before, though I was offered slightly more by a London-based tech startup to join as mid-level UI designer.
I would imagine for most people "sidegrading" in the industry, it could potentially mean a pay cut, but from what I've heard the industry as a whole is more competitive on salary now than years before.
Our studio works on it's own IP (Anywhere between 10-20% of staff) as well as acting as an agency for AAA work. No active projects are currently for indie games, and we work on titles spanning PC, Xbox 1 and PS4.
Interestingly, we are recruiting for various UI design jobs right now (London, UK - no remote) so if you're interested DM me on Twitter and I will happily send you some info :)
That is super cool to hear. Really excited that you're getting to do work that you love and getting paid for it.
I saw an interview with the UI designer for Last of Us and was fascinated by the similarities and differences between the way that she approached interface versus my years of understanding.
Best of luck! Hope I get to use an interface you've designed on PS4 or PC at some point in the future.
The Last of Us has a fantastic UI, I'll have to listen to that interview! Thanks for the tip.
Thanks a lot for your kind words; that's super nice of you. I hope I have the opportunity to discuss what succeeds and what fails on my projects in the future; there's just not enough critical discussion about game UI (which leads us full circle to this article!)
Sorry I'm following up super late, but I've been trying to make this transition for the last year or so with no luck. Was there a specific way you structured your pitch to gaming? It seems incredibly difficult with few positions open and nobody really moving around :/
I was actually working on a blog post on a related idea - that Andromeda's phone app works surprisingly well for a companion app, and avoids a lot of the pitfalls of the in-game UI, especially when it comes to menu design. Andromeda seems to make a lot of the same mistakes of the original Mass Effect in terms of ui design inconsistency (seriously, swapping the buttons for confirm and cancel on sequential sub-menus is appalling) - but it also proves that if someone's invested enough, any user can rewire themselves to work with any UI.
The button swaps for confirms is brutal. I haven't tried the companion app, I will give it a go.
the app still does some gnarly stuff like secret tab-swapping, but it might just be a thing that I'm used to using apps with wonky UX — there are enough familiar patterns to mitigate those problems, while the in-game UX is just such a new paradigm that it honestly did take me about 8 hours to get used to all the quirks.
My biggest problem with the game as far as user experience is that they don't explain how to perform special functions that are supposed to be "big" features. For example, having a Favorites class loadout is never explained to the user.