Category Archives: Game Design Tricks

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Numbers are useful but when they are over-used in an UI you may end up with some Excel-game. It doesn’t get better when you’ve to deal with floating point numbers.

1.0

In Sacred 2 you can increase the level of your spells with special runes which are dropped by enemies. But it would have been too easy if you just jump from level 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 … instead you need one rune to get from level 1 to 2. But you need two runes to get from level 2 to 3. Three runes for the next level and so on. This means after using your 2nd rune the spell level is for example:

2.5

So what to do? The lazy (and ugly) way would be: just write out this floating point number. Our UI designer proposed a different solution and i have to admit that i thought it was a very stupid solution.

We’ll write the first digit and render the rest as “pie chart”-circle around it.

In general i have often the case that i hear some game design mechanic and think “That’s stupid!” but then i see/play/feel it and i think “Wow…that works great! I’m so stupid!”. And so it happened here:

Source: Sacred 2

Here you can see how the circle is divided into pieces and instead of writing 3.0 > 3.3 > 3.6 > 4 you just see the outline filling up.

I was really impressed by the simplicity and beauty of this solution which is why i made this article. Maybe this helps some people. If yes, don’t hesitate spend me a comment! If not, tell me what you think!

Thanks for reading!